Journalism Gone Wrong

Everyone makes mistakes, even journalists. That is why there are a series of checks and balances before a story gets published. Fortunately this system rarely fails; However, it still has its share of failures. “A Rape on Campus” the Rolling Stone story about a gang-rape at the University of Virginia is an example of this.

Handling cases with such serious and sensitive material, like this one, are tough for anyone. You have to take the victims emotions into consideration while still making sure you are getting the correct story.

The mistakes that Rolling Stone made are mistakes that I could see myself making. You want to believe that people are honest. But unfortunately we live in a world where that isn’t always true. It is sad to think that someone would lie about sexual assault, but it happens.

With that being said, I think that Sabrina Rubin Erdely, author of “A Rape on Campus,” could have done much more fact checking and reporting on her own. She failed to get many other sides of the story. Erdely heard the alarms going off. If Erdely had delved deeper into the story of ‘Jackie’s’ rape, she would have found holes. These holes could have been filled with correct information. Erdely would have found the story to be false and the article would not have been published or at least the correct information would have and Jackie would not have been involved.

It is disappointing to see a seasoned journalist fail at the fundamentals, but it can be a lesson to the rest of us. If you get a feeling that something doesn’t seem right, or if an alarm goes off that this can’t be true, you dig deeper. You report more and find the information. As sensitive as victims of sexual assault can be, sometimes you need to investigate a bit more to get the whole truth. This doesn’t mean you have to harass the victim for information, but there are other ways to find out those much needed informative bits. Some little pieces could change the whole course of the story.

Not everyone is inherently good. Some people lie or exaggerate the truth so it is always important to get multiple sides of a story. Give the accused the chance to defend themselves.

As unfortunate as it was to see such an important and possibly life changing story fail, it is a failure that all journalists should learn from. Do the research. Dig deeper. Get all sides of the story. Because everyone makes mistakes, even journalists.

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Niches

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I love magazines because there are so many different types of magazines, really anyone can find a magazine that they enjoy reading. What intrigues me about niche magazines is that they all organize their content differently.

This week I was particularly paying attention to Do It Yourself, a magazine from the Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications. I found their layout style interesting. It was mostly in a project format. This makes sense for this type of magazine due to the fact that it is a DIY magazine. I was still surprised flipping through, however, because I had never seen a magazine that had so many different projects, tips and tricks, tool suggestions and decorative ideas.

This magazine made me really happy because I was getting a different style from your every day magazine. Do It Yourself was so full of pictures and there was much less writing so it was very pleasing to the eye. The magazine really kept me engaged.

Just flipping through the pages even without reading any of the content I wanted to start doing projects.

The different ways magazines can be laid out and the endless possibilities makes the magazine a very interesting medium. I can’t wait to one day be the person in charge of magazine layout.

Tid Bits

If I had to pick whether I liked long feature stories, shorter feature stories, or “tid bit” type stories in a magazine, I would definitely pick the “tid bits.” To me a “tid bit” type story is a a list or some sort of compilation of pictures and small paragraphs. These pieces are usually some sort of project, advice, workout or Q&A.

The reason I love these pieces is because they are quick and fun to read. You can get so much information in such a little amount of time. The information is typically useful too.

In Cosmopolitan’s April 2016 issue, some of my favorite “tid bits” were “Your Clutter, Cleared!” “You Snooze, You win” and “Instant Cancer Check.”

These pieces offered a lot of solid advice on how to organize your makeup and other beauty supplies, how to get more and a better nights sleep, and signs that you may have cancer and how to talk to your doctor about it.

All of these pieces can be read in less than 5 minutes each, and they are all simple things that you can do to improve your life.

I know I will be putting my phone much farther away from my bed, talking to my doctor about ovarian cancer and getting a diner style straw dispenser to store my makeup brushes.

I love the little “tid bits” in magazines, they are the main reason I buy them. I know others like reading them too and one day, I hope to write them.

Hopes and Dreams

I HAVE A DREAM! To one day work for a magazine … Okay, maybe it’s not quite worthy of that line. But I do dream of one day working for a magazine. Recently I had to do a magazine report for my magazine journalism class. For this report we had to pick a magazine and find out all of this information about it, I picked “Dogster” magazine.

Before this assignment I had no idea that there were magazines solely about dogs. Once I saw this magazine I jumped on it, much like a dog jumps on their owners after they get home from a long work day. I looked through the magazine and I loved it! It was literally all about dogs.

Dogs are my favorite thing in the world. They are always happy to see you and can cheer you up on your worst days. Well, at least they do that for me. I follow numerous puppy accounts on Instagram and would happily spend my entire day looking through all of the cute pictures and videos.

