Category Archives: Jour 410

Three Rapes Too Many

Within the past nine days the Cal Poly community has experienced something unimaginable: three women have come forward saying that they were raped. The first rape occurred on Saturday, May 7 at the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon (Sig Ep), the second (May 12) and third (May 15) at on campus apartments where many second year students live. Although alcohol was involved in all three assaults, police are saying they are three different incidences and that none are linked.

The initial press release that was sent out by campus police after the rape at Sig Ep caused an uprising with students who felt as though the campus police were blaming the victims for what happened to them. Once the second rape was reported, President Jeffrey Armstrong sent out an e-mail to the campus community saying how sorry he was for the women involved and asking how the campus can become a community of change following these incidences.

His e-mail states: “Beyond our concern for the women involved – and my heart goes out to both young women — the most useful questions we can ask right now are simple: What can we learn from these incidents? What more will we do as a community to prevent sexual violence? What more will we do to eliminate use of illegal drugs and reckless consumption of alcohol?”

Many students have rallied behind the women, saying that, no matter what, the women are not at fault. Their statements come in contrast to yet other students who feel as though some of the blame should be on the women who perhaps drank too much at a party or don’t remember hooking up with the guy that they ended up sleeping with. One student has turned himself in with connection to the Sig Ep rape; the two other suspects have not been arrested and will remain out of police custody until the police have figured out how to proceed with the evidence and arrests.

Students who know the man who turned himself in are confused and unsure of what the real story is. Many people don’t realize that most rapes are committed by somebody the victim knows.

Joseph Trupiano, the student who turned himself in with connection to the Sig Ep rape, has been described by friends as caring, compassionate, and “a stand-up guy.” Many of them do not understand how he could be involved with such a serious crime.

Armstrong also explained how important it is for fellow students, friends, and party goers to stand up and stop acts of sexual violence in the future. “This is not who we are as members of the Cal Poly community,” he explained. “This is not merely unacceptable behavior; this is deplorable, contemptible, infuriating behavior. Perhaps some who failed to report what they knew stemmed from a fear that they would be in trouble as well. That’s a change in culture we must embark on immediately. Others, perhaps, simply didn’t care. I don’t know that we can fix that sort of calloused behavior, but we surely must try.”

Local media stations have been quick to pick up on these stories. Questions have arisen about whether these reports show an increased number of sexual assaults, or whether the reports simply show an increase in confidence that coming forward about rape will be taken seriously. President Armstrong has set up a task force in order to figure out how to address the most recent rapes, as well as prevent similar acts of sexual assault from happening in the future.

Here are links to stories by KSBY, KCOY, and The Tribune.

Update: the story has most recently been picked up by bigger news sites such as the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Jour 410


A Headline of Eye-Catching Proportions

Any journalist will tell you that a good headline is one of the most important things to include in an article. The headline tells your readers what the article is about – just about everybody bases whether or not they are going to read an article based on those few bold words. The following are some of today’s headlines from a few local news websites and why I think they were successful or not.

Good Headline: Jury Finds Santa Barbara Woman Guilty of Stealing From Nuns – This headline was effective because it clearly states what the story is about, but leaves enough mystery for the reader to stay intrigued and want to keep reading. Unfortunately the article was not as interesting as the headline lead on, but the headline accomplished its mission: to intrigue me enough to make me keep reading!

Bad Headline: National Fraternity Tells Local Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon to Cease Operations During Rape Investigation – Although I find this story interesting and somewhat applicable to my own life, this headline does not succeed in encouraging me to keep reading the article. The headline says the most important information about the story and does not leave enough mystery or suspense to create a desire for me to keep reading. Perhaps a better headline would be “Local Fraternity Suspended During Rape Investigation” – although similar, the reader has to click on the article and read a little bit more to figure out the entire story.

Good Headline: Large Scale Meth Bust in SLO County –  Maybe it is a personal interest thing, but every time I see an article about a drug bust I am always intrigued and tend to want to find out more about the story. This headline is short and sweet, but also leaves the reader wondering certain questions that can only be answered by reading the rest of the article; questions like where, exactly, the drug bust happened, who was involved, and what “large scale” actually means.

