Midterm Story Draft- Ana Flores

*The Audio Quotes will all be recorded as well as ambient songs and sounds for the story this week. I have the people I will interview scheduled. I was considering adding some visuals, possibly some video of the services.

Its hard to describe a religious experience. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the actual definition of the religious experience is “vague, and the multiplicity of kinds of experiences that fall under it makes it difficult to capture in any general account.”

It feels like…

“Audio Quote from Rene Rodriguez and Mona Rodriguez (Christian Religion)”

“Audio Quote from Muslim student”

“Audio Quote from Carol (Jewish Religion)”

A spiritual connection is often times linked directly to the musical ministry of the religion at the time of the experience. Musical accompaniment is common in the Christian religion.

“Audio quote from Rodriguez couple”

But is not isolated to only that religion. There are many others that use music to worship and influence the spiritual experience.

“Audio Quote from Muslim student”

“Audio Quote from Carol”

Music is a large part of human history and can be seen in most religions around the world.

“Audio Quote”

The way music influences our brains is a scientific phenomenon. According to Here’s What Happens Inside Your Brain When You Listen to Music, an article by Tom Barnes, a writer for Music.Mic, music affects the four major lobes of the brain.

“The various structures involved with comprehension are constantly relaying information back and forth to one another and processing disparate information simultaneously in order to build one’s understanding and response to music,” said Barnes.

Its not usually what you would think about when listening to your favorite song, but Barnes states that once the physical delivery of the music through the auditory cortex has taken place, the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter or neuron messenger responsible for pleasure, accounts for the “chills” we get when listening to music.

“Our most powerful emotional responses are a result of prolonged expectations and a sudden resolution. Our finest composers all had an understanding of this principle…the longer an artist withholds the payoff, the more powerful the emotional cascade will be,” said Barnes.

The climax of a song brings about these emotions. From there, Barnes states that both the motor and visual cortex are triggered when listening to a song. This is what brings people to want to dance to a rhythm or have visual experiences with music.

So, can this explain the religious sensation sometimes experienced during worship?

“Audio Quote.”

The use of music in these religions, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, is to give praise.

“Audio Quote from Rodriguez”

“Audio Quote from Muslim student”

“Audio Quote from Carol”

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states that “a feeling of elation, for example, even if it occurs in a religious context, does not count in itself as a religious experience…to account for the experiences qua experiences, we must go beyond subjective feelings.”

This is what those invested in their religions will tell you, a spiritual connection is made.

“Audio Quote from Rodriguez”

“Audio Quote from Muslim student”

“Audio Quote from Carol”

Midterm Pitch-Ana Flores

My idea is to do a story on the Texas School for the Blind and the church that sits across the street from the school. The church bells ring every hour and at seven, the bells chime out a little tune. Due to the nature of the school, the acoustics of the campus allow the bells to resonate throughout. I would like to possibly interview and film the students when the clock strikes seven to see how the church’s presence affects the students. I may also interview the church leader. I am still awaiting permission from the school principal to film the students and will need their parent’s permission.

Ok. Great idea. Remember we talked about filming a student each day over, say, five days at exactly the time the bells ring? To get a sense of the rhythm of that student’s day? And use that to tell the story of life at this school and how the bells help blind students anchor a moment in their day?


Love it. Is this your sister. Nice shots from various ranges, Ana. Now, write AP Style photo captions for each of them. Click on the photo. Up will come a template w/a little pencil icon. Click on it. Up will come THIS template. Write your caption, choose your display settings and then click Update on the bottom right.

Media Critique: Ana Flores

Trump’s 100 Days” is an interesting documentation on Trump’s first 100 days in office by Gregory Korte, David Jackson and Donovan Slack from USA Today. The name of the work is clearly identifiable at the top of the page however, the names of the authors of this piece are placed at the very bottom of the page. The purpose of the work is not exactly described. It simply states that it wants to provide a “day-by-day look at the top stories and photos from each of President Trump’s first 100 days in office.” I find this to be sufficient information to prepare me for the short articles that I will be looking at. The story is a compilation of brief day by day articles that have short summaries of what Trump did for that day of the month.

The page is split like a calendar with the 100 days, about four months, listed starting from Trump’s inauguration. Each day has a photo and when it is clicked, a window pops up that has a larger version of that photo, the date, number day and brief description of the photo explaining what the major story was that day. These articles also include hyperlinks that allow the reader to find out more information on whatever was discussed that day. I believe that this set up works best with the structure and theme of the actual page especially since their were so many contributors for the photos; different ones for each day of the month.

This news package reminds me of a photo slideshow. Each photo is an important piece of the story. The brief descriptions of the photos are like the captions. I find the flow of the piece and small details to the aesthetic of each window into that day similar to a dairy or video blog of the president. The writing for each description is clear and objective. It merely summarizes the photo in a few words without going into too much depth. I personally find this more appealing because I have a rather short attention span. Not everything Trump does will interest me so having the option to get more information on my own when the need arises is something I really appreciate as a reader.

The weakness of their media elements is simply that it is uniform throughout with not variety of news coverage. By this I mean that all the calendar days are photos with captions and although how you get to them is interesting, they don’t get more interactive than that. It would be more appealing to have video or moving graphic for some of the days that could best benefit from them. An example is having a video of Trump speaking with a dignitary or giving a speech rather a stagnant photo of him at the podium. Some audio of him saying one of his quotes that are in the story would also add something more to these day by day accounts.

