Sunday, July 26, 2009 2 comments

Unsure about Swine Flu Vaccinations

This link from the CDC Web site shows key facts that discuss statistics of the regular seasonal influenza. According to the site, about 36,000 people in the United States die of from flu-related causes. These are all deaths from the everyday flu. So far this year, the death toll for H1N1, or Swine Flu, is less than 200. For me, I would need much greater statistics to know that getting a vaccine would indeed benefit my health. As of now, I'm not so sure.

Also, it's important to remember the time before when Swine Flu was around. So many vaccinations were given out and so many deaths, complications, etc. occurred due to the vaccine. Each affected person was able to file a lawsuit against the leaders behind the vaccine. This time around, with the new "wave" of swine flu, vaccine makers were granted legal immunity so that when complications arise from this vaccine, nothing can be done about it.

An article explaining this is from the Associated Press.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 0 comments

Student Spotlight: Kevin Hess takes strides in the journo industry

Towson junior Kevin Hess has already made several accomplishments toward his aspiring career in jounralism. He is
The Towerlight's associate sports editor He has interned with his community newspaper. He is interning with Press Box Magazine. He has made strides to achieve all of these positions and has done this without letting difficulties come in his way.

Sunday, April 12, 2009 1 comments

In the Works: Feature Slideshow

For my audio slideshow, I am currently deciding between a number of people that are both interesting subjects. One idea is to create a project about the current SGA president-elect. This goes well with my beat blog and can be a great subject to use, considering the height of the position.

My other idea that I am actually now leaning towards is to do a feature slideshow on a Towson student and associate sports editor for The Towerlight. For this one, I would dig deep into his thoughts to understand why he chose to go into the field of journalism and where he hopes to go in life. I would need to pull in personal questions as well to make the story much more interesting. I believe he has a remarkable story of how he entered to field of sports journalism and believe his story should be told.
Sunday, April 12, 2009 1 comments

Beat Blogging: New York school protest leads to 19 arrests

Photo taken from
Student protesters at New York New School rushed inside an academic building to demand the resignation of their school's president. Five hours later, police officers in riot gear entered the building and arrested 19 of these protesting students.

This event happened on Friday when a protester's blog mentions the officers' use of pepper spray and tear gas. NYPD denied this accusation. Administrators of the New School issued a statement that called for the infiltration of police officers to remove the students. The school also suspended each student involved in the protest - there were over 30.

In the article examined, the author writes, "Using a bullhorn, students on the roof told more than 30 people protesting outside the building to ignore police orders, saying, 'These our our streets, this is our school.'"

To read the full story, click here.
This article certainly explains what happens but does it fail to mention what the students are upset with? No where in the article did I read what this University President has done wrong, nor did I read what the students think he has done wrong. If this were my assignment, I would've sought to include these valuable details.

Apart from that, the reporting in this story was very on point and they seemed to gather quotations from all of the right sources.

This story is important because it examines the issues of free speech and our nation's right to protest. Here, there is obviously a fine line that protesters can walk. They can easily hop over this fence and break laws instead of keeping within their given rights. I believe these students took things much too far by going into an academic building to protest, the very place where students are intended to be - getting a quality education.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009 0 comments

Video editing techniques for TV

Over the past few days, I've spent a lot of time watching TV news and analyzing how each network and news station has used their footage. Each news package is developed in a way that "snaps" and draws the reader in, keeping the tempo of the story. 

I spent significant time watching ABC 2 Baltimore. I can easily notice much less quality of video, computer graphics and editing as other national network stations. Even so, they still broadcast a great news channel. Their edits are fast and informative. 

Each shot seen obviously corresponds to the voice over of the package. There is also a great variation between tight shots and wide shots. I was able to clearly notice the movement in video as opposed to still visuals. I remember watching a short piece on journalism and the way the industry is going and the package contained many shots of moving newspapers and company signs amongst the public.  
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 4 comments

Time for an audio podcast

Since I'm covering a residence life/student concerns style beat on this blog, it's time to contemplate some audio coverage. My goal is to cover an issue that is current and accurate to the student body. So.. the question at hand, "what are students concerned about?"

