So I haven’t been around much lately. This blog was originally created to communicate with my journalism students. I no longer teach J classes, but I’ve been busy teaching radio production at Brooklyn College, shooting Zombie Hunters, producing a sci-fi noir audio thriller AND I just got hired to be a foley artist for an upcoming theatrical performance (details to come). 


So since I’ve been working so much with sound lately, here’s Craig Ferguson with a couple of the foley artists demonstrating their craft. It’s amazing to me that the art of telling stories through sound is still essentially the same since the Golden Age of Radio.

Posted in SiL.

Open February 1, 2009 to March 28, 2009

CUNY Sustainable Shorts is a video contest with a $500 cash prize sponsored by Sustainable CUNY with the theme ‘Going Green’. All CUNY students, staff, teachers and alumni are invited to submit a video entry that is no more than 2 minutes in length to the Sustainable CUNY Shorts You Tube Group. Submissions can be funny or serious and in the form of a skit, demonstration project or song, with a goal of inspiring others to live sustainably. The winner will be selected by students and Sustainable CUNY leaders, based on both content and public viewership, so encourage your family and friends to view your selection. The winner will be announced Earth Day 2009. Submit Video


Visit the  Sustainable CUNY website for more news.

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My obsession with subject-verb-object construction aside, the web is not the most grammatically sound place to have existed. As writer and blogger Erin Kissane notes, web copy is often created by time-pressured folks who are not writers.

Kissane takes on the Quixotic, yet noble, quest to make the web a more readable place in her post on A List Apart.  Much of what she says refers to marketing, but clarity is a goal of marketers and journalists alike. Besides, Kissane has a pretty cool hair-do and she is worth linking to for that reason alone.

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WINS Reporter Sonia Rincon
WINS Reporter Sonia Rincon at Brooklyn College

Brooklyn College broadcast journalism students are rechecking their homework based on the advice of WINS reporter Sonia Rincon. Rincon, a night street reporter at the New York all-news station, came to campus to meet with career-minded students and to give a little professional guidance. 

What did she advise? Use good writing to keep the listener engaged. The reporter had some specifics. “Use the present tense” recommended Rincon, in order to “make the story now.”

For those just starting out, she suggested thinking small. “Go to a small market” she said. Rincon, a native New Yorker, speaks from experience. She earned her chops in a variety of small and mid-sized markets all over the East Coast before landing her job at WINS. It is much easier to get hired in a smaller market but there is another reason why this is important, she explains. Working in a variety of locations also gives a reporter a sense of perspective. This, argues Rincon, makes for a better journalist. 

Rincon’s visit is part of the Television and Radio Department’s Radio Studies Speaker Series. The Speaker Series brings working radio professionals to campus and allows for student interaction with the industry insiders.  Broadcast Journalism major Matthew Vann found Rincon’s attention to the process particularly useful. “Sonia was very precise in explaining what editors in the radio field expect from their reporters,” he said. “I greatly appreciated Sonia Rincon’s visit to the class.”

Even for students with significant experience through internships, professional interaction on campus provides an additional benefit.”It is extremely different having professionals come to the classroom versus just interacting with them at an internship” says Kate Rose, a Brooklyn College senior. “The classroom can provide a more comfortable setting to ask questions, with no fear of judgment,” Rose added.

Rincon doesn’t plan on leaving radio anytime soon, but it appears that she has been bitten by the teaching bug. After a campus visit on Monday, the reporter returned on Wednesday and plans to return to campus yet again on December 11 to work with students in other classes.

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Happy Birthday WBCRWBCR, Brooklyn College Radio rocks on this morning after last night’s 40th anniversary celebration of the entirely student run radio station. Alumni from past years joined faculty, staff and current students for the affair. 

And as the student operated station turned 40, the college celebrated its 60th year of offering radio courses with the first ones being offered in 1948 through the Department of Speech. 

The station boasts of a number of illustrious alumni including Z100 Executive Producer Skeery Jones and Scott Herman, Executive Vice President of Operations at CBS Radio. Jones, who produces his station’s flagship Elvis Duran and The Z100 Morning Show, still supports his alma mater with campus visits and frequent “shout outs” on his blog and myspace page. Herman still holds regular barbecues at his house with buddies from his college station. In a written statement sent to last night’s attendees, Herman said he views WBCR as his “first job in radio” and went further by saying that he learned everything he needed for his career at his old college station.

WBCR is student operated and supervised by the Brooklyn College Department of Television and Radio. The department offers majors in Television and Radio production and Broadcast Journalism.

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The national media has been focused on what is universally called an historic election. Community blogs like the ones I blogged about are fulfilling the essential need of covering micro races which might not mean anything to the person across the street over the town line.

I remember a few years back going crazy trying to find local results and I found myself having to wait a full day or two (gasp!) before I could get anything. Now, much of this block by block information is updated in minutes.  Metuchen Matters and The Daily Newarker covered highly contested local races, while Barista Net and The Brooklyn Heights Blog covered the national race from the micro level.

Posted in SiL.

Professor Lew Wheaton has invited his Com 206 class at Bergen Community College to view recent posts on Radio Boutros. I will take this moment to say welcome and explain a little bit about radio Boutros.

This blog was started as a classroom tool for my classes at Brooklyn College. I didn’t expect to blog, but it became helpful to blog about some of the topics we discussed in the classroom. So when we discussed the importance of having a beat, I thought it would be interesting to report on the community-based blog.

Articles by journalists David Carr and Jeff Jarvis are also an important part of class readings, so you will often see their work linked or, as Jarvis call it, curated on this site.

Since this blog is hardly older than a weeing pup there are only a few posts. But this is changing and the blog is growing. I invite Professor Wheaton, the students of Com 206 and “citizen journalists” everywhere to join in on the fun.

By the way, I hate the term citizen journalism. It seems that I’m not the only one it irks. Even for citizen journalism evangalists like Jarvis “networked journalism” is the new phrase de jour. I feel a future blog post in the works…

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