Category Archives: Assignments

Chapel on Campus?

Should there be a Chapel on Campus? I think so. At first I was indifferent, but when I heard that my Catholic friends were pushing for one, I knew what I was going to write for my second Journalism story. And it was just a story for a while, but it seemed that right after I submitted the piece for a grade, I realized that I would love to go to a prayer room on campus and just quiet my mind and heart for a few moments a day. It’s hard to do that in my room (tv, internet, music, etc) or really anywhere else on campus.

(When asked just to picture my thoughts and feelings, I immediately call up the fight in Deathly Hallows as Harry is trying to escape: everyone is hidden inside a thundercloud, but they’re flying so fast it’s even more chaotic than a thunderstorm.)

Anyway I got an A on my story. I revised it and sent it to the Chronicle which published it this week. You can read the (hard news) piece here.


Leave a comment

Filed under Assignments

Honors College Chocolate Tasting

Covered it last Friday for an JRNL 11H article.

Chocolate lovers flocked to the second floor of the library on Friday where the Honors College hosted a bigger and better event for its 6th Annual Chocolate Tasting. This was the first year the tasting was held in the Honors College’s new location and part of the University’s “Sweet Valentine” event series.

The staff of Honors College greeted attendees with an elaborate spread of chocolate products, as well as extensive information on how to enjoy chocolate with all five senses, just like wine. The tables were set up with the darkest chocolate – up to a 100 percent Cacao – at either end while the sweeter chocolate was in the middle along with high quality truffles.

Familiar brands like Ghirardelli and Lindt filled the table but with exotic flavors, such as chocolates with chili or a touch of sea salt. There was chocolate from Trader Joe’s placed in-between the intense dark chocolate and the truffles and artisan chocolate in the middle.

Long lines quickly formed at either end of the tables. Everyone was encouraged to cleanse their palate with water or crackers in order to fully enjoy  the chocolate. Friends brought each other water so they wouldn’t lose their place in line.

The staff also encouraged the budding chocolate connoisseurs to try the 100 or 99 percent cacao. However most who sampled the darkest chocolate echoed the sentiments of HUHC senior Stephen Puliafico when he declared “anything above 75 percent tastes like dirt.”

Love was on the mind of at least a few of the samplers. When a student commented that the darker chocolate could be used as an aphrodisiac or love potion, Associate Dean Neil Donahue laughed. “Love Potion? We’re not responsible for consequences!”

This year’s Chocolate Tasting was better advertised and attended than in previous years where it was an Honors College exclusive event held in the basement of East Library Wing. But Dean Warren Frisina promised the tradition still would be “even bigger next year.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Assignments

10 Years from now

HEMPSTEAD,NY. The tenth year reunion of the Hofstra University Class of 2011 got underway this weekend with various events spread throughout campus for alumni and their families. A special reunion of the Journalism 11 Honors section for Spring 2011 took place in Dumpster Hall. The entire class was able to make it to the reunion and share what’s been going on in their lives since class ended.

Matt Ryan, 31, has turned his passion for Sports and Broadcast Journalism into a job for Fox Sports. Ryan splits his time between the two coasts as he covers both Football and Baseball. Highlights of his career include  calling both the Super Bowl and the World Series.

Ben Schaefer, 28 managed to secure a position at the New York Times Travel section after graduation. His first assignment was to travel to Alaska and cover the Inuit population. After he filed his report, he resigned from the Times and stayed in Alaska. He said he “renounced all ties with society” by living in a tent in the summer and an igloo for winter. He lives about 5 miles out-of-town and off the land by hunting and fishing. When asked about his parents, he said they’re “not happy” and they “haven’t visited since I moved.”

Vanessa Mota, 36, was lucky to find success in the competitive Public Relations field. After working for Warner Brothers as a PR specialist, Mota decided to take a risk and open up her own PR agency. She was able to find a niche in the market and now her company organizes entrainment events for clients such as Univision,  one of the Spanish-speaking television networks. Of all the classmates, Mota was one of the few to stay on the Island, mainly because she was already raising a family while she was at Hofstra. Although since her agency has taken off, she has moved her family into a “bigger house”.

Leave a comment

Filed under Assignments

News Values in different medias

There are different news values, and I think different medias emphasize different values in their reporting, because they know what works (what sells or makes a profit) for them. I compared a NY Times article on Israel’s reaction to the situation in Egypt, to content on the English site of Al Jazeera covering Israel as well.

“I’m not worried at all. If the people in Egypt want to kill themselves,” he shrugged. “You write in Al Jazeera that Ron Chayek said ‘a good Arab is a dead Arab’.”

Ron Chayek, a 35-year-old website manager

This quote from the Al Jazeera page sums up one of the huge differences between content from the two sources. While NY Times did get quotes from people in Israel, they were either officials, or academics. Al Jazeera, on the other hand, collected and published several quotes from regular people in Israel, who don’t say the same thing. Mya Guarnieri worked hard to include quotes representing many different reactions and opinions, even the minority ones.  I think Al Jazeera is large enough that with their 65 bureaus – one’s probably in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem  – it would be easy for their staff to go out into the streets and actually ask passerby what they think of Egypt. There’s a sense of intimacy and reality, that is almost absent from the Times article, which says at the bottom has contributing reporting from Jerusalem.

But perhaps the differences really just boil down to a space and/or resources issue. The Times article was one of the front cover stories for 1/31, but it’s just over 1000 words so it feels short. On the other hand Al Jazeera has plenty of space for its coverage of the Egypt situation that their website so they have two articles on the Israeli situation, one that is manly the quotes from the people and the other reporting on the government. I don’t think the Times had time or room to pursue both sides of the story so they chose the more official government spin. Which for the casual reader in New York, is a fine angel, but for the more invested follower of the Egypt situation, I think they would be more satisfied with Al Jazeera’s coverage.

Leave a comment

Filed under Assignments, News