  • The Student Government Association is currently in "election season" and will soon begin campaigning on multiple levels. Chalking, posters, Web sites, and verbal communication will take place by the end of the month. This may be a great topic to cover considering the importance of the next SGA executive board and how much ability they have to influence on campus.
  • Another issue to dive into would be the ever growing popularity or social media and the digital age we are living in. I'm finding more and more that our lives - personal and professional- are being converted to digital means of communication and living. Are others realizing this? Perhaps this is something the student body might be concerned with.
  • Towson is a growing campus. My goal here would be to explore different issues related to this matter. How is the community affected? Will there be enough residence halls? Will classroom sizes get bigger? Will courses have limited availability? Are students already seeing some of these impacts with a growing campus and limited budget?
Feel free to comment on this post if you feel there is anything of high importance on Towson's campus. What do students care about?
Sunday, March 01, 2009 0 comments

On/Off Campus Living: Where to go next?

I came across a very interesting article published in the University of Minneapolis's daily newspaper. The article focused on many students having to make the decision when coming to school about whether to live on or off campus. A number of interesting sources were talked to and quoted that weigh the benefits of each option for students.

The story begins in a very interesting way, focusing in on one student and their journey with college housing. This is similar to how I plan to construct my story lead.

The story also gains validity by speaking to a faculty member in the department of residence life.

"They've lived on campus, they realize the convenience of access to their classrooms, access to all the activities and events happening on campus and just being able to keep living in the vibrant core of the University," she said. This was quoted from the assistant director of Housing and Residential Life, Susan Stubblefield.

The story also provides details of different housing availability options. each residence hall has its pros and cons and each apartment is in the same position. Everyone has their own opinion on what is best and most of the decision making is due to a case by case basis. Coming Wednesday, a full feature will be posted on this specific story topic. It is very prevalent at this time because so many students on campus are having to make this decision before there are no more available options for next year.

Here is a link to the story mentioned. Click Here to learn about housing at other colleges
Monday, February 23, 2009 1 comments

Focusing on housing choices

"Living on campus is one of the best ways for students to make the most of their college experience."

This sent
ence is taken from the housing and residence life main page on

Many say that the on-campus living experience is best for students and students should do all they can to stay on campus throughout college.

For others, there are many factors that play into making the best choice of where to live. On campus or off, that is the question.

Coming soon on
Towson U for You, a student profile will be done to understand what some students go through to make sure they are enjoying college and finding the right experiences.

As of now, the right person to feature is still being decided but it will most likely be a second semester sophomore that is having decide what to do for their following year at Towson. It will be important to see what an individual decides to do during this pressing time for those considering moving off campus.

Sunday, February 22, 2009 0 comments

The Housing Limbo -

Article and Photo by: Daniel Gross

How certain students handle their living options throughout their college experience

Students entering college are also faced with the question of how to spend their four years and where they should live to get the best experience. Many options are presented to each student.

Towson U for You will soon be posting a feature article, focusing on one student and how they plan to carry out their college experience in terms of their living arrangements.

Each student's experience is unique and hearing from a personal trail of housing in one's college life an provide insight as to what students are doing to enjoy their time spent at Towson.

Next week, Towson U for You will have picked a resident student to feature in this special Blog post.
Sunday, February 22, 2009 43 comments

Caret feature uses "Wall Street Journal" formula

Post by: Daniel Gross
Photo by: Barbara Haddock Taylor /Baltimore Sun

In today's issue of the Baltimore Sun, an article was published on Towson President Robert Caret. This was a traditional feature article that touched on his goals for the University and what he has done to pave the way for the University to prosper within the community.

This article is a perfect example of a Wall Street Journal formula. The article starts out using a specific example of Caret and explains something specific about his life.

It continues by writing into the nut graph where general background is noted about the Towson president. This way, readers understand who the subject is. The body of the story certainly gives a slew of information regarding Caret and his current endeavours with the University and why he might be newsworthy at a time like this.