Bad Headline: Family of Ducks Close Lanes on Highway 101 – Despite the obvious “who cares” factor about this story (I mean, really, a family of ducks?), this is another headline that doesn’t leave much to be discovered by clicking through and reading the rest of the article. The article didn’t really include anything of substance, besides the fact that Southbound 101 was closed for a while. A better headline could be “Unusual Events Close Highway 101” – people would want to read the article to figure out what was “unusual” about the closure.

Good Headline: Local Bank Branch Robbed Twice in Same Week – This headline gives enough information to make it interesting, but not too much information that I don’t have to read the rest of the article. The headline makes me want to click the link and read the entire article because I have a lot of unanswered questions: which bank? have they caught the people responsible? when did it happen? what is being done about the robberies?

Bad Headline: Search for Suspect Continues – Unlike other headlines that I have pinpointed, this headline doesn’t give enough information. Although one would think that the mystery associated with the missing information from the article would cause me to want to know more, it was so open and indefinite that my eye just kind of skipped over the article. A little more information would probably cause me to be more interested. A headline like “Armed and Dangerous Drug Suspect Still at Large” would cause me to want to know where and when he was last seen, who he is, and what he is wanted for.

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Posted by on May 11, 2011 in Jour 410


no Tomorrow for Today co-host Meredith Vieira

It was confirmed today that one of America’s favorite morning news anchors, Meredith Vieira, will be leaving NBC’s Today in order to spend more time with her family. Entertainment and news sites alike have been discussing the possibility of her departure since April, but it was only this morning that Vieira confirmed the rumors on today’s broadcast. Vieira explains, “I really hope to stay in the NBC family, that’s my goal, it just won’t be sitting at the couch everyday.” Vieira, who took over when Katie Couric left the show in 2006, will co-anchor the show for the last time on June 8, 2011. (Side note – Katie Couric is also leaving the CBS Evening News. Read the CBS announcement here.)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Today page on MSNBC’s website has an article explaining Vieira’s reasoning behind leaving the show. The article, which includes an image of the Today team as well as links to videos, photos, and reports by Vieira, explains that Vieira would like to spend more time with her family. Speculations about declines in her husband’s health have been circulating the media recently, however Vieira explains that he is currently in good health and that she is looking forward to spending more time with him and their three children.

“Time is one of those weird things,” says Vieira. “You can never get enough of it. It just keeps ticking away. And I know that I want to spend more of mine with my husband Richard and my kids Ben, Gabe and Lily.”

Although MSNBC was, of course, the first news site to report on Vieira’s departure, other news sites such as ABC, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, and many more have posted similar stories. Entertainment sites such as People, the Huffington Post, and even Perez Hilton have also posted stories about the popular anchor. Many of the articles posted by other news and entertainment sites include short articles about Vieira and her decision to leave the show, as well as information about Matt Lauer and the rest of the Today cast. Most of those sites have a copy of the AP article about Vieira, and perhaps a photo of Vieira (some with Vieira and the rest of the cast). None are as in-depth as MSNBC’s report, however.

Local NBC affiliate KSBY has released their own video clips of Vieira’s announcement, along with commentary on the announcement from Daybreak co-anchors Richard Gearhart and Carina Corral. Other local news station KCOY has not covered the story at this time.

Vieira’s departure will bring along some changes in the organization of Today. It was announced that Ann Curry, an anchor and foreign correspondent for Today, would be taking Vieira’s co-anchor position. Curry’s position will, in turn, be filled by Natalie Morales. Curry explained of the reorganization of positions, “we get to keep it in the family.” Although there have also been rumors that Matt Lauer will also be leaving the show, the Today co-anchor denies those rumors and explains that he loves his job and won’t be going anywhere soon.For more information on Vieira’s departure, visit any of the sites listed above or simply type “Meredith Vieira” into your search bar.

Fun Fact: Meredith Vieira and soon-to-be-ex co-host Matt Lauer share a birthday – December 30

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Posted by on May 9, 2011 in Jour 410


Video Editing – Liz Layton on Cal Poly

A short video displaying some video editing techniques. Keep your eye out for more videos I post as my skills develop!

