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June 8, 2009

List of Professional Goals

1.  Create a new section on the online site that will attract an audience

2.  Write at least 3 stories that will end up online or in print.

3.  Shoot, edit and produce at least 5 video news segments

4.  Create a blog on the online site that will attract an audience

5.  Follow one particular story or subject in depth for the summer

6.  Gain experience shooting and editing video on a tight schedule

7.  Obtain better interviewing skills

8.  Discover at least 1 story on my own and break it to the paper/public

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June 8, 2009

PRIOR

Please talk with your supervisor about projects for portfolio and resume reel (broadcast, broadcast news students) during interview process. Ensure that your supervisor provides internship director with a list of your assigned duties, as requested when your registration form is submitted.

Research and provide a 2 page report on the organization. Include the history. (i.e. MTV started in 1980 and was bought out by… or mPRm Public Relations is an independent mid-size public relations, marketing and promotions agency founded in 1998 by PR professionals, Rachel McCallister and Mark Pogachefsky. Since then…). Which companies provide their biggest competition? What is your company’s motto/philosophy? What are the opportunities for advancement?

Outline the organization’s current leadership. (Who is your supervisor? Who does your supervisor answer to? Who does your supervisor’s boss answer to? And so on up to the CEO and owner.)

Provide weekly summer schedule, including work weeks and any vacation during internship. Add hours to ensure you meet required minimum hours for registered credits.

FIRST WEEK ON INTERNSHIP

Students will submit a final list of personal goals/learning objectives for internship. What do you want to accomplish? Also, please submit a list of professional goals that include proposed projects for portfolio and /or resume’ reel. These should be related to the duties you’ve been given at your internship site. For example: write 3 press releases, design and develop a brochure, or produce 3 news stories on multiple platforms. Deadline: June 5, or within 3 days of your arrival at internship.

TO INTERNSHIP START

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June 8, 2009

The place that I am doing my summer internship is the Burlington Times-News, located in Burlington, North Carolina.  The Times-News is a newspaper that is circulated daily, mainly throughout Alamance County.  It has an average circulation of around 27,000 people and continues to grow today thanks to new subscription methods and the development of the on-line site. 

The Times-News was founded in 1931 after the merger between the Burlington Daily Times and the Burlington News.  The Burlington News was originally formed in 1923  while the Burlington Daily Times dates back to 1887.  In 1978, the Burlington Times-News joined Freedom Communications Inc.  It is still owned by Freedom Communications today.  The paper has had a long history of journalistic development and has been accepting interns for a number of years.  It partners with many nearby universities such as Elon University and  Guilford College and works with the schools and their departments to improve journalism in the area.   The paper also features a popular “Here & Now” section that is written by high school students from the area.  The online site has also begun to incorporate weather segments involving students from local Elementary schools. 

 The paper focuses mainly on local news coverage around Alamance County.  It obtains most of its funding from subscription and advertising fees although declining readership has forced the paper to take new approaches from a business standpoint.  The paper has won numerous awards including several from Freedom Communications Inc. and from the state of North Carolina.  The Times-News has won several awards in the NNA’s Better Newspaper Contest for general excellence, best sports section, photography and writing.

Residents of Burlington speak about President-elect Barack Obama’s upcoming inaugural address

December 11, 2008

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy

“We can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.
And after all, why shouldn’t we believe that? We are Americans.”- Ronald Reagan

By Daniel Temple
Dec. 11, 2008-  These immortal words, spoken by past presidents during their inaugural addresses, demonstrate the importance and lasting power of the event.  For many, the inaugural address is the initial indication of how the next presidential term will be.
For others, it is a reassurance that the problems and issues of today can be dealt with and solved tomorrow.  On Jan. 20, 2009, President-elect Barack Obama will take the podium to address the nation for the first time as President of the United States.
It is an exciting time, as there are a number of pressing issues that need to be addressed.   Many people are wondering what Obama will choose to discuss during his speech and how he will approach some of these sensitive issues.

graphicThe Economy

“I think he needs to talk about the current economic situation,” says Bill Lashley, a former county commissioner for Alamance County.  “That seems to be the one thing that everyone wants to hear about.”

Former County Commissioner Bill Lashley talks about the economy

Former County Commissioner Bill Lashley talks about the economy

Certainly it would seem as if the economy is the current hot topic.  It seems one can’t turn on the news without hearing about government bailouts, the housing and mortgage crisis and the growing national debt.
“I really want to hear what he has to say about the economy and how he plans on fixing it,” says Tom Walters, a Burlington resident and Food Lion employee.  “Times are tough and I hope Obama has got the answers.”
Many citizens are frustrated that American jobs are being outsourced overseas and jobs within the United States are being distributed to immigrants and non-citizens.
“He (Obama) needs to discuss his plan for companies moving overseas and taking jobs that should be here,” says Lashley.  “It really hurts the economy when Americans can’t get jobs and make an income.”
During his campaign, Obama talked extensively about his plans to help improve the economy.  He proposed a number of measures to help stimulate the process, measures that many hope he doesn’t forget during his speech and subsequent term as president.
“Obama sounded like he had some good ideas to help fix things,” says Walters.  “I just hope he sticks to his plans and follows through.”

