December 3, 2008


A quick look over today's headlines revealed nothing particularly unusual or interesting. Most of the headlines I saw, such as the Miami Herald's "Obama taps another ex-rival: Richardson for commerce secretary," and the Wall Street Journal's "Bill Gates Urges Lawmakers to Maintain Foreign Aid, Education," provided fairly clear and straightforward summaries of the articles that followed. CNET had a slightly unusual "Hawaii unveils plans for Better Place," which required some drilling down to see what they were talking about (turns out is was about the "Better Place Rogue," an all-electric version of the Nissan Rogue, to be built in Hawaii.

I do occasionally run across interesting and unusual headlines, but today doesn't seem to be one of those occasions.

October 13, 2008

Photo Slideshows

The first slideshow I looked at for this assignment was at the Grand Traverse Herald, located at, documenting the training of local high school students as they prepared for aerial stunts and stage fighting for their production of MacBeth. I found the story fascinating, as this is surprisingly advanced stagecraft for high school students, and the photographs reflected this.

The second was from in Virginia, located at, chronicling the birth of three baby bongos at the Virginia Zoo. I was drawn to this one because I'm always fascinated by animals and wildlife, though I didn't find the photography particularly notable.

The third was from Stanton Island Live, and documented the Stanton Island Columbus Day parade. Not much to comment on here, just photos of the various parade participants. I was quite disappointed with the photography here. It felt like I was looking at the same picture over and over again.

October 6, 2008

Vice Presidential Debate

I looked at three online news sources for coverage on the VP debates: The New York Times, Al Jazeera, and BBC.

The New York Times piece came in the form of an editorial written the day after the debates, located at, and echoed the same sentiment seen throughout the news media: Expectations of Palin's performance were so abysmal that she needed only to string together a few coherent sentences to be seen as having done well. However, the piece went to great lengths to argue that only by that measure can she be considered to have done well. If expectations had been more typical of a VP candidate, and her performance was otherwise the same, the editorial writer felt strongly that her performance would have been seen as weak and ineffective.

I make a habit of reading both BBC and Al Jazeera on a regular basis, to get two very different foreign perspectives on both American and world current events. The BBC piece, located at, was written the day of the debate, before it began. It, like many other news sources, highlighted the extremely low expectations of Sarah Palin's performance, especially in light of what had happened during the Katie Couric interview just a few days before. The Al Jazeera article, posted the day after the debate at, took a surprisingly strict "just the facts, ma'am" approach. I was expecting a definite anti-McCain tone here, as Al Jazeera has had a strong anti-Bush message for years. While this attitude seems to have extended into the McCain campaign, it didn't show up here.