Thursday, April 29, 2010

Journalist: How to Survive a Long Day

A typical day in the life of a journalist is FUN: You meet new people, talk on the phone, travel to different towns on a daily basis and learn about new events, laws etc. right?

Well, what about the days when all you have are phone interviews or you find yourself stuck in front of your computer typing up 5 stories?? On those days, writer's block, boredom and neck strains are bound to make their way over to your cubicle.

So here are 10 things I recommend you do so you DON'T lose your mind (or quit your job) ::

1) Stretch

I will never get used to sitting at my desk for eight hours. I'm an active person and sitting in one place for longer than two hours bothers me--and my body.

Neck pains and back pains are killers. But headaches are worse. Here are a few stretches to exercise these areas that you should do daily:

Stretching Exercises at Your Desk

Just because your brain stays in the same 'zone' for eight hours doesn't mean your body has to. Move it around!

2) Make Countless Trips to the Water Fountain

Obviously it is healthy to drink water because it will keep your eyes moist, skin clear and your body hydrated. But more importantly, it gives you a good excuse to get up out of your chair and move around. Your butt will thank you, I assure you.

If that's not reason enough, check out the health facts: How Water Helps Your Body

3) Spend 15-20 minutes on your favorite website, Facebook, Twitter etc.

I highly suggest this. If your brain has been concentrating on ONE story, event, person etc. it needs a good sidetrack.

website- read your favorite news site, fashion site or health site. You'll be reading information that you know you enjoy. It will refresh your mind and boost your energy.

Facebook/Twitter/Blog- take a couple to check up on your friends' lives. If you've been working a lot, then I'm guessing you haven't been in touch with your friends either. Now is your chance!

4) Take a break with a sweet snack

Once a week is not going to kill you. If you're someone like me, who regularly works out and eats healthy, indulging yourself in a sweet snack at the vending machine is FINE.

It will give you some sugar to boost your energy as well as your attitude. If you've been writing/working all day, why not treat yourself to a snack?

Still, staying healthy is important. So 'chose wisely' : 10 Healthy Vending Machine Snacks

The treat will taste so good that your attitude will be revitalized and you'll be ready to start writing again.

5) Have a quick chat with your cubicle buddy

You're not the only one stuck at a desk. Which means you aren't the only one dying for a writing break.

It's OK to take a social break. Catch up on their lives (you do work with them 40 hours a week). Schedule a 'night out' (it will give you something to look forward to).

This isn't high school or college: you are ALLOWED to talk during work. After all, we are journalist. Our business requires us to be social. Consider this a good exercise.

6) Go out for lunch

At the Salem News, we have a writer's lunch every Friday. By the end of the week, everyone is dying for this. It gives us a chance to get out of the office and enjoy a good meal (how many times can you bring in Lean Cuisine for lunch?)

Even if it's not Friday, get in your car and grab lunch yourself. Once again, you'll get out of your chair, out of the office and into one of your favorite spots to eat.

By the time you return from lunch, an hour will have passed by, the day won't seem so long and you'll get back into 'writing mode.'

7) Clean your desk

I'm a neat freak. I can't stand when my desk is filled with Post-its, notepads and newspapers. I make it a daily routine to clean my area.

I have found that when I do, I feel clean and put together.

Also, say your editor or publisher walks by and sees your mess?

You wouldn't walk into the office wearing sweats, so keep your work area as clean as you would yourself. All that clutter could be whats clogging your head.

8) Take a coffee break

By the end of the day, with a couple stories to finish, your brain needs caffeine. No need to go crazy (it is the end of the day) but it is also necessary.

I suggest going out to Starbucks or Dunks to get it. Once again, it will get you out of the office, into your car and out socializing.

9) Read YOUR paper

You are much more energetic and motivated in the morning. So how often would you say you actually read your own newspaper? A lot of times I see reporters walk in, sit at their desk and get straight to the story.

Now that is a great work ethic, but it doesn't give you the chance to check out what your colleagues have been working on. If you have a moment and can't write anymore, take the time to read.

Maybe their writing will inspire your own stories.

10) Exercise BEFORE you head to the office

This is crucial. Like I said, you have way more energy in the morning than at the end of a long day. So when 2:00 p.m. rolls around and you are anxious, fidgeting and can't focus on your story, you are going to wish that you exercised your body at the gym earlier that day.

