Category Archives: Weekly Journ65 Posts

The Writers Basement: Artists and a Cafe

THIS IS A SPECIAL EDITION FEATURE!!! HERE IS PART ONE! ENJOY!

  

The UnConventional Advocate Journalist

 

Name: Toussaint Du Bois. aka liberation poet

Age: 26

Profession:  Aspiring Architect/ Revolutionist/Writer

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        This interview actually came about from a discussion we were having, one of the many political discussions, and  felt he was a great candidate to interview; especially because he volunteers at the Commerator of The Black Panther Party in Berkeley, Ca. He writes and edits for their Newsprint.

Me: so, the basic boring stuff; age? where were you born?  

  Toussaint: Septemeber 7th, 1984; Detroit, Michigan

MeWould you considery ourself to be  traditional Journalist?

  Toussaint: well, to be honest I wouldn’t consider myself a journalist at all. 
Me: well that would conclude this interview. *laughs* well, okay to me, i consider you a journalist because of the work you do at the Commerator. you write for their newspaper right?
Toussaint: correct. well actually, I have been working there for the past 6 months and I really am proud of what I have accomplished so far. what I mainly do for the newspaper, however is mainly cover stories that affect out community and support the cause the Black Panther Party supports and some of my interest as well.
Me: so how do you gather the information for your stories?
Toussaint: I look to other journals. cite resources and references, Interviews with various people, for instance, the guy you met here, Melvin dickson or Elaine Brown.
Me: so why don’t you consider yourself a journalist?
Toussaint: well, a traditional journalist, no; I did’nt go to school for it so I don’t consider myself a hardcore journalist.
Me: So, for clarification purposes, i consider you to be a journalist because you perform a public service for you community; a moral that most journalist have failed to strictly uphold. through social media,You inform and uplift your community through your writing and bringing under-reported strories of struggle to light. speaking of social media, how do you think the various tools of sociai just media can be used to promote your message?
Toussaint: well with the current state of society and media, i say it doesnt; present the facts and the story will reveal itself. The mainstream media filters and spins the news and facts. They also don’t cover stories that are of dire importance to the consciousness of our communities; for example the Georgia prison strike or the death of Raheem Brown. both were not reported in the mainstream news, and much of the public are unaware of these incidents even occurring.
Me: so if you could use the tools, how would you use them?
Toussaint: well, in the positive aspect, social media makes it so easy to assemble and reach a mass amount of people. Its like centralized access; like the event page on Facebook. hundreds of people can view that within a day. its amazing.
Me: with the progression of such modern technology, where do you see the future of newspaper?the Commerator newspaper?
Toussaint: for the commerator, we are entering a monthly division phase—- also we use the newspaper as an organizing tool; i think the newspaper is dynamic in creating enthusiasm and passion for anything one wants to write about.

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So Many questions, And all the Unnecessary Answers.

For this weeks assignments, i didn’t even need to post a questions and then log my experience; I do this everyday. My main websites that I call “jumpoffs” (hahahaha, oh no, not the meaning in the hip-hop/rap world); are websites or ask engines, I use for a foundation or directional tool on a particular subject  or news, that i later investigate further . The two main websites I visit are Wikipedia and yahoo answers. and oh man the comedy and interesting things i find on there. My most recent search, was more of a personal one and was one that dealt with astrological compatibility… and from a now renowned expert on this fascinating  science, the answers i received where …. unique to say the least.

I recently got into a debate about the validity of Wikipedia and other Q&A engines, and my perspective is very simple; Like all investigative research, follow the Alma mater  “Do your research. Thoroughly.” Don’t ever just take any answer, or even the most reputable source as the final say; ALWAYS  fact check and  cross-reference from as many places as possible. I always strive to do objective research as a subjective journalist and  feel most should strive to approach, at least when finding answers to something you deem is important, as a scientists and always keep testing, for no mans’ one word is law; just all theory and mostly speculation. Till next type…

Do you have a Blimple?

Blimple n. A blog pimple that  needs to be pop; an annoying blemish on the English language; blogs that are filled with dirt and unnecessary pus that raise to the surface of the internet  networking interface.

Many of us have seen and even had a blimple; most just put a band-aid over it ( cool graphics and background music) or most even attempt to pop it; some are successful and no scars are left behind, while others are still left with the blemish and reminder of poor writing. That’s what I see when I go online and see thousands of blogs. Blimples.

