The Grammys aired last night. At the beginning of the weekend, no one would have expected that the Grammys would include a tribute to a recently deceased musical talent. News broke on Saturday that pop superstar Whitney Houston died from unknown circumstances. The "Twitterverse" blew up on Saturday night with tweets mourning Houston. The tweet that caught my attention the most was this one by singer Frenchie Davis, retweeted by my journalism professor. How would the Grammy producers pay tribute to Houston, with less than 24 hours notice?
Today, LAtimes.com was full of articles relating to Houston. One was about how friend and mentor Clive Davis said that Houston "would have wanted the music to go on." Davis holds a pre-Grammys party every year, and the article said that attendees were in somber moods after hearing about Houston's passing. The night morphed into an impromptu tribute to Houston, by musicians such as Kinks frontman Ray Davies and singer Tony Bennett.
Saturday, the LA Times wrote that part of the Grammys' tribute to the late Houston would include a performance by Jennifer Hudson. I am not a fan of Hudson as a person, but I think she was a great choice to pay tribute to Houston. Her rendition of "I Will Always Love You" was beautifully sung, but it still can never compare to Houston's cover of the Dolly Parton tune.
Although Houston's death overshadowed the Grammys, the LA Times also covered Adele's multiple wins at the ceremony. The British songstress won in the every category she was nominated for, including album, record and song of the year. According to the LA Times' article, the singer responded, "This is ridiculous," as she broke down in tears and accepted her award for record of the year.
On the other hand, the LA Times also wrote that the 2012 Grammys may have been "the most bloated Grammy show ever." Apparently, certain artists were given more than one segment to perform. I definitely agree with that. But, I was disappointed to read that the LA Times considered Paul McCartney's show closing performance to be "recycled." Since I did not have a chance to see the Grammys, I do not really understand what is meant by the term "recycled." And, most disappointing of all, the article ended with the article regretting the fact that rapper Kanye West was not in attendance.
Someone called Paul McCartney's performance "recycled," and was disappointed not to see Kanye West at the Grammys?
I've mentioned before how much I love the LA Times' Framework, but now I am going to dedicate a whole blog post to obsessing over it. I mean, look at the raw emotion in this picture. The pain on the subject's face almost puts me in pain. And I wonder how the man behind him can remain absolutely stoic. I also love the onlooker's innocent curiosity. The color is gorgeous in this picture, as well. I am not a fan of the color red, but I love how it pops in the background of this picture.
This particular picture makes great use of point of entry. Because of the woman's position in this picture, her hands are the clearest point. The picture would not be the same if the woman was in any other position. The fact that she is positioned like this is what makes the picture in my eyes.
The rule of thirds is incredibly effective in this picture. If this church were completely centered, it would be a totally different picture. The contrast of the rough, grey stone against the clear blue sky makes this picture great, too. Framework makes great usage of many different elements within each of their photographs. Instead continue to obsess over them in my blog, go check out Framework for yourself. Just don't blame me if you develop an obsession with it.
5:00 p.m. on Sunday:
Some consider Superbowl Sunday a holiday. Some have campaigned for the following day to be a holiday. I do not fall into either of these categories. I do not care for football. I do not understand it. I don’t even know when the game starts, I could be missing it for all I know. The only thing that excites me about the Superbowl is the great television that follows it. At least the LA Times has some articles for me to peruse, before I must struggle through watching a few minutes of a football game.
8:30 p.m. on Sunday:
I ended up having to miss most of the Superbowl, and I was not near a TV either. I did hear a lot about Madonna’s half time show, however. From what I understand, viewers were pretty split. I was able to read a little bit about Madonna’s half time show from Rolling Stone. LAtimes.com did a good job of keeping readers updated on the game. However, I was once again disappointed by the LA Times’ lack of tweets during the game. If TV personality Jimmy Fallon can keep up with a few tweets during the Superbowl, I think the LA Times can too.
11:30 p.m. on Sunday:
Well after the game was over, an article about the Superbowl remains LAtimes.com’s highlighted article on the homepage. Not much on the website changed between during the game and after it was over. Once again, with the exception of lacking in the tweeting department, I think the LA Times did a decent job covering the Superbowl.
Noon on Monday:
I was pleased with the LA Times coverage of the Superbowl today. It was interesting to read about reactions to the final score and commercials. I was especially surprised to see Mrs. Tom Brady blaming her husband's teammates for the Patriots' loss. I was also happy to find a more in depth article about the halftime show. From this article, the halftime show sounded absolutely ridiculous, and I am glad that I missed it. With a few exceptions, I was satisfied with the LA Times' coverage of the Superbowl. I almost felt like I had watched it, even though I didn't even catch five minutes of it.
In my Digital Journalism II (Journalism 1550) class, our professor has mentioned that we will partner up with a classmate to create a multimedia story for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. Honestly, I find this project to be the most intimidating of our upcoming projects for Journalism 1550. I think the fact that we, as a class, will go out into the community is what makes it intimidating. I am used to staying within the safe confines of my school to find a story. I know that journalism is all about going out into the community to find the story and I am excited to be able to do that, but it's a little scary doing it for the first time. I was able to take a look at last semester's Journalism 1550's projects, which are on display on my professor's blog. Here is a picture from www.herblowe.com of last semester's students working on their projects. While I enjoyed looking at these stories, I wondered how the pairs found their specific subject. Were they assigned to that person, or did they have to find a story within the community?
The Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service (MNNS) itself is a pretty cool website. I've personally never seen a website like it – I think it is really great to have a website that breaks down news from Milwaukee's various neighborhoods. I don't know much about Milwaukee so this, along with my upcoming class project will be a great way to learn about the city. I was really excited about one particular story I found. The MNNS website featured a story about concerts being held at The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, which is better known as "The Domes." I have always wondered what happens at The Domes and, thanks to MNNS, I know that I will be seeing a Beatles tribute band on Feb. 23.
However, I was a little confused about one thing. I read in the website that the MNNS provides news about the five communities in Milwaukee. In the website's navigation bar, there are only three communities listed – Clarke Square, Lindsay Heights and Layton Boulevard West. These communities are referred to as the "pilot" communities. How long will it be until two more communities are included?
Regardless of some questions and concerns with this project, I am excited to be a part of it.
At first, I could not find the blogs through the navigation tools on LAtimes.com I don't know, maybe my long weekend is finally catching up with me, but I searched for probably ten minutes with no luck. I had to resort to using Google to find the LA Times blogs. Once I found the blogs, I was pretty happy with what I found. Naturally, I immediately checked out the music blog, titled Pop & Hiss. I was pretty excited by the first thing I saw. And here it is:
This may not excite the average reader, but it will definitely entice an aspiring music journalist, such as myself. However, I believe that the blog itself is a great read for any fan of music. And let's be honest... who doesn't love music? From scrolling through the most recent posts of Pop & Hiss, I was able to see the great variation that is included in this blog. These posts ranged from country music news to rock concert reviews.
Now, I found this to be pretty great, as well. The LA Times is on Tumblr. I have always thought that Tumblr is such a cool website, so I thought that it was really innovative to see a newspaper on Tumblr. This is a great way for the LA Times to show off some of its photography.
Since I'm a little obsessed with the LA Times' photography section, Framework, I had to check out the photography blog. Although the LA Times' Tumblr uses pictures to tell stories, it doesn't quite capture emotion as well as the stunning pictures from Framework. This picture of a man during a memorial service on United Nations Holocaust Remembrance Day does just that. The LA Times has a great selection of blogs to chose from, and I wish I had the time to scour each and every one tonight. I definitely encourage everyone to check out at least a few of the blogs.
Let me say up front that I do not follow politics. At all. My main source for political news is the satire from "Saturday Night Live" and Jimmy Fallon's monologue on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." I chose going to a basketball game last night over watching President Obama's State of the Union Address. But, from here on out, I vow to be a more well-informed citizen. So, I decided to see what the LA Times had to say about the address.
The LA Times went in depth to describe Obama's address... and when I say in depth, I mean in depth. I think the article was too long for the internet. I began to read it word for word, but I found myself losing interest and began to skim. I'm sure that I am not alone. I really wish the article would have broken up the 20 or so paragraphs with a bulleted list breaking down the main points that Obama discussed. I think that it would have been much easier on the eye to see these points in a list, instead of searching for them throughout various paragraphs.
That article was the first shown on the home page. But, I was glad to see that the LA Times offered plenty of other articles about the address for readers to choose. These articles were shorter and more manageable. They only focused on one topic. An article discussing Gabrielle Giffords' return to the House floor, in one of her last acts as a Congresswoman, was one of the most read articles on latimes.com last night.
Overall, I found the LA Times' online coverage of the State of the Union to be satisfactory. Their highlighted article was too lengthy in my opinion, but there were plenty of other options to read. One of these great options was a video taking viewers behind the scenes of the writing of the State of the Union. I think this a great engaging and unique piece.
However, I was incredibly disappointed with the LA Times tweeting during the event (or should I say, lack of). I was really hoping for live-tweeting, but all I got was links to their own articles. If you want to read colorful tweets that will entice you into following up on the address, try reading some of Vanity Fair's tweets.
The morning after the address, the highlighted article on the LA Times' home page was about about Giffords' farewell to Congress. While I was touched by this story, I still was hoping for an article breaking down the points in Obama's address. Even the morning after, my opinion of the LA Times' coverage of the address stays the same: just satisfactory.
Here is a fun fact: I was born in California.
Okay. I will admit that where I was born is really not that exciting. But, I found it funny that, exactly 20 years after I was born, I am beginning a blog that will follow the most widely circulated paper in my birth state – The Los Angeles Times.
For my Digital Journalism II class, I was assigned to follow the LA Times. Although I used to live in California, I never read the newspaper. I was a newborn when I lived in California, so clearly I never kept up with current events. But when I did visit the newspaper's website, I was excited by all the stories I saw. The vast selection of stories is complemented by the website's simple design. LAtimes.com makes a great use of white space, bold lines and vibrant pictures.
The website almost explodes with stories on the home page. And, as an aspiring entertainment reporter, I was thrilled to find that the entertainment section of the paper has just as many options for me to explore. The stories virtually cover the entire scope of the entertainment industry. That, plus the slightly sarcastic writing style of some of the stories, will keep me coming back for more.
Although the entertainment section of the website is by far my favorite, my friend Liz McGovern introduced me to what I consider to be the most stunning part of the website. Please, do yourself a favor and check out Framework. You will lose yourself in this beautiful collection that, as the website's description says, "captures the world through photography, video and multimedia."
Within the first five minutes spent on the website, I can tell that this will be a fun semester.