Furthermore, your body won't be as stiff if you work out that morning. At the gym you stretch out, so your body will be too when you're at your desk.

Don't kid yourself. Saying, "I'll go to the gym after work" almost never happens. (Unless you end the day early). But around dinner time, when deadlines are in, the last thing you want to do is head to the gym. So do it before. This way, after a long work day, you can relax at home or enjoy a night out with friends.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Exercising Tips & Tricks

I exercise all the time. I love it. I love feeling healthy and I love looking fit.

I swam for ten years when I was younger. Since I graduated high school, it was all up to me maintain a healthy diet and keep a healthy heart beat. As a result, I depend on fitness/health/news stories to fill me in on what exercises, stretches or facts can help me out in the gym.

I would like to share what recent articles I find most useful:


Monday, April 26, 2010

What Box Office Sales are Really Saying

For the past three years there has been a noticeable trend in box office sales: fantasy and the supernatural world are taking over.

Audiences all over the country have been demanding movies that take them out of "the real world," and Hollywood has been supplying the escape. Since 2007, viewers have been showing favorable responses to movies that take them to a 'galaxy far, far away'-- literally.

Avatar crushed all the records in a matter of weeks in 2009 (and still going strong in 2010). Followed by Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Twilight Saga: New Moon and Up.

In 2008, The Dark Knight was the number one movie at the box office. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was second: Kung Fu Panda was third: Hancock was fourth: Iron Man was fifth.

So what does this really all mean?

In my opinion, the box office sales are saying the American people are looking for an escape--and they are finding it in theaters.

Allow me to explain....

Since what seems like forever, the U.S. has been depressed. The TV displays Tsunamis, earthquakes, a dying economy and wars on every news channel. You don't need to pay for a ticket to see action and destruction, just turn the channel.

As a result, Americans have turned to the theater as a means of escape. They would rather spend $8 for a ticket or $18 to see a movie in 3d.

For those two hours--or sometimes more--audiences can find themselves in another world, listening to another language and seeing things they couldn't even imagine.

Lately, movies are producing situations, conflicts, issues and circumstances that we wish we had.

For example, kids, teenagers and even grown women accept and envy the situation Bella Swan is in with the Twilight Sagas. Girls wish they had the difficult choice choosing between an overprotective Vampire or a tanned, built Werewolf. Because today, in reality, they have the difficult decision choosing between a partner in the same sex, religion, culture ethnicity etc.

People wish that there really was a hero that could save our cities like in The Dark Knight. If only it were so easy. If only we relied on one man who we really could count on.

Avatar's success speaks volumes. A decade ago, movies like Independence Day portrayed "the enemy" as aliens. Today, we know better.

Now we know that the enemy is our own species. We know the enemy doesn't have to travel a galaxy away to attack us; they simply need to get on a plane or walk into a train station to attack us. In Avatar, the aliens were the humane ones and the humans were corrupt.

Audiences don't want the heart ache; they don't want the disaster. We see it every day on the news. We hear it every day on the radio. We read about it in the newspapers.

People are looking for and finding an escape from our world's state of terror and depression in the movies. That's what box office sales are really saying.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Little Sprinkles of Life

I had a great weekend: I caught up with old friends, made new friends and solidified my strongest relationships. It's weekends like this that I feel blessed. I see the 'good' in the bad. I understand the struggle in every obstacle. I accept life's sometimes bitter taste because it makes the happiness 'the cherry on top.'
With that, it reminded me of a poem I wrote. My inspiration for this poem came from looking at an abstract work of art. I think it depicts life's ups and downs.....
Little Sprinkles of Life
The black reminds me of darkness.
I’ll call the darkness god.
The darkness creates a cloud that punctures
Earth’s atmosphere and sprinkles god’s image on me.
I am born.

The turquoise swirls remind me of wind.
The blue diamonds remind me of water.
The wind and water funnel my soul
into my body.

The rectangular, blue figure is my form.
My innocence is depicted by the white wings
on the sides of each sharp edge—
waiting to be penetrated.
I start living.

As I follow the blue figure
down to the middle of its form,
the white feathers vanish:
regrets, mistakes, lessons learned.
I am grown.