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Posted by on May 3, 2011 in Jour 410


Multi-Media Reporting: The Ariel Wesler View

Multi-media reporting is becoming more and more prevalent in the world of journalism – broadcast and print journalists alike are asked to adopt more skills and be more versatile when it comes to their reporting styles. Ariel Wesler, a broadcast journalist from local station KSBY, agreed to meet with me so that we could talk about journalism, multi-media reporting, and the beautiful Central Coast.

A graduate of USC, Wesler has worked for different stations throughout the West Coast. He ended up in San Luis Obispo a few years back and is very happy with his placement. Wesler explained to me that he is accountable for his own filming, reporting, and video editing in order to get his story ready for the 5 o’clock news cast every day. As a reporter for KSBY he is required to update his story online at least three times a day, not to mention post on Facebook and other social media sites.

One way KSBY is different from other news stations is that it requires its reporters to not only update their stories on the web, but also they are expected to update the Facebook page and let the station’s followers know about the journalists’ personal lives, rather than just the people on the TV screen. Ariel uses Facebook and other social media sites in his personal life, as well as his professional life. He loves being able to receive instant feedback from his followers. “The best part of my day is when I get feedback from viewers,” he says. “You are starting a conversation, you may have changed somebody’s day. You have a lot of power as a journalist – you have the chance and the opportunity to change public perception and I think that is something you should be proud of.”

As far as the future of journalism? Well, even though the topic is extremely prevalent not only in journalism schools, but in the industry in general, Ariel doesn’t think the industry is going anywhere fast. He explains, “I’m excited. I think my job will definitely be relevant… I don’t think our industry is going anywhere, I don’t think it’s dying at all.”

Whew – as a student who will soon graduate with a journalism degree, that is nice to hear.

Note: the original interview took about 20 minutes – this is an edited clip. Leave me a comment if you would like to hear the full version of the interview.

My interview with Ariel Wesler was extremely interesting and eye opening. A big thank you goes out to him and the rest of the KSBY staff who were so helpful over the past week!

Want to read some of Ariel’s stories/see some of his videos? Visit the KSBY website and search “Ariel Wesler.” Here is a link to one of his favorite stories: Teens experience dangers of distracted driving.

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Posted by on April 28, 2011 in Jour 410


ASI Elections – Where Your Voice is Heard

With student government elections coming quickly students may be wondering who they should vote for as ASI president. Because Cal Poly has made it so easy to vote – all you have to do is log onto your student portal and click on a name – it is important that students are informed about the candidates and vote for the person they feel fits their needs best, rather than just clicking on the name they recognize. The ASI website  offers information not only about the election, but ASI activities as a whole.

This year there are two presidential candidates – Daniel Galvin and Kiyana Tabrizi. I had the opportunity to speak to both presidential candidates and get some information about each of their campaigns. Within the next week, the Mustang Daily will be printing articles about the different candidates and their platforms. Until that happens, however, here is a brief look into what each candidate stands for.

Daniel Galvin is a fourth year sociology major with a strong interest in governmental affairs – just yesterday he was in the state capital lobbying on behalf of Cal Poly students and the CSU system. His main concern as an ASI presidential candidate is to address student concerns and make their voices heard. He said that throughout the past year, as a member of different Cal Poly organizations and clubs, he has heard a lot of concerns by fellow students. The main issues he wishes to address, however, are associated with sustainable living. Galvin says that he hopes to continue former president Angela Kramer’s program Empower Poly which would establish a green innovation fund and allow students to promote sustainability throughout the Cal Poly campus and the local community.

Galvin also explains that he hopes to increase communication throughout the university by using social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube. If elected president, he will upload weekly videos about what is going on throughout the Cal Poly campus and ways that Cal Poly students can get involved. “I acknowledge that not everybody is involved in student clubs,” explains Galvin. “It’s important that we reach out to more Cal Poly students.” Galvin wants to make sure that the student voices are heard not just by other students, but by student government, Student Affairs, and administration.  Tricia Rosas, a music student at Cal Poly, says of Galvin, “he is reliable, organized, responsible and always does what he says he will do, often more. He parallels Sarah Storelli (current ASI president) in involvement, ambition … and dedication to doing the best and most that he can for students.”

