Spring 2015 Newswriting Class

Around the table, from left: Susan Garcia, Talia Alvarez, Jeremy Dvorak, Cecilia Xu, Kristen De Vera, Alex Cardenas, Anthony Bernabe. Standing from left: Josue Thibaud, Andre Figueroa, Alaeddin Albakri, Lyndsey Guida, Damien Grulick, Kyle Dolton, Cheyenne Rada, Cindy Rodriguez, Alejandra Cabrera, Bojana Cvijic, Annie Felix, Daisuke Eguchi.

Around the table, from left: Susan Garcia, Talia Alvarez, Jeremy Dvorak, Cecilia Xu, Kristen De Vera, Alex Cardenas, Anthony Bernabe.
Standing from left: Josue Thibaud, Andre Figueroa, Alaeddin Albakri, Lyndsey Guida, Damien Grulick, Kyle Dolton, Cheyenne Rada, Cindy Rodriguez, Alejandra Cabrera, Bojana Cvijic, Annie Felix, Daisuke Eguchi.

Spring 2015 Newswriting Class

Spring 2015 at NBC Bay Area

At NBC Bay Area with Spring 2015 Newswriting students and investigative journalist Vicky Nguyen (center), June 10, 2015.

At NBC Bay Area with Spring 2015 Newswriting students and investigative journalist Vicky Nguyen (center), June 10, 2015.

Bill 277

By Alex Cardenas


They Are Spying On You

Damien Grulick


Rock the vote

By Andre Figueroa


Stay healthy in high-tech ways

By Daisuke Eguchi


California facing the drought

By Kyle Dolton


Social Media: The Pros and Cons

By Kristen De Vera


Transitioning toward acceptance

Jeremy Dvorak


Homosexuality: Nature or Nurture

By Cindy Rodriguez

Mass Comm Winter 2015

Media Ethics

By Jorian Lewke

The biggest ethical flaw within today’s main stream media is simply in what they cover. I listen to a variety of podcasts and other news outlets that are away from the main stream, and I hear about things that I cannot believe are not national news stories. Rachel Maddow, for example, has been continuously covering stories of trains carrying oil derailing and blowing up in various places, including throughout the US and Canada. There have been 10+ in just the past few months, and fatalities have been high in Canada, but thankfully, no one has been killed from these in the US. These oil trains are derailing and blowing up like bombs, then burning for days and contaminating the area, with the likelihood that people will begin to be injured or die if this keeps happening, and yet I haven’t heard anything about it in main stream media. I understand that ratings matter and they have to figure out how to keep people watching, but I think that leaving stories like this untold only perpetuate their possible devastation.

Media Ethics

Thomas Cyncor

In 2012 the US government asked google more than 31,000 times to remove things from the web. This of course was against googles code of ethics and refused. The government also asked the to hand over personal information on their clients without a warrant, this of course is against the constitution, it seems the NSA hasn’t read the whole thing yet. While the NSA and Googles legal battles are still on going, it isn’t looking good for Google and it looks like they will have to hand over they personal information of their customers but so far it seems they will not have to remove anything from the internet.

Magazine Blog Post

BY JP Michelsen

The tittle of my magazine is “What They Didn’t Teach You” and it is an online compilation of informational articles about the things that we need to function in society, but are never subjects taught in schools. For instance, almost everyone I know had never been taught formally how to file their taxes (probably a useful skill) so there could be articles on how to do this, but also ideas of how best to go about filing your taxes and the ways in which you can try to get the best refund from the government. This is only one example.

Some potential first articles could be:

  1. How to rent a car
  2. How to apply for a loan
  3. How to file your taxes
  4. The pros and cons of health insurance
  5. How to create a budget

The five potential advertisers would be:

  1. Any type of investment firm
  2. Wells Fargo Bank
  3. Bic pencils
  4. Realtors
  5. Restaurants

The cover of the first issue would be a student in his/her graduation attire with a textbook of multivariable calculus in one had and a tax return form in the other. He clearly has no idea what he’s doing in the real world and is just realizing that everything he learned in school was almost completely pointless and useless.

Radio or Television


Length: 5:23

Description: description of how the internet works and connects

Chapter 10: Internet

Quiz Question: What does IP address stand for?

Quiz Answer: Internet Protocol Adress

Internet Blog

When I was in elementary school there was an online game called “Runescape.” I’m sure the game is still just as huge if not bigger than it was back then. Nearly every boy in my grade played to varying degrees, and there were only a few who didn’t participate at all. Most of us spent anywhere from 3-5 hours playing the game as soon we got home from school. The game allowed us to communicate and continue to be together, even when we were at home. It got to the point that most of us would do our homework while we were sitting at the computer playing this game. It became the most substantial portion of my life for a long time. This went on for about 2 years until we got into middle school. The fact that it was middle school changed nothing, our school was k-8, but people just naturally started to drift away from the game. Until there was no one left playing. No one really did anything except get bored. Also many of us started to find other interests that didn’t have time for that excessive amount of time wasted on video games.

