Nicole has been using her blog to draw some sketches and play with mind maps. Fundamentally, play is about creativity and imagining things. So a lot of what our mind does when we are not concentrating is play with new ways of looking at things. We make connections that we cannot seem to make when we are trying too hard. When we let the mind loose, creative things happen. Nicole’s sketches and ramblings are here, here and here.
My first boss at a daily newspaper knew how to unleash creativity in headlines. He would play around with some of the key words in a story and just let it rip. So to write a headline for a story about the history of a coal mine (a potentially boring topic), he would play with words associated with songs or poems or just facts: ”coal” “lump” “shaft” “pick” “collapse” “49er” “Clementine” “carbon” “soot”. He would write 10 or 15 different playful headlines, many of them awful, until he came up with something clever and compelling. He came up with this: “Coal mine owners got the gold while workers got the shaft”.
Karen summarized a report on “News in a Networked World” from Pew. Among the most interesting of the 12 observations about how news is changing were the views of the audience. Users’ perceptions of news media bias are growing, the audience is getting more fragmented along partisan and ideological lines and people are losing faith in news organizations. The implications for us? What do you think? Personally, I think these trends emphasize the need for professional journalists to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack by their ethical standards and the transparency of their news gathering processes. In other words, just be straightforward with readers about how information was gathered. If you use an anonymous source or if a reporter goes undercover, explain why you did it and be frank with readers about the drawbacks of these practices.
Blogging isn’t just about writing. Elva shows us the potential of using multimedia in a blog by posting her slideshow of Tibet photos along with her narration. Somehow the slideshow seemed more impressive when displayed on the blog than when it was submitted as a homework assignment. I looked at it in the context of a published work for all the world to see.