Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Game Plan

My plan to create my non-linear story (website) is to start with my trunk that will essentially explain my beat, which is cheap eats and places to see in the D.C. area.  My branches will consist of the different activities one can do for a reasonable price. 

For instance, one branch will be dedicated to the different restaurants, the second branch can be the interesting places or most overlooked places to check out, and the branch could be the places to lounge and get good drinks or something to that extent.

Furthermore, I would include a FAQ page and give information on the various forms of transportation that can be used to get in and out of D.C. easily. 

Additionally, I will also include a google map of the area and mark the places to check out. Also I would like to create a timeline of the special or upcoming events in the area.

I don't know how this will all work out, but this is just a draft of the possibilities. 

(Please feel free to make comments or suggestions)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

For Whiners Only

If you are a wine drinker than this recent article may peak your interest. The Washington Post  published an article titled A Leesburg Oasis, which reviewed a new restaurant that specializes in the fine wines that are available. 

The Wine Kitchen is the name of this restaurant that is snuggled in Leesburg Historic District.

Apparently, from the article this small restaurant is booming with business despite the economic conditions. 

The staff writer describes the tight knit ambience. She states that, "As for the seating, let me warn you: It's sparse and eclectic.... There are a few small tables along the wall, and near the front door is a couch with an antique table that four maybe five, people could gather around. At the back of the restaurant are two small tables, plus the stools at the bar."

In addition, the article explains the chef's menu that includes dishes that can work well with the wines that customers are drinking. 

The article continues by critiquing the food  which received a lukewarm review by the staff writer who states that, "As for the food, several standout dishes are great as is; the other selections are good but could be so much better with modifications as simple as a little more time on the heat."

Moreover, the writer did not include or clarify the price range of the dishes, which could have been helpful for readers. Furthermore, the author did not give the price ranges for the various wines, but she did mention that it is cheaper to order a bottle of wine to go. 

Despite those few details that the author left out, I think she gave a good perspective of  the different aspects of the restaurant.

In all, the Wine Kitchen received a thumbs up. It seems like a great place to check out; I only wish that it was a little closer in location.

Friday, April 10, 2009


So the next assignment requires us to produce a two minute soundslide of a person who is interesting enough for the project. 

So what determines interesting or someone's worthiness? I have been trying to figure that out. I do know a person who is a self taught artist.

Her talents extend from personal portraits, murals, landscaping and interior decorating. She is also  at great antiquing for less. I've personally seen her complete a relatively large portrait in two days. In my opinion I think she may be worthy enough for the soundslide.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Obama in Iraq

ABC World News hosted by Charles Gibson at 6 p.m.  demonstrated the following editing techniques when covering Obama's visit to the Iraq. The piece lasted a little over 2 minutes. There were a series of wide to tight shots of Obama descending from his plane in Iraq as he was greeted by several military officers. 

The editor matched the images that were seen on screen to what the journalist was describing, which is crucial element to completing a video story. 

For instance, the journalist explained that the U.S. troops greeted Obama with a warm welcome and then the screen showed Obama receiving a stand ovation and cheers as he arrived to make a speech.  

The story used appropriate pacing as the story moved forward and even inserted sound bites of Obama's speech to the troops. There was use of natural sound as the voice over completed the story of Obama's trip. 

Overall, the whole piece displayed the proper way to produce a video story. It provided a variety of steady shots, voice-overs, sound bites,  natural sound, sequencing and the necessary pace to continue the story, which made the segment easily to follow and digest.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


In class yesterday I finished posting my audio story about texting while driving. My story basically explained house bill 323 that is being reviewed by the Maryland General Assembly.
 If the bill is passed in to law, it will prohibit texting while driving.

I liked this topic because it is a common occurrence among my peers. If I could get a dollar for each time I saw a  person texting on the road, I would be a very rich woman. Wouldn't that be nice? Oh well back to reality.

 Overall, my story explained the house bill and provided insight on how some of the students at  Towson felt about the ban. 

Thank you to Kayla, Mike and Joe who agreed to do the interviews. (You guys were very helpful)

If you like to listen to my audio story just click the this link. And sorry if I sound funny. Recording my voice to sound like a radio spokesman was a lot harder than I assumed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Phase One: Brainstorming Topic Ideas

I've been thinking about a new topic for the next story and I keep coming to a dead end. I have no ideas. I would like to do a piece that relates to my blog topic, which is cheap eats and places to see in D.C. I hope that I will come across an interesting topic idea over the break.

So after break I have come up with two ideas that could possibly work for this up coming assignment.

1.) texting and college students
A no texting while driving ban may get passed in the state of Maryland and I would like to get students perspectives on the new legislation.

