Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The end is near...

Only 2 weeks left of school and that is weird! As excited I am about getting done with this hectic semester, I am getting pretty nostalgic about school.

Ebertfest went great! You guys can check out all of our coverage at

I got to meet Roger Ebert and his wife, and he signed my copy of buzz. I also got it signed by the producer of Let the Right One In as well as the Director and a star of Frozen River. It was a great, great weekend full of great films.

Favorite - Tie between Let the Right One In and Frozen River
Lease Favorite - Nothing but the Truth - it was really interesting up until the really disappointing ending.

Next week is my final issue of buzz, and I think that is going to hit me the hardest about graduating. Joining buzz was one of the greatest choices I made in college. It taught me what I wanted to do with my life. I made great friends, interviewed some amazing people and learned how to be an editor. Sad....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ebertfest Begins

Ebertfest 11 kicks off tonight and I am both extremely excited for it, and can't wait for it to be over. It has been a lot of work organizing coverage for Buzz, but I think it is all going to turn out really well. If you are interested, keep checking throughout the weekend for constant updates.

Covering a festival like this will be great experience as an editor. It will also be the last big thing I do as Movies and TV Editor, so I want to do it right. I will have to employ all the skills I have learned at work and in class to make this run smoothly.

Here is a schedule of what Ebertfest looks like this year. Not really any standouts like in particular years, but I am EXTREMELY excited about Let the RIght One In.


7:00 pm
Michael Wadleigh, Director
Dale Bell, Producer

1:30 pm
My Winnipeg (80 min)
Guy Maddin, Director
4:00 pm
Chop Shop (84 min)
Ramin Bahrani, Director
8:30 pm Trouble The Water (NR; 96 min) Tia Lessin, Director, Producer
Carl Deal, Director, Producer
Kimberly & Scott Roberts

1:30 pm
Begging Naked (80 min)
Karen Gehres, Director
4:00 pm
8:30 pm
Frozen River (R; 97 min)
Courtney Hunt, Director
Misty Upham, Actor

11:00 am
The Fall (R; 117 min)
2:30 pm
Nina Paley, Director, Animator, etc.
6:30 pm
Rod Lurie, Director
Matt Dillon, Actor
9:30 pm
Let The Right One In (R; 114 min)
Carl Molinder, Producer

Baraka (NR; 96 min)
Mark Magidson, Producer
Ron Fricke, Director
Anybody planning on seeing ay movies?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Lecture on Monday brought up the debate on whether or not Wikipedia is a reliable source for information.  Now, I love Wikipedia.  I spend way too much time looking up any random little thing I can think of.  The amount I have learned from Wikipedia is incredible, plus, I am not super awesome at Jeopardy.  

As for Wikipedia's credibility, I used to agree that it wasn't extremely reliable, but then I found this story:

A study found that Wikipedia is just as accurate as Encyclopedia Britannica , and this makes me excited.  

While you can still find ridiculous things on Wikipedia, the fact that the information is almost as factual as the encyclopedia is a step in the right direction in making wikipedia a valiable source.

Hmm..maybe I just love the internet too much.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Moral Issues with Editing

My research for our paper due Monday has had me reading a lot about moral issues that come up with editing.  Not making up stories, sources and plagiarizing are all the main  issues - most of this seems obvious, but people still seem to want to bend the rules.

My research is actually crossing over to my work life, as I am having a problem with some moral issues with a few of my writers.  I won't describe the problem in detail because I am still investigating it, but it has been causing me a lot of unnecessary stress.  

One of the biggest things I have learned about being an editor is that you can not be afraid to be confrontational.  One of my biggest flaws is I am not a very confrontational person, about anything.  I hate to offend and I hate doing uncomfortable things like confronting my writers about things.  I quickly had to realize that it is not possible for me to make everybody happy, and in the end, not everybody is going to like me, and I am just going to have to deal with that. 

The word guerrilla (or guerilla) really confused me today.  I wrote it in my cut line for the photo of Jacob Zuma and just trusted Word in its spelling.  I put "guerilla," and got back the I misspelled it.  Words should have one spelling.  In a language like English that is already confusing enough with homonyms, multiple spellings of words should not happen.  English would be a super confusing language to learn if my first language happened to be Spanish or something.    

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Internet Headlines

After class on Monday, where we discussed internet headlines and keywords, I started investigating headlines used on I wanted to see what keywords brought in the most hits to stories, and how people were finding their way to our site.

the217 has a surprisingly addictive statistics page that shows number of hits per article per day. Since discovering this feature, I have spent WAY too much time looking up random articles I have written or looking at what articles get the most hits on the website.

To my surprise, an article that is in the top five most visited articles everyday is the Beverly Hills Chihuahua review that one of my writers wrote back in October, 2008. Now, why is a review that old ALWAYS in our top 5? I do not believe that that many people care about that movie.

The only reason I can think that it gets that many hits is because of the headline, "Disney meets Paris Hilton." People searching for Disney, or Paris Hilton, will eventually find that article. Certain headlines can increase traffic dramatically.

Other extremely popular articles include the one on pegging (look it up at your own risk) and the buzz's most anticipated tv of 2009.

Man...I love the internet.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

When Words Collide

When Words Collide: A Media Writer's Guide to Grammar and Style has got to be one of the most useful books I have bought in college. In studying for the midterm we had today, I realized that my life would have been a lot easier these last four years with it. I really wish I would have bought it right when I became a journalism major.

Part Two, which is the Topical Guide to Grammar and Word use is so incredibly handy. Not only does it give you definitions of all the parts of speech, but there is a comprehensive list of words that are commonly misused. I will never misuse one of these words again as long as I have this book.

The among/between entry is probably the one that surprised me the most. I always just used those words interchangeably. Now, I know I was wrong. Extremely wrong. "Among relates to more than two persons or things, and between applies to only two."

I also was using convince and persuade wrong, which I am glad was in the book, because it was on the test today.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Printing Press

I had no idea what I was going to write this blog post about until I was walking home from Editing today and I hear this car honk at me. It was my editor-in-chief Tommy Trafton yelling at me to get into the car. I got into the car, saw that one of the buzz photographers, Abby, was there as well. I asked where we were going and got no reply. All they said is that I will know when I get there.

We parked in Champaign and started walking. I noticed we were headed towards the direction of The News-Gazette and began wondering what exactly we would be doing there. It turns out we were going to take a tour of the printing press where the DI and buzz are printed. We have one of our biggest issues of the year coming out tomorrow, so Tommy wanted to see it being printed.

It was a great experience to see where the papers are printed. We leanred that that printing press used to do the Chicago Tribune until last April when they lost the contract. I also learned that to print buzz, the printing press uses about 4 tons of paper.

It was great to see where the buzz and DI are born each day/week. Plus, te guy who gave us the tour was super nice. I reccomend checking it out if you can.