The War in Iraq

Another important issue that many want to see Obama discuss is the current war in Iraq.  They would like to see the newly elected President address his plan for the future of the war and whether or not a withdrawal of troops will actually begin to take place.
“For me the war in Iraq has got to be the biggest issue,” says Leigh Thompson, a warehouse supervisor in Burlington.  “My brother is still stationed overseas and so I want to know Obama’s plans for that situation.”
The war, which began March 20, 2003, has affected thousands of American families across the country.  Many feel as if the time to withdraw is now and that America has no business involving itself in a conflict in the Middle East.
“I just don’t think we need to be over there right now,” says Tammy Richards, a receptionist and Burlington resident.  “It seems like a pretty pointless war and there’s just too much going on here in America.”
Others however feel as though the inaugural address would be the perfect opportunity to make a stand and recommit the nation to the goal of establishing democracy in the Middle East.

“I would love to see Obama stand up and tell everyone that we’re going to continue to fight,” says Larry Pullman, a truck driver from Duluth, Minnesota.  “We just can’t back out now, there’s too much at stake.  And Obama needs to convince people that this is the right thing to do.”

Tammy Richards, a local Burlington Resident talks about what she hopes to see in Obama's inaugural address

Tammy Richards, a local Burlington Resident talks about what she hopes to see in Obama's inaugural address

The inaugural address is an important time because it often sets the tone for how the public views a president.  Former presidents such as John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt obtained legendary status after they delivered passionate and provocative speeches during their inauguration.
“I remember when Kennedy gave his famous speech all those years ago,” says Lashley.  “It was very inspirational, hopefully Obama can achieve the same kind of effect.”
“I would like to see Obama present himself the same way he campaigned,” says Pullman.  “He’ll do well if he can remain the same clean cut and smooth person he was a couple of months ago.”
Other would simply like Obama to “give it straight” during his address and just be honest with the people.  They would like to see a president who doesn’t sugarcoat the issues and isn’t afraid to tell the truth.
“Honest is something I think is very important in this address,” says Sarah Fredericks, a retired Burlington resident.  “Especially in light of the recent Illinois governor scandal.
“Its about time we had a president who told the truth and looked you in the eye,” says Richards.
Whatever Obama chooses to address, one thing is for certain.  The importance of this event cannot be understated and it marks a critical junction in our nation’s history.
“We’re at a crossroad right now I think,” says Lashley.  “We’ve committed ourselves to four years of the Obama administration and this address will help show if we made the right decision.”

Math Tools for Journalists- Chapters 9-12

December 8, 2008

By Daniel Temple

This chapter talks about area measurements and the ways in which you calculate and express measurements.  It begins by talking about how there are two ways in to explain measurements, through analogies such as “The casino is the size of a football field,” (Wickham, p. 133) and through simple, accurate numbers.  The chapter talks about how analogies are useful because they allow for the reader to visualize the size of something.  However analogies fail when exact measurements are essential.  In these cases, according to Wickham, it’s better to use numbers.  The chapter then provides a number of helpful formulas to calculate measurements. 

 

Perimeter

 

Perimeter= (2 x length) + (2 x width)

 

Area of squares and rectangles

 

Area= width x length

 

Base of a triangle

 

Area= .5 base x height

 

Circumference

 

Circumference= 2Π x radius

 

Area of a circle

 

Area= Π x radius²

 

 

            The chapter also gives some helpful comparison rates

 

144 square inches = 1 square foot

9 square feet = 1 square yard

30 square yards = 1 square rod

160 square rods = 1 acre

1 acre = 43,560 square feet

640 acres = 1 square mile

 

Skill Drills

 

  1. What is the perimeter of a football field 100 yards long with two end zones of 10 yards each and a width of 50 yards?  What is the area of that field?

A:  340 yards…6,000 yards

  1. Tilman Vookles, a sportswriter with the Alpha Anchor, decided to write a first person account of participating in the Chicago marathon.  The marathon covered 26.2 miles.  If it took Vookles 4 hours and 34 minutes to complete the race, what was his speed?

A: 5 mph

  1. Warren Korp, a consumer reporter for the Stillman Signal, decided to write a story about the growth of highway rental storage facilities.  At the Asmore Storage Facility the most popular rental was a storage unit that measured 6.5 feet by 10 feet by 8 feet.  How many cubic feet was the storage area? 

A: 520 feet

  1. Tia Cooper, the food writer fro the Kenton Key, spent a week translating metric recipes from her immigrant grandmothers cookbook into the American system.  A 2.25 kg bag of flour weighs what in the American system?

