Thursday, June 30, 2005

Watch out for them Maenads!

YiRan, you got to watch your back for them Maenads! Poor Orpheus...I guess he shouldn't have watched his back when coming out of the tunnel though...

So how are your little runts? I hope your small children are well.

When did you become vegan?! this is going to make home cooking tough senior year. I hope you at least become vegetarian by then.

That party planning for the Wedding photography service sounds so snazzy! Let me know how it goes and send pictures if you can. Big extravagant weddings are fun to attend, but they seem awful to plan. I'd just have a small get together on the beach. My dress would be bright red to throw people off. Debbie the harlot of a bride haha.

I'm now answering phones at my joke of an internship in downtown LA. The one at the Glendale News Press is 100x better. Maybe I should just quit this one.When they said I was going to work in all departments of their company, I didn't think they meant answering phones and paperwork in ALL departments.

someone's already asked me for a mocha latte. I looked them straight in the eye and said "I'm not That kind of intern."

-Debbie

Hi everybody,

In Chicago, it hasn't rained for about 2 weeks. Global warming is so real.

Two days ago I took my mom to an angiogram and she's fine, which is cool.

My small children have been analyzing myths about greek gods and goddesses. My favorite story is Orpheus and Eurydice. Salman Rushdie rewrote it and called it The Ground Beneath Her Feet.

At Ockenphotography, we've been organizing a party for our past clients and prospective brides. There are going to be 25 different vendors, including the woman I was telling Debbie about. The whole subculture of the wedding business is very odd and somewhat frightening.

Otherwise, home is fine and I've been cooking lots of good vegan food.

I miss you all, of course.

I'm back in high school. except I work.

By Debbie

My first internship is going great but the second one, which I started today is a bit boring. Tedious paperwork and all that. But today was the day we go out to publish, so I'm not going to set a concrete opinion until tomorrow.

I wasn't able to drive for the first 2 weeks and man was that hell. Any family tensions were exacerbated by the fact that I was home all the time. I started driving last Thursday and things are looking up.

My brother the punk just had his tonsels out- ouch. he is in pain and can't swallow. My other brother just graduated from high school and is always out recording with his band. I'm starting as an online consignment seller (ie. I sell her 100s of cookbooks on ebay) for my mom so I can earn money on the side b/c internships sure as hell don't pay.

I miss school and it now parallels the home I have here.

I've got a life here but I don't have the fun conversations and quirky moments I had with my dormmates. When people wish for any super power, I often wish to be able to transport myself anywhere. Then I could visit my friends in a "Days of the Week" flexibility that matched my moods.

I wonder if "Instant Transport" would take the novelty out of travel...

Fashion has been my latest hobby: I've been searching for great deals on ebay, designing clothing and I finished a skirt for my mom yesterday. Next is a aqua tweed suit for myself.

As for this weekend, I haven't really planned anything. My best friend Alexis is going to be with her bf, Mikey. She spends ALL her time with him. She said if that falls through, then she'd like to do something with me. Forget being 2nd runner-up, I'm making plans with my friends in Orange County.On Saturday, I'm going to a BBQ thrown for my friend David.

It's a Bon Voyage party as he is moving to New York to start a new life there. He used to drug deal but now...just kidding.He's just been drifting in and out of community college classes and he's a really social guy that knows 50% of the young crowd in Glendale and Burbank. I can't imagine him in Rochester, NY.

First, I'm forcing him to get an MRI at the LA county hospital tomorrow. I'm driving him there b/c he doesn't drive. He's been suffering headaches since last weekend when a large fight in his friend's club erupted. He got hit in the temple and was unconscious for several minutes. Next thing he knew, he was on the way to emergency. His friends are the type to seek revenge, but in this case, the aggressor is a red-neck cage fighter from Tujunga. Definitely, a No-go.

So, I'm about to watch an international film. This infatuation with intl. movies has been going on for months now. Some nice blue blockbuster cases are perched next to me: "Girl From Paris" and "Zelary." I'll let you know if they're any good. Until then, ciao.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Public Media's Double Standard

By Cherney

There's something that always bothered me about liberals and conservatives (but mostly liberals) who claim that the media is no longer doing its job in questioning authority and uncovering the truth. The media's job in a free society is to perpetuate the "marketplace of ideas," to find out whether our elected officials are telling the truth, etc. These critics, for example, point to Bush's fiasco with his claim of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and say the media failed to properly investigate these claims. At their job, these media critics say, journalists have failed.

