Thursday, November 15, 2007

News Article

Tommy McCann
Slug: Edina Football Choir Boys
Many students know senior Andy Bartz as strong safety on the Edina football team or the starting center fielder who led the baseball team in homeruns. But not as many people know that Bartz is also one who enjoys singing.
Like nine of his fellow teammates on the Edina football team, Bartz is a member of the Edina Concert Choir. Among the players are three football team captains: Bartz, senior Joe Magnuson and junior Zach Buddish.
“It’s a good balance between my art and athletic interests. The performances are loads of fun and we have a lot of laughs along the way,” Bartz said.
Bill Rodgers, a second-string linebacker for the football team and second-year member of Concert Choir, enjoys the contrast between football and singing.
“You don’t get hurt in singing,” Rodgers said. He also participates in six different organized choirs including the Minnesota All-State Choir.
“It’s a skill that everyone should have. It’s been part of my life since I was a kid and it’s a great way to be creative,” Rodgers said.
Every June, about 200 Edina students audition for 98 Concert Choir spots. Once the choir is chosen by teachers Dr. David Henderson and Mr. Christopher Piela, choir members commit to a full-year class that meets every day to rehearse for its many concerts and choral competitions.
The choir’s concert on Nov. 12, “Grammy Gala,” featured the band, orchestra and choir performing at the Edina Performing Arts Center.
“It was tempting to be a part of,” Magnuson said. “With our town having great history behind music and sports, I wanted to join the bandwagon and do both.”
Many choir members from last year observed an increase in the number of football players participating in the program this year. In the 2006-07 school year, only four players wore their jerseys to choir class on game days compared to 10 wearing jerseys this year.
Henderson, the conductor of the choir, was pleased to see more football players in his class. He hopes it will inspire boys in elementary and middle school to partake in the Edina choir program.
“This is a great thing,” Henderson said. “It shows that singing is becoming less of a ‘girly’ thing.”
Aside from Henderson’s approval of the singing football players, he sees a definite connection between team sports and a choral group.
“Both involve a unit working together to produce a successful end result,” he said.
Henderson requires that all male members of Edina Concert Choir participate in Edina Men’s Chorus, a group composed of men of all ages throughout Edina. They practice every Wednesday morning before school and perform various shows throughout the school year. Every year, Dr. Henderson arranges for the Edina Men’s Chorus to perform the “Star Spangled Banner” prior to opening kickoff of Edina’s Homecoming football game. This year, Henderson arranged for the ten football players to be placed in the center of front row of the chorus, facing the Edina fans’ seating section.
“Football players can sing too,” said Henderson.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Zephyrus Response

For the most part, I enjoyed reading this edition of the newspaper Zephyrus but there was some things that I believe could have been altered to make the paper more interesting. To begin, the story which was above the fold on the front page called, " MNDOT introduces the initial designs for the new I-35W bridge" is technically news but I felt that the issues surrounding the event of the bridge collaspe would be a story that would be near the end of the paper. I feel as if the front page story should be one that really reaches out and touches the reader and this one just made me say "oh, cool..." and I proceeded to flip through the rest of the newspaper to see what else it consisted of. I think that if a story like the one entitled, "You might get jacked" would be more fitting for the front page above the fold because it relates more closely to the students and would successfully answer the question that journalists often use to determine if something is news: "who cares?" Although, the story above the fold didn't satisfy what i thought should have been in that location of Zephyrus, I felt the story below the fold was in perfect placement. "Lend a hand this Thanksgiving" was well placed in the paper because it informs the student body about a way to give to the community around Edina and the opportunity can be seen more easily since it is on the font page.

I liked the fact that in the "features" section they asked a question that would spark students' humor senses to come out . This is always fun to see because of the humor aspect in these blurb -like questions. A "Teenage Zephyrus Date" was also something I found to be quite entertaining. The Zephyrus staff does a good job of entertaining their student body but the thing that contradicts so much with the material we learn in class is the Zephyrus staff writers' subjectivity. For example, "English courses often controlled by females while many males shrink from discussions and participation..." wheres the facts? the proof? there isn't really any. I feel they really don't do a strong job of remaining completley objective. But because they are subjective at times, they recieve feedback from their audience, and that is exactly what they want because that means people are actually taking the time to read their articles. For example, In class we discussed how some people wrote to Zephyrus and found an article written by one staff writer to be offensive. The person who wrote the letter expressed much fury with the article, but that means that people are reading it if it is getting this much attentions. I have come to realize that a newspaper will always get feedback, both good and bad, but the amount of feedback the paper gets is as, if not more important.

