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Letter to the Editor

Marlena Chertock

Published in the Nov. 4 edition of The Diamondback.

In response to the Oct. 31 staff editorial, “Occupational hazard,” permission should not have to be granted before a protest or demonstration on this university’s campus, on other college campuses, in the United States or in the world. If the protest remains nonviolent, there is no reason to require prior permission.

Requiring a movement to get permission first is the complete opposite of what a movement stands for. That would be a childlike protest — “Mommy, can I revolt today?”

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Tweeting about news: Top 20 journalism Twitter users

Marlena Chertock

APRIL 11, 2011

These are in no particular order, but they are all people or news organizations who I find Tweet useful and important information about journalism, media, the future of journalism, social media and other updates or trends in journalism.

1. The Washington Post-The Washington Post has multiple twitter feeds that offer articles, data and information about events in D.C. and the world. The Post often has articles about Twitter and social media and its impacts.

This article is a response to an essay by Malcolm Gladwell, who believed Twitter and other social media is the downfall of revolutions and protests. Social media makes people lazier and feel like they’re active and involved in something, but they are merely talking about it, Gladwell said. But ddd believed that Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites share events and information to people. Social media sites are often used to organize gatherings and events, which goes against Gladwell’s essay.

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OPINION Two sides to the story: NPR deserves to stay

NPR provides a vital service and reducing funding will undermine good journalism

Marlena Chertock

MARCH 30, 2011

Since 1971, National Public Radio has offered news to listeners across the United States.
The organization employs more than 300 reporters and staff members around the world, not including those who work at the member stations that make it possible for NPR programming to reach the households, workplaces and cars of millions of listeners daily.

But last week, the organization’s future was put in jeopardy when the House of Representatives voted to cut funding.

NPR is a cultural haven. There are shows and stories about science, international news, education, books, technology and various genres of music. No other radio station in the United States is as well rounded as NPR.

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OPINION Do we even need grades?

Looking at alternative education methods

Marlena Chertock

FEB. 3, 2011

Your professor hands back an essay and you flip to the last page to see your grade. The page is full of comments in red but lacks a grade. What if this wasn’t a mistake but rather the usual circumstance?

Students at high schools and colleges around the country experience this alternative every day. Elon should consider the benefits of this alternative to grading.

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PR attempt by BP

Marlena Chertock

The surface of the water glistens at the site of the spill, as oil continues to flow from the wellhead some 5,000 feet below. Photo and caption by Dave Martin-AP, courtesy of The Washington Post.

After the oil spill on April 20 BP had their reputation to look after. A cover-up or public relations stunt had to be employed. BP spent millions on commercials to send out a message to the public, keep up their positive image and ensure people would still buy their products.

BP has even directed Google searches for “oil spill” back to the company itself, making sure that only a BP-approved version of the story gets to readers. This monopolizing of the news is bordering on unethical. News that journalists work hard to report on must get to readers in a clear, fair, accurate and unbiased story. Journalists adhere to these ethical values of objectivity, fairness and accuracy in reporting that BP does not need to follow. By controlling where readers are getting their information, through directing Google searches, BP is in effect manipulating and distorting the news.

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Consequences of interference

Questioning the heart of journalistic altruism

by Marlena Chertock, February 2, 2010

A journalist covering a story about an insane asylum witnesses a male patient escape. Should he stop him? A fundamental rule of journalism prohibits interference.

Journalists are taught to keep a separation from sources, to not befriend them or become emotionally attached to those they cover. This constitutes a conflict of interest. Physically intervening in a story is also strictly off-limits.

When Anderson Cooper came to visit Elon last year, no one could predict he would be traveling to Haiti in 2010 to cover a devastating earthquake, reporting in the throes of looting and dangerous riots.

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The heart behind the lens

by Marlena Chertock, December 1, 2009

Do we have the power to create good in this world? Photojournalist Dave Labelle believes so.

On Nov. 18 Labelle came to Elon to speak about his professional journeys. The first half of the speech was mostly techniques, guidelines and how to improve photographs. Labelle suggested a few minutes of break before he set in on the next part. He needed that time to truly switch gears.

Labelle explained why he became a photojournalist and why he and his family have been on the road since early September.

“I believe good begets good,” he said.

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