Link: http://www.runescape.com/community

Media Law Blog

BY JP Michelsen

Jana Winter was involved in a case that had to do with the Aurora movie theater. She had written a piece with an anonymous source about the incident. The prosecution in the case against James Holmes used the argument that in order for the trial against Holmes to be “fair” the identity of the anonymous source had be divulged to the court. To which Winter’s response was “if a reporter cannot protect the anonymity of their sources, people are not going to tell them things.” I absolutely agree with Winter on this matter. There are people who want to help do the right thing and make this world better, but may face repercussions if others knew what actions that individual has taken. Anonymous sources can only help get information to the public form people who cannot be disclosed.

Article: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/04/06/first-amendment-issues-involved-in-fox-news-reporter-case/

Propaganda in Advertising

BY JP Michelsen

The old spice commercials with Terry crews, use both “Beautiful People” and “Repetition” tactics to sell old spice. Terry Crews is an icon for being extremely muscular and having a very refined ability to move his pecs individually. They used Terry Crews in quite a few advertisements, some of which are in the video attached. The repetition of this icon doing crazy things with his shirt off was extremely effective as an advertisement, because one it caught and held the audiences attention, but also because it was funny enough for people to go and show their friends and have a conversation about it. The combination of Repetition and Beautiful people as propaganda techniques is fairly common. There is Flo for Progressive, the Geico Gecko, Tony the Tiger for Frosted Flakes, and the list goes on and on. This combination works because it puts a face to the brand name and tries to force people to associate and relate to this person on the other side of the screen, which is much easier than trying to make a person relate and associate themselves with a product such as Old Spice Body Wash.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3a6EJAV7U1o

Media Ethics

BY JP Michelsen

There are a select few in the media industry, if any, who are truly ethical. I can speak only of what I know of how the media functions in the United States, but here everything is done with money. When money is involved in any form (i.e. jobs, promotions, bonuses, literal currency) whoever has the money holds power over the paid individual. Everyone has their own agenda, even things like social media, and usually that agenda is to have a successful business. To do this they need to make money. Unfortunately when the only real incentive is money, ethics seem to go right out the window. A phrase that may capture the essence of my point would be, “if you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying.”

Class Highlights

BY JP Michelsen

My media literacy has definitely changed over the course of this class. I always bought into the façade that people involved in the news would be absolutely trustworthy, but I now can realize how that is an impossibility. This class has made me much more suspicious of the hidden agendas behind the smile on the screen and showed me just how greedy most of the world is. Money dictates everything and with enough of it you can make enough people say that 2+2=5; someone may just actually begin to believe it. He who controls the media, controls the world.

Media Law

By: Lyndsey Guida


This case, called Bland V. Roberts, deals with an issue between Facebook and Linkedin. The issue was that employees were getting fired for liking the page of their bosse’s opponents. Six employees were fired, and sued because it disrupted their first amendment right. The supreme Court also ruled their termination unconstitutional. I think that a job’s involvment with an employees facebook shouldn’t be used against the employee, or punished for what they mention or use on a social media site because it does interfere with the first amendment right. Unless it’s harmful to the company or anyone individually, it shouldn’t be used for termination reasons.


By: Lyndsey Guida

This McDonalds ad uses the “bandwagon” technique because it is encouraging everyone to take part with them, in which they’ve served billions of people. They’re appealing to the masses who take part in their companies products.

Proactiv is a very common company that uses the “beautiful people” technique to represent their product. Proactiv is known for always using celebrities to display their “progress” with proactiv so other regular members of their audiences can look up to them and find it more believeable.

Media Ethics

By: Lyndsey Guida

Media ethics – are there any in today’s world of media? Personally, I think the ethics are becoming slimmer and slimmer with each new advancement in the world of media and technology. I feel like the world of media is one big boxing fight – everyone apart of the media is taking jabs at one another to get ahead. When I look at the media, I don’t see it as a way to inform and educate the public, but more as a business for certain products, ideas, and companies to get ahead. I don’t find our media in this day and age very ethical at all. It sad, and it’s even worse to know it’s not getting any better.

Class Highlights

By: Lyndsey Guida

Journalism 2 has definitely made me aware of the importantance of media literacy, and how it affects our daily lives. I now see the media as an important tool, but also as a weapon of manipulation. I feel like the media does more harm than good, and it’s values are more focused on the benefit of companies rather than the public. I’ve learned that the first amendment right is constantly a controversial aspect of the media in terms of if it is actually respected, or ignored. I’ve also become more aware of how media messages affects the impact of media, and how we’re living in an era where it conveys more negative behaivors and ideals rather than positive. There are so many aspects of the media that goes unnoticed or uncared for. This class has taught me how to interpret the media in a poisitive and beneficial way to my education so that my views arent misconstrued or falsified by the negative aspects of the media. I can better my education through the media after this class and will grow as a student of media literacy.

Week 5

By Cheyenne Rada

Length: 5:41

Description: 2This video uses music and pictures to show how media influences us in our everyday lives. She explains not only the terms but also she further explains the effects.