A: 4.95 lbs

 

 

           

 

 

 

Skids: A local business that has stood the test of time with good fun, great food and a home style atmosphere

December 5, 2008

By Daniel Temple

One breakfast platter: $3.95.  A Skid’s Special Cheeseburger: $4.65.  A local family style restaurant with over 50 years of history?  Priceless. 

                As Alamance County continues to grow, new restaurants from popular franchises are springing up seemingly every other day.  The recently developed Alamance Crossing features new and hip places to dine such as Red Bowl Asian Bistro, Buffalo Wild Wings and Texas Roadhouse. 

                During the years, as new places have come and gone, Skid’s has continued to be a mainstay in the Alamance community, serving up home style food in a family environment since 1947. 

                “Things really haven’t changed much around here,” says George Katsoudas, owner of Skid’s at Elon.  “We still use the same ingredients, the same recipes and we make it the same old-fashioned way like we have for years.”

                The original Skid’s Drive-In, which was opened in 1947 on North Church Street, Burlington, North Carolina, continues to operate today. 

The original Skid’s drive-in on North Church Street, Burlington, North Carolina

The original Skid’s drive-in on North Church Street, Burlington, North Carolina

 

In 1982, the Katsoudas family, who worked at the drive-In throughout the 1960s and 1970s, bought the restaurant.  They later branched out with Skid’s at Elon, which quickly became a local favorite of the Elon community. 

“I’ve been eating at Skid’s for a long time now,” says Gus Lewis, a retired salesman and Burlington citizen.  “It’s a place where you know you can get some good food with some good people.”

Customers enjoy a hot meal and morning coffee at Skid’s at Elon

Customers enjoy a hot meal and morning coffee at Skid’s at Elon

George Katsoudas, whose family still owns and operates the original Skid’s, says that even though Alamance County has gone through some incredible changes over the years, people still remember Skid’s.

                “We’ll have people that have been gone for 20 to 25 years,” says Katsoudas.  “And when they eventually come back they’ll revisit Skid’s and be shocked but genuinely pleased that we’re still running.”

                The secret to Skid’s success, Katsoudas says is in the way they treat their customers. 

                “The people who run this place really care about the customers,” says Katsoudas.  “We love to see people come in here with their families and years down the road we’ll see them bring kids of their own.”  

                It is this kind of environment that makes Skid’s so attractive, not just for local citizens and residents, but for Elon University students and faculty as well.  Skid’s provides a number of services to the university including pre-game meals for Elon coaches and athletes. 

                “I love to eat at Skid’s,” says Steph Hicks, a junior and a cheerleader for Elon University.  “The servers are really friendly and I’m in love with their pancakes.”

                Many local restaurants survive these days by finding a niche customer group and relying on their continued service.  However Skid’s has proven that local businesses can continue to grow and attract new customers.      

                “The great thing about Skid’s is that you get to meet all sorts of people,” says Linda Robertson, manager of Skid’s at Elon.  “It’s not for the rich, the poor, the old, the young, it’s really for everyone.”

                The restaurant, which goes through about 17,000 lbs of food per year, is run with the philosophy that fresh food and preparation is instrumental in the quality of the meal.  With so many tantalizing options, the hardest decision is often what not to order. 

                “My favorite item has got to be the pancakes,” says Hicks.  “I could practically live off of their pancakes.”

                “Most people who have never come in before will order a burger or some kind of sandwich,” says Katsoudas.  “Once they start coming back, they love to try new items like the meat loaf or the chicken and dumplings.”

          

Katsoudas (on left) talks to customers as they enjoy an old-fashioned, home style meal

Katsoudas (on left) talks to customers as they enjoy an old-fashioned, home style meal

                 One thing that Skid’s prides itself on, according to Katsoudas, is the way people who work there give back to the community.  This is achieved by pleasant conversations, in which the Skid’s employees not only ask, but listen to their customers.

                “We get people coming in here and we don’t hesitate to ask how they’re doing or see how they’re going,” says Katsoudas.  “It’s in this way that we get to know people and start to build relationships with them.”

                “Skid’s really has a good sense of community,” says Hicks.  “I’ll go in there and they already know my order, which is something you don’t see every day.”

  At a time when economic woes seem to be troubling everyone, places like Skid’s show that there are some things that are just more important than the almighty dollar. 

“Business-wise you know you want to provide a good service and be successful,” says Katsoudas.  “But what we really want to do is give back from the heart.” 

As for the future of Skid’s, Katsoudas is confident that freshly prepared, old-fashioned food and service will be around for many years.  He estimates that he has several more years of hard work ahead of him and when the time comes to pass on the Skid’s legacy, he’ll make sure that whoever buys the place understands the value and meaning of community.

“I’d say I still have about 20 to 25 years in which I’ll run this place, and I’ll do it with the same hard work and care that I’ve always had,” says Katsoudas.  “And when I finally sell Skid’s, I’ll be looking very carefully to ensure that the next owner will commit the time and energy necessary to make Skid’s what’s its always been.” 

 

 

Morning News Blog

December 3, 2008