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Posted in Uncategorized by Alexandra on December 20, 2009

This was perhaps my most difficult yet most beneficial assignment of my freshmen semester. I was completely unfamiliar with the world of blogging and I was terrified of my task. It took me some time to master the language and writing style of blogs, but I eventually got it.

The blog taught me to regularly follow the news and the vital role the technology plays in journalism. I don’t plan on continuing the blog because I feel that I achieved my original goal of discovering journalism. My angle has expired and is no longer newsworthy.

I plan on creating a Twitter page over break because it will be helpful for my career. Twitter, I feel is more accessible and easier to use. The posts are concise and constant. If you are on Twitter look out for me. I will be there soon under AliInglese. Watch and learn how its done.

Snow Can’t Stop Shoppers

Posted in Uncategorized by Alexandra on December 20, 2009

By Ali Inglese

Here is some local news that caught my eye. It’s funny how determined holiday shoppers are.

This weekend is considered one of the busiest shopping times of the year. It is only a few days away from Christmas and shoppers are scrambling to get last minute gifts and deals. Most shoppers ventured out to malls across the northeast on saturday in hopes of avoiding wintry weather.

Store owners hoped that the snow wouldn’t discourage shoppers from coming in today. Early this morning, snow was being plowed to clear parking lots. Snow plows cleared nearly two feet of snow!

According to WHDH 7News Boston, a female shopper on Saturday exclaimed, “I’m not coming out tomorrow! I’m going to be in my house…with the heat. Merry Christmas!”

The mall in Braintree, Massachusetts was almost empty this morning due to the snow. The dedicated shoppers were rewarded with good deals.

One can’t help but wonder if holiday shopping has become a little much. The fact that people would rather be shopping on a snowy Sunday then spending it with their family’s cuddled on a couch watch movies drinking cocoa puzzles me.

I think that the human interest story was weak and a stretch for news. Locally, Massachusetts news has been pretty mild.

TV, say hello to the internet

Posted in Uncategorized by Alexandra on December 17, 2009

By Ali Inglese

My recent interview with Amanda Grace sparked my interest on this post’s topic. When I asked her about the future of broadcast journalism she said that networks need to modernize. She felt the traditional “anchor to reporter back to anchor” format should change to keep the viewer’s interest. Also, she said it is important for news broadcasts to work with the internet because at any moment people can find news on the internet.

WHDH 7News Boston is doing just that. The news station has placed a lot of emphasis on the merging of TV and the web. The news website is always changing and was recently remodeled. Previously the website had a distracting red and blue background, but now it is much cleaner and easier to read with a white background. All recent news stories are featured on the home page and are neatly organized into categories like a newspaper. Older stories can be found by using the search feature.

Followers can find condensed versions of daily broadcasts in the section as I have previously discussed called News on the Net. It is updated everyday and combines the style of a traditional TV broadcast and the convenience of the internet.

The network wants their news team to connect with viewers. They encourage that their news team to get involved with the internet as much as possible. Recently, WHDH has put video bios of every one who reports and anchors. It is a great addition. Watching it, I felt like I was interviewing Amanda Grace again. The video was information yet done in a very personal way. She talked mostly about her career, but also her childhood and dog.

Check it out! http://www2.whdh.com/newsteam/?id=BO108302

Good job WHDH! The video bios are very interesting. I watched several of the other anchors videos and learned a lot about the station. The personality in the videos made me want to watch the news. I felt more connected to the station. The anchors and news reporters became people who I cared about. I have to continue to applaud the station and their website because they have links to both Facebook and Twitter.

The network has their own twitter page and so do many of the anchors and reporters. Twitter provides constant updates. The latest news can be posted and available to the public.

In order for TV news to compete with the powerful and instant forces of the internet they need to stay connected and expand on ideas. News anchors need to be able to say, here is what was posted on the internet and here is something more. Ultimately, the convergence of the different forms of media will lead to the success of news.