This would be a great article to read if you are looking for a well-formed feature article.

Click here to see the story on the Baltimore Sun's Web site: Robert Caret
Tuesday, February 17, 2009 1 comments

Lights, Camera, Action

University Hosts 72-hour film festival

Photo: Courtesy of

Starting February 27 at 5 p.m., students across campus will write, film, edit and submit an original short film in only 72 hours. The rules are simple: create the best film using three specific elements.

The first-ever Towson hosted film fest is sponsored by the Unviersity Residence Government and Lambda Kappa Tau social media fraternity chapter. 12 groups have signed up as of Tuesday.

A major component to this promoted event is the viewer's choice award. This will be one of the two grand prize awards given to the winning team. This will be given to the team with the most votes during the premiere in Stephens Hall Auditorium on March 6.

"We just thought it would be a cool niche for students to take part in on campus," URG director of resident advocacy Ben Steinberg said. "It is an event that hasn't been explored on an undergraduate level at Towson."

This event plans to expose the Towson community to video producing opportunities as well as creativity endeveurs.

"The amount of students making YouTube videos now just shows there's a creative niche within visual media."

Some students have registered because they are glad to see a film festival being done somewhere as local as Towson.

"I've always wnated to get involved with a type of film fest that gives you peramiters in which to work with," senior electronic media and film major Lance Duvall said. "And having it here at Towson makes it that much more intreguing for me."

URG will continue to take registrations until February 26.

Here is a link to a recent article published in The Towerlight about the film festival: Three days of film making
Sunday, February 15, 2009 0 comments

MCOM Info: Summary and feature story leads

There's a great difference between a summary and a feature lead. Both are inteded for very different purposes and for very different stories. 

Summary leads do just how they sound - they summarize the story. These leads typically stick to the facts and describe the issue as simply and to the point as possible. These summaries are best for hard news stories or stories that are breaking. It is the quickest way to tell others the necessary information.

Feature leads are completely different. These are intended to be pleasing to read and understand. The are typically used for softer news stories or human interest stories. These leads are when the basis of the story usually comes in the second or even third paragraph. The first is designed to pull the reader in with a catchy tidbit or interesting description. 

Both leads are very effective but are both for very different stories. Below are a couple examples:

Baltimore Sun

Fox News

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 3 comments

Other universities receive video screens in residence halls

Here at Towson, most resident students have become very used to seeing multiple fliers posted throughout the lobby of their residence hall and sometimes even up and down the hallways. Typically, these papers are updates for meetings, new club advertisements, or upcoming events that the building staff or Housing and Residence Life wish to promote. 

Drury University in Springfield, MO, has actually banned the posting of papers within residence halls. In replace, each residence hall on their 
campus now has a built in video LCD screen to display announcements. Just as the Bursur's Office is going paperless with their bill paying system, so is this university with their methods of announcing. 

Now resident students there can view all upcoming announcements via an electronic video screen. According to the article published in The Mirror the resident assistants are actually enjoying putting together the slide shows.

As far as funding, these screens will also have advertisements implemented into their broadcast of images. There are also a number of other benefits to having these screens that University officials say will improve the campus. 

The only downside was that some students felt the money spent should have gone elsewhere. 

To view the article that was published on February 4 click here.

I thought this article was put together very well. It seemed to address all of the important issues that come along with this switch from paper to video. Drury U is not the only college that is doing this so it may have been good to look into other Universities for a comparison. 
Sunday, February 08, 2009 1 comments

On-campus student life - new coverage on the way

Have you ever walked through campus, passing students left and right going to and from class? Have you ever slowed your life down when this moment occurs, to get a feel for the students around you, almost as if there is a beat or rhythm to the footsteps of each passerby?

This is what I have come to understand as the Towson University student beat.

