Thursday, March 25, 2010

Clothing stores involved in journalism

Urban Outfitters' is much more than an eclectic clothing store.  Connecting shoppers through new medias like twitter, iTunes, and facebook, UO also has a website that not only houses a blog, but a Features page containing extensive stories about fashionistas and models. Although their specific layout is a little sporadic I absolutely love the idea.

Journalism has branched out in many different areas, and now journalists that love fashion can write for more than just magazines like Elle and InStyle. Here is an off-the-street feature about a French university student. Not only does it show off UO's new styles and is another form of advertisement, but it opens up their store to a new audience-- readers! Even for those not interested in fashion, check out what UO has attempted in the field of journalism. I think it's great!

Urban Outfitters Feature

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuition prices anticipated to raise at popular Washington universities

Lindsey Treffry | The Communicator 

Two-year students planning to attend major public Washington universities will see a steep hike in tuition prices.

On Feb. 3, senators unanimously passed the Washington State Senate Bill 6562, giving Washington State University, Western Washington University, and the University of Washington greater tuition setting authority.

"Beginning with the 2011-12 academic year, reductions or increases in full-time tuition fees for resident undergraduates shall be determined annually by the governing boards of the state universities," the bill states. The bill allows the universities to raise tuition up to 14 percent in any given year so long as tuition increases do not exceed 9 percent over a rolling 15-year average. 

"It's already hard to pay [tuition for a two-year college] and it's going to be difficult to pay for a four-year if tuition is doubled," said Nursing pre-major Kendra Reynolds.

According to Peter Sterr, the Vice President of Communications at the Washington Student Association (WSA), this means
"tuition may raise 14 percent next year, 14 percent again the following year, and 14 percent again in 2012-13, before it is forced to retreat to single-digit increases." If tuition is raised by that amount every year, in eight years, tuition could double.

The WSA, a non-partisan corporation serving as a channel for student organizing and advocacy at public colleges, has worked to keep Bill 6562 from passing. On Feb. 4 and Feb. 5, the WSA organized students for class walkouts and rallies, Sterr said in an e-mail. Although unsuccessful, WSU had approximately 300 attendees at their rally, while UW brought about 300 students to Olympia to prevent the bill from passing.

According to WSA's Executive Director Mike Bogatay,
there were five other bills discussed in relation to education. Of the five proposed, the only bill that did not pass required objective measurements for performance agreements between universities and the legislature. But a similar bill-- which remains in the House of Representatives, sets specific, objective standards for performance agreements.

"Students are just saying 'no,'" Bogatay said. "
There are two pieces of legislation to change tuition policy in the House of Representatives that are supported by students."

These two bills if passed, establish a more deliberative approach for determining tuition rates. They ideally will consider each university's role, while keeping them financially accountable.

Without approval of these two bills, students should note the affects of Bill 6562.

Sterr said students should worry about that fact that the bill, "eliminates public oversight of tuition increases... students have little recourse if their tuition increases at the maximum levels."  Students should also be weary of the fact that this bill takes another step towards the privatization of our public colleges and universities, Sterr said.

Although the bill doesn't affect two-year colleges, it is students who plan on transferring to WSU, UW, or WWU who will see the hike in prices. According to Sterr, if students want to take action against tuition raises, they need to press student governments or other advocates to take an active role in the cause. This can be done by connecting with WSA, writing letters to legislators, and rallying on campus.

"We need to show legislators that we are organized, can mobilize, and will turn out to vote in November," Sterr said. 

As seen in Issue 41.7 of The Communicator

Monday, March 8, 2010

My "Wordle"

Introduced to me by Mark Luckie in his 10,000 Words tweet, along with the Oscar speech Wordle compilation. Here is my "wordle", all about me! To check out more, or create your own, go here! Click to enlarge the picture for a better view.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Here is a great place to store an online portfolio, or give people all your links to your social networking sites! Check it out:

ACP Media+ Conference

I had the honor of representing our newspaper in the ACP Media Plus conference down in Phoenix, Arizona. After a Thursday, 10am flight and one layover in Salt Lake City, Utah, we arrived at the Wyndham Hotel in the heart of downtown Phoenix. The hotel was gorgeous (the nicest place I've ever stayed) and the decoration was tasteful. That night Jason Nix (advisor), Wendy Gaskill (other student) and I ate at The Matador Restaurant where I had a delicious fajita taco salad. Wendy and I took a late-night trek to find a CVS for crucial snacks and "needs". At first we enjoyed the scenery and took lots of pictures and videos of the cool art and buildings downtown. After a mile or so, with aching feet we finally found the CVS. We were exhausted and decided to ride the tram back to the hotel, which was a new experience for me!

