Week 1 Round-up

Personal Introduction to Class

Hey Y’all!

My name is Rosalind (last name omitted) and I’m from Greenville, SC. You know, that uber-religious state, shaped like a sideways triangle, that managed to re-elect an adulterous burgler to political office after he was caught red-handed both times (hangs head in shame)? Moving along… I hold an undergraduate degree in Sociology from The State University of New York College at Oneonta. I’m a Navy vet, and also did about a minute in law school in the early 2000s – the next paragraph gives a head’s up as to why it was only a minute. My main hobby, when I’m up to it, is photography. I’ve done it since May 2008. I don’t have any children, but that’s okay with me because with two sisters that are 12 and 15 years younger than me, it’s close enough to it, LOL.

This is my third class in the Digital Journalism program, but not my third class at NU. Prior to starting the JRN program in March, I was in the MFA program in Digital Cinema (MDC), and fell just two courses short of completing the curriculum for the first year of the three year program. I switched to JRN from MDC because I have Systemic Lupus and my health has been doing its best to imitate a yo-yo. With a mandatory month-long residency in Los Angeles quickly approaching in (then) three months, I was counseled that it would probably be too much for me to handle, physically.

Because Lupus complications are so random, there’s no way to tell when my health will be optimal (in relative terms), and the MDC residency is only held once a year. So, since I love nothing more than being alive (and my mother didn’t raise a fool), I bid adieu to Digital Cinema and bonjour to Digital Journalism. I mean, after all that money the MDC program made me spend (well, borrow) for a whole bunch of “professional level” videography equipment, I was determined to get my (Uncle Sam’s?) money’s worth from it. I’M. JUST. SAYIN’.

I kid, I kid! I’m really not hostile, LOL. The truth is that the switch from Digital Cinema to Digital Journalism, especially in light of the equipment purchases, just made sense. Also, when I applied to NU it was a toss up between the two programs and I succumbed to ego. Dontjudgemeokaythanks. And, admit it… y’all know that Filmmaker sounds sexier than Journalist. Be honest! You know it does, LOL.

So, here I am – probably where I should have been all along. But, better late than never.

My student work (text and video) can be seen on the blog I had to create for JRN 600: Rosalind Writes (https://rosalindwrites.wordpress.com). I’m going to continue to post my work there as I progress through the JRN program. Use the post categories, called Categories (couldn’t resist the urge, tee hee), on the right sidebar to see what I’ve done for a specific class.

Thanks for reading, and I hope I made you chuckle at least once. Laughter is good. I like it. 🙂

Video Critiques

Title: The high cost of prescription drugs
Link: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/8004316/ns/video/#51515048

A representative from a drug manufacturer explained that prescription drugs, especially those under patent and not available as generics, cost so much because they “had to”. He cited the cost to develop the drugs as justification for how much name brand prescription drugs cost. I understand what he’s saying, but I really wonder if the medications REALLY have to cost as much as they do in order for the company to recoup its development costs.

A mother of three, with two children having ADHD, talked about how she struggled to buy their medications. She said that she felt soon she would be priced out.  I don’t think she knew about the “Patient Care” programs that pretty much all of the BigPharma companies have. The drug makers give away many, if not all, of their drugs to people who meet income requirements. There are also nonprofits who run their own programs and provide free or discounted medications. This should be common knowledge, so more public awareness campaigns are needed.

There was an in-studio segment that gave tips on how to cut one’s prescription costs. Overall, I liked it. But, the tips failed to mention the prescription assistance programs that are available. The tips also seemed to only speak to people who had health insurance. I didn’t like that.

Title: Senator wants discounts on student loans

Link:  http://cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2013/05/09/lead-senator-elizabeth-warren-student-loans.cnn.html

The interest rate on student loans is set to double this summer. Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to temporarily lower student loan interest rates to 0.75%. She said that if we could loan money to banks at really low rates, we should also let students benefit from those same low rates. I like and agree.

Things That “Wowed” Me

Google Chrome Web Store

If you use Google Chrome and you like to use apps (add-ons in Firefox lingo) for shortcuts to online tools/services that you use, or just to extend the functionality of your browser, you need the Google Chrome Web Store in your life. As a long-time Chrome user, I knew it was there but I never paid it much attention until about a week or so ago. I assumed that it was just like the Firefox add-on website, but I was wrong. It has much more to choose from, is better organized, and is also more attractive.

I literally was wowed when I took the time to see what was available – there are probably apps for anything you can think of. If you’re, by chance, into Web design or development or you have wanted to try to make your own Android app, but don’t know how to code, you’re going to LOVE the Developer Tools section (under Productivity).

Below is a sample of five apps that I think are directly relevant to digital journalists. Sorry, there are no links directly to them in the Web Store, but the Web Store has a search box. I link to websites where available.

Document Cloud – Browse the primary source documents behind the news. It’s free and also has a website you can use if you prefer that over the app. No mobile option, though.

SocialSav – A free, weekly social media report that helps busy people keep up with social networking performance and news. No mobile option, browser only. No website.

Buffer – Schedule your articles to post to Twitter throughout the day. There are also apps for iPhone and Android mobile devices! Visit the website.

Tagdef – Look up the definition of Twitter hashtags, and add your own in seconds. Also has a website. No mobile option, browser only.

Rapportive – This Gmail extension for Chrome will show you all the social media information about the person who emailed you right next to their email. I use it, and it’s very handy. Gmail in Chrome browser only. You can also add it to Gmail via their website.

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