The Conversation

Dragondeer video


No Comment

The comment sections on websites have long been the source of unnecessary trolling and hostility since the beginning of the internet. Many websites have given up the use of comment sections in-an-attempt-to respect the work of the contributor of the content. The counter argument of course is that the internet is supposed to be a place for global discussion and removing the comment section severely limits the ability to converse with other people across the world.

In an article published on the blog Digiday the writer Ricardo Bilton discusses the pros and cons of comment sections and also discusses the way some websites have gotten around not having a formal comment section on their pages.

“Internet comments have long been a conundrum. Like communism, they’re great on paper but not so much in practice. Done right, publishing comments can drive discussion and increase reader engagement. But more often than not, publishers have seen their comment sections devolve into a free-for-all in which decorum and even social norms are tossed aside in the name of some grievance, real or perceived.”

The most productive commenting format to me is the idea of “re-blogging” which is used by websites like Tumblr. Rather than commenting people can re-blog something that they see and like and can still leave their input. Re-blogging in theory is supposed to prohibit leaving negative comments out of spite by re-blogging and commenting on things you like and ignoring the things you don’t.

As a relatively active member of the online community I have come to deeply despise the comment section of a website. While there is room for constructive discussion depending on the website and subject of the article but in general the comment section is nothing more than a spattering of nonsense.

More-often-than-not the comments are all the same, millions of people saying the same thing and then a few trolls mixed in who are there to start shit with other members of the online community. People are far more brazen behind the security of their screens and keyboards, and although some websites think they have found a way around the negativity by requiring people to comment using their Facebook profiles so-as-to avoid anonymity, in my experience this has little to no impact on the comments people leave. People will say what they want to say when they have the power of a keyboard.

More than once I have been scrolling through the comments and I have seen many supportive and contributing comments and then someone comes in and decided to drop a grenade that derails the whole conversation. There is no way to filter out the nonsense and the original intention of the discussion gets lost in all the bull shit.

I would be more than happy to do away with the traditional comment section and figure out a way to keep the discussion more focused in-order-to have a progressive conversation. I understand the idea behind commenting and allowing easy access to the conversation but I think that there is a lot of improvement that could be done to the way that comment sections are formatted. Perhaps since I have no real suggestions I shouldn’t be offering criticism but I do think that in the end the comment section is less of a platform for discussion than it is a place mess with people.

Page One review

Since beginning my education as a journalism major I have been told that journalism is a dead field. I have been told that nobody reads the paper and that being a journalist is a pipe dream in this age of technology and instant information. The romantic idea of working in a bustling news room and breaking the next Watergate Scandal is something that all young journalists strive for; but the reality of the situation is that this idea is just that, an idea.

Page One: Inside the New York Times gives a unique and eye-opening look into today’s floundering journalism industry. The documentary shows the decline of some of the largest newspapers in the country and how the New York Times has kept itself afloat in the fast-paced and rapidly changing world of tablets and e-readers.


Page One follows writers from the New York Times as they navigate their new presence on the internet and learn to adjust to the changing times. As one of the world’s most reputable newspapers the New Work Times knew that it was important for them to stay relevant and this documentary shows how they found a new niche in the media.

Most online news sources now base their content off of articles originally written by the New York Times using them as a kind of wire service and that is how the Times has stayed relevant today. Institutes like the Times, Washington Post, and the Atlantic have become the source of content for the newer online blogs and media outlets who often re-post or write their article based off the articles already written by these bigger sources.

Getting the important information in a concise and easy way is the new formatting for news outlets; we want it now and we want to read as much as possible in a short amount of time. It is so much easier to find a blog post, a tweet, or a small blurb online than it is to buy a newspaper and read through all the pages to get to the news article that is interesting. What’s more most news articles online are 500 word or less which only adds to the simplicity of online news.

The fact of the matter is that technology has given us an insane amount of information at our finger tips and there are more convenient ways of getting out news. A paper is no longer a convenient way to receive our news.

As a journalist breaking into the industry in this-day-and-age it makes me sad to see that this is my future in this industry. The need for convenience has made good journalism something that isn’t valued. People want click bait and a constant flow of information which leaves no time for deeply investigated and highly accurate news.