Friday started off with a Starbucks latte and educational sessions. I went to "Database investigative reporting on campus" by ASU's Steve Doig. I learned the history of investigative reporting, and about great investigative reporters like Gene Miller, Seymour Hersh, and the classic Woodward and Bernstein. The second session was "The Art of Access: Strategies for acquiring campus records" by author David Cullier from the University of Arizona. He discussed in-depth story ideas, consumed of concealed weapon permits, food inspection reports, text message records, and campus incident reports. He provided letter outlines for people trying to conceal reports from newspapers that are legal and public record. He also noted that there are psychological strategies to getting such records like: reciprocation, commitment, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity. The third session of the day was "Five Stages of a Story/Coaching Writers." These five stages consist of Idea, Report, Organize, Draft, and Revise. The session moderator provided a new way to map your stories for more information, and also pushed reporters to ask the question 'why?' to get a more in-depth story. For lunch, Jason and I went to a sandwich shop on the outskirts of ASU's campus. We had a long college discussion, and he made me realize it's okay to get out of my comfort zone and apply to other places that aren't just in Washington State. After touring the campus and visiting The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, I saw that Phoenix and this college may be a great place to apply for. Why not?? We returned to the hotel and the last session of the day, lead by Chris George of The Arizona Republic, was "Designing Page One For Maximum Impact and Maximum Enjoyment." He said the three credentials for a good front page includes volume (photos, text), tone (photos, art, typography, design tricks), and sex appeal (subject/presentation). He also provided some great websites for design ideas: and After a light dinner, Wendy and I went down to the pool. There we met some friends from "The Navigator News" and "The Horizon." We talked about our newsrooms and played marco polo until the pool closed.

Saturday began with a session by Mary Ann Pearson, a baptist university newspaper advisor, called "12 Steps to Building a Successful Team of Skilled Journalists." Some steps included recruitment, google docs, AP style, attending conferences, entering contests, and internships. The next session "Selling the complete package" by Paul Bittick of CPU, addressed advertisement revenue. I learned that ad sales on the website should not be geared towards students, but towards incoming college freshmen, alumni, and parents of students. Some ideas spawned in my head, like: multimedia pop-up boxes, post-it note ads, and advertisement of other universities. Jason and I went to the ASU shopping center and ate at Hurry 4 Curry, a delicious, new-age Indian style restaurant. After returning to Wyndham, Jason, Wendy, and I then attended our newspaper critique and found some great ideas to better our layout, that are easy to change and would instantly better our paper. The last and best session I attended was "How to be an editor without killing someone" by Holly A. Heyser of The State Hornet. She addressed the problems every news staff is facing, such as bad reporters, assholes with bad attitude, stories not resembling their assigned idea, production-night tension, ridiculous orders from your EIC, trash-talking, and people going behind your back on decisions. Her number one rule?: "Your actions and reactions will either defuse or magnify any situation. You can instill fear and invite defensiveness or create an environment in which people collaborate and grow." After our pizza dinner, Wendy and I relaxed that night and watched the huge "monsoon" and neon colored lightning from our hotel window.

Sunday we checked out of the hotel. We went to the editorial cartoonist keynote lecture, followed by the award ceremony. Our newspaper and multimedia package did not place, but our website won fourth place, beating out all other two-year schools. Waiting for our plane to arrive we relaxed in Starbucks and Jason and I concluded the trip by touring the city on foot.

The whole trip was a great experience and opened my eyes to all the possibilities journalism offers, along with what college may offer me in the future! I learned a lot from the sessions and the critique and I have a lot to share with our staff. If you have any questions regarding the sessions, want to watch FlipVideo footage, view my class presentations, or want to see any further photography taken on the trip, email me at


Here is my first multimedia piece. Photography by Kaitlin Allen, Editing and Photography by Madison McCord, Editing and Reporting by Lindsey Treffry (me).

First Post

This blog will act as online portfolio for my news stories and journalistic ideas. More to come soon...