Still, the darkness remains.
God remains.
The darkness surrounds the blue figure;
Temptation surrounds my soul.
I am tested.

The turquoise swirls disintegrate.
The blue diamonds are no more.
By the bottom of the painting,
there is a blob of colors.
I am judged.

Now the turquoise is starting to fade.
The blue is white and the
blue figure has been engulfed
by the darkness.
I die.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

OK, so I'm a day late. But check out how The Big Picture celebrated Earth Day with these incredible pictures.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010


A little poetry to end another splendid day....


I wasn’t one of the thousands who migrated into freedom.
I wasn’t one of the survivors.
And I wasn’t even one of the hundreds of thousands
who escaped the White Man.
I came to the land of opportunity by God’s hands.

Latin history and American history
fuse together my heart like electricity,
sometimes to a sting.

I am as much a Patriot as Washington,
but you won’t let me become President.
I am as much a Latina as Michelle Rodriquez
but you won’t see me on the Spanish Channel.

The Mayan calendar and the secular calendar
glide ahead of each other.

The Mayans predicted Earth’s destruction
On December 12, 2012.
The Americans predicted earth’s destruction
On January 20, 2009.

The two,
Mayan and Secular,
set my life in a constant
roller coaster rhythm.

Sometimes I fall into the gap between them to retreat,
or to find acceptance.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Journalism and Social Media Working Together

As of right now, I have been blogging and tweeting for less than a fortnight. I wouldn't have started it to begin with if it wasn't for social media guru Joe Shartzer encouraging me to get my act into gear with his blog post, Personal Social Media Strategy.

Shartzer's post explains how social medias such as FaceBook, Twitter, Delicious and others can help you in general. It's a persuasive post basically saying that the more you put yourself out there using the various social medias, the more you matter.

When it comes to blogging, I have enjoyed using this social media to get my voice out there. In the many articles I've written, my journalism skills are published but not my voice (rightfully so).

So the blog posts have allowed me to do just that: I've enjoyed expressing my opinions on the industry and writing with a larger sense of freedom.

When it comes to Twitter, I am embarrassed to say that I was not 100% sure why I signed up for it. For two weeks I have been using it mainly to let whatever "followers" I have know what stories I'm working on, when a new story gets published and when I write a new blog post--simple, yet satisfying.

However, Shartzer (once again) stepped in to fill in the details. He directed me to this helpful explanation, How Journalist are Using Social Media.

The first couple paragraphs already answered my questions and put into simple language why it is necessary for journalist to use Twitter:

"Tools such as Facebook and Twitter serve as excellent filters for the masses of information circulating on the web."

According to Brian Dresher, a manager of social media and digital partnership at USA Today, Twitter is an excellent source for journalist looking for leads and trends. This can simply be done by observing the hash tag (#) on the side of a Twitter page. The most talked about topic will be listed and updated by the minute.

After reading this, I realized how valuable Twitter can be. This is an excellent tool journalists should use if you ever find yourself searching for news stories. Stop asking, "what are people talking about?" and start asking "what are people tweeting about?"

With that simple explanation I have realized how valuable Twitter is and I am now 100% happy that I joined in the first place.

I'm sure most journalist have already figured out that Facebook is becoming an essential tool in our world; however, I would still like to reiterate what "How Journalist are Using Social Media" had to say about it.

1) Facebook is great for finding sources. Well this I can confidently say I already knew and agree with. I thank the journalism gods every day Facebook became popular at the same time I started reporting.



Not every one's phone number is in the phonebook, but almost everyone is listed on Facebook :: Not everyone checks their emails, but almost everyone checks Facebook on an hourly basis.

Facebook has made my life so much easier when it comes to finding and tracking down sources--especially teenagers.

"With more than 400 million people searchable by name, occupation, network etc., Facebook is like a modern day phonebook--just with more photos and biographical details."

2) I have also seen how influential Facebook can be in generating the news.

For example, one of the Beverly reporters at the Salem News wrote a short story about Beverly High School changing their mascot from a panther to a boat. This story was less than 12 inches but caught the attention of hundreds of angry teenagers--all on Facebook.

In less than an hour from when the story was published, there was already a Facebook group attacking the school for making the decision without the students' approval.

