Friday, February 29, 2008

How does this happen?

Sometimes, the media make such easy and careless mistakes that it blows my mind.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer hosts this website called "" It's very good information-wise and has plenty of places where you can leave comments on stories as well as forums to post comments on a variety of issues.

The above photo is off the website with the caption "Another student arrested for drugs at Westlake High." The juvenile is reported in the article as being a 15 year old girl. So her identity is kept confidential in the article. I highly doubt the girl pictured is the one that's been arrested. If I were the parents of the girl in the photo, I would have an attorney at the Plain Dealer offices in a heartbeat!

Why show an African-American child?

Why not show a photo of Westlake High School or a photo of a Westlake police cruiser as is often done in news stories when the news crews aren't there when the crime happened to get it on tape?

Either someone reads my blog or someone else has better judgment than the Plain Dealer...WKYC, channel 3 has the same story on their website at with the captain: "Westlake police: Student caught with cocaine mixture." You can click on the photo to get the video of the story. Here's the photo above the caption. Nice job, WKYC!

Monday, February 25, 2008

I love the 80s.

Voting is now closed on the poll to the right and with 63%, the 80s win for best decade of music. Thank you to those of you who voted. When you think about the 80s, there were a lot of great bands that had their own sound: Flock of Seagulls, ABC, Huey Lewis and the News, the Bangles, and my favorite band from the 80s...Men at Work. Here is their hit "Overkill" from their second album "Cargo."

A little Men at Work trivia...the band's first album "Business as Usual" was number one in the United States for two months before some album named "Thriller" knocked it off the top spot in 1982.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Who is to blame?

In Friday's USA TODAY, reader Tom Seaman wrote this letter to the editor in response to the shootings at Northern Illinois. Read the letter below (courtesy of USA TODAY). Tom brings up some interesting views. While he says that Hollywood needs to cut down on violent imagery, he also says that parents need to better screen what movies and tv shows their kids watch.

Where does the line get drawn in terms of violence?
Tom brings up the role of religion. How much is religion part of the issue? How much is parenting part of the issue? Can school violence be truly linked to these issues?

Campus shooting is wake-up call
Tom Seaman - Mill Hall, Pa.
On Valentine's Day, America received another wake-up call: more than a dozen wounded and six dead at Northern Illinois University ("Student, shot in head, ran back for girlfriend," News, Monday).
* This shooting is a wake-up call for Hollywood to regulate violence in movies. Visuals are one of the most powerful means of teaching, and we reap what we sow. I'd like for screenwriters to stop sowing violence and death into the minds and hearts of our students.
* This is a wake-up call to the video game industry to re-evaluate the amount of violence in games. The evidence is clear. Children gain dangerous shooting skills by playing video games.
* This is wake-up call to parents to better screen what movies and TV programs their children watch.
* This is wake-up call to churches. We need to greatly increase our efforts to teach young people the ways of God. There are many students who are great at video games and strong in athletics but weak in their faith. This is a recipe for disaster in the future.
How many more school shootings before we wake up from our apathy?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Poor journalism

The story below is on the local NBC affiliate's website. This, to me, is poor journalism. #1 Considering how well (exit) polling went in the in the 2000 presidential election in Florida, polls are very suspect. #2 Why go with a headline that says, "WKYC Exclusive: McCain would lose Ohio to either Obama or Clinton?" This is a bad message to send out to the public.

Why bother voting? Channel 3 says that the Democrats would beat McCain anyway.

WKYC Exclusive: WKYC Exclusive: McCain would lose Ohio to either Obama or Clinton

An exclusive WKYC-TV/SurveyUSA poll of Ohio voters shows either Sen. Barack Obama or Sen. Hillary Clinton would defeat Sen. John McCain in the general election.
Clinton beats McCain by 10 percentage points, while Obama's margin over McCain is 3 percent. The survey polled 542 registered voters across Ohio. The exclusive poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3%.Hillary Clinton's margin over John McCain was 52% to 42%, with 7% undecided. Barack Obama's lead was 47% to 44% in a head-to-head contest, with 8% of Ohio voters saying they could not yet decide that match-up.

College hoops criticism

This week's student rant comes from Christina from Mayfield...She is a HUGE basketball fan.

A couple of Saturdays ago, I was watching College Gameday on ESPN as I do every Saturday until recently started driving school, and I heard something that made everything make sense even though it was a little disturbing. "In college basketball coaches are the superstars." Fascinating. So that’s why they get away with so much. Good to know. I couldn’t have agreed and disagreed at the same time more than in that moment and I’ll tell you why:
First, let’s start with why I agree. The coaches are superstars in college sports because they’re the ones who change teams like underwear, say controversial things that ignite the media, and make lucrative amounts of many. If you look at it, that is a superstar.
Now, let’s talk about why I disagree. Yes, college coaches are everywhere but, who get them there, the players. Coach K has never won a game. Roy Williams has never won a game, and neither has Bob Knight. The NCAA goes out of their way to make sure that the athletes don’t get anything. O.J. Mayo took some tickets from his friend who just happens to be Carmelo Anthony and the media and the NCAA went crazy. A recruit backs out of a commitment, they’re scum and can’t be trusted. A coach decides not to honor his/her cotract, it’s "I can’t wait to see how they do." No.
Coaches get their names on the floor, because of wins that players give them. I see the media rip the players apart and credit the coaches. How do you think coaches get recognition? They win games with elite players. Therefore, at the end of the day no matter what a coach says, players play, players win games, and players win championships. Nobody else. So players are the superstars and the heart and soul of the programs. Have you ever heard of Kansas State?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Class visitor

One of my all-time favorite people visited my class this past Thursday. Mark Williamson is the communications director for the city of Akron. Mark was my boss/news director at the old WAKC on Copley Road in Akron back in the 1990s. He was there when I was an intern while I was getting my education at Bowling Green State University. He was a big reason why I got my job as a sports (sometimes news) producer after I graduated from BGSU.

