Tuesday, October 31, 2006

WSU students play it safe

There was a bad cutline for the dominate photo of the SafeRiders article. The cutline reads "Students can enjoy alcoholic beverages and not worry about driving home with SafeRiders." The way it is written makes it sound like students are currently worried about driving home with SafeRiders, but if they drink alcholic beverages, they won't have to worry. A better to write that cutline would have been "With SafeRiders, students can enjoy alcholic beverages and not worry about driving home."

I also thought the eighth paragraph made little sense. "For these students, Brown said he believes the program is relevant to WSU students' lives." I'm sorry. What? Perhaps it would have been better to cut out the first part and just leave "Brown believes the program is relevent to students' lives."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Safe Rider: WSU next taxi service for students

Now that the sunflower has covered the Safe Rider issue at SGA, the Friday, Oct. 27 Sunflower edition article on Safe Rider was rather interesting to read. The article does not mention what Safe Rider is or what it does? The article was also inconsistent with the spelling of Safe Rider?
One thing which I did not appreciate about the article was that information was wrong. Safe rider first came to SGA and asked for $25,000 for the current fiscal year. The student fees committee reduced the amount to $22,500. The senate body had too many questions which were not answered. This led to the funding of Safe Rider being sent to the Campus Issue committee. That committee then recommended the amount of $27,000 for Safe Rider to continue which was approved by 19-5-5.
If you are going to right an article using figures make sure you are doing it accurate since SGA does fund the Sunflower and if they decide to reduce the funding for the sunflower they could!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

msn.com article errors

The following came from an article on msn.com about Brad Pitt's home being broken into by an E! television crew. I guess the guy who wrote it was just in a hurry, or drunk.
"The pair from E! Networks parked a van outside the home Oct. 20, ignored a "no trespassing" sign and walked onto the property, where they construction workers spotted them, a representative for Pitt said."
...and again in the next paragraph...
"After the two went returned to the van and left, construction workers called Pitt's security personnel, who contacted Los Angeles police and made a trespassing report, Guagenti said."

Friday, October 27, 2006

WuShock trial

A little bit on inaccuracy.
So, how many students applied for the WuShock?
Wichita Eagle reported today that five people showed up on Thursday's trial. On the other hand, according to The Sunflower only one was there. So, who is right? I am betting it is the Eagle. Unfortunately, the Sunflower tied its headline to their information - Little love for WU. Context would be different with five people (Less sad, I guess).


Boeing Wichita Credit Union needs to rethink their advertising. In Friday's Eagle, page 5A, the ad reads: "Higher Interest. Freer checking." What the heck is "freer" checking? Are their checking services cheaper because they had to cut costs in their PR department...perhaps let one of their writers go? This is either a huge typo or poor attempt at a catchy phrase. Jeez.

Historic salvation? Please!

Anyone read Friday's front page article "Historic Salvation?" in the Wichita Eagle? In a nutshell, Episcopal Social Services is considering applying for historic preservation to save its building from being demolished to make room for the downtown arena. First, I don't think a 48-year-old building is that old. Second, it falls two years short of meeting requirements to qualify as an historic building. Finally, the building has no significant architectural qualities that contribute to "Historic Downtown."

While it's unfortunate that ESS might lose their building, it's ridiculous to tie up the Preservation Board and City Council. Let's get a move on! I'll be dead before this arena is built!

By the way, under the subheading "What Might Happen," there needs to be a question mark following the first sentence.
I noticed on the front page of Thursday's Eagle they used a question in the headline. The Eagle also used a question on the front page of the Local & State on FridayI thought headline writers weren't encouraged to use a question in a headline. I personally think a using a question in a headline especially on the front page would be an easy way out. I think there could have been a better headline written.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

"Very" is "very" wrong IMHO

Very is OK in a direct quote, but otherwise I think that it should be banished. I don't think you should use "She is very pregnant." Very is not a good descriptive word. You are either pregnant or you are not. Instead, describe her state of pregnancy. "She is nine months pregnant" or "She is so pregnant it looks like she's got two beach balls inside her body."

Dan Close

Hi there! Dan here!

Howdy, folks.

Les invited me to join your blog. I like to lurk. I might post something every once in a while. Feel free to engage me in conversation or pick a fight with me if you want!