2.) eating on campus versus outside of campus. I can determine whether students prefer campus foods oppose to fast foods off of campus and whether it is cheaper to eat on campus or not.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Reading vs. Listening

Summary leads for print/online stories slightly differ from audio summary leads. 

Print/online summary leads incorporates the 5ws and H, where as, audio leads narrow down the descriptions and give a short but sweet lead in order to keep the attention of listeners.

After scouring the Washington Post website I found three summary leads that can be narrowed down further for audio.

The summary lead for the  first article O'Malley Set to Move on as Death Penalty Repeal Sinks written by John Wagner  states, 
"Gov. Martin O'Malley is preparing to move forward with regulations to allow executions to resume in Maryland now that his effort to repeal the death penalty appears to have failed, a spokeman said yesterday."

Audio Summary Lead:
A spokesman says Gov. Martin O' Malley continues regulations for capital punishment to resume in Maryland after his attempts to repeal executions failed.

The summary lead for the second article titled  You Tube Video Has Gun-Toting Felon in Trouble Again written by Jerry Markon states, "People who commit crimes usually try to cover there tracks. But an Arlington County man posted his on YouTube--and it landed him in federal court."

Audio Summary Lead:
Arlington county man faces federal court after posting a self- incriminating video on You Tube.

Lastly, the third summary lead for the article Sentence-Reduction Hearing Is Allowed written by Ruben Castaneda states, "A man who was sentenced to life in prison after he admitted taking part in the murder of a D.C. police officer is entitled to hearing on whether his sentence should be reduced because of errors made by the then-Prince George's County judge who presided over the case, the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled last week.

Audio Summary Lead:
Maryland Court of Appeals ruled last week that man sentenced to life in prison for killing a D.C. police officer is entitled to a hearing  to determine sentence reduction.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Fiend For Mexican Cuisine

In America's backyard lies Mexico, a country rich with culture and great food. Tia Queta a restaurant nestled in Bethesda brings a little piece of Mexico to America. 

Washington Post journalist, Moira E. McLaughlin critiqued the restaurant in different segments based on the ambience of the restaurant, the best foods to try,  the foods to dodge, and drinks to quench your thirst. 

The menu features foods like nachos and enchiladas. Appetizers prices are between $3.95-$7.95 and entrees $11.95-$23.95.  The author expressed approval of the restaurant's enchiladas verdes which consists of "a solid dish full of fresh shredded chicken, a little cheese and a bit of green sauce. She also gave a kiss of approval on the desserts such as crepas and bunuelos.

Furthermore, McLaughlin conveyed distastes of the appetizers such as the tortilla soup. 
She stated, "Most disappointing was the tortilla soup, which just taste like tomato soup, albeit for a few strips of tortilla at bottom of the bowl."

In addition, the author also provided a little history of the creation Tia Queta. The restaurant is a product of Robert Montesinos, 60, who immigrated from Mexico 32 years ago. 

Despite the mixed review, the author described Tia Queta as a "casual place perfect for a night out with friends." 

In all, the article gave a balance view of the Mexican restaurant by presenting the positive and negative aspects. Though I personally felt that some of her criticism came off brash, she was nothing but honest. She did not sugar coat anything that she was not satisfied with.

 As far as the menu is concern, I did wish the author told the readers about the other entrees that are available besides the common food that most Americans are familiar with like enchiladas and nachos. Besides the one issue, the think the author overall presented a well-rounded article.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Executing My Story

First and foremost to successfully execute the first story I need to determine what the main/focal point of my story then I can assess what information (sources) I would need to accomplish this task.

Once I determine the angle of my story I will develop questions I need to ask my sources. Then I can set up a time and date to conduct interviews. 

After completing those responsibilities then I can take the required photos for the story. Lastly, I will begin a rough draft applying the WSJ formula and revise, revise, revise. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's All In the Formula

Every story has a formula or structure. Like a recipe there are certain ingredients that are needed and are placed in a specific order. The prominent newspaper named after one of America's famous street developed a template known as The Wall Street Journal formula. 

The structure of the story includes the following:
-anecdotal or descriptive lead
-the nut graf 
-the body of the story
-the ending (the close of the story usually reverts to the subject that was in the anecdotal/descriptive lead)

As an example, a Baltimore Sun article titled Brushing up on dental care demonstrates the WSJ structure.

The story begins with an anecdotal lead about a dental student who asked a kindergarten class how many times a day should they brush their teeth. The children respond to the question by stating two to three times a day.