Monday, October 22, 2007

News Huddle Assignment Story 2

Slug: Man Playing Dead Pops up with Knife At Heights Park

Section: News

News Elements:

Proximity. The story takes place in Edina which would appeal most to people who live in Edina. Had this story occcurred in North Minneapolis, nobody would be surprised or necessarily interested depending on the location of where the public lives. Plus, the majority of people who live in Edina are informed on the location of Heights Park so they become interested since they can visualize this occurrence. The story itself is an unusual occurence but the fact that it is in Edina is the icing on the cake since it would be a heavily viewed story among the Edina public.

Human Interest. Whenever a story involving crime pops up, humans instantly become interested in it since they view unusual occurrences with much fascination. The story involves a specific idea by a criminal to lure an individual so that the criminal could steal. I would assume that many parents and students would find this to be very interesting.

Consequence. This definatley is a news story that would involve consequence considering that it occurred in Edina. This may lead to the police being more strict within the Edina city limits and increase the amount of patrol around city parks. It may create a state of insecurity for people around that particular neighborhood since a crime occured near Heights Park.


The story will be about a boy who was walking to school and saw a man in a red sweatshirt laynig in the road by Heights Park. The boy apparently stopped to help him and the man rolled over, got up and pulled out a knife and demanded his money. The boy then apparently ran to the Middle School and the police were called but never caught the man.

Possible Interviews:

The boy. He was the one who lived the experience and his word would be most reliable/credible for the given story. I could have him tell about his experience and what occurred.

The policeman who normally patrols the area. I'd ask him about the patterns of reported crime in that part of Edina. He could tell me about the most common type of crime in Edina and whether such an occurrence is rare.

An Edina resident who lives near Heights Park. She could tell about her feelings about the incident and what she feels about the future of the neighborhood's security. Maybe she had seen the man prior to the occurrence or maybe she had seen him flee the scene.

Information Gathered:

I will need to gather information about the time it occurred, the details of the event and the name of the boy involved in the crime.

Questions Needed To Be Answered:

What time of day did this occur?
What did the suspect look like?
What did the suspect say?
What exactly did the boy do once the suspect had pulled the knife?
What exactly did the suspect do once the boy ran away?

Photo Opportunities:

Picture of Heights Park in the morning
Picture of the Boy

Photo Contacts:

The Boy

Potential Problems:

The Edina public may respond very extremely to this story and become very likely to call the police whenever they see something somewhat suspicious in a neighborhood occuring. It could cause some chaos.

Other Information:


Sunday, October 21, 2007

News Huddle Assignment Story 1

Slug: Edina Football Team Wins Classic Lake Conference
Section: Sports

News Elements:

Localization/Proximity. This would be a heavily viewed story considering that the majority of students and adults have connections within Edina. The fact that the Edina football team won passes the news method called "Who Cares?" Obviously, people from Edina will care when their high school football team wins conference. Had this story been published somewhere other than Edina, not much attention would be paid to this event.

Conflict. According to the chapter in the textbook entitled, "Deciding What is News" sports qualifies to be in the conflict category due to the tension, suspense and surprise involved the Edina Hornet Football Team's season. Their suspensful games included victories over teams such as Wayzata, Minnetonka, Chippewa Falls, Stillwater and Hopkins.

Consequence. Since the Edina Football Team won the Classic Lake Conference, the consequence that they will be participating the Section Football Championship. Although this may not affect every student, this will influence students to buy tickets to this game in advance due to the massive amount of people attending the Section tournament. Another consequence of this story is that Edina fans and other viewers will have high expectations for the team's performance in upcoming games due their perfect season.