Dan Close

equalizing love: gay marriage debate

Once again, gay marriage rights are in the news. A group of supporters gathered outside of the New Jersey Supreme Court awaiting a decision on same-sex marriage. New Jersey is now considering whether or not to call this 'newly constructed relationship,' which has all the rights and obligations of a marriage-a marriage.
If 'all men are created equal' then why the debate of this topic? Love is Love! That's how I feel. Articles like the one I read in the New York Times outrage me. My life is affected by the decisions of the court. My view on this is simple. You can't help who you fall in love with. Whether it be a man or woman, it shouldn't matter. My relationship is very much like a marriage; We take care of each other, love one another, fight with each other, support each other, just like every other relationship. Why should same-sex couples be denied the rights like insurance benefits of their partners or simply being able to say they are married. I wear a ring on my left hand and when people ask, I tell them I am married. However, I have no benefits by saying this.
I understand I am standing on my soapbox with this, but it really bothers me. I could go on and on but I will won't. I just wish this debate would be over and done with. Give everybody the same rights and there won't be any problems.

Safe Ride

Did anyone notice the Sunflower didn't cover the SGA/Safe Ride issue? I noticed a letter to the editor, but other than that nothing was mentioned in the paper. I think it's bad when local TV stations are covering what is possibly the biggest issue on campus this week, yet the university paper didn't cover it at all. I think the Sunflower missed out a chance to cover a controversial issue on campus.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Watch that hyphenation!

Fall 2006 WSU Rim Rats


You're right on most of the hyphenation issues, but not one: You don't hyphenate after very or an adverb ending in -ly/. Hence, curly haired girl is correct, not curly-haired girl. However, you can eliminate the word "very" in almost cases. An exception might be: "That curly haired girl is very pregnant." Maybe I misspoke. Girls shouldn't be pregnant — that's for women, isn't it?

It's about hyphenation

Fall 2006 WSU Rim Rats
Ok so I dyed my hair back to blonde last week and fried my bangs, which led me online to find some hair-treatment recipes. I found a Web site called womenshealthcaretopics.com which looked like a well-maintained and put-together Web site, but once I started reading the article, I was absolutely amazed by the number of errors I found. This blog would be way too long if I talked about each one, so I’ll number and list them below:

1. curly haired women…should be curly-haired (this appears several times in the article)
2. straight haired women…should be straight-haired
3. Living in a humid client…should be climate
4. frizinness…should be frizziness
5. silicon based product….should be silicon-based
6. Consider a leave in conditioning treatment….should be leave-in
7. If you can afford it consider a….should be afford it, consider (run-on sentence, needs comma)
8. ways to tame fly aways…should be fly-aways
9. Be careful however. (sentence fragment)
10. weighted down…should be weighed down
11. can help minimize product build up…should be buildup

There were other mistakes, but I’m sure you get the point. Maybe they could think of hiring an editor?

New Terminal Issue

On my way to work this morning I heard on the radio that the plans for the new airport terminal were going to be cut so that the cost would stay at the original $150 million that was proposed earlier this year. When I arrived at work I read on Kansas.com about the issue and the reasons that things were being cut out of the plan and the reasons to why it may be justified that we get a new terminal in the first place. As a frequent flyer in and out of Wichita's airport I do see serious need for rennovations. However, $150-184 million dollars worth is not what I would call necessary. Wichita is a major aviation hub and it is surprising that the airport looks and functions the way it does considering all that we have here in regard to aviation and the industry. But, having giant parking garages and multi-level ticketing areas isn't necessary.

Communication Week a Success

I know this post is a little past date but for some reason some of mine aren't posting so I need to catch up. Anyway, I wanted to say that in the three years I've been in the ESC that this year's communication week was the best ever. The panels were so relevant to so many different emphasis areas and I really enjoyed attending multiple panels rather than just going to those that were required of me for class. In years past I would attend one or maybe two if I really felt like I had to. The subject areas this year were so much more interesting and relevant to my emphasis at least and I really enjoyed that. I attended five panels/events and overall am very pleased that we have a staff in the ESC that is so dedicated to their students to provide us with things like communication week.

Funny Headline

I was just reading the morning news from my hometown paper online and came across a headline that I thought was pretty funny. "Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers" was the headline. The article also lacked in good information to go with the already silly headline. Obviously it is funny to picture police running after people who are walking across the wrong part of the street because no running should need to be involved. The article went on to talk about multiple concerns the police department has that are not jaywalking so really the story content was mostly irrelevant to the headline. Only about three paragraphs of the story explained the jaywalkng issue.

WSU Recruiting Article Response

I wanted to respond to the post Katie made about the article in Tuesday's Wichita Eagle regarding recruitment of the brightest and best high school seniors to WSU. I agree with her that the headline made WSU sound as though we were lacking in intelligence and that we only get average students to attend our school. I think it is proposterous that WSU has stooped to offer such large bribes to students who are clearly not interested in caring about Wichita State the way many of us do. Spending that money on those that give their time and efforts to make WSU great would be a much better use of those funds.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Last one, I swear

One headline (link) on cnn.com is "Relative: gang grabbed U.S. soldier." I just think it is a confusing headline. I assumed it meant some gang in south central L.A. must have kidnapped an American soldier. When I went to the link, I learned that instead "Masked men abducted U.S. soldier, relative says." Maybe a better headline would be "Masked men kidnapped U.S. soldier."