Journalism and Social Media never worked so well together.

The reporter simply went to the group, picked a handful of students to interview and had a follow-up story published the next day. What started as a 12 inch story turned into a front page story for the rest of February; only ending with the final report that Beverly High decided not to change the mascot.

Five years ago I was against Facebook; I thought it was creepy. Now I use it to keep in touch with my friends who are states and countries away.
A year ago I was against blogging; I thought it was dumb. Now I love it to voice my opinion.
A month ago I was against Twitter; I thought it was the same as a Facebook 'status.' Now I use it all the time.

Social medias are becoming more popular every day, and with it, something everyone needs to know about.


Monday, April 19, 2010

My Pick on the next Star in Hollywood

I'm taking a break from analyzing journalism and doing a little reporting of my own. This post is dedicated to who I think the next up and coming actress in Hollywood will be. I'm surprised to say, I don't think it will be an American.....

Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt had me at "The Devil Wears Prada" back in 2006. She played a paranoid, stressed-out, anorexic assistant to one of New York's toughest bosses (acted out by Meryl Streep).

Blunt's character was funny, sarcastic, a bit sad at times--but most importantly, entertaining. Blunt took on this crazed character (Emily Chalton) and portrayed her perfectly.

Although Blunt's character was a smaller role than that of Streep and Anne Hathaway, her acting leaves a memorable impression on the audience. In my opinion, this was the beginning of her 'tipping her toes' into Hollywood.

Having been born in London, England, and acting mainly in British movies, Blunt already made a name for herself overseas. Well, I'm happy to say that it all changed with one movie: "Young Victoria."

I saw the movie in London when it first came out in Spring 2009. I was absolutely blown away to see the same actress who played a pathetic assistant now playing the epitome of "girl power"-- a queen. Blunt was outstanding.

She effortlessly portrayed Victoria's strength and power as well as her pain and loss that drove her to the throne. Blunt's ability to be a neurotic assistant as well as powerful queen proves how versatile she can be.

I was thrilled to hear that "Young Victoria" was coming to the States (months after it was released in Europe) so that Americans could see the talented female Brit once again--but this time, she was the boss.

Shortly after the movie's release, Blunt was already showing up in previews for another film, "The Wolfman." This only proved one thing, she was here to stay.

Her versatility, natural beauty, acting skills and overall friendly persona will take her to the top of box office sales. Keep watch for her next movie, co-starring Matt Damon, "The Adjustment Bureau" set to be released July 30.

"Damon plays a politician who falls in love with a ballet dancer (Blunt) but their relationship is star-crossed"- Entertainment Magazine.

According to the magazine, Blunt had to train for months in contemporary ballet. Once again, her ability to transform herself for each role will transform her into the next Hollywood Star.

Haven't seen "Young Victoria"? You're in luck; it comes out tomorrow to buy/rent on DVD, April 23.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Interactive Multimedia Journalism

If you have a moment, you should definitely play around with this:

Associated Press Interactive on Volcanic Effects

AP put together--in an organized and clean fashion--all you need to know about what's going on in Europe. You have: pictures, video, interactive maps, short and clear captions and articles describing to you what's going on in Europe post volcanic eruption.

Up until last night, I was only reading about the volcanic eruptions. Then when my father called and told me what was going (he's in Sweden) I wanted to know more.

After a few stories, I was reading the same information and seeing the same kind of pictures. Then I stumbled upon the interactive story AP put together and my questioned were answered.

The site has four tabs: Why planes are grounded, Airports affected, How it happened and What's going on.

My favorite is the Airports Affected because that pertains to me. It has an interactive map and as you scroll over a country, it explains to you how there were affected and why they grounded their planes. They don't give you long details; they give you straight up, simple facts-- it's less overwhelming.

This interactive multimedia story is an example of how journalism is changing for the better.

Interactive multimedia stories allows you to choose what information you want to read and how you want to see it. You decide how you want the news reported to you.

A couple a years ago, you would never have been able to experience a natural disaster story like you can now. This is a great example of all types of journalism working together to do the same job: give the public the facts.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

I didn't realize how bad things were in Iceland. That is until my father called the other day saying he will not be coming home as planned because he is stranded in Sweden due to all the airports in Europe shutting down. This got me concerned, so naturally I looked up the facts on what was going on.