I found this news media package to be unique and fun to interact with. While writing this, I continued to go back and look at everyday up until today because I found the photos very well composed. In them Trump is usually speaking or active in some way. The package was inviting and although it could benefit from some added elements, it did exactly what it stated it would at the top of the page. It has created a documented account of the most important things Trump did for that day and it will continue to do so until the 100 days are completed.


Thought Exercise 4: ANA FLORES

  1. Identify two quotes, one direct and one indirect (you may include partial quotes), from Mr. Cardenas that appear in the passage. Write the two quotes below and identify them as direct or indirect. (4 points)

Direct Quote: “You feel like you’re different,” he says. “Even though you’re working in the same place, you’re still like an outsider. And it’s weird because you’re actually protecting these people.”

Indirect Quote:  Sometimes, Cardenas says, he doesn’t make enough money to feed himself and his daughter, which feels strange, working at a place like Google.

  1. Write down one question you imagine the reporter asked to get one of these quotes. (1 point)

What goes through your mind when you see the other employees, their privileges, and how they differ from your situation?

  1. Identify a potential source for a news story of your choosing (think back to thought exercise #3). Write down the source and four potential questions for your interviewee.  (5 points)

From my gentrification of east Austin story from thought exercise 3 I would interview a small business owner.

Q1: How has you customer demographic changed in the past few years?

Q2:  Can your business afford to stay in the neighborhood?

Q3: Do your normal/regular customers continue to come here? Were they forced to move?

Q4: What are your plans to stay in business?

Thought Exercise 3 ANA FLORES

  1. Brainstorm possible news story ideas. If it helps you may think about news story ideas by using some of your own life experiences and those of your family, friends, neighbors and community. Think about what makes the stories interesting and important, select 2 and write them down.

Seeing as the Austin’s population is both growing and changing, I think it would be interesting to do a story that looks into the gentrification of East Austin and its effect on the people who live there. The rising prices of properties in these changing locations is something that anyone who may be deciding to move in Austin should be concerned about.  Governor Abbott’s hiring freeze on state employees until September could also be an interesting story. It is a little more dense but I know that there are some state agencies that are really suffering because of this.

  1. Think about news values (timeliness, proximity, conflict and controversy, human interest, relevance), pick one of your story ideas from question #1 above and explain which news values are present in your story.

In the gentrification of East Austin story, it meets all of these values. It is a local problem that raises controversy in these neighborhoods. It is relevant to those who live there and those possibly wanting to move their. It also has an effect on schools in those areas and the timeliness could be perfect for those on campus who may be wanting to get a place of their own and can now not afford it.

  1. Identify and list potential sources and interviewees for your story.

People that could be interviewed are students who are thinking about moving to East Austin neighborhoods, someone who lives in an East Austin neighborhood, maybe a business owner in the area. A map showing property tax value across Austin over the years. American Statesman has an interesting in-depth report that is similar to what I would want to cover and could provide some information.

  1. Think about some of the interactive media elements from thought exercise #2. What types (photos, video, interactive maps, etc.) of interactive media would add depth and understanding to your story?

An interactive map showing the prices of East Austin property. I would also want to include photos showing before and after the gentrification began and how it is progressing now. A few shots of families that live there would help humanize the story.

  1. Explain why the public would find the story relevant, interesting or important.

The public will find it interesting because it is a growing problem that has negative effect on a rather large number of people. It is also having an effect on Austin schools, therefore appealing to a wider audience such as families that may not be living in these neighborhoods. It is something that I believe should be brought to the public’s attention. The Abbott story if relevant for many of the dame reasons.

Thought Exercise 2 ANA F.

Payday Nation

  1. The interactive media included does put some of the concepts that are talked about in the article in perspective. An example of this can be seen in the Interactive: Tribal Payday lending 101 section which compared the distribution of money to the tribe, matchmaker, and payday lender. There are not as many interactive elements as I thought there would be. I think that more media would have benefited me more.
  2. Tribal members that wish to be apart of this process along with those who are going to take on a loan from this program would benefit from this content. In fact, lawyers or people in business could also use the information provided in this site.

Map: Where is Childhood Homelessness Getting Worse

  1. The differences in the percentage of childhood homelessness from state to state could be a result of the different populations in these states and any changing legislation that may have occurred over the years to alleviate the problem. The graphic does not highlight the causes for the different increases. It only provides information on the actual facts rather than speculation leading to these numbers.
  2. California and New York York have two of the highest percentage of homeless students as a “share of all students.”

Concussion Watch

  1. The layout of the home page is cleverly meant to organize the information in a way that relates to the facts. It also brings attention to the individual positions showing where they would be in an actual game for those that may not know as much about the sport. Another interactive aspect of this page meant to attract y attention are the photos of the people that had concussions at each particular position. The addition of their photos humanizes the problem and puts an emphasis to it’s importance.
  2. The media does a good job at bringing attention to the issue and making it interesting to viewers but it does not explain the issue so that they can understand it at a deeper level. Although viewers can see the people affected by the issue, facts that go past the people who have suffered concussions are not there.