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Reflection Essay: Project 3

Project 3: USF Elections

Registered and Non Registered College Students

This project went very differently than my previous projects for Digital Journalism. The project had many different aspects to it that I felt confident in. It was fun to work on a piece especially watching it evolve into each new medium. Although this project shared many of the same challenges as project 2, I applied what I learned fro previous mistakes and I think my work showed much improvement.

I was not happy with the article I put together. Although my sources and research were sufficient, I had a hard time putting together an angle. My story didn’t really go anywhere and just circled around the issues I was trying to get at. I wanted to explain in my story that there is a substantial amount of college students who are not active voters and don’t make voting a priority. However, my piece did not establish that, which is unfortunate.

I am really proud of my reporting skills. I felt that I did thorough extensive research and interviewed a variety of people. Each of my sources were fairly different and had a different situation then being a college student at the University of San Francisco. Although my audience was aimed for USF students, I thought it would be nice to open up the audience to all college students. I also felt that I had good research, however, I think I could have had a little more.

Despite my writing, I really liked how my storify piece came out. I was very active in my research and tried to curate from a large variety of news sources and social media. I think my storify improved a lot from my last project. Not only was it different, it had proper links and outside information to complement my writing. I made sure that I didn’t just copy and paste my story from my written article. Instead, I carefully deciphered through content from the web, and allowed my writing to transition from point to point. This worked very well for me and allowed my storify to flow; where in comparison to my last piece, my blocky paragraphs broke up the story.

Now that I feel confident in using storify and making digital stories, I want to work on and master radio and audio news stories. I think that broadcast and radio journalism is very interesting and it would be nice to work on that side of my journalism skills. I want to learn how to master a video broadcast that incorporates raw footage, recorded interviews, and audio recording.

Overall, I felt pretty good about where this project ended up. I was pleased with my work, despite the issues I had with my article. I felt good about the work I submitted and am looking forward to see how my work and efforts are graded. Even more so, I am anxious to start my final project, which will only improve further then my work from project 3.



Check out my storify!



Registered v. Non Registered Voters amongst College Students

The University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco, like many colleges in the United States, educates students from around the world. Like the city of San Francisco itself, USF is a very diverse school. With the 2012 presidential elections around the corner, voters are registering to vote and mailing in their absentee ballots.

            In efforts to promote active voting, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a measure into law allowing Californians to be able to register to vote until Election Day (Election Day Registration or Same Day Registration). Although the law will not be in action for another several years, Gov. Brown promotes simple and convenient voting. “While other states try to restrict voters with new laws that burden the process, California allows voters to register online.” Gov. Brown said (Los Angeles Times).

With students traveling far from home to attend school, the process of voting becomes a little more complicated. However, the State government is making a strong effort to raise the percentage of registered voters among those eligible. Andrew Wheeler, a sophomore at the School of Visual Arts in New York City is in the process sending in his absentee ballot.


Various Countries Represented At USF


“A lot of students are active [voters],” said Wheeler. “Most of my friends are registered voters and are voting in a presidential election for the fist time. ” Wheeler who grew up in Southern California left his home by the beach to attend college on the East Coast.

“I vote to stand up for my beliefs and make sure that I have a say in the way our country is run.” Wheeler said. Although Wheeler is one of many young adults who is active in this year’s election, a specific amount of young adults find themselves indifferent on the subject.

According to the Circle Analysis of the Census Current Population Survey, in the 2008 election, 84% of those from the ages 18-29 who were registered to vote actually cast a ballot. Compared to older age groups, youth voter registration rates are much lower.


(Circle Analysis)

            Kevin Tang and his friend Joel Avila, both originally from San Jose, live in the city and are attending different colleges. While they both sat at their computers busy at work, the two agreed that voting and politics were not a top priority in their lives.

“Elections in California are pretty pointless,” said Tang.  “No matter what California is gong democratic.”While Avila excused not voting for laziness, he commented on social medias role in the 2012 presidential campaign. “During the last debate, there were over six million tweets about the nominees,” said Avila. “I guarantee you a majority of those people tweeting about the elections will not go out register or vote.”

Although the law will not go into action until around the year 2016, EDR has proven an increased voter turn out for young adults whose home stated offered it. In the 2008 elections, states with EDR had an increase in nine percentage points compared to those who did not have EDR.


(Circle Analysis)

            Devin Kelley, a junior at the University of San Francisco came to the city from New Mexico. Alike Wheeler, Kelley filled out an absentee ballot.

“Many kids from out of state attend school is California, but that shouldn’t stop them from voting,” Kelley said. “Voting doesn’t necessarily mean you will see the outcome you want. That is probably why a lot of students do not take the time to register or go out and vote. But there are always those who do, and I am happy to be one of them.”


Devin Kelley with his Absentee Ballot

            Kelley takes pride and optimism in being an active voter. Although he acknowledges the various reasons why one wouldn’t, Kelley alike many others feel the necessity in exercising their right to vote.

Circle Analysis argues that those who discuss the current election are more likely to vote. Many people across the globe know little to nothing about exercising the right to vote. As citizens of the United States it is our duty to exercise this freedom and own a voice in politics today


Yesterday in Feature Writing, my Prof. showed us this great travel story. It was about the writers experience in Cuba, where he was visitng his wife’s family. There was a point in the story where he mentioned speaking with his grandmother in law; instead of quoting her broken english, he paraphrased. I found this so interesting! I have never seen anyone paraphrase in the language/grammar that was spoken before. I found it very affective and hope to use this style in my next feature writing/ digital journalism piece.


ex: This is the corner where my father have the bodega.