But there is some hope; LinkedIn groups have, luckily, offered me a way to read real writers blog; and  some of intrinsic quality too. I love independent writers and even professional mainstream writers. From the novice who adds just enough jazz to his/her literary and social commentary, to the 40+ somethings who have a lot of wisdom to share, I am glad I have found an outlet that  represents the other side of the blogosphere.

This weeks post was a topic I think everyone has struggled with: What does one write about in a Blog? this question posted by Jodi Milner on the Writers Cafe group. below is her post:

“Looking for some great writing blogs to add to my blog roll, who else here blogs?

I blog at http://myliteraryquest.wordpress.comand am always looking for other great blogs to feature. If you are looking to increase your exposure or just your page hits, let me know. I’m currently looking for writers to interview or interesting posts from guest bloggers. …”

I visited her blogsite and was glad it WAS NOT  a blimple; in fact i enjoyed reading her blogs, especially her piece on one of my favorite authors,  Dr. Seuss.  In the end, after reading through the comments and even posting some of my own, I believe the decision to do a blog should be  based on a balance of personal doctrines and witty observations, with the professional undertone and journalistic responsibility to Enlighten, Educate, Inspire and Entertain. till’ next type…..

The Morning After: A journal, A Night stand, and refreshing Perspective

After our initial passionate meeting, LinkedIn and I, entangled ourselves in self discovery and found out more about each other than originally expected. One question still came to this aspiring journalist’s mind: how do you benefit ME LinkedIn? she simply closed her eyes, open her world and I explored her social realms, still to this is new to me…

Apart from the dramatic poetic description that chronicles my experience my frustrations and accomplishments with LinkedIn, many have come to praise the benefits that LinkedIn has to offer journalists; even those who may not feel quite  comfortable yet, with joining the social media race.

In journalism and investigative reporting, networking and reporting resources are vital foundations. Not only for building a quality story, but also for the reputation of the journalist. LinkedIn can offer a way to not only diversify ones professional profile, it allows the journalist to add a certain individuality. LinkedIn makes it somewhat easier for one to answer the question of “what makes you different?”

I believe the public service that journalists provide, LinkedIn can help; with LinkedIn resources, journalists expand on topics and issues that affect a featured person on linked in, community organization or stories that are under reported. LinkedIn, to me, organizes information in way that journalists can use efficiently and accurately.

I am No longer a Virgin:One night Stand or LinkedIn for the long haul?

When I was first introduced to the LinkedIn website, boring came to mind;  then curiosity and then finally, like American/European history, exploitation. Like many novice social media participants, I didn’t know such websites existed. So when I  inquired about it to my fellow peers, I was surprised to find out that they knew about LinkedIn and even had a profile on the LinkedIn, but rarely used the site.

This prompted my typical Sagittarius tactless response, ” so why the hell did you create one?” Luckily David Wells, author of a blog titled  “How to leverage LinkedIn to Market Your Business, candidly pointed out that “…people set up their profile and let it sit for months and didn’t do anything with it or reach out and connect with other like minded people on the network.”  still my logic is baffled. why do so many of my friends like to waste time and then complain about not being able to find a job?

Any-who,  He went on to explain that “the same principles of real life networking also apply on LinkedIn. If you were to go to a networking event and not talk with anyone, do you think you would built any relationships or potential business leads? ” I completely concur with both statements. I think people get the idea that these social websites should do the job for them, only because it allows to network on a mass scale quicker and instantly. But regardless, in any field or project you pursue, plain ole hard work will always be required and preferred. I mean if we allowed machines to do everything for us, what would be the point of human existence?

So far my  experience has been pleasant with LinkedIn. Once viewed as just another task to complete for a class, I see a plethora of resources at my fingertips and a great way to promote my website. Plus, the awkward morning after, wasn’t that awkward,; in fact LinkedIn invited me to come back for more 🙂 and even wanted me to invest “100%”. I think she really likes me. The new found disdain for the internet and the various  social remedial web-spawns  has subsided…. for now. Till Next Type……..

