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Foray into broadcast

March 27, 2011


As part of my liberal arts education, I knew I’d be learning all types of journalism… including broadcast. Traditionally there has been a divide between print and broadcast journalists. For my past 4 years at Truman, I’ve found myself on the print side working at both the Index student newspaper and Detours the student magazine. I’d really never been interested in radio or TV.

However this semester I enrolled in Broadcast Production – it’s a graduation requirement 😦 . For the past semester, I’ve been tripping over cable cords, dragging heavy equipment across campus and learning how truly evil AVID (editing software) can be. Despite the necessary evils of broadcast technology, I’ve also learned how to visually tell stories. Coming from a print background: Words rule. When creating a broadcast story: B-roll rules.

So far for the class I’ve done 4 radio pieces and 4 broadcast pieces. So I decided to take the leap… I started a YouTube account!

While I’ve been unsuccessful in transferring my audio from my radio pieces, my broadcast stories were a success. So if you interested click the link and check out my work! Some of the stories I was the videographer and others I worked as the reporter. (the ones with my voice I was the reporter.)



43 Days!

March 25, 2011

Graduation checklist:


  • Pay off graduation bill
  • Buy cap and gown
  • Finish website
  • Send Detours to the publisher for proof
  • Send Detours to the publisher a second time
  • Get all graduation signatures needed
  • Finish LAS portfolio
  • Go to loan counseling
  • Take graduation quiz
  • Pass senior test


Detours design critique

March 20, 2011

It’s Detours design time!

I recently had Detours’ Winter 2010 edition critiqued by a Truman alumni who is in charge of  design at major newspaper.

The following are some of the comments he made about the design for Summer 2011 issue of Detours

You can follow along with the digital copy here!

He really liked the cover photo.

-I thought this was interesting, because the design, photography and artistic people I’ve talked to love the cover. However a lot of other people think the picture is gloomy.

He also recommended putting the cover photo’s story on front. We only had two of the best stories on front. This semester we are going to put the cover photo’s story above all of the others.

Contents page:

He said there needed to be a more dominant photo. He suggested making the guy in red bigger.


He said he really liked the Tugfest spread, but the infographic on page 8 was a bit difficult to follow. He said some of the numbers were not clearly connected to their corresponding words. We are doing a similar infographic for this issue, so we’re keeping that in mind!

Haunted Memories

In this spread, he said to keep the pull quotes consistent. The pull quotes on pages 14-15 had a background color block while the pull quote on page 13 didn’t. He said he thought it was fine to change them throughout the magazine, but in the same spread to keep them consistent.

Quirky Eats

This spread he liked the change up from the longer stories. However he said he would have liked to see some sort of address since we mentioned specific restaurants.

Vedic City Rises Above

He really liked this spread, but in the second 2 pages of the spread, both photos on either side of the page were about the same size. He said to make sure there was a dominant photo. On page 23 he liked the map but said there should have been title for it.

Snagged in Time

This layout was a little bit inconsistent with the rest of the magazine’s text pacing. Most of the other spreads had a considerable amount of white space, while this one didn’t. Usually when we plan for page layouts we decide based on photos not word count.

Nature’s wild ride

The only comment he had for this one, was the bad cutout job/photo quality of the trailer picture on page 29.


He really liked the font and design used in the title.

Botna Bend

He used this title as an example of how sometimes young designer sometimes try to use too many different types. Since the fun headlines are Detours signature he really wanted us to keep that going, but encouraged us to try to stick to one different element such as size, color, shape etc and not use to many.

Unearthing Cahokia

Throughout the magazine one problem he identified was having the text on the ‘outside’ of that page. Page 41 is an example of this where the text is more to the right of the page instead of closer to the inside of the page.

All in all he liked the magazine and the design elements. Hopefully we can take these designs comments forward to the next issue!

Stephanie Hall- TA?

March 15, 2011

After work today, I was trying think of a journalistic approach to the adage when life gives you lemons…

Here’s what I came up with… When your boss hands you a story idea…. make a print story with three sources, a podcast, some tweets, a photo slideshow and a video package. (To those of you in the world of convergence journalism you will find that funny — sorry to the rest of you)

But really what it boils down to is in journalism you never know what you’re going to get… lemons, breaking news… a teaching assistant position? The point is to take whatever your handed and use it to your benefit

(Here comes the personal anecdote to how this adage relate to my life right now)

About 3 weeks ago I was feeling relieved. Detours copyediting was done, the magazine designs were underway and I could finally start working on making headway on our website re-design, publicity for the magazine launch (April 15th!) and our new digital version of our magazine 🙂

Then came the lemon…. one morning while I was working on a newscast for KTRM, (student radio station) a journalism teacher stopped me in the hallway asking me to come speak to the news reporting and writing class that afternoon (aka in 3 hours). I was a little confused about the content of the speech, but the teacher assured me she’d send me an e-mail explaining the circumstances.

The circumstances:  The professor was requiring the pairs of students in the class to pitch story ideas to myself and the 3 other leaders of student media. Then we were in charge of choosing story ideas we liked. The teacher was requiring students to get them selves published in the student media. Because of “prior review” laws, faculty are not allowed to see a journalism story before it’s printed, so we are in charge of the student’s work from story pitch to completion.

This means I am in charge of vetting story ideas, teaching proper interview techniques, coaching their stories — print and multimedia — editing their stories and grading them.