The Interview

Posted in Uncategorized by Alexandra on December 10, 2009

By Ali Inglese

I was finally ready to meet Amanda Grace after studying journalism for two months and immersing myself into the world of news. Since the beginning of the semester I have been diligently following her work on WHDH-TV 7News Boston.

I met her for the interview on Thursday, December 3, 2009 at the Starbucks on corner of Charles Street and Beacon in Boston at noon. She agreed to meet up for fifteen minutes before starting her Christmas shopping. In the emails planning our meeting she teased that I probably wouldn’t recognize her because her hair would be in a messy pony-tail and she would be dressed casually, but I immediately recognized her. Dressed perfectly, she wore a thick red sweater and dark jeans tucked into high-heeled boots. Her hair was pulled back, but by no means was it messy. There wasn’t a hair out-of-place and her makeup was impeccable. She looked so professional and put together. I was glad that I spent the extra fifteen minutes choosing just the right outfit. The interview hadn’t even begun and I was already learning. Her appearance emphasized how broadcast journalists always have to look their best regardless of what they are doing. You never know who might see or what news might break at any moment.

I didn’t expect such kindness, but she was more than willing to respond to any question that I asked. Here is what happened:

  • When I asked her about the most challenging aspect of her job, she said it was having to knock on the door of a mother or father who have just lost their child. She explained that as a journalist you have to do things that you would never have to do as a normal person-things that you don’t even agree with necessarily. It is a struggle to get people to talk to you about dead people.
  • She has held multiple positions in the past such as anchor, reporter and producer and I asked her which one she prefers? She said she loves reporting. That was her number one – why she got into the field. She said she liked anchoring a lot, but that she likes having the mix of responsibilities. She appreciates that she gets to anchor two days of the week and report on two days. Amanda said that you can get burnt out reporting and that its nice to stay inside once in a while.
  • I asked her if she gets recognized often and she laughed and said only the guy at Dunkin Doughnuts who makes her coffee each morning.
  • I had read that her mother was a news anchor aswell so I asked her if she was inspired by her mother. Amanda laughed again and said that her mother tried to prevent her from becoming a journalist. In a way her mother made journalism less scary because she was always on TV. When she was little she actually thought her mom was behind the tv. Her mother was ultimately very supportive but realistic. Here mother told her what the business is about- it’s not glamorous, it’s not easy. She knew what she was getting into.
  • I asked her if she had any inspirations. She jokingly replied that she probably subconsciously follows in her mother’s footsteps. She said that she looks up to reporters that she regularly follows like Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes and Steve Hartman of CBS News. She likes Campbell Brown specifically for her style. As a journalist, you begin to recognize and appreciate the way certain people write and speak.
  • As a college student, I was interested to learn what her most valuable lesson learned at Northwestern was. She said the best thing was that she sent her to Topeka, Kansas to intern at small news station. She was able to work as a reporter for three months while she was still in college! It was a turning point for her because she wasn’t sure if she wanted to focus on anchoring or magazine writing. The internship made up her mind for the future.
  • I know she has covered a lot of stories, so I asked her what story was her favorite. She said that she enjoyed covering the wildfires in San Diego because she was able to go behind the scenes and get a different perspective. Recently, her favorite story was covering Ted Kennedy’s funeral. She felt that she was a part of history and an equal to famous reporters.
  • I wanted to ask her advice, so I did. She said that it is a hard business and I have to be ready to start small. It takes time to get to the places where I want to go. I have to be ready to travel. It’s not glamorous. She said with her first job she was eligible for food stamps. You work ridiculous hours and get below minimum wage. The best possible shift you can get is the night shift. You have to be ready to struggle, but ultimately it is all worth it if you love what you do.
  • I asked about her goals for the future. She said that she definitely wants to anchor a morning show because she would be able to combine the hard news that she likes with personality. Also, she wants to do more traveling in her job.
  • She said that she loves Boston and would stay as long as she could because of the good news market. Something is always happening in Boston, but the only problem is the cold weather.
  • I asked her what drew her to journalism and she replied by saying writing. She knew that she always wanted to write and with her writing make a difference. She expected to do print, but in college she started taking broadcasting classes and she really enjoyed them.
  • When I asked her about the future of journalism, she shook her head in dismay. She said the outlook was bad, but she knew a solution. TV news needs to evolve and go beyond the facts. The basic news broadcast format needs to be modernized because anything that you basically want to know you can find on the internet. Stations need to merge with Twitter and Facebook.
  • When I was following Amanda, I came across Boston TV News: The Scoop. There was a good amount of positive feedback, but also some criticism of her and her style of delivery. I wanted to know how she handles such criticism? She simply said that she doesn’t read it, but her husband does. She realizes that some people are going to like you and some will hate you. People have a remote control for a reason. She laughed and said that most of the emails that she receives ask her about her hair and her clothes.

