Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Three Commandments

Thou shalt use accuracy.
Thou shalt practice transparency.
Thou shalt not plagiarize or fabricate.

I believe these three journalism "commandments" should be followed by all who seek becoming a professional in the journalism field. They will not only keep you out of jail, but they will also allow you opportunity to become a more credible source of information in the public eye.

Accuracy is the first point to ponder. If a story is not accurate, how can the readers trust the information from that source? Double checking names, dates, locations, quotes, facts, sources to contact, etc. MORE THAN ONCE is a necessity for any article. Besides grammatics, it is important to analyze the truth represented through a story. Do quotes portray what the speaker actually meant? Do photos misrepresent an event in any way? These are a few questions to ask.

Transparency is another important factor dealing with gaining and maintaining public trust. I think we see this in bloggers who have captured the attention of the public eye as credible, honest, and open to criticism. They just put out their opinions and the facts that they've found to be true, not holding back information they believe to be true, and in turn they gain public trust.

My media law teacher continues to remind us of this rule, despite the fact that we had our test on libel a couple weeks ago: Do not plagiarize or fabricate! It's self explanatory really. Using actual quotes you've heard with your own ears, writing stories based off of interviews YOU conducted as a journalist, and giving credit to any additional sources are just a few keys to sticking to this rule. "So stay out of jail and abide by these commandments," thus saith your future editors!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Towson U: Full of photo ops!

Greg Romano, senior Mass Communications major (left), and fellow "rocker" Bryan Patterson, senior Business Management major (right), promote Delta Sigma Phi's 48 hour see-saw to raise funds supporting testicular cancer research. Members of the fraternity had signed up for two hour time slots and braved the harsh weather for a cause.

Taking a superb photograph requires an eye for detail and a mind for creativity. There are great techniques that are often used when looking through the lens. When taking a portrait of someone, as shown above (thanks Claire), it is important to use natural lighting that softens and compliments our natural figures. Also, shooting the camera at eye level and making sure the background is simple (nothing sticking out of their head) work for a great photo.

Filling the frame is also effective when trying to draw a focus to the object in the photo. In the photo above, I used a different angle, slightly lower to the statue and filled my frame with the face of the tiger. I also used the rule of thirds because when you break down the frame, there is emphasis on the eyes at the top, and the gaping mouth of the tiger to the left instead of having the subject directly in the middle.