What I found is that every time I read an article on, my eyes immediately drifted to the picture that went with it.

In a situation like the one that's going on in Iceland, a picture is worth a thousand words. The caption plays a short role in explaining everything that's going on, but the picture shows everything you want to see.

This story explains what is happening really well in words, Europe flights Grounded and has good pictures of the airport chaos.

But if you're looking for a visual report on what's going on, play around with this amazing site: The Big Picture which is photojournalism at it's best. You will leave the site in awe of what you see.

Every day they have a few of the best pictures accompanying news stories all around the world. I love print journalism. But sometimes a picture tells much more. In natural disaster situations, that is almost always the case.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Journalism Junkie

Journalism turns you into a bit of a junkie....

There is a certain rush of having a deadline every day. The need to type as fast as you can, racing to finish a story by 6 p.m. Today was one of those days.

I sat down at my desk and started typing away, working on two stories that weren't in any type of rush. Then, around 1:00 p.m. my editor gives me a simple assignment due that day: interview two business people, type one up in Q & A format, and have it all done by 6pm.

Simple. Very simple, I had no doubts. In fact, I even went to lunch for an hour before I did anything.

So I officially started brainstorming questions, writing some background information on both people, and then made phone calls. At 2:13 p.m. I officially started reporting. My first phone call went straight to voice mail...... no worries, that's why he gave me the other one.

My second source picked up, answered all my questions with extended detail. Lovely. I had filed the story by 3:00 p.m. Great, I went back to working on my two other stories.

At around 3:20 p.m. my editor came to me and said he liked the Q & A but wanted me to re-interview the person because he wanted to take the story into a different direction. No problems I thought. It shouldn't take long.


Her assistant picked up, saying she was out of the office and didn't know if she was returning. (Mind you it's a long weekend so no one would be back in the office until Tuesday). Originally I said "okay that's fine. I still have Tuesday to interview her." But then my editor came back asking how the story was coming along. I told him the update and he replied, "well, we'll just print the first version then."

I was confused. I still had Tuesday to work on it. The business section doesn't come out until Wednesday.

Silly Sylvia.

The business section is laid out on Monday night, but because no one will be around because of the holiday, it needed to be done tonight. When I looked at the clock it was already 4:30 p.m.

I remained calm, called back her assistant and informed her that I was on deadline--praying to goodness that if she did return to her office she would get the message to call back asap.

At this point, it is out of the journalist's hands. We are the mercy of our source's time, patience and goodness of the hearts. There was nothing I could do. I couldn't even pester her and call her on her cell phone if I wanted because it was not given to me.

5:15 p.m. rolled around and I bit my lip and knew it was too late. Who returns to work then?? So I edited the story the best I could to target what my editor wanted it, and just as I was about to click "file," the phone rang. My source called me back.

I wrapped up a quick interview, typed it up and had it filed by 5:35 p.m. What started out as a relaxing morning and early afternoon, sped up to be an exciting, fast-paced day.

Just another day in the life of a journalism junkie ;)


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Catching My Second Wind

I'll be honest: sometimes I'm not always in the mood to write a news story. Sometimes I just want to read a book, watch a good movie or write poetry instead. Today was one of those days.

I love my internship and I love the people I work with. So when I sat down at my desk I was happy to be there--until I looked at my assignment sheet and saw the list of articles I'm in the process of working on. Then, I just wanted to go for an unnecessary coffee run and waste time texting, tweeting, blogging and facebook creeping. Anything but sitting down and working on a news story.

In my 4 months working at my internship, this was the first time that I just 'wasn't in the mood.' It probably had more to do with senioritis and exhaustion than anything else; but the point was that I couldn't focus for two hours to write a 12'' story. That's bad.

It wasn't until one of my sources called me back around 1 p.m. that I was motivated to write again. My source has been living with dystonia (a neurological movement disorder) for the past nine years. She got it while mixing medicine with a particular virus she had. As I'm asking her basic questions like "how has it affected your life?" and "have your friends been supportive" I became more intrigued by the person....

She answered every question with a positive attitude. Not once did she mention "my life sucks now because of this disease " or "I wanted to sue my doctor" or anything along those lines. When I got to the point of the story (the fact that this woman has been named Citizen of the Year in her town) she became my hero of the day.

