Tag Archives: Reinventing the News


For a class assignment, I started checking out NewsTrust. About a week ago, I had never heard of the site, but after a few days of lurking around the site, I still hesitate to believe that it is an extremely useful tool for journalists.

NewsTrust is a non-profit organization that features news from difference sources including, newspapers and blogs. The site invites its users to review the stories they post and rate them based on facts, usefulness, fairness and originality.

I reviewed three stories. First, I posted a story from Yoga Journal. I always check in with Yoga Journal and see what’s going on in the Yoga world. It’s no secret that I total yoga junkie. Besides providing good information on yoga poses and tips, the site features great first-person accounts. The story I posted was about why yoga is dominated by females. When entering a yoga studio it’s pretty obvious that most people there are women, but I never knew why. This post, written by a man, explains why. A story about yoga and gender roles? This is my cup of tea.

The second story I reviewed was by the New York Times. My favorite section of the New York Times is the Health section. I think the stories in this section are the most interesting, and in many cases, provide the most useful information for our daily lives. The story I picked was about the Environemntal Protection Agency’s attempt to regulate the construction industry to help prevent cases of lead poisoning among children.

The third story I posted was a review of the film Date Night on WBUR.org. I love Tina Fey and Steve Carell, but watching the trailers of the film on television didn’t excite me all that much. The review pretty much said the exact same thing. While it’s always disappointing to read a negative review, it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into.

Overall, I thin NewsTrust is an interesting tool, but not one I can see as being truly successful. I can’t imagine how people other than journalists would use this site. Maybe I’m just being cynical, but I do not think this is the type of site I can see myself using much in the future. At least it’s good to know the tools is out there.


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Matt Carroll visits NU

A few days ago, Boston Globe reporter Matt Carroll stopped by my Reinventing the News class to talk about using data as a tool for journalism.

Carroll is an investigative journalist and has used numbers and data for big stories including one on the deadly hazards in the Big Dig tunnels. The Boston Globe and Boston.com rely heavily on Carroll’s knowledge of configuring numbers and statistics. Knowing how to play with the data is something all journalists should know, Carroll said. He said that even people who are not good with numbers can learn this stuff. If there’s one thing I can say for certain about myself is that I am definitely not good with numbers. Math was never my thing. Ever.

Even so, I understand where Carroll is coming from in terms of how important what he does is. Knowing how to use statistics to make a graph or sort things can really enhance a news story. Carroll did a short presentation on how to use statistics in Excel. I believe that something like this just needs practice. Excel is a complex program, so one definitely needs to use it often to perfect it and limit the number of mistakes.

A few years back when I was on co-op at City Weekly at the Boston Globe,  I sat right across from Carroll for six months. During my time there, Carroll taught me Excel, or at least the basics of it. I must say, there are many layers to Excel but it’s a very important tool to know. Everything I know about Excel I owe to Matt Carroll; and if I can learn to work with numbers, trust me, anyone can.

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Final Project Proposal

As I have mentioned before,this blog is part of my Reinventing the News class. Many of the blog posts have been assignments (fun and educational. win and win).

For our final project we have to profile someone in the media industry. In my case, who better to profile than the man who runs Bostontweet.com? You see, a few weeks ago, my classmate Rachel Kossman did a presentation on his website and twitter account. Tom O’Keefe is putting citizen journalism in the hands of every Bostonian by allowing them to report the news and events through tweets, pictures and videos.

I have sent out an email in hopes of interviewing him, but I have yet to hear back. In terms of other people to interview, I’m hoping to get in touch with some of these citizen journalists, as well as businesses that may have benefitted from mentions by Boston Tweet. I’ll also try to hunt down other local events bloggers to see what they think about Boston Tweet. One blogger that I think would be interesting to talk to would be the person who runs SecretBoston.com since their missions are somewhat similar. It would probably be a good idea to find a media-expert to interview who could give some insight on the idea of citizen journalism.


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Jennifer Lord Paluzzi visits NU

We had another visiter in my Reinventing the News class. This time we were visited by Jennifer Lord Paluzzi, a journalist turned entrepreneur. Her story was an interesting one: She worked as a professional journalist, but when she was laid off  she started her own blog. When she was laid off, she said she was told that her “journalism career was over.” Little did they know. 

While at the MetroWest Daily News, Lord Paluzzi took note of the internet boom. She learned to post things to the paper’s website. She learned everything from film to photoshop to blogs and digital photography.  

“When we started to do video on the website, I volunteered to do all the video and editing. I was looking down the line and thinking that the journalism industry was going away. I needed a plan B.”

Her plan B was a wordpress site called The Greater Grafton Blog. Lord Paluzzi said that she could not rely on the town’s main newspaper for information. One day, she decided to take matters into her own hands and started writing. 

“We have video and we have photos. If a town comes up with something and wants to get it out there, I can get it out there in seconds. For example if a snow day happens, I can have a stream ticker going across the site.”

Her site has expanded and now covers more than six towns. It is so interesting to meet someone who is self-started. Clearly, Jennifer Lord Paluzzi has an extensive journalism background. What is most admirable is that while still at her old job, she recognized an up and coming trend: the Internet. I believe it’s important to be able to look to the fast-approaching future and recognize new trends. Clearly, it worked very well for her. I think what she had to say to the class was an important for all journalism students to know. In a time when most professionals tell us to change our majors, Lord Paluzzi’s story teaches us that with a little willingness, persistence, and hard work we can make it as journalists. 

She also said one of the most hopeful thing I’ve heard in a while: 

“We are the only business in Massachusetts that is hiring reporters.” 

Ah, we can now all take a breath of fresh air.

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