Dennis Hastert

I just read an article on cnn.com about how the house speaker is telling ethics investigators to work quickly to determine who knew about the Rep. Mark Foley's come-on's to congressional pages and what anyone did or didn't do about it. I just think it is ridiculous that the man is being investigated and he has the audacity to tell the committee investigating him and his staff to hurry up. Can you imagine what would have happened if Clinton told investigators in the Lewinsky scandal to hurry up? The Republicans would have had a field day.

Are we so bad?

I was skimming the articles on kansas.com and found the following headline: "WSU fights brain drain." This implies that WSU students are lacking intelligence. Maybe instead of taking high school seniors who obviously fail to see what's so great about WSU, and who clearly don't want to attend WSU, the University should spend its money on promoting Shocker pride (instead of hurting its students pride.) Also, the writer had the following typo: "She decided, as she sold WSU to this kid, that she was on to something new: that she wanted to do this not just with one bright kid butwith a whole bunch of them."


I just read an article on kansas.com about how the city will build the new airport terminal for $150 million dollars, instead of the proposed $184 million. I have flown out from Wichita a few times in the last couple years, so I definitely agree that it needs rennovations at least. I was just thinking that maybe the city should think of new reasons to come to Wichita so that the new terminal might actually be used when it finishes in 2011. And by new reasons to visit Wichita, I don't mean an arena or Wild West World.

attorney general debate

I just found a "duh" headline on kansas.com. "Kline, Morrison clash in final debate." I'm not sure about you, but I kinda figured they would clash. A debate between two opposing candidates in any race will probably cause the candidates to "clash." That's why they are opposing candidates and not running mates.

New Post #5: WichiTalk celebrates its first birthday

The WichiTalk has just celebrated its first birthday, and how fast a year can go by. I like the section of the paper, and it hasn't seemed like a year has gone by. Hopefully the Wichitalk section has many more years in the eagle.

New Post #4: Ipod article in yesterdays paper

The Ipod is a great tool for music lovers, and the article conveyed it's beauty perfectly. I have yet to get one, but eventually I will. The Ipod has all kinds of different sizes and prices, and I'm glad someone wrote an article that promoted it well enough.

New Post #3: Check out the Cowley County Newspaper

I used to write for them, and they have a really awesome newspaper. I just recently started to think about it when I went down there to gather articles for my senior portfolio. They have a great instructor in Dave Bostwick, and the paper is very well put together.

New Post #2: Band Article in Local and State

I didn't play band in high school, nor did I want to. However, the article about the band contest was fantastic. I think band competitions are very neat, seeing how a lot of the formations they do probably take a long time to do and practice. It's nice that a competition like that gets some recognition.

New Post#1: Confusion in the Eagle

In the Local and State section of todays paper, there is a headline that reads"Mother returns home after fatal bike accident in June." I think it's confusing because it sounds like she came back from the dead. Funny, but kind of morbid at the same time.

The Sunflower - Oct. 23

There was an article in the Monday Sunflower called "Young adults reluctant to leave the nest". In the fourth paragraph, there is a sentence that says, "Gladney's oldest children moved away from home when they were 18 and 20 years old."

The hyphens are missing. It should be "20-years-old". Hyphens were used earlier in the article. The writer must have forgotten.

WSU fights brain drain

While reading Kansas.com this morning, I found an error in the "WSU fights brain drain" article. In the second section, "Tired of hearing 'no'", there is a sentence that says:

"She has tried to recruit kids like these for years, and for years has heard them say thatthey are tired of Wichita, that there is nothing to do here, that they plan to take their brains and their money elsewhere."

There is a space missing between the words "that" and "they".

Wrong Ad Placement

I wrote a reaction story about the WSU Muslim community and the death of Dr. Nabil Seyam for Monday's Sunflower. The first part of story made the front page, but it jumped to the back page. Below the jump on the back page was a poorly placed ad for Jezebel's. I know that the placement was unintentional, but I think the placement of the ad showed a lack of respect, not only for Dr. Seyam, but for the Muslim community at WSU.

The Sunflower: A miniature Eagle?