For the Spring 2009 semester, I will be assigning myself to the Residence Life story beat. Anything as far as on-campus events, issues concerning resident students or updates in residence halls are all fair game for coverage. This is a broad scope of ideas that will string together throughout the semester. All of these posts will be designed to analyze, observe, or inform the student body of Towson University.

There is much to be reported on, considering there are over 20,000 students enrolled this year. There are also two additional residence halls on campus. Above all, there is an ever-growing amount of initiatives and programs designed for students at this university.

For resourceful information try some of th e links below:

Housing and Residence Life

TUPD Crime Log
Campus Event Calendar

If wanting to submit a news tip or story suggestion contact Daniel Gross at:
Saturday, January 31, 2009 4 comments

Towson athletic program lacks student involvement

Article by Daniel Gross
Photo taken from:

Towson University's student athletic program has been voted one of the nation's best college athletic program's in the nation, offering 20 different sports for the intercollegiate program. This is now Towson's 30th year of NCAA Division 1 competition. The college growth and student enrollment has also consistently risen in the past years and continues to do so. The University now publicizes it's current enrollment status of over 20 thousand students. 

But where are the fans? Where are the crowds that wear there school colors with pride and stand and yell for their favorite player at a Towson Tiger sporting event? 

The recent men's basketball CAA conference game vs. Drexel was a perfect example of this lack of enthusiasm this university has come to have. Throughout the entire game, although the stands were filled seeing that it was a bi-semesterly "black out" game, there was no one to be seen standing up or at times even paying attention. There was only one small section, the "student section" where a group of students choose to remain standing for the entirety of the game. 

This group would even scream chants to the rest of their fellow Towson students, yet none of these so called fans would stand up or cheer for their team. 

There were many scenarios throughout the game in which naturally the play on the court would result in a standing ovation. At one point, there was 45 seconds left in the game, with the Towson Tigers down by only four points, an easy situation to pull out ahead.

Despite these suspenseful conditions, the fans remained in their seats. This was all while, the visiting teams fans, were all standing up together to support their team and make sure they would come home with a win. 

This goes to say a lot about the intention of the students at Towson and where the holes are within the strong athletic program. The athletic and sports programs directors have put a number of fan involvement/excitement program in place. These programs however, still do not seem to enhance the experience of the fan and attract a stronger commitment to spectator sports. Much of the issue lies within the actual fans. The issue of becoming more excited and showing sincere support is the first step and strengthening the fan base.

To look through the many sports programs offered go the the Towson Tigers homepage
Monday, January 26, 2009 1 comments

Spring semester begins, soaring to new heights

This is my second semester of my sophomore year and I am even more excited to dive into the world of multi-media journalism than I've been before. After learning a great deal in Journalism and New Media I and sharpening the skills that I've already grasped, I am now ready for JNM II. I believe there is still so much more for m to learn even though I feel as if I am already becoming a professional journalist.

Currently, I serve as the Associate News Editor at The Towerlight. Here I am able to write stories on deadline, edit other's stories, create headlines and cutlines, make executive decisions and assemble the layout of certain sections. I am fortunate to be in this position and know that it is bringing me forward in my path to mass communications. Here is the link to my staff profile: Daniel Gross - Assocaite News Editor

Apart from The Towerlight, I also co-own a media production company that formed in Southern Maryland, where I am from. Change of Scene Productions ( has now been in business since 2007 and we are always looking for opportunities to create a project and increase our experience. We offer video documentaries, promotional videos, photography, Web design, graphic design, wedding videos, and much more.

There are many things that I have already experienced that has made an impact on my future career. Starting from publishing a weekly class newspaper in my fourth grade class, I've more recently interned at The Enterprise, a community newspaper in St. Mary's County and worked for, Southern Maryland's #1 online news source. At this salaried job, I was a reporter, photographer, Web developer and sales associate. Check out the news in Southern Maryland by clicking here.

I am very interested in video, photography, broadcast, reporting, writing, Web design, graphic design and almost any aspect of journalism and new media. I find it is very important to publish information and stories in a non-biased voice and find a way to most effectively distribute information to the masses.

Here is a link to my personal Web site