As editor in chief of Detours, I knew there would be some curve balls, obstacles and new challenges thrown my way. Teaching students for a class? Not one of them. However it comes down to one thing… experience

While I’m not going for a degree in education, I do love coaching writers. So I’m trying to make lemonade here by looking at this as an opportunity to learn how to work with freelancers, how to assess writer’s strengths and weaknesses and work with writers of various backgrounds.

Overall getting to coach writers on stories (especially travel stories) is exciting and now I’m able to help so many students improve their writing.

So after 3 classroom visits I have ‘bought’ 5 stories for Detours which means I’m coaching 10 writers and have 5 print stories to coach and 5 multimedia pieces to edit. I have 4 more ‘buying’ sessions to go and plenty of more students to teach.

It’s a different way than I thought I would finish off my senior year, but now I can say that I helped teach student’s about magazine writing, which is something I’m proud to do.

Situations like this happen in all jobs. If given extra responsibility, try to embrace it and somehow use it to your advantage. You never know when a certain experience could land you a job.

Detours photo contest!

February 23, 2011

I’m encouraging you all to enter the Detours photo contest and get your picture in the magazine. You also should friend Detours’s Facebook page, so you can vote in our Facebook fan favorite photo contest.

We’ve been advertising the photo contest in some traditional venues like Truman Today,, our website etc. However, this time were stepped it up a bit and aimed higher by sending our press release to major newspapers’ websites like Kansas City Star, and Stl Today.  Because of this we got a few tweets about it from people not related to Truman.

Here is the press release we sent out!

Detours Magazine of Truman State University is accepting entries for its biannual photo competition. The contest, themed “Return to your Roots,” is FREE and open to all amateur photographers.

Along with your photo entries, include the location of the photo, the photographer’s name and contact information, and a short caption. Check us out online at for full rules and regulations and to see past photo contest winners.

Photos, along with the necessary information, may be submitted by e-mail to or mailed to Detours Magazine, 100 E. Normal, Kirksville, MO 63501.

All entries must be submitted by February 25. Two contest winners will be selected this issue. One will be selected by Detours editors and one selected by Detours’ Facebook fans. The winners will be notified in March. Both photos will be featured in the Summer 2011 issue of Detours Magazine.

76 days update-Detours copy editing

February 16, 2011

Hello everyone,

We were heavy into Detours copyediting for awhile. So I thought I’d give you a little taste of how Detours copyediting works!

Our first session revolves around macro-copyediting.


Do they have adequate number of sources?

Do we have any more questions for the sources?

Are the sources the best for the information provided?


These will be edited throughout the three editing stages. On first draft we usually ask the writers to re work their existing leads if their lede is too generic. ( ie: Unique attraction XX is a gem hidden in the rolling hills of XX state.) Often if we ask the writer to change the focus of thier story their lede and nutgraph will change.


In this stage, we are also working on moving the best/most interesting sources, information to the front of the story. This might mean reordering the sources, adding subheads to a story etc.

Second Round…..Somewhere between Macro and Micro copy editing.


Did the writer call back the sources?

Did the sources give us new information?

Is the new information still necessary to the story?


Did the writer make all the changes to the story that we asked?

How did the changes affect the rest of the story?

Is there any more questions that arise because of the changes?

Story structure:

Often when we ask writer to change the layout of their story, some parts of their stories get discombobulated. So we double check to make sure there’s no repeating information, extraneousness information or misplaced information.

We also look at the story sentence by sentence to decide if the sentence needs to be refined, eliminated or supplemented with additional information

Third Round: Micro Editing!!!

Sentence Structure: We go sentence by sentence looking at sentence structure, word choice and grammar.

Lede/ending: We’ve been looking at these throughout the editing process, but in this stage were making final editing changes.

Title/sidebar ideas: We usually have the writers come up with title ideas, but we often tweak them. As for sidebar ideas we take these from information we cut from the story, terms that need to be defined, lists of events at an attraction etc

Hope this gives you a little insight into how magazine copyediting differs from other forms of copyediting.

Journalists are funny too… in our own way.

February 9, 2011

All of the following jokes are from I’ve broken them down into categories, but honestly the entire website is hilarious and gets updated daily!

Copyeditor jokes:

Copyeditor to reporter: “I don’t want you to rewrite the story because I’ve already done that.”

Copyeditor: “Knock knock.” Photo Editor: “Who’s there? Copy Editor: “To.” Photo Editor: “To who?” Copy Editor: “To WHOM!”

Convergent Journalism jokes

Reporter: “Want to shoot video for me? It’s the wave of the future.” Photographer: “Unemployment is the wave of the future.”

Print reporter returning from assignment: “I’ve tweeted it. I have my video and B-roll. I even have a podcast. Now if only I could figure out what my story is.”

Reporter/editor jokes

Reporter talking on his cell phone: “Can I call you back later, grandma? I’m right in the middle of a homicide.”

Reporter doing a phone interview: “Please slow down, professor. You’ve been researching this topic for a decade. I’ve been researching it since lunchtime.”

Editor: “A detective is a journalist with a gun.”

One reporter to another: “You’re the only person I know who can take a ‘no comment’ quote and turn it into a 40-inch story.”

Reporter, while trying to get an interview with a stranded motorist at a local hotel after a blizzard: “You want me to bring you some cigarettes? Uh, yeah, I guess I could do that.”

Reporter: “Names of task forces should not take up an entire line of text in Word. I’m looking at you, Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Social Workers Social Work Safety Task Force.”

Sports editor looking at PDF before deadline: “What the fuck happened to this photo? It looked so good when I took it, but now it looks like someone took it and soaked it in 1987.”