Midterm Story Draft CRISTINA RAMOS

Most Austinites were aware of the fact that their city was going to be invaded due to the ever so famous South By Southwest Festival, SXSW, that occurs during March. The festival has many people who come from all over the world just to participate in all of the action. I scouted SXSW and found three different types of SXSW participants; Chelsea Williams who received a badge from work, Teresa Charnichart who volunteer at SXSW and Bella Santiago who had no badge.

Chelsea Williams, a Tek Boost employee, was sent by her company to hand out business cards and network with SXSW participants. She was given a platinum badge so she would be able to attend every event that required a badge. In addition to networking for her company Williams also had to post on the company’s Snapchat so they could gain a better social media presence. Overall Williams really enjoyed her SXSW experience since she was able to get into more prestigious areas of SXSW. However since she is in her thirties and still had to go to work early in the morning she said that she did not think that she was able to fully enjoy SXSW as much as a younger participant who did not have to go to work the next day.

Teresa Charnichart, student at UT, decided to volunteer at SXSW so she could receive a film badge. Charnichart heard about all of the great things that were going to be happening at SXSW this year, especially the films, that she did not want to miss out. Since she did not have the extra cash just laying around she decided to do what any thrifty college student dying to go to SXSW would do, she volunteered. The volunteering was not bad at all, Charnichart really enjoyed working with the film panel crew at the Austin Convention Center. Charnichart was able to sit in on some of the panels with celebrities such as Nick Offerman and Lee Daniels. As for the SXSW, Charnichart was able to have priority access to the films that were premiering at SXSW. Some of the movies that she went to go see included; The Disaster Artist, Mr. Roosevelt and Life. Charnichart does not regret her decision to volunteer and said she plans on doing it again next year.

Bella Santiago, a recent Texas A&M graduate, did not have a badge and was visiting Austin for the first time to support her friend’s indie band. Since Santiago did not have a badge she told me that she honestly just came to Austin so she could attend her friend’s unofficial SXSW performance at a UT Frat Party. If she did have time she wanted to explore Austin since she has never been before. Also on her list was to go visit the ever so famous nightlife of Austin on Sixth Street. However due to SXSW it was uncomfortably crowded and at some points she did not feel safe being down there. Santiago ended up having a more calm night on West Sixth with a couple of friends. Overall Santiago had a great experience SXSW without a badge. 

There are many different ways to go about doing SXSW. Even if you are low on the money or don’t have a job that sends you to participate in SXSW, there are other ways around it. Such as, volunteering or just attending the free events they offer. As SXSW continues to grow more and more people continue to want to be included in on the fun!

(For the multimedia aspect I am waiting to receive pictures from the interviewees from their experiences at SXSW so I can create a photo slideshow.)

Midterm Story Pitch CRISTINA RAMOS

For my story I want to explore how gentrification is affecting the surrounding school districts Austin ISD and Round Rock ISD. What changes are schools noticing such as an influx of lower class students moving further North due to lower housing costs and how East Austin schools are hanging in with prime real estate locations near downtown. my goal is to ultimately find out if the community is open or against gentrification.

Great idea. Now, how, specifically, are you going to do this? Getting access to students in school during the school day requires permission/clearance from the district press offices. Do you have specific students and teachers in mind to talk to? Specific neighborhoods and schools? Narrow your idea and focus on people. You have an interesting statement of an issue. How does this become a story?

Media Critique: Cristina Ramos

Everyone has been plagued to come up with a password once in their life. How many times have people thought about how they thought of their password or what their neighbor’s password might be? This is the exact question that Ian Urbina asks in his article The Secret Life of Passwords. Urbina interviews many people and collects data from databases to try and see if there is any significance or correlation when it comes to creating passwords. Why are passwords so intriguing that Urbina must go out and do research on this uncommon topic?

The article is about Urbina’s journey to understand the meanings behind people’s passwords. Urbina starts out with an interview with Howard Lutnick, the chief executive of Cantor Fitzgerald, who was around when the twin towers Twin Towers were hit. The first thing Lutnick thought about when they were hit was all of the passwords that were just buried along with the rubble. This got Urbina thinking so he began his journey to ask others how they come up with their own passwords. From his research he managed to put it in a few categories, a few examples are; passwords inspired by loved ones, motivational and secret riddles. Urbina came to the conclusion that methods for coming up with passwords it varies from person to person on how they create their passwords. Also, the passwords is more than likely going to be something that is personal because it is easier for us to remember personal things than random letters and numbers.

Since Ubina interviews a vast amount  how many? of people, asking them about their passwords, it made it a rather wordy article. However Ubina included nine interactive interviews. Including this in his article definitely was a huge plus as it gives the reader a break from reading the countless people he talked to. Also it allows you to hear the tone in their voice when they are describing the meaning of their passwords, which Ubina would describe for those who had a strong connection with their password. The one thing that was lacking in Ubina’s article was a chart of a few of the passwords that were found in the RockYou database. Providing some of the passwords in an interactive table, sorted by different categories would have flowed well with the article, especially since Ubina did section organize his article by how people created their passwords.

The structure of the digital news package does favor the point of view of those who gave interviews. This was a good decision so that way the readers could feel like they were actually listening to them tell the story themselves, instead of Ubina analyzing their methodology. Thankfully he saved his analyzation analysis towards the end of the interview, giving the readers more insight to the interaction that they may have missed while they were reading.

In conclusion, Ubina did an excellent job analyzing the different ways people create passwords. He realized through his studies that first many were hesitant to share the meanings and backgrounds to their passwords but eventually they open once they are comfortable. He also skillfully managed to arrange the article so that when the reader was getting fatigued from all of the interviews he added a “break” with the interactive interview clips. All in all, the article brought to light that although we have different methods of creating passwords they all seem to be very personal to us.

Thought Exercise 4: Cristina Ramos

  1. Direct Quote: “If they call me for a shift on the same day I have to pick up my daughter, I can’t do that shift, and therefore I’m not going to get paid,” he says, “so it’s very difficult and to then be a parent.”
    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.
  2.  Does being a single father ever affect your job?
  3. Questions for the other side of the story. Good idea
    Google employer

    1. Why are the contract workers such as Manny Cardenas not allowed certain privileges that other Google employees have, such a simple privilege to get a to-go box?
    2. With a company like Google why are the employees with lower class jobs struggling to make ends meet? Or: Why is is that Google doesn’t allow its contract workers privileges like take-out boxes from the cafeteria? Arguably, couldn’t they use this more than the salaried employees? JH
    3. As a well-known company do you have any plans on making things right for these lower class employees? “making things right” is editorializing. Keep your language neutral and be specific. What do you mean, exactly?
    4. With a reputation for a community feel work environment do you ever plan on including some of the lower class employees so they can also feel a part of the world that is Google? Vague and “lower class employees” is not specific. Manny is a contract worker. This means he is not a salaried employee of Google. Use accurate, specific and neutral language.

Thought Exercise 3 Cristina Ramos


  1. Traffic on campus due to construction
    Apartment complex hit and run occurrence
  1. The values that are present are timeliness, conflict, controversy and human interest.
  1. Those whose cars were involved in the on going hit and runs at the apartment complex. Possible witnesses of the hit and run.
  1. An interactive map of where the hit and runs occurred can show a correlation where the suspect might live or know someone at the apartment. Pictures of all of the cars that were damaged might show what color the car was and any particular damage similarities there may be.
  1. The public would find this interesting due to the multiple occurrences that a specific apartment complex is experiencing. This could help unmask who has been behind all of the hit and runs. Those who live in the apartment complex can be brought to be aware of the situation and be on the look out.