The reason she is the recipient is because she gives back to the community. She is on boards, she founded a food pantry and she organizes an event every year to raise money for research for her disease. The best part of it all, is that she did this all before she even had the disease. Basically, the disease may have slowed her down, but it definitely didn't kill her spirits and didn't ruin her life.

As a result, the second I hung up the phone, I immediately took a sip of water, popped in a piece of gum and started writing her story.

Which brings me to the point of this post: today I got a little 'reminder' as to why I got into journalism in the first place. I want to use the written word to educate the public on important people like the woman I interviewed today.

Sometimes I forget what journalism is all about when I turn on the TV or read a mainstream newspaper; they only publish sad, depressing or violent stories. I get it's because those are the type of stories that sell papers, but they aren't the only ones.

Journalism is also about reporting people's successes; reporting the happy ending. This woman reminded me of that when I needed it the most.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where Kitty Kelley Went Wrong

Kitty Kelley may have uncovered Oprah's dirtiest and darkest secrets and combined it into her new book, Oprah: An Autobiography, but at the cost of everything.

One of the Ten Commandments of Journalism is: "It's practitioners have an obligation to exercise their personal conscience." (The Elements of Journalism, Bill Kovach and Tom Rosentiel)

Kitty Kelley clearly has no conscience. She appears to have no remorse for the truths she's about to reveal, and worse, is angry that she can't get on any TV shows to brag about her "accomplishment."

What good would come from uncovering Oprah's personal and family history? Oprah is one of the most powerful women in the World and uses her success, fame and name for good: she donates so much of her money to people and countries in need, and uses her magazine, talk show, and network to reach out to the public to encourage them to do the same. This woman is one of the most honorable iconic figures of our time.

Why would anyone try to attack her? Wish I had an answer, but I don't.

If Kelley had uncovered a truth about Oprah that would benefit the public (something like Oprah is a Nazi sympathizer) and was newsworthy, than it would be different. Instead, Kelley wants to open a wound in Oprah's history that Oprah wanted hidden because she was hurt or embarrassed by. Learning who her real father is or who she's had past, sexual relations with doesn't diminish or taint all the good she's done.

Kelley's book displays that she has no personal conscience, morals or ethics--the foundation of good writing and journalism. Reporting something that is only going to hurt someone else belongs in the tabloids. I applaud Larry King, Barbara Walters and others who have decided not to give this woman anymore media attention. She does not deserve it.

To Read More about the situation:: Kitty Kelley Reveals Oprah's Biggest Secrets, Faces Media Boycott


Monday, April 12, 2010

Tiny Fey Does Sarah Palin on 'SNL' (VIDEO) - Inside TV

Tina Fey does a great job making viewers laugh in this video. The point that it does raise is the biased coverage following Palin's campaign:

It was not balanced journalism. Hopefully journalists learned their lesson and will strive to write more fair and balanced stories, especially in times like elections when the people rely on us to report all the facts.

The Internet won't be the death of journalism. But dishonesty will be. The second people lose faith in journalism is the same second they realize they don't need it.

Tiny Fey Does Sarah Palin on 'SNL' (VIDEO) - Inside TV


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Michael Phelps in the ESPN Magazine Ad

In this week's edition of Entertainment magazine, there is an ad comparing and contrasting the rising Internet industry to the plateaued magazine industry. I personally think it does a great job portraying the two's effect on people.

It begins with, "we surge the Internet. We swim in magazines." I was immediately intrigued by where the ad was going and thus continued to read on.

"The Internet is exhilarating. Magazines are enveloping. The Internet grabs you.
Magazines embrace you. The Internet is impulsive. Magazines are immersive. And
both media are growing."

I thought this leading paragraph was perfect. It takes the two examples of the swimming and surfing worlds and applies it to the two industries of Internet news and magazines; all relating back to Michael Phelps who is a swimmer (possible surfer?? I don't know) but featured on both the Internet and in magazines.

ending it with "and both media are growing" the ad is recognising both industries and not judging which one is better.

The next two paragraphs explain the growth of the Internet and magazine business. But Jim Fiscus (the person who created the ad) really hits home in the third paragraph:

"What it proves, once again, is that a new medium doesn't necessarily displace
an existing one. Just as movies didn't kill radio. Just as TV didn't kill
movies. An established medium can continue to flourish so long as it continues
to offer a unique experience."