Beach Chalet Soccer Field Opposition

Although San Francisco is predominantly urban and residential, it homes 1017 acres of the beautiful Golden Gate Park. This large forested area has historically played a large role in the character building of San Francisco and its residents. Over many decades, Golden Gate Park has showed love for San Franciscan’s; hosting high traffic annual music festivals such as Hardly Strictly Blue Grass Festival and Outside Lands.

            However, there is a development plan that threatens to drastically change the natural habitat in order to renovate the Soccer Fields located at the western edge of Golden Gate Park by Ocean Beach. The goal is to replace the natural grass with Astroturf and proper stadium lighting in order for soccer games to extend past sunset.

            Katherine Howard a member of SF Ocean Edge, gives details of the renovation.

“In addition to the 150,000 watt lights, there will be additional light poles, bleacher seating for one thousand, an expanded parking lot by 33% and 30 ft wide concrete side walks,” “There is no way you will feel like you’re in park land anymore.” She said.

            The Beach Chalet Soccer Fields are the center of controversy for organizations like SF Ocean Edge who work to ensure preservation of Golden Gate Park. Although renovation of the park is aimed to increase revenue as well as provide better quality fields for soccer games, Howard opposes the drastic changes to the park and offers alternative solutions.

            “It’s a trade off, are we going to destroy a major habitat area that links us to the beach for 100 hours of play a year?” she said. Howard then offers an alternative suggestion, “We have a proposal called the hybrid alternative,” Howard said. “Swap the location with West Sunset. West sunset is really the only playing fields with not much habitat and is in a much more urbanized location.”

            In an excerpt from Golden Gate Park’s Master Plan under Park Landscape, the plan states, “Recognize the national level significance of the park’s historic landscape and ensure its preservation and restoration.” And to, improve wildlife habitat values around the park and designate areas with high wildlife values as special management areas.”

            However Delaney Borders 21, a student at the University of San Francisco says, “At my high school we had the worst track and fields to play on. Kids used to fall down on the hard dirt and really injure themselves. It wasn’t until after I graduated did they make the switch to Astroturf.”

            Borders recalls going back home for the summer, and visiting where she went to high school. She likes the benefits of her school’s Astroturf, with one minor setback.

            “I remember going back to El Segundo High and doing some exercises and the fields did improve a lot. The only bad thing I heard about Astroturf is the carpet-like- burn it gives you when you fall.”

            In regards to renovation plans, Vicky Krekler 20, who lives in close proximity to the soccer field’s fears for the light reflection and duration for how long the lights will be on during dusk and into the night.

            “I am afraid of whether I will have to deal with seeing the light pollution from my house.” Kreckler said.

            Both Kreckler and Borders were unaware of the renovation plans for the Beach Chalet Soccer Fields and after being briefly informed, were questionable of few of the plans specifics.

            “One of the problems is getting the word out, because The Chronicle, has taken the position from the beginning that it’s a great idea, we haven’t had much impact there.” Howard said.

            San Francisco is small enough city where many decisions are likely to affect you or your neighbor. For more information check out the plans and fields online or with a local politician to see how the plans and oppositions may affect you.

Digital Journalism Story 2: Reflection and Storify link!


Beach Chalet Soccer Field Story: Reflection


            Over the course of working on this story, I learned a lot about my writing and reporting skills. Although I would have liked to have done this story a little bit differently, I am overall pretty content with where my story ended up. I learned that it takes extensive investigative reporting to get both sides of an argument. I came to realize over the couple weeks of me working on this project, that half the time (if not more) people aren’t so willing to talk to you or just plain won’t get back to you.  I also learned that it takes a careful and intricate skill to write a story without having your bias opinions show through. Although my story focused specifically on the opposition of the Beach Chalet Soccer Fields, I felt that I never gave the other side of the argument a chance to explain themselves. I also found my own personal opinions on the matter showing through each quote and fact that I used.

I learned that print journalism is a lot easier of a medium to put out information and facts out to your audience. When writing for print journalism, you can give a lot of information through descriptions of actions, character, and who your source is behind quotes. When I edited my story into a radio edit narrative I found myself cutting out a lot of details. I was being both straightforward and being a little less descriptive when I read through my script, however I was being more to the point. I had fun reading through my script and trying to mimic the way news reporters read their stories on the news and local television.

I have always felt that photojournalism is a key part of good journalism and of an affective story. I truly believe in the fact that pictures should not only complement your story, but also give a story of its own. I did not get the chance to take as many photographs or video clips as I would have liked too, but I found nothing wrong in my photos. It is tricky process, trying to put picture and story hand by hand, however I find this rather fun. It feels good working hard on tying two pieces of my work together into one visually enhanced story. I learned a lot from that after seeing how well some of my classmate’s stories came together with proper visuals to accentuate the story.

This story was definitely a learning process for me. I think I took a lot from this story that will help me learn the crafts and trade of a real journalist. In doing more work that is ending up on the virtual world, I am learning which factors of important journalism are the most beneficial for an online video or radio news story. It has also been a creative process for me; I am learning different applications and tools to use that help edit and better my story. Overall this project was hard work, but the learning process that continued through it was very beneficial.


In addition, I have created a complete text and visual story on Storify! Check it out HERE!

California State Ballots

Today in a focus group in my Digitial Journalism class, I realized how little I knew about the upcoming elections. Although I have focused mainly on the national presidential campaign, I knew nothing about the props that are up on this years california ballot.

Here are some that are of interest to me:

Proposition 34

Death Penalty. Initiative Statute.


Proposition 36

Three Strikes Law. Repeat Felony Offenders. Penalties. Initiative Statute.


Proposition 37

Genetically Engineered Foods. Labeling. Initiative Statute.