Thursday, December 18, 2008


I'm in the mood to talk about...personal things. Nothing in particular. Just to talk. Just to be rebellious and not give a shit :) So, this semester turned out really good. Besides political science, which I'm not going to talk about it... but it's nothing horrible. I'm in a great place in my life, but in a horrible place as well... I'm doing great in school, better with drinking, lost weight... umm have a great boyfriend, at the same time, im struggling trying to get everything together for nursing school, and getting a job before nursing school that i get health benefits b/c mine run out with my dad in 3 months and i'm on 6 different medications. What to do!? Money situation is horrible and with senior semester coming, i have no time for a job. people say just suck it up. Been there done that. It's difficult to just "suck it up" --- so I'm trying and I'll keep going on. My brother is still a drug addict and it kills me. He just lost his job, probably because of drugs. He used to be addicted to cocaine and now it's painkillers because for some reason, he can walk right into an ER and they give him a whole bottle of painkillers which last him a night. But when I went into an ER with a legitimate panic attack Id get one valium and am sent home... How does that happen? While my brother is getting more and more pills and becoming more and more dependent on drugs...again! What the hell? I just dont even know what to say about that. It's scary that i see the same drug addiction qualities in me. I have an addictive personality. It has been shown in my former love for alcohol where thats all I'd do is drink all day. Why though? Why does this happen? Why can't people just deal with life? Well, because fucking sucks sometimes and thats just how it is. IT just fucking sucks. And having a pill or an alcoholic beverage, well frankly, it makes it go away. But why can't it just not hurt us? why can't it just make it go away and then we're fine and it doesn't hurt our loved ones, and our futures? But no, it kills us. It kills our families and our futures and everything in our lives. We have to deal with life, or die. Deal with it or die? And I say why!!!!!!!! It's just one of those things...suck it up they say. SUCK IT UP!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

So, this is just a post that I did for my copy editing blog, that is very mediocre:

Will the media ever be perfect? Of course not. There is nothing perfect in this world, but someone always has something to complain about. With this in mind, I wanted to know exactly what type of negative effects the media might have on its audience. While searching around this topic, I came across a book called “Selling Anxiety: How The News Media Scare Women,” By Caryl Rivers. So, do the media really scare women? According to Rivers, a Boston University journalism professor and journalist, the answer is yes. Her claim is that women, specifically working women, are portrayed negatively in the news media. Her list of “trend stories” about women is surprising. Some of the stories she lists include:

  • Women who get too much education can’t get a man
  • Women who get too much education and become infertile
  • Women who love their jobs so much they spend most of their time there, neglecting their children
  • (White) women who get murdered
  • Scary women who get power
  • Women (all of them) whose brains suit them only for emotion

Those are just a few of the ones she lists. This is an extreme feminist view on the news media. To be honest, I’ve never read a news article that’s come close to portraying women like that. I’m sure some do exist. Since I couldn’t read this entire book, I can’t comment too much about it, but it made me think about women and media. And, there are some sites specifically geared toward women in the media including, Women in Media and News.

More recently, there were questions about Sarah Palin’s media coverage and whether it was more negative or positive. According a study by, 38.8% of Sarah Palin’s coverage was negative. But was that the media’s fault or Palin’s fault? A lot of people, republican and democrat, can admit Palin was misinformed about a lot of things. Honestly, more negative versus positive coverage might just mean that there was more negative things to say.

And We’ve all heard the classic debate about media setting a stereotype of the typical woman. Though I do believe a lot of the media do this (namely, magazines and advertisments) there are media organizations trying to change this view, and I’m talking all aspects of media, especially advertising. One example is Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign. A Dove press release that introduced the campaign said that “women strongly agree that ‘the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty that most women can’t ever achieve.’” My problem with this is that some of the women in these ads are truly overweight, and being overweight is unhealthy. While, being extremely thin is not healthy either, saying that women who are overweight are “real” is still giving women the wrong idea. Are these ads trying to say that women who are healthy and naturally skinny shouldn’t be in ads because of women’s own insecurities?

So, will this debate ever end?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Citizen Journalism: The Future of Journalism?

Journalism has had its share of ups and downs, all revolving around the idea that journalism, especially print journalism, has an uncertain future. Media convergence has become an increasingly important topic surrounding the future of journalism, and more media outlets have been asking their reporters to do more then just report. Most are now required to report, edit and take their own photos. One trend journalists have begun to use more often to deal with this added responsibility is “Citizen,” or “Community” Journalism.

When did citizen journalism become popular? According to one CNN report, The Sept. 11 attacks were an excellent example of citizen journalism. People took videos and pictures on their cell phones while the buildings were under attack and sent their coverage to national news networks. Hurricane Katrina was also widely covered by citizen journalists. Now CNN has its own site for citizen journalists, iReport. MSNBC also has a “virtual assignment desk,” so the public can help cover certain issues.