I thought this was an excellent way of describing the reality of it all: Magazines aren't dying. They are simply sharing the spotlight with the Internet.

You don't always have a computer nearby, and your favorite magazine may not be accessible via your iPhone. So as long as your passion for a particular magazine stays true, so will the magazine industry.

"Which is why people aren't giving up swimming, just because they also enjoy

As a journalist, I would be lying if I said that I was a little nervous that my dream of writing for a magazine came too late. But this ad reassured me that my dream can still happen. Job well done to Jim Fiscus and ESPN Magazine for addressing and differentiating between the two industries.

Read more about the ad here::


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Tomorrow is 'Yom Hashoah,' a day of remembrance for the 6 million Jews and 5 million Gentiles that were destroyed 65 years ago.

It's a day for the Holocaust survivors to say the Mourner's Kaddish for their families. A day for Jews around the world to be grateful that they are still alive. A day for people to remember to never let it happen again.

How will you remember it?

Last week I was fortunate enough to come across a woman from Beverly who spent the past decade remembering the Holocaust. She underwent a long journey to research, write and complete her dissertation in Holocaust studies at Clark University.

Two weeks ago, she received her Ph.D. in her dissertation titled, "The Nazification in Vienna and the Response of the Viennese Jews."

It portrays how the Jews in Vienna slowly understood what was happening to them when the Nazis invaded Austria. Her great grandparents did not survive but her grandfather did.

For Jews who think that the Holocaust will never happen again, I applaud your hope. For the Jews that think that Holocaust can't ever happen again, you're wrong. Today, tensions between Jews and Muslims in Sweden forced numerous Jewish families to leave. Sound familiar?

Here is a story on it by Fox News:

A Holocaust doesn't have to start with a roundup. All it starts with is an idea; an idea that strikes fear into a group that leaves them feeling hostile. What fuels that idea is the desperation of people stricken with tragedy surrounding them.

Hitler would have never gotten as far as he did if it wasn't for Germany's poor economy. The people were looking for a savior, and they saw one in him. Sound familiar?

Today, everyone is looking for someone to save them, and everyone is looking for someone to blame. If it's not the Jews, it will be someone else.

Yom Hashoah is about remembering what humanity allowed to happen and promising to never let it happen again--to any group.

My education is over but I still have a passion to learn about the Holocaust so I'll never forget. Books that have touched me include: Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, Night by Elie Wiesel and Beyond the Tracks by Ruth Mermelstein.

A history book will teach you the facts. A novel written by a survivor will force you to live through it. It may not have been my generation's mistake to let the Holocaust happen. But it would be our mistake if we didn't remind people that it did.



Friday, April 9, 2010

Submitting to the Social Media

I did it. I officially joined Twitter.

It was something that I wasn't interested in only because of the negative ways people use it. Example, a women announced she was having a baby via twitter....really? Jim Carrey and his girlfriend announced their breakup via twitter.....again, really?

These methods of use are a bit ridiculous but I hope to use it in other ways. I will let people know of new poems posted, the status of my book and what news stories I am working on. I'll probably even share a creative quote or two.

I remember feeling this same amount of anxiety when I first bit my lip and joined Facebook. So I go into the social networking world--once again--with a positive attitude, in hopes that this is the beginning of something beneficial and not a day I'll regret.


An introduction to 'Written On'

My parents adopted me from Honduras when I was a year old. My older sister is also adopted. I introduce this news first because it describes everything else about me:

I consider myself to be very lucky to be so diverse because it educates people who are still stuck in old stereotypes. I don't have a loud bark, so I let my writing speak for me.

In second grade I was given my first diary. I haven't stopped writing since. Personal dilemmas and emotions I promise will stay in my diary; but opinions, poems and thoughts I promise will not.

'Written On' is the title of this blog because everything in my life--friends, family, enemies, schools, parties, wars--has molded the human being that is Sylvia. All of it will materialize into this blog.

I'm brutally honest but not judgmental. I'll critique but give credit where it is due. I pride myself on having a rational mind but drive myself to write passionately.

Welcome to 'Written On.'