Well, enough about what I do in my free time … I would love to work for a dog publication one day and I think “Dogster” would be a great fit for me. I would be able to study dogs, visit with dogs, take pictures with dogs, write stories about dogs, and most importantly pet dogs!**Love-eyed emoji** Also, I would be surrounded by people who have the same feelings I do! They would all be journalists and they would all love dogs. I even read a few comments from the editors saying that they often have cute fuzzy creatures wandering around the office.

“Dogster” magazine also touches on serious subjects about dogs they have articles about the death of a pet, pet sicknesses, and how to properly train and care for your pet in general and in certain specific circumstances. I am the type of person that cares deeply about helping other people and making other people happy, this includes dogs and their owners. Working at “Dogster” would give me the opportunity to research solutions to dog problems and offer advice to dog owners. I couldn’t imagine a more fulfilling career.

This job would be my own personal heaven. I would be surrounded by everything dogs. I couldn’t imagine anything better than working with dogs and fellow lovers of dogs and writers.

Cosmo Advertising – Ads for everyone

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“Cosmopolitan” is a magazine that young women from all different backgrounds read. The advertising in their magazine reflects that.

While flipping through “Cosmo,” as it’s also known, you will find a lot of ads. Most ads are for beauty items or clothes. This includes makeup, perfume, face wash, shoes, clothes and accessories.

You will notice that these ads have a lot of variety. There are high end advertisements for products like Sephora and Chanel as well as ads for drug store beauty products like Covergirl and Garnier. This is good news for young women. We can read a magazine that isn’t full of high end products that cost them an arm and a leg.

As a college student, I desire to be able to buy a pair of those $600 featured shoes or the advertised $65 eye-shadow palette one day. These give me ideas of things that I want to work hard and save my money for. The ads allow me to dream and set goals for myself.

Yet, they also have products that I can use as a substitute until I am able to afford those more expensive products. The more common, cheaper brand makeups and shoes. These are all things that I can get now. I don’t have to save to buy them.

It is really encouraging to young women that they advertise products of all qualities and prices. It makes everyone feel included.

Women can say to their friends “I just got that new Covergirl mascara that was advertised on the back page of “Cosmo,” its my new favorite!” They don’t have to feel bad about the fact that they couldn’t afford the $50 mascara from MAC.

It gives young women a chance to feel like they are good enough. They can afford a product that was advertised in a magazine.

The magazine appeals to women like me who can only afford the drugstore beauty products as well as to women who can buy the Guess perfume and Sephora makeup. It reaches everyone. This not only increases the readership of the magazine, but it also allows women to feel connected to other women from different backgrounds.

We all read the same magazine.

 

All this relaxing is stressing me out – Reaction

I read the article “All this relaxing is stressing me out” by Krissy Brady in Cosmopolitan. I really enjoyed this article because it further explained the idea that everyone is different. The fact that one person feels relaxed at the spa doesn’t mean everyone will. People who like to be adventurous may feel more de-stressed after going for a hike. Personally, I would feel exhausted and ready for a nap after a hike, but that shows how this article reins true.

My favorite part of this article was the column on the last page “Relax Better.” This column is very helpful for those people who aren’t sure how to relax. They’ve tried vegging out and watching TV but they just feel more stressed and like they are wasting time. This column explains that there are different activities people can try to do to relax depending on the type of person they are. For example, someone who is creative and likes to start projects may relax their best if they start a blog or color in an adult coloring book. For someone who is very goal oriented, their best way to relax might be to set a goal, like attempting a new hair-do they found on Youtube.

All of the claims that the writer made in the article were backed up by scientific evidence. This really established a credibility with the author and made the reader want to try her suggestions.

I fall into “The Soloist” category of her “Relax Better” column and one of the suggestions was to walk dogs for a local shelter, this is something I am definitely going to try when I feel like I need to relax. I love animals, when I’m stressed out I like to be by myself not surrounded by a lot of people, and going for a walk would give me a little bit of exercise as well. It won’t be too strenuous though, which would be better for those more adventurous people.

The article even dives deeper into ways that you can relax at work. This doesn’t mean taking a cat nap under your desk when  the boss isn’t looking. Someone who needs a break may feel relaxed after going to get a cup of coffee and taking a few minutes away from the work they have piled up on their desk. This isn’t true for everybody though. Some might worry about all of the work they are missing and thinking about all the time they are wasting. Those people may find it more relaxing to take a few minutes and check their email or organize their desk. It is a simple task that they have completed so it will increase their job satisfaction, the article said.

Overall, this article is very useful and is perfectly placed in a magazine that caters to young adults and adults. We all get stressed and finding new, better ways to de-stress will be helpful in making us more successful.