I have a situation. Well, two, actually. For one, I'm super behind on this blogger thing, so I've got to catch up. The second is that I don't agree with some of my editor's decisions. I received a text message this morning from him, asking me if I'd seen the front page of today's Eagle. They ran a CP story on WSU recruitment, and now I am being asked to write something like it for the Sunflower. I do not agree. The Eagle already ran a story; we shouldn't push the line of plagiarism. The Sunflower is under enough scrutiny at this point, I think. We do not need to be known as a mini-Eagle, always catching the news later than they run it. I understand the need to report everything relevant to WSU students in our paper, but this story was more of a feature than anything and shouldn't be run in the paper. Look for it in Wednesday's Sunflower.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Television break-ups...funny or sad?

I always enjoy Denise Neil's columns. They make me laugh, they make me...laugh. I guess that's all there is to it. Although, her column, "More tragic tales of TV love gone bad" from Sunday's Eagle made me think and laugh. That's a nice change, I guess.
This column is sort of a follow-up to an earlier column she wrote about "breaking up" with one of her favorite television shows (Survivor, if I remember correctly). In Sunday's column, she writes about more tragic break-ups, and how various people are managing life without shows that were once so critical to them.
I'm not sure that this is how TV should be. Does everyone need to be in a serious relationship with a sit-com? How did this media become so crucial in our lives? I look at myself: I have been an avid watcher of Gilmore Girls for several years, and it is the only hour of television I watch faithfully from week to week (of course, I watch more than one hour per week, it's just random). I don't consider myself a TV junkie, but what is normal? I have one friend who hardly watched TV at all --she's too busy reading, gardening and having stirring conversations with her fiance. I wonder what our society would be like without all the entertainment.
What would happen if I broke up with cable? What if I broke up with the whole electronic box? I can hardly imagine what life would be like.

The new fad in hollywood: Adoption.

For those who have not heard so see yet, Madonna recently adopted a Malawian boy. Media coverage is really interesting. I am Malawian. I find it ridiculous that they would cover what a Hollywood star does over highlighting the fact that there are bigger stories with better human interest to them. The story changes and it annoys me that she has received that much coverage.
The dignitary that have graced Malawians include Queen of England, Pope John IV, former US President Bill Clinton and may other. Now when I explain to people where I am from all I have to do is to mention her name and people now somewhat recognize where I am from.

Fall 2006 WSU Rim Rats

Fall 2006 WSU Rim Rats

I agree with Jelena's post about lack of information on Communication Week. I e-mailed the editor about the lack of a story on Wednesday, the day Comm Week started. Unfortunately, The Sunflower pubished a special issue that day. Traditionally, The Sunflower does not have a regular newspaper the day of special issues. I think that should change. In this case, with fall break on Monday and Tuesday last week, there wasn't a regular newspaper until Friday, Oct. 27 — a week after the last issue. In that time, I'm sure there was a lot of news worth reporting on Wednesday, including Communication Week.

Fall 2006 WSU Rim Rats

Fall 2006 WSU Rim Rats

Fall 2006 WSU Rim Rats

This morning's Eagle had profiles on three candidates for the 4th District Sedgwick County Commission race. The profiles were on the Democrat and Republican candidates (Michael Kinard and Kelly Parks), but also included Lucy Burtnett, a current commission member who was appointed to fill an unexpired term. She lost in the Republican primary to Parks, but is conducting a write-in campaign. Not included was another Republican, Robert Davis, who also lost in the primary to Parks, but is conducting a write-in campaign. Why did The Eagle include only one write-in candidate when both Burtnett and Davis officially announced they were campaigning as write-ins? Incidentally, KMUW allowed Kinard and Parks an opportunity to read a three-minute statement one morning, then followed the next morning with statements of equal time for Burtnett and Davis.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Comm week

I think this comm week was good, but poorly advertised.
I am refereeing to the fact that the Wednesday issue of the Sunflower did not have information about this event. I understand it was a special issue, but at least a flier with the schedule could be placed inside the newspaper.
What rest of you think about this?

Wrong placement of the photo

Just a thought on page layout and designs.
On the cover page of the today's Wichita Eagle there was this story about money collected for public school programs. It was a jump story, but the picture next to it (Governor Sebelius) was supposed to go on the jump page. The reason is that the front page did not have any reference to the governor, if I am not mistaking.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Eagle Made Me Laugh Out Loud

One of the headlines on the front page of Tuesdays Eagle declared: "Morrison Pulls Past Kline in New Poll." That wasn't the funny part. I found it funny that the sub headline was the Kline campaign's obvious response to the poll: "Kline's campaign says the survey is flawed."