In order to reach out to all students, Galvin expresses the need for a more inclusive environment at Cal Poly – one that welcomes and encourages the different types of people who make up the student body. By promoting diversity in the most fundamental way, not just diversity of race, but diversity of gender, opinions, expressions, and personal experiences, Galvin aims to be a connection between administration and students. “My number one priority is to be visible and accessible to all Cal Poly students.”

Kiyana Tabrizi is a fourth year political science student with a minor in business. Where Galvin is more on the political side of the election, Tabrizi hopes to appeal to the emotional side of student needs. She explains that even a year ago she didn’t know she would want to be the student body president, but as she got more involved with student life and started working for ASI she realized that she wanted to work to close the separation between students and government. Tabrizi explains that ASI’s “purpose is to be a resource to the students … to information, getting change on campus, to working with administration, whatever it may be,” ASI should be the connection.

Tabrizi’s main initiative is to better inform students. “[The students] view us as up on this weird platform,” she says. “We are just students, we are working for them … We hold each other accountable.” She expresses concern that there is a separation between the knowledge that is given to the student body as a whole and that which is given to the 45 students in ASI. Tabrizi wants all students to be as informed about what is going on in regards to students fees, the rec center, and any other topics which are important to and effect the student body as a whole.

The main way in which Tabrizi hopes to appeal to the voters is by encouraging and listening to the voices of the students. “I want to collaborate and I want to communicate,” she explains. “By collaborating and communicating, I want to be the students’ connection.” Tabrizi also knows what issues are important to students right now. The rec center, the food on campus, and class availability are the top three issues on her list. But it’s not just the major issues she wishes to address – she wants to hear all issues, large and small, when it comes to improving the Cal Poly experience. As ASI president, Tabrizi explains that she will do everything in her power to address those issues most important to students. Of ASI she says, “The students’ goals are our goals, the students’ plans are our plans.”

ASI elections are not for another week, but a key to having the voice that Galvin and Tabrizi wish you to have is to get informed, stay informed, and VOTE. Progress and change are only possible if you know the issues, voice your concerns, and ask questions. Both candidates will have booths set up in the UU Plaza for the next week  and would love to answer any questions you may have, or just discuss what is going on throughout the Cal Poly campus.

Want to know more? Make sure you stay updated by checking out the Mustang Daily newspaper every day or by logging on to the MustangDaily website.

Also, each candidate has their own website and Facebook page with campaign information, photos, and more. Check out their links:

Daniel Galvin: Facebook and Website

Kiyana Tabrizi: Facebook and Website

Once again, here is the link to the ASI website and the ASI elections Facebook page.

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Posted by on April 19, 2011 in Jour 410


Professional Facebook a.k.a. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional networking site which connects people in the professional world. Students use it to find jobs, professionals use it to connect with colleagues new and old, and people from similar industries connect to other businesses in order to collaborate or simply discuss recent trends. LinkedIn serves as a sort of online resume. In addition to uploading cover letters and resume information, people can also write recommendations, join groups, send LinkedIn e-mails, update statuses, and search for jobs. It is like a professional Facebook.

Unfortunately, LinkedIn is not like other social media sites which are gained at the more “fun” side of the industry. LinkedIn – because it is a professional site – does not help drive people to personal blogs such as the ones we created in class. On the plus side, LinkedIn does include applications (similar to WodPress Widgets) with which you can link your blog and upload recent posts. One may decide which posts to link to their LinkedIn account by tagging the post as “LinkedIn.” The post will then be automatically uploaded and posted on the LinkedIn profile. I have not posted my blog on my LinkedIn account yet because there is some update work that needs to go into my LinkedIn account.

I did, however, post the link to my Facebook article on websites such as Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon. I did not see any sort of increase in activity to my article. Perhaps I need to be more diligent about it, or maybe I need to work on making more interesting headlines for my blog posts.

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Posted by on April 14, 2011 in Jour 410

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