The nut graf is presented in the third paragraph as it describes that most children know that answer including those children who come from low income homes and never see a dentist. Furthermore, the Cohn gives a brief description of a 12-year-old who tragically died from infected tooth that was not treated. It expands to the next couple paragraphs as it describes the growing problem of children not seeing a dentist.

The body of the story elaborates on the issues with dental care among children. It discusses the development of the Dental Action Committee, which is striving to get dentists to treat more impoverished children. In addition, it discusses the committee's  accomplishments.

The story finally comes to a close by discussing that the committees seeks funding for an education campaign and then the story reverts back to the death of the 12-year-old boy and then it provides further statistics of dental services among children.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Taste Of China For A Cheap Price

 The Mayflower Chinese Restaurant located on Nelson Street in Rockville, MD is serving up hot fresh food for a reasonable price, despite the economic downturn that has left many other businesses on the cusp of non-existence.

The restaurant has been in business since 2004 specializing in Szechuan and Cantonese cuisine. The prices for a meal range between $1.25 to $11.95. The lunch special meals are below $6.oo.
Part of the restaurants success is there ability to keep their prices fixed. 

"We just keep it regular price," restaurant owner, Joyce Kim said.

 For college student like myself, this restaurant is perfect. The prices are reasonable and the portion of food is more than generous. What more can you ask for?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Feature Presentation

With a society that has a shortening attention span it is essential for writers to grasp the public's attention in a creative and interesting way. 

Sometimes visual aids such as pictures may draw a person to an article in a paper or magazine, but what happens when there are no pictures to attract readers.  

Writers have to figure out a catchy way to lure potential readers to their article with a great feature lead. If a writer is capable of getting a person to read the feature lead than there is a greater chance that the person will read the entire article. Feature leads introduce the article and give a snippet of what to expect of the article. 

Feature leads differ from the traditional hard news summary leads because it enables the writer to be more creative. Instead of giving the the classic who, what, when, where, why, and how, which are the elements of a summary lead in a news story, feature leads have more flexibility and does not attempt to compress the 5 W's and H into one sentence.

An example of a feature lead is presented in an article titled Shaq's Last Hurrah by the Washington Post sports columnist, Michael Wilbon. His article discusses NBA player Shaquille O' Neal possible retirement.

He entices the readers to his article with a story telling like fashion. His feature lead states, 
"First, Shaq was in a suit. He was the only all-star in a suit. And a tie. And it was a special occasion that needed to be formally observed." 

Another example of a feature lead is also seen in a Washington Post article titled You Gotta Love the First Lady. No, Really, You Have No Choice.
Staff Writer, Robin Givhan begins her article with, "The rise of first lady Michelle Obama as an icon--of fashion, black womanhood, working motherhood and middle-class success--has propelled her onto a pedestal that would surely give the average person vertigo." The article continues to discuss Michelle Obama as a person and how she's a role model for women.

Overall, feature leads offer interesting and descriptive ways to begin an article.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bon Appetite!

If you love pancakes or french style food or food in general then this article titled Crepes- a -Go-Go in Dupont Circle located on the Washington Post website is the perfect read.  

In the middle of the hussle and bussle of Dupont Circle is a restaurant the specializes in crepes.  

The Washington Post staff writer, Jane Black describes the different types of mouth watering crepes that are available at this restaurant, that has a chain of locations in California and Maryland. This article incorporates the writer's opinions and experience at Crepes-a-Go-Go. 

The article had precise details of the look and taste of the various crepes, which made me crave for some food; however, she did not insert interviews or customer opinions. 

Public opinion of the restaurant or the crepes would have been a nice add to this delightful article.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Beat Blogging

Brainstorming and developing a good school topic for a beat proved to be challenging for me.

I transferred to Towson a year ago and I never felt apart of the community within the university, so I figured doing a beat based on the school would not work out so well.

Since I live in the Bethesda area which is right next door to our nations capital, Washington D.C. I thought a good beat would consist of finding cheap eats and places to see of and around D.C.

I think that this area is great and fun place to explore, and I will try to discover interesting places that most people over look while visiting the area.

Monday, January 26, 2009


My name is Rozalyn Reed. I am excited to have excelled to MCOM 258 and I am looking forward to improving some of my flaws. Last semester I felt uncomfortable conducting interviews with strangers, but I hope that this semester I can overcome that.

I also want to become more familiar with computer programs like soundslides and video editing etc. I am undecided about the career path I want to take once school is done (I have commitment issues). It is difficult to choose what career I want to do for the rest of my working life. I love having options.

Currently, I am interested in broadcast journalism, literary writing (feature stories in magazines), or being a columnist. I think being a columnist will give me the opportunity to bring out my creative and unique style.