I feel that it would have been better to have a sub headline with the response from Morrison's party, not Kline's. I should clarify that I think it's important to have the response from Kline's campaign in the story, it just shouldn't have been in the sub headline. For a paper that tries to be balanced, the sub headline made Kline's party sound arrogant.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I love that the Eagle added the Wichitalk section to the newspaper. I was a big fan of the Go section on Fridays so when the Wichitalk section was added everyday I had another reason to read the paper. I think it is a nice break to read because you get all the hard news on the front page and in the first section. I like the helpful tips about everyday life it features and what is new in town. I used to just scan the front page headlines and that was all I read. Now, I look over other headlines in different sections while making my way to the Wichitalk. I have one suggestion for the paper. I think the Hollywood news section on the second page of the first section of the paper would maybe fit better in the Wichitalk. The news content is more along the lines of something you would find in that section.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Wednesday Sunflower

Did anyone read the front page article "WSU merges retirement plans"? I'm not entirely sure why this made the front page of the Sunflower, much less the Sunflower all together. I just don't think it's of any interest to students. I'm sure most students would skip over an article about retirement plans for WSU employees.

There was also a mistake in the first paragraph. "...the Kansas Board of Regents mandatory retirement plan will no longer be able continue those investments after Dec. 30." The word "to" should have been placed between "able" and "continue".

Friday, October 13, 2006

Neighbors West

I caught a few errors in Thursday's "Neighbors West" section. The article "Fighting blight with home ownership," talks about promoting home ownership. Can someone tell me why realtor is spelled with a capital 'R' throughout the entire story?

On page 3F, there's a section devoted to yesterday in history. Some of these stories, albeit somewhat interesting, seem poorly written, and/or contain spelling errors; i.e. '52 years ago' with abortion missing the 's.' The story about Mike Oatman uses the phrase 'Our Town,' and the phrase is capitalized. What's this about?
I had to smile while reading the Wednesday Sunflower. I am thinking about "Beggs and bagels for all" story. Not only the headline is funny (I thought), but the story makes hilarious analogies (paraphrasing: while students were spreading cream cheese, Beggs was spreading his words.) Also, how about "hungry students" that are gathering at the Shocker Square.
Overall, the story wasn't written professionally, but the author, purposely or not, made it funny. If he didn't I would probably skip it.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Yankees pitcher dies in plane crash

Wednesday afternoon NY Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle's plane crashed. When the news first hit the media it was unsure if he was killed in the crash. When I was listening to the breaking news on KFDI all they said was the NY starting pitcher was killed in a plane crash. As a Yankees fan I first thought of the Yankees, but then it occurred to me that the Mets, the other NY baseball team, is in the playoffs. Wow, i'm sure that scared many Mets fans. I'm surprised KFDI aired the news without confirming the player was a Yankees or Mets pitcher. Lidle's death is a major problem for the Yankees (who are out of the playoffs), however, the Mets would be in a bind if their starting pitcher was killed as they entered the playoffs.

gardeners and cooks

I was reading the paper the other night and will reading the opinion poll I came across something that struck me as very racist. I know everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but i was honestly surprised that the Eagle actually put this in.

The comment made was by a parent who suggested that they think it is a good idea for schools to teach spanish starting with kindergarten or first grade. "if they don't, how are our children supposed to communicate with their cooks and gardeners."
That quote really got to me. I laughed at first thinking it was kind of funny and immediately changed my perspectative. I feel that it was a very rude quote and probably shouldn't have been posted. That is just how I feel.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Weird news from the Eagle

While reading the Wichita Eagle online this morning, I came across a section I am not sure they always run called Weird News. The headline for the section today was Officers find burgers sprinkled with pot. Apparently at a Burger King near a Reservation three workers had been using the drug during work hours and had left some of it in the food. The three were arrested for attempted battery of an officer because it was considered harmful to the officer. Anyway I thought it was a strange headline and rightfully so because it was run in the weird news section!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Opinion in People

I had a little chuckle after reading "Chef dishes it out" on page 2A of the October 9 Eagle. This little story is about how demanding Walter Cronkite is, according to his former private chef, Terri Schwab. Schwab complains that "It's all about Walter," and continues, "It's dinner for four at 6:30, then it turns into dinner for six, then dinner for eight. 'Yes sir, yes sir, yes sir,' that's the answer."

After this sore quotation, the journalist who wrote this blurb finishes out the story, writing, "To which one wonders, isn't that what a privat chef is supposed to do?" Are you chuckling? Well, I thought it was funny, maybe you have to read the whole thing for yourself.

My question, though, is whether or not reporters are supposed to insert those tidbits that are oozing with opinion. This story wasn't just the news, it wasn't just reported; it was reported with the perspective of the one writing it. If you would like to respond, I really am curious if this was right or wrong. But right or wrong, I enjoyed it, and I think that chef should pursue another career.