Work today elucidated why I dislike these media critics.

I'm working on a story about city parks, specifically that young adults congregate in public parks at night and smoke, do drugs, fight, and make it uncomfortable for others. Apparently its gotten to a point where neighbors refuse to go there at night. I believe this is an issue worth reporting. Wilkes-Barre has had problems with its parks in the past ($26,000 in repairs for city parks recently). Residents are scared or uncomfortable to use their parks. Whether or not you think these neighbors are warranted in their complaints, they are still complaining, and people -- and city officials -- have the right to know. And myself, as a journalist, have an obligation to report this problem for public consumption.

In a story like this I think of myself as doing a public service. Maybe an article in the paper will change things. Maybe the city will further increase police patrols (they already have increased it), hire security guards, or do something.

But as I interviewed neighbors this afternoon at one city park, it was very difficult for me to get people to give me their names for publication. It's common in journalism not to use anonymous sources, and very few papers do it -- and if they do, its usually, you know, a big deal. Basically if I can't get any neighbors saying on record that it is a problem, there's no story. If there's no story, there's no public awareness of the problem, and if there's no awareness, there's no change. I understand that some people were afraid of vandalism or retribution if they complained on record about these problem young adults. But the fact of the matter is I can't do my job if people are not willing to talk to me.

At times it even got personally insulting. You know, I stand there talking to some resident for 5 or 10 minutes. They refuse to give me their name for publication. Fine. So I ask them for their first name, just to say thank you, just to relate to them on a personal level like any other human being with who they interact. And most of them won't even give me their first name. They think I'm going to burn them and put them in the paper. It's mildly insulting because in any other social interaction you tell people your name first thing. Its insulting secondly because they think I'm lying to them when I say I'm not going to publish their names.

Which brings me back to my first point. Citizens, public officials, politicians, just about everyone on many occassions refuse to cooperate with the media. Without cooperation the media cannot do its job. And then these same people -- citizens, public officials, politicians -- turn around and criticize the media for not doing its job. With this popular conception of journalists as cheats, liars, and solicitors, no wonder jouranlists have a hard time doing their job.

Apparently there's a police chief in a town around here who refuses to release crime reports to the press. How are journalists suppose to do their job in this kind of work atmosphere? I know jouranlism is a thankless profession, and I can operate without thanks. But its another thing to weather this hippocritical doublespeak.

Maybe its time some of these media critics reevaluate the circumstances in which journalists operate. And instead of constant criticism (some of course, is healthy), why don't they use their energy to change the way the public interacts with journalists in a way that is beneficial for both reporters and citizens. That's what I try to do every day on the job.

And if we're talking about creating an atmosphere in which its impossible for the media to do its job, here's an article that should make your spine tingle:

Court Orders 4 Reporters to Reveal Sources in Lee Case.

Just some insights from a full-time reporter in Wilkes-Barre, P.A.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Welcome

This blog exists for the purpose of communication between Northwestern students who have ties to the 2007 ISRC gang. Many of us will be studying abroad during the 2005-06 school year and this space will act as our forum.

You can decide to do whatever you like with your entry. But you can't be lazy and just enter a link to your own personal blog. The way this will work is if you try to do the following:

- everytime you post on your personal blog, post the same entry here as well
- post at least once every 2-3 weeks. More than a month and we may assume you've died and may hold an online eulogy.
- enter a LINK to an online photo gallery rather than pasting photos into your entry.
- RESPOND to other people's entries. Otherwise it's more of a compilation of diaries instead of a forum. Communication = dialogue
- remember your audience. Don't make your blogs too long. Most of us will have limited access to computers so don't include drafts of a travel novel here.
- BUT do be descriptive and anecdotal. Take us with you on your travels. Take the poor NU students back in Evanston with you through your entries.
- don't forget to write your name. we're all using the same user name.

Why "The Savvy Traveler"? Because that's what we hope to become as we embark on our study abroad experience. We will be not tourists, but travelers!

Write whatever you feel, think, see, experience. So begins an amazing journey for all of us!

- Debbie