I am very thankful to Amanda Grace for letting me interview her. It was a great opportunity and I learned a good amount broadcast journalism. I knew the industry was tough, but it was an eye opener to hear it first hand. As for interviewing, I look forward to doing it more often in the future. I enjoyed coming up with questions and hearing her answers.

Thanks again Amanda. I wish you the best of luck!

What’s Up MBTA?

Posted in Uncategorized by Alexandra on November 29, 2009

By Ali Inglese

080529_tragedy_on_t.jpg

It’s Sunday. I am watching Amanda Grace cover the local news and I see that once again the MBTA is responsible for an accident.

According the WHDH Channel 7 News Boston, the MBTA is investigating a deadly commuter rail accident in Newbury, Massachusetts.

63-year old Richard Litkiewicz of Haverhill was struck and killed while crossing in a cross walk to catch a train headed to Newburyport.

Due the multiple devastating incidents, I can’t help but ask what is up with the Massachusetts public transportation system? Why recently,is there so many accidents?

On November 17, 2009 a MBTA train bumped into a service truck at North Station. Passengers were injured on MBTA green line train three days before. In addition, a teen was struck and killed by a MBTA train in Belmont on the 6 of the same month.

Obviously, more research is necessary to thoroughly analyze the causes, yet regardless the MBTA needs to step it up and clean it up. The majority of Bostonians rely on public transportation and deserve to know that they will make it to their destination safely.

Perhaps we need to look into the mechanics to see if the trains need to fixed, maybe we need to look at the employees and how standards can be raised, or maybe we need to look at who is in charge.

Governor Deval Patrick is being questioned.  A current independent report on the MBTA and its finances was released. It challenged the governor’s recent appointments to the Transportation Board.  Legislators claim Patrick appointed political allies despite their lack of experience.  The board is responsible for how transportation is run and has control of billions of dollars in construction, real-estate contracts, and labor agreements.

The MBTA and it’s failure to transport is a story I feel that Channel 7 News Boston should investigate. It has all the qualities of a newsworthy story and if covered the story may prevent future accidents.

Boston’s News Leaders Advise Emersonians

Posted in Uncategorized by Alexandra on November 27, 2009

By Ali Inglese

On November 19 Emerson’s Journalism Department sponsored a lecture about the state of journalism. The lecture held in Emerson’s Semel Theater was moderated by the Journalism Department Chair Ted Gup and featured Boston Globe publisher P. Steven Ainsley and editor Martin (Marty) Baron. They discussed the tumultuous times at the Globe over the past year while presenting a positive outlook for the world of journalism.

Baron acknowledged the collective opinion of  journalists when he said, “Certainly this was one of the most hellish years of my professional career… my determination, my conviction, was to see the newsroom through that very difficult time as well as I could.”

The lecture gave an insight to the difficulty the Globe has recently faced. On April 2, 2009 the Globe  announced it was going to re-open contracts with the unions. Ainsley described how he was distressed by the Globe’s efforts to cut down its debt to avoid being sold by parent company The New York Times Co.