Tricky choice

In The Wichita Eagle today, there was an article on the front cover entitled, "Parents key to Internet safety," by Suzanne Perez Tobias. I wasn't very interested in this story, (lacking in children) but I started to read it anyway. The lead of the story trots out the name Mark Foley, and proceeds to reprint a part of one of his instant messaging conversations with a teenager. By the time I got to the jump, I was thinking, "why on earth didn't they use a headline that lets the reader know that this story is about Foley?"

However, as I continued reading, I discovered that the story itself really is about parental involvement in their child's Internet dealings. The headline, then, does fit the story. It just doens't fit the lead and the first few paragraphs. I don't know what I would have done with this story. The lead used Mark Foley as an example that draws readers in, but led me to think the headline was poorly written until after the jump, (and how many people read past the jump?) so what could have been done? I can't event begin to come up with a headline that would incorporate both the reader-snatching lead and the real message of the story in five or so words, but I think it could have been better.

Punctuation in headline

I think, although we are generally not supposed to use punctuation marks in headlines, that The Eagle's use of a colon in the October 5 issue, on page 4A, "The Amish way: Forgiveness" was well-done. It reads better than an equivalent, "The Amish way is forgiveness," and it leads the eye to focus on the words "Forgiveness" (for me, this was the first word I saw) and "Amish," which would lead any reader who knew about the tragic event to a realization of what would appear in the article, and create curiosity in readers who hadn't heard of the event. I liked this headline, even though it breaks the rules. Maybe Michael Roehrman came up with this one.

Confusing headline

I thought the October 4 headline just below the fold on the front page of the Sunflower was confusing. The idea of the story is that a WSU Shoctoberfest promotion allows people to trade in merchandise from other colleges for a discount on WSU items. The headline: "Bookstore trades in gear for school spirit," didn't make any sense to me at all until I read the article. The bookstore isn't trading anything in -- people can come to the bookstore to do trades. And the trade is from "gear" to "school spirit" which doesn't make the picture any clearer. The headline should make it clear that people can trade merchandise from other colleges in for a discount on WSU stuff, not confuse readers. Granted, a headline like that might be difficult to come up with, but I just really thought this one was confusing. I think something like, "Students trade gear for bookstore discount" would have been clearer.

Bad cartoon

I was looking over last Wednesday's Sunflower and noticed there was a cartoon pretty much bashing Sunflower readers. The headline in the cartoon reads "to those of you who like to attack our jornalists for their opinions , I did not pull this out of nowhere" and it continues with a textbook definition of a newspaper and a comment. As many of you probably know, the Sunflower doens't have a good reputation on campus. Which is something I know the Sunflower is working on. But attacking the readers with this cartoon doesn't make everything right; each person is entitled to his/her own opinion. From an editorial stand point, I wouldn't have run the cartoon. Not only do I think it makes the Sunflower look bad, the cartoon is basically egging people on and giving them more reasons to hate the Sunflower. I'm curious what everyone else thinks...

Good content in Eagle

I like the format and content of the front page of the Eagle today. The Foley scandal has had a lot of coverage lately. Even though it is a national story the Eagle did a story that made it personal. One of the front page stories talked about how safe the Internet can be for kids. This story showed the readers how a national scandal could be affecting their family. Then there is a story underneath that story about the Foley scandal. I think it was a good idea to cover the national story but also relate it personally to the readers. I also liked the teaser story about the fallen firefighters. The Eagle put a short caption and picture about a story that was going to appear on 1B. I like this idea because it entices the reader to look throught the rest of the paper and not just the front page.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fall 2006 WSU Rim Rats

Fall 2006 WSU Rim Rats
Because I have a daughter who is a senior at Derby HS, I have seen the yearbook and understand the controversy. I don't agree that there should be more "oversight" as to what goes in the book, after all even high schools are protected by the First Amendment. BUT, what should be remembered is that while we have the freedom to publish what we feel is what needs to be published, we must then also be prepared to deal with the fallout if people are unhappy with our choices. As they say, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. As a journalist you are going to have to explain on a regular basis why choices were made, and understand that those choices may make some people really unhappy, and unhappy enough to make waves.

I personally don't like the yearbook because I felt that traditional academic and extracurricular activities and the accomplishments of the students who participate in them were marginalized, while the more, shall I say unusual, elements of high school life were in the forefront of the yearbook. The team pictures and organizational pictures are printed quite small in the index pages. For instance, the band, which is recognized as one of the best in the state and has about 150 students participating is so small you can't recognize the individual faces. And I think that recognition of student activities is after all, the reason most yearbooks are published.