Quiz Question: Social Learning

Answer: People learn by observing


Week 7: Internet

By Cheyenne Rada

I’ve definitely used the Internet to shop before. But my brother has become addicted to online gaming such as destiny and other multiplayer online games. He’s very aggressive and doesn’t take anything lightly. For a while he also had trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. He spends all of his time and money recreating or creating scenes from these games and related movies. It’s very unhealthy and has led to his anti-social behavior, aggressive nature, and heavy weight. He hasn’t stopped but my parents are working with him to get out of the house more which seems to ne helping a little bit but not always.

Week 8: Media Law

By Cheyenne Rada

Privacy was violated when a Princeton student had taken explicit photos of another student while he slept. The article goes into more detail about the case and arguments in it. It also further sets the stage for the incident and actions to be taken in the future. Unfortunately cases like these occur all the time.


Week 9: Propaganda

By Cheyenne Rada

Having a scapegoat to place the blame on like an “evil Japanese man” uses transfer propaganda. The same poster uses Unreliable testimonial propaganda by using the no named Japanese man.

Week 10: Media Ethics

By Cheyenne Rada

I believe media ethics in media are all screwed up. I am sure that a handful of TV personalities are trying their best to report the truth but fact is that they’re still putting their opinions into the article. Also a lot of the time people in media don’t portray positive images. Majority of the time images are negative because people are obsessed with knowing everything that is going wrong in society. People want to know what to fear. But because of that desire for knowledge, they become afraid. Their own desires are playing against them. Since that’s all they choose to view and that’s all the media is willing to portray It’s the only exposure people have to the outside world. Their perfect bubble is burst every night with news of the atrocities occurring all over the world. The fact is that they still won’t be able to find out everything because there’s just way too much. With the emergence of world news people have even less of a chance to see everything. But also because there are too many issues newscasters and producers have to pick and choose which news to show.

Blog #3: Magazine

By: Alexandria Sellers

  • Hopefully Helpful
  • Concept: The magazine is directed by younger individuals and aims to not keep anyone away.
  • Readers – Age group” Approx. 18-24
    • College students and those interested in life after high school
  • Other magazines with the same demographics and ideas are directed by people long out of college and above the age. This one is written by the age group and demographic it is intended for.
  • Five advertisers:
    • Online Education
    • Job Search Engines and Advertisements
    • Vocational Training
    • Housing Advertisements
    • Rental Advertising
  • Five articles you might include:
    • Life After High School: The Pro’s and Con’s of College
    • University vs Community College
    • It’s Not the Apocalypse: Dropping Out of High School
    • Is it Better to Wait? Working Before College
    • Is College for You? Other Options
  • Describe the cover of your premier issue:
    • A galaxy print with the Earth visible in the center of the page. The name of the magazine along the righthand edge with the article title “A Universe of Possibilities” in bold print along the top.

Blog # 8: Propaganda in Advertising.

By: Alexandria Sellers



The techniques use in this ad are: appeal to prejudice and beautiful people. These are used in the implication that women aren’t good at anything and men don’t do anything wrong, or men are better than women. And for beautiful people it is the well dressed people in the ad.

Blog #9: Ethics

By: Alexandria Sellers

What ethics? I find there to be little ethics actually used. I do find PR to be doing astoundingly well. But there have been so many cases of lies and abuse among journalists and news sources that I find it hard to believe in the use of ethics in the media.

Blog #11: Class Highlights

By: Alexandria Sellers

I have learned more about the subconscious effects of media in various forms. I do not view media any differently than when the class began. If anything my views were reaffirmed, due to the scientific evidence presented. I do however understand the evolution of media better. I know actually have knowledge of the development of the media into what it is today.



Week 5: Radio or Television – Blog 5 (LATE)

By: Manuel Jaimes

How Social media is affecting teens

Length: 6:11

Description: Researchers suggest that the impact that social media has on teens is an emotional one; they ask kids and teens some questions regarding their use of social media to see how it has impacted their lives.

Chapter 2: Media impact

Quiz Question: They mention that there are many values that were communicated in shows like ‘American Idol’, etc. What is the number one value that each show and every social media consumer have in common?

Answer: Fame is the number one value

Blog 10, class highlights

Reylene Rodriguez

Journalism 2 had indeed affected my level of media literacy this year. I now am aware how Fox News station has a pattern for not sharing 100% real truthful news. I am not really or never really have been a big news watcher, but during the time of this class and learning the different qualities you want to look for in a journalist or in becoming one, I now know what is correct and what is not acceptable. I would also have to say I do and don’t see media in the same way after this class. Yes the media is still I believe the reason for many of todays problems in society, especially when it comes to the younger generations. But I can also say now I do see how the media goes about things with a motive when it comes to news and media messages and media impacts. It seems as they want to always state the message they are trying to get across, but in a way that leaves the audience to think somewhat like them. Hopefully Myself and the rest of my classmates will continue to spread awareness and be the change this world needs.

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