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American University

For my final project in my Fundamentals of News Design course at American University, I had to redesign an existing publication or website. WVAU has been stuck in mid-redesign, with a great new logo and social media designs done by Art Director Morgan Wheaton, but the website’s redesign was unfortunately halted due for administrative reasons with the AU Student Activities Department (which should hopefully be back in motion soon).

I decided to take WVAU’s new logo and design to a new medium — print. We had always hoped to make a zine for promotional and recruitment purposes, so I designed this with those uses in mind.

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One of the major parts of my Writing for Convergent Media class in the spring 2012 semester was a class project on first-time voters in the 2012 election. The entire class participated in the project, Voting Young.

These are the two stories I worked on:

Social media’s role shifts in 2012 elections
How first-time voters and candidates are following, reblogging, retweeting and liking their way to the polls.
A Storify on social media’s role and how first-time voters are using political social media. 

Student activist energizes a new generation of voters
American University student Noah Gray hits the road with the Virgin Voting Project.
A video with Noah Gray about his big plans for The Virgin Voting Project and how he plans to mobilize young people to vote in the upcoming election.

D.C. music lovers support local record stores on their favorite vinyl holiday

I made a website about the fifth annual Record Store Day in Washington, D.C.,  for a project in my Writing for Convergent Media class at American University’s School of Communication in the spring 2012 semester.

The project features a main story, about section, photo gallery, clickable map and Storify.

Click here to read the story on the website.

Written for my COMM200 class (Spring Semester 2010) in April 2010 for a group project on blogging with a bias. My group’s blog intentionally has left lean, and was graded according to correctly writing with a liberal slant. Original here.

CNN’s ratings are in and it’s not good news. Despite recent months filled with massive news stories like the Haiti earthquake that viewers usually flock to CNN for coverage, viewership is drastically down.

Prominent prime-time hosts have lost almost half their viewers, which raises the question of whether or not their audience is looking for the hard-news hosts CNN offers. And with FOX News’s ratings ahead of the rest, the issue of ideology is now also out on the media table.

Mat Marshall, a freshman at the University of Delaware, says yes, CNN no longer has an edge over the other networks. “CNN’s problem isn’t ideological, it’s the quality of their reporters. Wolf Blitzer and Larry King are boring. Chris Matthews is entertaining.”

CNN’s reaction to this: hire conservative blogger, Erick Erickson. Erickson, writer for Red State, is notorious for writing outrageous things, such as:

Barack Obama could be pillaging poor people in Chicago, shagging every hooker in Washington, D.C., and going to Communist Party meetings with his wife and the media would (A) never look into it and (B) never mention it even if they knew.

Is the addition of such a controversial talking head necessary to CNN? Is this what the viewers want? And, if so, was Erickson really the proper choice? All the negative signs point to “not likely,” and Jon Stewart agrees.

But maybe Jon Stewart himself is part of the solution to CNN’s problems. With the wild success and loyal viewership of his comdey news show, The Daily Show, coupled with the rising ratings of the not-so “fair and balanced” FOX News, news audiences seem to be looking for a bias, a spin, or at least a twist on their news. And in that case, hiring Erickson was a step in the right direction, literally.

Check out NPR’s take on this story.

Source: barackobama.com

Written for my COMM200 class (Spring Semester 2010) in April 2010 for a group project on blogging with a bias. My group’s blog intentionally has left lean, and was graded according to correctly writing with a liberal slant. Original here.

Said on a television show: immediate cancellation by the FCC. Said by the vice president of the United States: marketing opportunity by the Obama administration.

Joe Biden’s nowinfamous description of the passage of the health reform bill has made its way onto a t-shirt, despite the obscene nature of the acronym.

There are things that are a big deal — birthdays, anniversaries, the NCAA Championship game. And then there are things that are a BFD, like delivering health insurance to 32 million Americans.

For $25, now anyone can let the world know that, along with the vice president, they too think “Health Reform is a BFD.”

Written for my COMM200 class (Spring Semester 2010) in April 2010 for a group project on blogging with a bias. My group’s blog intentionally has left lean, and was graded according to correctly writing with a liberal slant. Original here.

The National Republican Congressional Committee began airing ads on Tuesday aimed at the “Flip Flop Five.”

These “Five” refer to the Democrats who changed, or as Republicans are call it, “flip flopped” their votes on the healthcare legislation, first voting against the House bill in the fall, but then supporting the final health care legislation in March. Florida representative Suzanne M. Kosmas is the target of this ad, and other Florida representative Allen Boyd is surely up next to be criticized.

The ad features less than clever lines like “That’s a big flip, she’s a big flop,” and the image of dull gray flip flops worn by a person with yellow, broken nails on veiny feet to personify Kosmas.

This ad not only attacks the representatives, but it also is obvious in it’s opposition of the recently passed healthcare legislation. The National Republican Congressional Committee is using the already notorious phrase “flip flop” from the 2004 presidential race to discourage people from supporting the healthcare bill and encouraging them to not support the current Democrats in Congress who changed their stance on the legislation.

The ad is set to run in the coming days on cable networks in the concerning districts, and ads for the other four “flip flopping” representatives will run next.