I personally don't care that teen pregnancy, body art, and public displays of affection were included; they are part of teens' lives today. But I do take issue that they were so prominently placed and at the expense of school-related activities.

Fall 2006 WSU Rim Rats

Fall 2006 WSU Rim Rats

We’ve discussed the Derby High School yearbook controversy in editing class. This is an opportunity for you to have some input and show support for the Derby students before the school board hears from the concerned parent group Monday night.

You can e-mail the superintendent and school board president, along with other board members.

The superintendent is Craig Wilford (cwilford@usd260.com), and the board president is Diana Pearce (dpearce@usd260.com)

Other board members are Carolyn Muehring, John Stuhlsatz, Dan Smith
and Ron Meadows. Their e-mail addresses would be first name initial and last name @usd260.com.

By the way, Channel 3 is working on a story that I believe will run tonight, or at least before the board meeting Monday. Try to catch it.

Following is the e-mail I received from Jill Chittum, the adviser, about the issue. Jill has been doing a great job with the program at Derby, as some of you know. She is a former photographer for The Eagle. Please read her e-mail that follows and then e-mail those listed above in support of Jill and her students.

Most of you are aware that the DHS yearbook and newspaper staffs are something to be celebrated. In the last two years, both publications have been recognized nationally, and our students have placed at the state level and in national competitions. This would not be possible without a free and robust student press, allowing students to utilize critical thinking skills and report on issues that are important to themselves and their readers.

Fortunately, so far we have enjoyed the support of administration, both at the building level and at the district level.

Unfortunately, a group of parents has voiced their displeasure with some of the content of the 2006 yearbook. They say it is not an issue of censorship, just that they want the book "to set a standard of excellence" by including "excellent students." One parent in particular is worried about how her "small town school" is portrayed in the book. For a little perspective, please keep in mind that DHS is now officially the largest school in the state (numbers were just released last week.)

On KWCH 12 News, one parent has made her request that there be "more oversight" to the book, and that she plans on taking this to the school board Monday night. Now, I don't know about you, but to me, "more oversight" is a euphemism for censorship. In addition, parents (no one knows how many) plan to ask for refunds on the books.

We live in a state where people worked hard to earn students a Freedom of Expression law. It's vital that young people are taught the value of the First Amendment, and the ability to make their own decisions as they become adults.

I am writing to ask you to lend your support to this cause. The school board meeting Monday at 6:30 pm in the DHS lecture hall is open to the public.
Wichita Eagle reporter Ron Sylvester, who is the Regional Director for the Society of Professional Journalists, is on the agenda to speak in support of our students. We had a small but loyal group tonight present when Channel 12 came out to do interviews.

This fringe issue has been dragging on far too long. My students and I hope that Monday's board meeting will put an end to it, so that they can concentrate on the yearbook we are currently trying to put together. (Novel concept, eh?)

If you or anyone you know is willing to support the journalism students, please spread the word. You can reach me by email at jillchittum@sbcglobal.net, or by phone at 706-1336 (cell).

Thanks again, and please let me know of any questions I can answer for you.

Jill Chittum, CJE
DHS Yearbook and Newspaper Adviser
2005 JEA Rising Star Award Winner
The Panther's Tale Newspaper - 2006 NSPA All-American

Thursday, October 05, 2006

ESC mistake

Typos are inevitable, even for the Elliott School.

Has anyone used the open lab upstairs lately? If not, the desktop displays a message that reads asks users to turn the computer off "with not in use" when the intended message was "when not in use."

I figured someone would catch it quickly and edit the message, but it has gone without editing for weeks. Whoops.

Another example of poor writing

Did anyone happen to see the article "Gang authorities," posted Sunday, Oct. 1 on kansas.com? I stumbled across it this morning and thought I'd share what I found.

The article discusses a police unit assigned to monitor gang activity in Wichita, and follows an officer during his night patrol.
One sentence reads: "...someone walked up in the darkness this night..." Duh! First, it's obviously dark if it's night, second, "darkness" - is this even a word?

Further down, it explains how the officer "studied his way to a master's degree." Gee, you think?

In my opinion, this is a perfect example of poor writing!

Fall 2006 WSU Rim Rats

Fall 2006 WSU Rim Rats

This is from Gail Burkett, a French instructor at WSU who has taken several Comm classes. She works part time on The Eagle copy desk.

In 2000, the Houston Chronicle (according to Texas Monthly's "Bum Steer
Awards") mistranslated into Spanish the inaugural theme of President Bush's
second gubernatorial term, "Together We Can." Instead of Juntos Podemos, the
paper translated the phrase as Juntos Pedemos, which means "Together We Fart."