Other citizen Journalism sites include: iBrattleboro, Your Hub, Backfence and locally, Bluffton Today, in Bluffton, S.C.

Citizen Journalism’s intent as defined by Shayne Bowman and Chris Willis in their report We Media: How Audiences are shaping the Future of news and Information, is to “provide independent, reliable, accurate, wide-ranging and relevant information that a democracy requires."

But, is citizen journalism reliable? If journalism is supposed follow an unbiased principle, or as close as it can get to that, could citizen journalism, coverage by people who might not have had any formal training in journalism, be thorough, reliable and unbiased?

While browsing other blogs I came across a question that Mitch Joel asks, and that I also ask myself. Is witnessing the same as being a journalist?

Maybe citizen journalism is popular because it isn’t about being unbiased, but that everyday people are providing raw, critical information that some reporters might not have been able to get. I don’t think there is a correct answer to this question, but is definitely something to think about while citizen journalism becomes more popular. Is this the future of journalism?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Bridging the Race Gap

Being naive, I thought that this election wasn't about race for those not voting Obama. But sadly, I found out that was untrue. I have have been appalled at some of the things that people have said about Obama. It's sad that because he is part African American, that for the first time in probably more than a decade, people have to fear that he could become assassinated, because of racist people with no regard for humanity and really, for the entire human race. It shouldn't be race. It shouldn't be gender. It should be for America. Have they forgotten that this country is not all Caucasian people? That in our lifetime, the "minority" is going to become the majority. From the beginning this country was founded, it has been a mixture of races. It's been (cliche i know), called "a melting pot" or now more commonly used, "a kaleidoscope" of people. That's the way it is. That is the way it should be. How boring would it be if it wasn't?

While reading W.E.B. Du Bois', The Souls of Black Folk, I realized that one paragraph is the perfect response to the feelings of some people, who judge our new president-elect by the color of his skin;

"The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife,—this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face."

More plainly, let's live together in harmony. Let's not erase the years of progress this country as made toward bridging the race gap. It's only going to hurt America in the end.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

19 Days Left of Politicking

I can hardly believe there is only 19 days left until the election! I am both excited and terrified. Excited, because there is a lot of hope in both campaigns for change and a better America. Terrified, because I don't know what to believe. I'm completely torn in this election. Does that make me wishy washy? Does that make me unassertive in my decisions and choices? I can see how some people might see it that way, but I think that I'm just doing the best I can in trying to make the right decision for me. What turns me off most to John McCain is Sarah Palin. What a joke. It really shows me how dumb and uninformed some American's are when I see people raving about how wonderful she is. What has she really done? Well, we know she knows her boarders. Alaska is close to Russia. Wow, really? Thanks for the geography lesson. I'm disappointed in women for Palin too. Yes, it would be nice to see a woman in power in America... Vice President or President... but not just ANY woman. We need someone who doesn't have a federal investigation over her head. Someone who knows about international politics. She's only been known of for a month or so and she's already controversial. I just don't know if I can get past the fact she could very well become our next president. It's scary. As for Obama, he was my choice from the start. I volunteered at his first rally in Columbia with Oprah. It was really inspirational and I got to see the passion in the people who believe in him. At the same time, I am weary about some of his politics. I wonder if he's truthful when he speaks or if it's being said because it sounds good.

So, who do I choose? A campaign that promises change and hope, and aligns with my values socially, but not sure if I trust in. Or the man I trust, respect and has a lot of military and political experience, but don't agree fully with the issues and really disagree with the VP nominee. It's something I have to think about in these 19 days. A lot to take in. Our future is on the line.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Beginning

OK, so with the advice of fellow students and many professors, I'm starting a blog. Will they see it? Who knows. I'm thinking that this will give me a chance to talk and start some discussions. This is going to be a pretty broad blog, consisting of my own life experiences, journalism, politics, health, sports... to name a few. To give a little info on myself if anyone was wondering, I'm Cheryl, a 22-year-old fifth year journalism major at the University of South Carolina. I'm going to be starting nursing school next fall. Yes, after I get my B.A. in Journalism, I'm going to move on to something I think is more of my calling... and that's nursing. So, I will definitely be posting a lot on health issues on here. Journalism is still something I respect and love, but it is not something I think I would do my best at. Nursing is something I think will be both challenging and emotionally rewarding. It also pays better (hehe).

I'll be in senior semester at my school next year, which is a grueling (from what I've heard) semester working for the School of Journalism's newspaper The Carolina Reporter. Each couple of weeks each person will hold a different position in the newsroom, and I hear rumors that my senior semester class will be the first in the print field to even have some broadcasting involved. I'm sure I'll be writing a lot on that subject as well, as I go through the day to day of what it feels like to be a real journalist.

I'm also new to blogging. I'm used to old fashioned journaling, but this is different, so I will do my best to see what I can talk about! Wish me luck!