The New York Times Co. bought the Globe for $1.1 billion in 1993. In early April of 2009, it threatened to close the 137-year-old paper.

Baron included how the newsroom staff was reduced by 12 percent and as a result the remaining Globe employees were distressed.

Ainsley continued to mention how the paper’s debt was made up by union concessions, dramatic circulation and rate hikes. He predicted, “Newspapers can’t rely on the old way of making revenue through advertisers. They’re going to be relying more heavily on the consumer.”

Gup then switched the topic of discussion to what qualities the journalist of the future should have and what exactly the future holds for them.

Baron first said the aspiring journalist would need to have a soul, heart, conviction, and determination. He then said that all the traditional skills, interview tactics, research skills, curiosity, and a willingness to talk to people were necessary.

“These days it is also crucial to have skills in transmitting knowledge in all different forms: print, web, and multimedia as well, ” he said.

His last thought was that a future journalist would ultimately be an entrepreneur. “Either on your own, or in a big organization…I think this person will have to be enterprising; it’s not enough to just move up the journalistic food chain anymore.”

While Ainsley and Baron don’t always agree, they both felt that the field of journalism is booming.

“I’m optimistic because if you look at the media at large, it’s exploding,” Baron responded. He continued to acknowledge that the media is increasing creatively and that journalism is actually growing.

Ainsley claimed the Internet is responsible for the growth of the news industry, “More people are reading newspapers than ever before.”

These ideas are reassuring to many potential journalists who have been consumed with negative press declaring the downfall of news.

Keeping me posted

Posted in Uncategorized by Alexandra on November 15, 2009

By Ali Inglese

News on the Net saved me again by allowing me to watch Amanda Grace’s coverage of the weekend news. She discussed multiple stories related to the Boston area.

She first covered the crash of a green line MBTA train. Several people were injured on a train coming into North Station Saturday night. This story is newsworthy because of its proximity and importance. People in the Boston area ride “the T” daily and rely on its ability to safely transport people from one stop to another. The story is important because people were injured. The MBTA trains are typically safe and accident-prone, yet it is important to be aware that accidents may happen.

Next she discussed how Saturday’s night rainy weather led to several floods of local homes and businesses in the New England area. This story displays timeliness because floods just happened and are an urgent concern that need to be taken care of to avoid any severe damage. I was out last night and experienced the heavy rains firsthand and I am glad that WHDH Channel 7 News covered the story.

Lastly she covered two human interest stories. She discussed a new iPhone application that lets people know exactly when their  bus is arriving and a story about a car running into a house. These stories are important yet a little lighter. They are interesting and grab attention. The iPhone application story is a good example of a random fact that many people will find useful.

I enjoy watching News on the Net because it is concise and aesthetically pleasing. The set is the WHDH newsroom. It is modern and professional. The television screens in the background are a little distracting but at the same time they enhance the setting by making it more realistic. The red and blue color scheme grabs the viewer’s attention without being overwhelming. The setting is an important for a news program. Viewers are drawn to programs that are easy yet interesting to watch.

Here is the link to Sunday’s News on the Net

http://www1.whdh.com/

News On The Net

Posted in Uncategorized by Alexandra on November 8, 2009

By Ali Inglese

Good journalists are knowledgeable of all outlets in the news media. News goes beyond the newspaper, radio, and television. Recently, it has become increasingly popular to report news online. Many people get their news straight from the web, including myself. And why not? It’s free, fast, and convenient.

WHDH Channel 7NEWS has current updates on their website. News on the Net provides constant coverage on local and national topics of interest. The segments are a quick lasting about three minutes, yet they are  informational. Each day two anchors present News on the Net.

Amanda Grace anchored News on the Net this Sunday. She sat perfectly poised in a fashionable teal blouse and discussed President Obama’s thank you to the House of Representatives for passing the healthcare reform bill and how he wants the senate to do the same. The other anchor then took over took over and continued the broadcast.