All the more reason for you to pay attention in your foreign language classes — and the value of having second-language skills.

Fall 2006 WSU Rim Rats

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Amish school shooting - Eagle News Service

Is it just me, or does anyone else think Wednesday's story about the Amish school shooting was poorly written? The article was pulled off Eagle news services, so that might explain it.

In the first paragraph, the writer reveals that the gunman told his wife during a phone call "that he molested two young relatives 20 years ago when he was a boy..." Wouldn't it have been better just to write "20 years ago" or "when he was a boy?" Seems redundant to me.

Further along, the story reads that Roberts (the gunman) may have been planning to sexually assault the girls before the police arrived...gee, you think so? I understand what the writer was trying to express, but he should have phrased it differently.

As the story continues on page 4a, one paragraph begins "Of the five girls still in hospitals, a 6-year-old was reported in critical condition and a 13-year-old girl was in serious condition..." The same paragraph continues with "three girls, ages....remained in critical condition. The use of "the five girls" in the first sentence of the paragraph should suffice. After that, the use of "girl" just becomes redundant.

One more thing: the article also reads that "Roberts felt painfully conflicted..." Is the word "painfully" really necessary? The term "conflicted" is sufficient. "Painfully conflicted" is just redundant.

look matters

Yesterday morning instead of watching CNN morning show at 5:30 a.m., I switched to KAKE. After few minutes I had to switch back to CNN because I felt KAKE did not give me enough news. But then I realize : it is not about the news but the shows' format. KAKE compared to CNN looks old, boring and unprofesional. I am not talking about content quality. For me and I believe others first impression will decide if we are going to change our news source. This applys to newspapers too. So page layout is important. Only after you scan the headlines and stories.

Enough about the Stones

I have heard enough about the Rolling Stones in Wichita. I think the last time a story about the concert should have appear in the newspaper should have been Monday. But some newspapers made the stories last until Tuesday or even today. I think the Amish school shooting is a more important front page story. The only reason I can think of why the Eagle put the school shooting inside the paper would be to hide the grimmer news inside. The school story was all over the TV so it's not like they didn't have enough information to write a front page story. I also don't agree witht the Eagle putting the Bailey, Colorado shooting inside of the paper instead of the front page. The Colorado shooting was even closer to Wichita than the Pennsylvania shooting. I'm sure there was a story about the Stones on the front page for that day.

Wednesday's Sunflower

In today's Sunflower (10-4-06), there is an article about Mark Foley being molested as a teen. The entire article talks about Foley's attorney announcing Foley was molested but he still accepts responsibility for sending sexual messages to male pages. Well if you look at the photo used in the article, Foley is smiling and appears to be laughing. Notice anything wrong with that?? When I look at the article and picture combo it appears Foley is laughing about sending sexual messages to teenage boys, boys who are the age he was when he was molested. I would say the Sunflower editors needed to reconsider the use of the photo.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Rolling Stones coverage

As far as Rolling Stones coverage goes, I think The Sunflower did a better job than The Eagle. The Sunflower continued to update its website every day with new pictures showing the setup of the stage and the concert itself. The Eagle had a lot of articles but I think they lacked in the photo department. I also think The Sunflower's front page of Monday's paper was more appealing than The Eagle's. If you haven't checked out the pictures on thesunflower.com then you should because Landon took great pictures!

Another inappropriate headline

The following headline can be found on page 2 C in the Sports section of today's Eagle:

Coach thinks Kapaun girls might be peaking
I don't see how you could not take this one the wrong way.


The Eagle needs to sort out its priorities. Yesterday in Pennsylvania, a man shot and killed three Amish girls in their school. The victims were between the ages of 6 and 13 years old. As tragic as this story is, it did not make the front page.

Instead, there was yet another story about The Stones and how they affected Wichita and a larger, more prominent story about sports injuries. The sports injury story could have been placed in the Local & State section to make room for the tragedy at the Amish School. Way to go.

Monday, October 02, 2006

"I don't know that this meeting took place, but what I really don't know, what I'm quite certain of, is that it was not a meeting in which I was told there was an impending attack and I refused to respond," Rice said.
She really doesn't know, but she's quite certain there was no meeting? But she knows this meeting that didn't occur did not involve her being warned about an impending attack?... either way, it's confusing. Maybe she should have just "refused to respond" to this question. I found this article on Kansas.com from the AP saying that Rice doesn't remember any meeting in which then CIA Chief George Tenet warned her of a impending al-Qaida attack on the U.S two months before prior to 9-11-2001 (as is claimed in a new book.)