Blog Council 1


This week’s blog council consisted of Jordi Comas, Luke Vreeland, and Will Owens. We really enjoyed going through everyone’s posts and comments and we hope you like our theme change. Before announcing what we thought were some of the best posts, we thought it could be helpful to give some general feedback:

  • Titles
    • Should be informative but still hook the reader
      • Controversial
      • Clever
      • Wordplay
      • Quote
    • Tying the title back into the end of the blog can be a very effective literary technique
  • Comments
    • Good job getting to the point
    • Comments can be broken up into smaller comments if they are distinct points
  • Proofreading
    • Proofread your posts before submitting!
    • Example: This American Life should be in italics

 

Everyone did a great job, but here are a few posts that we thought stood out:

Best Title:

Best Overall:

Honorable Mentions:

Featured Picture: Mike Daisey 

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Does Ira Glass Hate Mike Daisey?


This week, I listened to the Retraction episode of This American Life. I found the characters involved in the podcast to be more interesting than the topic they were discussing, and my blog post will focus on this aspect of the podcast.

Mike and Ira are two very interesting characters, and they are now forever connected. This post will analyze my emotional reaction to Mike’s apology, as well as my thoughts on Ira’s response to Mike’s apology.

Mike has a unique, deliberate speaking style full of uncomfortable, thought provoking pauses that truly give you the sense that he choses every word he says carefully. This same style that makes him such an interesting, attention capturing, thought provoking monologuist makes him very unlikable when he comes back on the show during the retraction episode. To say that it is his speaking style that made him unlikable in his return to the show sells himself short: it is his refusal to admit that he duped Ira, and duped the public that makes him the most unlikable. His speaking style simply exacerbates the frustration a listener feels listening to Mike defend his journey to China. I am honestly surprised he would return to the show if his message was going to summarize to the following in my opinion: he admits that he deceived listeners to make them care, but quickly, proudly, and loudly points to the fact listeners now care! They care! and that matters more to him than the fact that he deceived them, which I did not like.

A quick point on Ira’s reaction to Mike’s retraction. He did not take very kindly to Mike’s retraction, and I don’t blame him because I didn’t either. However, isn’t this the best thing that ever happened to Ira’s show? Mike’s original podcast was the most downloaded podcast ever of This American Life. And I firmly believe that the followup podcast amounts to “there’s no such thing as bad news” as a boon to Ira’s show. I wonder if his on air anger at Mike is supplemented by an off-air appreciation– one that he would never admit to Mike– that Daisey’s monologue on his show and the circus that followed was the best thing that could have happened to Ira: it did not damage his journalistic integrity, and created a huge boon of interest in him and his show.

Is This the Kind of Journalistic Integrity You Had in Mind?


Are these journalists, interviewing Jobs in 2010, representing a high standard of truth-telling and fact-digging?  They are Walt Mossberg, and Kara Swisher, widely considered to be among the “best” tech journalists.

http://video.allthingsd.com/video/d8-steve-jobs-on-foxconn/43D148EF-4ABF-402D-B149-8681DF01981A Continue reading Is This the Kind of Journalistic Integrity You Had in Mind?

Sacred Trust


I found the “Retraction” podcast very interesting for a few reasons. First, I found it strange that This American Life would spend an entire hour framing Mike Daisey as a liar. To me, it was somewhat unprofessional to use him as a scapegoat in this way, rather than to use the work they had paid for and broadcasted in a positive way. By this I mean that instead of bashing his claims, simply clarify that what was said was an act of fiction BASED on true events than an act of journalism. While in some parts they did just that, I think the overall tone of their podcast was meant to shame Mike Daisey, rather than clarify a confusing situation.

That said, I feel that there was absolutely fault on both sides. On one hand, Mike Daisey should never have positioned his story as journalism due to his lack of proof and frequent use of exaggeration. Continue reading Sacred Trust

This American Life- not what you think


Look folks, This American Life is not easy to pin down either.  Ira Glass held himself up as the mantle of journalism, but the show is famous exactly for its lyrical, narrative, unusual approach to story-telling.

This is how they describe themselves:

There’s a theme to each episode of This American Life, and a variety of stories on that theme. It’s mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always. There’s lots more to the show, but it’s sort of hard to describe.