Next Amanda Grace reported how millions of federal stimulus dollars are being put aside for a planned footbridge in Foxburo, Massachusetts. She said how Governor Deval Patrick wants to spend $9 million on connecting Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place in order to creat jobs and boost the economy. She mentioned how state officials agreed with governor, believing that the footbridge is the best way to spend the stimulus money.

Then she reported on a marathon dedicated to Royce Whitaker. The seven-year old passed away this summer when hit by an elderly driver.  With that she closed the discussion and tossed the segment off to weather.

I felt it was important to discuss the significance and need on of news segments on the web. For example, I had to work this weekend in the morning and was incapable of watching Amanda Grace live on the television. I was able to go to my computer and find her covering stories that not only affected Massachusetts locals, but also the entire country.I am not alone. The average American doesn’t always have time to watch the news, but it is vital that as citizens we are aware of what is going on around us. Internet news segments allow everyone to stay up to date without taking up too much time.

It was interesting to watch her. She maintained a level voice that expressed interest in the stories. She was professional, direct, and easy to understand. From watching her I learned that it is important to limit the amount of hand motions made when talking. I know that may sound ridiculous and trivial, but I am Italian and very expressive when I talk. I need to practice limiting my gestures to display professionalism.

What Am I Doing?

Posted in Uncategorized by Alexandra on October 31, 2009

By Ali Inglese

As I said before the purpose of my blog is to learn and discover journalism. I am a freshman broadcast journalism major at Emerson College in Boston. The assignment for my journalism class was to create a blog and regularly follow a reporter or news anchor of our choice for one semester. We must read the reporter’s stories, watch the reporter’s television show, or listen to the reporter’s radio program. Eventually we must meet and interview our chosen reporter.

For the next seven weeks you can expect weekly updates on general reporter Amanda Grace and the stories that she reports for WHDH Channel 7 Boston News. On the blog I will discuss and analyze her delivery and the stories that she covers. In the process I plan on learning her news ‘beat’ which is news that she covers and how she presents it on television.

Now why did I choose Amanda Grace? Back home in Connecticut I would always watch the local news station in hopes of one day being a news anchor. When I first came to Boston I wanted to find a local news station to follow and Channel 7 News appeared professional and up-to-date. I was drawn to Amanda Grace because her tone and personal style. She was kind enough to respond to my email and agreed to meet with me for an interview in early December.

Amanda Grace reports for the weekend morning edition of WHDH 7NEWS. She covers everything as a general reporter including local and national stories. In the past, she has reported on President Obama’s recent speech at MIT to violence in the Middle East.

As for you readers…if any exist…I hope that you learn about the techniques of journalism. I hope to encourage people to follow the news because it is imperative that we are aware of what is going on around us. If anything, I hope to give you readers at least a conversation starter.

I am very excited about this assignment because it will allow me to learn about the professional field that I want to enter in four years. I realize that broadcast journalism is a very competitive field and I feel that this blog will give me an advantage. I realize that I have a lot to learn and I cannot wait to immerse myself in the world of journalism.

Who is Amanda Grace?

Posted in Uncategorized by Alexandra on October 30, 2009

According to the WHDH website, Amanda Grace joined 7News in October, 2008 as a general assignment reporter.  She came to Boston from XETV in San Diego where she covered the 2007 wildfires, border and immigration issues and California’s budget crisis.

Prior to that, Amanda worked at WSET in Roanoke/Lynchburg, Virginia, as an anchor, reporter and producer.  She’s also spent time as a general assignment reporter at KSNT in Topeka, Kansas, and in the Chicago bureaus of NBC Nightly News and Fox News Channel.

Amanda graduated cum laude from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. As a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Amanda loves to ski, hike and get outdoors as much as she can.  She lives in Boston with her husband, Greg, and dog, Casey.

Amanda Grace

“Amanda Grace.” 7 News Boston. WHDH, n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2009.
<http://www1.whdh.com/newsteam/?id=BO108302&gt;.

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