Journalists: Evolving with Journalism IS evolving with society.{Jena perry, Journ 65}

I believe that being a Journalist entails more than just reporting or being a social commenter; Journalists are social activists, creative writers, Political analysts, Sociologists and Psychologists. In this century of technology, a new guild is now added to this career choice: Media Socialite. Its more than needing to understand how to use social media; one has to master, bring originality and the same standards of accuracy and integrity that is the foundation for quality journalism.  Instead of being intimidated by twitter or Facebook or the many blogging websites, maximize these tools as much as possible. Networking is highly important in the journalistic field; therefore its very immature to believe that social media is not going to hand in hand with networking. Some may even argue, that is the reason why these sites were created. I just say, Social media is just another arsenal added to my mental weaponry. The journalist who is able to master this social media evolution is the one that holds the most power. Until next type….

Social Media changing the World? or is American Social Media changing the world?

The reason why I have phrased the above questions as so, is because, we as Americans and many other Western Countries, measure what journalism and social media is by the tools we use in our own country and not in a universal or secular perspective. As I am reading many of my classmates blogs and developing my own opinion of journalism as a whole, I have realized that in western countries, where freedom of press is more prevalent, the tools of social media we use can set the stage for other countries and how to use  different methods of reporting and releasing news.

For example,  a classmate, Billy Rivera, posted an interesting article about microblogging in china. In china, where face book is banned, they have created websites like face book, such as http://www.renren.com, that is almost identical to face book. It’s not a statement of ego boosting, but more just observation;  Other countries can influence how other countries use social media. Even in Ghana, how the presence of Google is trying to make a permanent home, its is trying to provide  a new way for the  people of that country to be able to look up news and other valuable information. Western companies are slowly influencing  social media across the world.

I know that my opinion will be more refined once I complete more research, hear opposing viewpoints, and grow as an aspiring journalist; however, in the meantime, I feel that this thesis has some merit because of such current events that showed how dependent western countries are on monopolizing news media outlets. For example, the most popular of them all, is the revolution happening in Libya, Egypt. When their government decided to cut off the ability for news to be passed through the common social media outlets to teh outside world or companies like the associated press, the rest of the world turn to a lowly, and once viewed a terrorist-news reporting agency ( “al- jazeerah”), for the update on events happening in that country. For once, in a very long time, a small, independent news organization was able to control the “news” given to the world. In addition, one of the only outside reporters, used twitter to keep updates on the events. I guarantee that the al- jazeera website and viral videos on that website was the most viewed in their history of existence.

But looking at this specific example, would the world have been able to know what had happened if it wasn’t for social media websites? many of the activists who were able to update their face book gave another perspective into the revolutions and emotion of these protests.  In the United states, a reporter for http://www.commondreams.org  reported an article/blog on how the news outlets were inaccurately portraying the protests to Governor Walkers radical attempt to fix the state’s budget. With the efficiency of the internet and the love childs it has spawned, social media isn’t necessarily changing the  world of social media; just speeding up how it is received to the masses. It is because of this variable, instant information, that the news world is changing; or in my eyes trying to keep up. I think its how the public accepts or responds to how news is released through social media that controls the evolution of news, not necessarily the tools themselves. After all, if we all choose to go back to newspapers,  the question of how social media is changing the world wouldn’t even exist. Until next type…….

 

Identity Crisis: Who AM I? and What am I doing here? By Jena Perry, Journ65

Till this very present day,  I absolutely dread this question: “Who am I?” I feel this way, mainly because I do not like to talk or write about myself ( which ironically i am doing right now at this point).I have a very difficult time creating a cohesive and coherent statement and despise giving superficial answers. In addition, I have a privacy issue and know that anyone can read these blogs at anytime. Call it a foreshadowing of possible vulnerability issues, I call it constructive paranoia; in a time where anyone can look up your information and use it against you, my hesitation is ever prominent; realizing personal information can be easily obtained over the internet. However, for all intensive purposes, I will shed some light on my background and current life predicament: I am 24 years old. Sun sign Sagittarius/Rising sign Libra; that means my scales have to be balanced, and my philosophy, a universal dogma. I am a social and functioning misanthrope. I am a college student.By government statistics, I  am an African-American, single-mother. I have no political or religious affiliations and absolutely loathe my current government. I love nature and probably practiced Wicca in a past life. I am in the process of creating my own journalism website and idolize music and theater/film.  I love discussing all ideas and love dogs. I am here in this class, mainly for personal enrichment and fine-tuning  my natural journalistic and writing skills. Beyond that,I am not a Pastor; so the answer to the song that never ends will not be attempted to be hypothesized by me. Hope you all enjoyed the read.So, until next type……