Story Will Be About:

The story will be about the Edina Football team's season referring to previous games and their undefeated record. It will focus significantly on their final game against Wayzata since the winner of that game was going to be the conference champion. It will talk about the name of the team's upcoming opponent along with a brief history of the opponent's season.

Possible Interviews:

Head Coach of Edina Football Team, Kim Nelson. He is the head coach of the team and is closest to the players. He could share his thoughts about the past, present and future of the team. He is the one who runs the team and helps to determine whether or not the team can be successful.

Captain of the Edina Football Team, Joe Magnuson. The captain can enable the public to understand a players perspective on participating in games and practices. We can then compare and contrast the captain's views with the coach. Often, the captain is the one who can speak about the opinons of other players upon the team since he is even closer than the coach to every player.

Minnesota High School Football Writer for the Star Tribune. John Millea. This individual covered the story in the Star Tribune in the Thursday October 22, 2007. He knows a lot about the high school football situation in Minnesota and how the section tournament will work. He also may have some predictions for the upcoming games since he is informed about every team still participating in the season.

Information prior to Interview:

I need to find the best way to contact each individual. This may be e-mail addresses, work telephone lines, cellular phone numbers or conducting a personal interview with an individual face to face.

Questions definately needed answered in Interview:

Who will Edina play in the first round of their section tournament?
Who is the favorite to win the section and the state high school football tournament?
What are Kim Nelson's thoughts about the upcoming games and the season up to this point?
What does the captain/player think their key factor to success was in winning the championship?

Photo Opportunities:

Picture of star player excelling during a clutch situation during a big game.(i.e. Mike Rallis, Jason Schaefer, Anders Lee, Zach Buddish)
Picture of Edina Team in celebration after winning the Conference Championship.
Picture of the Edina Student Section and its massive display of school spirit.


The Photographer should contact the players and the coaches to get a photograph that can represent the Edina Hornets Football Team

Problems Foreseen:

The possible contacts may be tough to get in touch with because they are most likely busy dealing with their own concerns. Also, the contacts may be uninterested in doing interviews with people since they most likely have already had somebody talk to them about this event.

Other Information:

Past records of Edina Football seasons and facts about the last time the Hornets had won a state or a conference championship.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Best Characteristic of A Good Reporter

5. A good reporter is honest. He seeks the truth and acts independently. He does what he says he's going to do, and doesn't do something he promised to avoid. He returns his calls, and he's willing to say no. He's obsessed with accuracy and double checks his facts with call-backs. He sees both sides to every issue. He doesn't treat people as a means to an end.

I believe that honesty is the most important aspect of a successful reporter since it encompasses exactly what the public wants: honest facts. To begin, audience can interpret issues and events as they please once the reporter has provided them with honest information. Audiences don't want opinions shoved down their throat and when reporters do take a subjective approach to reporting since it isn't always necessarily the truth. When honesty is given to the public, it allows the news companies to increase their credibility and more people are attracted to a credible news company. This is why the New York Times is such a reliable news source because they are honest by simply reporting and the company has had few cases that make them seem uncredible. Being an honest reporter enables a reporter to be ethical and it enables the public to embrace a particular news organization as a source from which knowledged can be acquired.

Monday, September 10, 2007

skip to main skip to sidebar
Tommy M Blog
Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Something Interesting in my Community Assignment 1
I think that a major thing affecting the community of Edina is that there exists a lot of competition regardless of what endeavor one chooses to pursue. Is it really fair for so much competition to exist and have one enormous school where everybody either gets their break or fails miserably? Seperating the Edina High School District into the throwback from the 60's through the early 90's to Edina East and Edina West would enable kids to take more interest and would promote more participatiion in multiple activities whether it be sports or clubs. People would adapt to a greater sense of community within their own schools. It would create competition both academically and in athletics between inter-town programs. The student population comes from many different parts of Edina and both sides (East and West) have equal distribution of wealth.
Posted by Tommy McCann at 8:27 PM 0 comments

I'm Tommy, this is my blog for journalism class
Posted by Tommy McCann at 3:48 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hello my name is Tommy, this is my blog for Journalism Period 6