Mark spoke to my first period class as well as my Excel TECC juniors. Mark talked about how news has radically changed to be more entertainment. He also talked about the role of government and how it interacts with the media. Most importantly, the biggest reason why I like Mark is because he is an upstanding guy. He's all about doing things the right way.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The current state of music

This week's rant comes from an aspiring singer, Alicia from Mayfield. Alicia performs at various venues in the Mayfield area.

I wanted to speak out about the music industry. People are complaining about how poorly it is doing now days, in which (for the most part) I do agree. I do not think the music industry is doing well right now because, most of (especially the pop/hip-hop artists) are singing and writing songs that are so similar to each other. Most of today's pop songs have mostly the same rhythms, melodies, and much of the same lyrics. Many simply sing about sexual/physical or materialistic characteristics. Yes, I do understand we all have that side to us and singers and songwriters are going to create songs based on those themes. Although, I do not believe they should focus so much on only those themes. There is much more we could learn from in songs, reflect on from songs, and sing/write about. Meanign is what you create it to be, but to a point. There are just some things (I think) that are just meant to be and some things that are just meant to be meaningful and beautiful in different types of ways. I love party music (probably surprising for a shy student) and fast paced music; even though I do definitely love singing my heart out to a sad and soulful/heartfelt song. It just shows so much meaning and reveals every piece of me.

I think music artists need to be more creative and put in more time and effort, instead of following the crowd and writing a song quickly while recording it for just a few months.

Music is a work of art. If you rush through it and do not put your heart and soul into it, you must not be that interested in it or just very preoccupied. I would like music to have more of a diversity; little tradition with a little modern. In oldies songs, you can really move to the rhythm and it seems they are much more happier/light on the feet. I think that twould really catch people's attention and boost the music industry. The music would be fast paced (and slow as well), but not so repetitive and similar of the melodies. When you hear a new song on the radio that is really different and very creative, lots of times you turn it up and start learning the lyrics; while seeing that when you hear a new song that has so many of the same themes of lyrics and the same repetitive tone and melodies, you get bored quickly and change the station (at least I know I do).

Sometimes being a little different and a little bit of an outcast isn't so bad after all. People may learn more about the outcast than they would the follower. It's all up to us and the music artists now. Thanks for listening!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Student Rant

First, let me, the instructor, preface this post with the standard disclaimer...the following isn't a representation of me, the school board, the school district or anyone affiliated with the district. It is merely the thoughts/opinions of my student of the week. The goal of having a student rant of the week is to have students express themselves about any media issue that they feel passionately about, take a stance, and defend that position through solid reasoning.

Enjoy and feel free to comment. This first student rant comes from Elexa from Orange and it deals with Presidential campaigns and what messages are promoted by the candidates.

My rant of the week... the first week, would have to be about John McCain. Yesterday, I for some reason had on CNN while cleaning the landfill that is my room. Since this was such a long and draining process, I had heard John McCain babling on for a good hour or so. As the GOP front-runner, McCain was trying so hard to convince Conservatives alike, that he is a "true conservative," whatever that means. With a crowd hanging off of every word he said, John McCain re-assured them that he still believes strongly in making America pro-life (which he so prides himself on), as well as being against a government-mandated healthcare program, and rejecting agriculture subsidies. The fact that I don't agree with him on ANY of these issues is beside the point. I feel that John McCain spends more time defending how much of a "true conservative" he is, instead of speaking about his campaign. Since when did labels start to overwrite actual political stance? Lastly, especially on the pro-life issue... when did John McCain become the arbitor of good decisions? Using the religious card against abortion is old and done. What about separation between church and state? All throughout his speech, he kept saying the word "God." Where is the representation of Agnostics and Atheists? Not all of America believes in "God," and especially not John McCain's version of "him." Sit down, John McCain.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Dark Blue

This is a video done by a group of students from my first period class. Brandon is the star of this video along with Jessica. Michael is the editor. All three combined for a well done project.

Your comments are always welcome!

Super Bowl Bust

The most irresponsible ad run during the Super Bowl, in my opinion, was the 30 second spot for the Amp energy drink. This is one of those ads that makes me wonder what the discussion was like in the boardroom when this idea got pitched to the executives.

I'm curious what your thoughts are.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Exciting new feature!

I have some great young minds in my class. It really makes my job fun. We were watching a PBS documentary about the broadcast news industry and the influence of blogging. Springboarding from a discussion about blogging and the purpose of this blog, the students want to really get into it.

Starting next week, we are going to give a try at letting students post video rants on here. These will be clips about one minute long with the students telling us what they like and don't like in the broadcasting and media field.