Though a part of me yearns for the old days of journalism that I will never get to experience I have to embrace the media culture I am going to be a part of. Using blogs, twitter, and other sources of online media is how this generation spreads news and from my perspective you can either bitch and complain and wish for the old ways, or you can embrace what it is and make the best out of it by using it as a way to make mass groups of people aware of the world around them.


Day seven: Punch today in the face

Day Seven:

Well this is it the day has come. The last and final day of my challenge. I woke up this morning without any problems what so ever. According to scientists, it takes your body three days to adjust to a new schedule and by the third day of this week I was already becoming less and less resentful at the sun for coming up and ending a perfectly good nights’ sleep.

This morning I decided to wake up and punch today in the face. I pushed myself to run harder and farther than I have the previous days and I may not have done as well as others but I am proud of myself for at least trying. These last seven days have been interesting; it was nice to shake up my routine and I am pleased with myself for having not given up just a few days in like I thought I might.

I would encourage anyone to try something that isn’t comfortable to them. It takes discipline and will power and I think both of those things are strong traits to exercise in silly ways like an early morning workout challenge.

Here is what I learned from doing this challenge for seven consecutive days.


  • You will get used to it, but you don’t have to like it.
  • Sometimes it’s necessary to push yourself to do something you don’t like just for the sake of proving to yourself that you can do it.
  • It’s relaxing to shake up your routine so drastically
  • Just try, no matter how hard it is or much it sucks just try it. Try something new even though it intimidates you.

And finally

  • Don’t be afraid to try it because you might fail, you probably will, but you can always pick yourself up and try again.


My favorite coffee mug and morning inspiration 

Day Six: Within my grasp

Day Six:

One day left. I can see the finish line to clearly.

I woke up this morning exhausted after a restless night of sleep, after dropping my roommate off at the airport for her spring break extravaganza I came home and collapsed on the couch before I remembered I still had to exercise.

My roommate and I had finished the last of the coffee yesterday morning so I was horrified when I remembered that there was none left in the house. I decided to run to the closest coffee shop instead of taking my usual path. It was fun to shake it up a bit and the reward of good coffee was enough to keep me going.

I have enjoyed this last week but I am not a morning what so ever person and there is no reason in trying to convince myself otherwise. I worked out this evening as well to compare the difference between morning and evening workout and while I do get some energy from working out this morning I feel more tired and ready for bed this evening than I have all week.

I think it is so fascinating how everyone’s body works so differently. My aunt and I discussing how she is a morning person and the thought of working out in the evening doesn’t make sense to her and I am the total opposite. I challenged her to do my seven-day trial but in reverse, I don’t think she’s going to go for it though.

I have one day left and I cannot wait for this week to be over.



Day Five: Late to bed, early to rise


I apologize for the delay, Saturday was full of endless chores and tedious tasks.

Day Five:

Friday night ended with me pouring myself into bed around dawn; but my mama didn’t raise a quitter so I mustered all of my energy and woke up early as I have been everyday of this challenge. I thought I had made a big mistake going to bed so late- as it turns out-  the power nap is not a bad way to go. I woke up before my alarm and sprang out of bed, after a huge cup of coffee of course.

I have been pleasantly surprised with my progress and I didn’t actually think I would be more comfortable with waking up early as time went on. I’ll be honest, when I watched the Buzzfeed video that inspired this last week I thought they were bull shitting for the sake of having an interesting video, but, it genuinely gets easier as the days go on to adjust to waking up early and exercising. I’ve also found that running before the day starts gives me a huge energy boost which is nice and helps adjust into the rest of the day.

I won’t continue to wake up early after this week, there isn’t enough coffee in the world to convince me to make this a constant way of life. It has been an interesting experience and I am glad I chose this to do for seven days but I know myself and I know that I won’t be able to keep it up.

The amount of coffee I need to fully function 


Day four: The early bird gets the worm

Day Four:

My grandfather used to lecture me about how late I would sleep in and he would always say “the early bird gets the worm” and finally his word came true. This morning I got out of bed with no problems and I felt the struggles of the first three days paying off. That is until I opened the front door to see that it was cold and wet and the sidewalk was littered with little lost worms.

I am from Oregon so running in the rain isn’t a problem, in fact I enjoy running in the rain so waking up that weather was a pleasant surprise. But being from Oregon and having a hippy mom means that I have been trained to stop and pick up every single worm I see laying on the sidewalk and moving them to the grass. Today’s run wasn’t so much exercise as it was a mission to save ALL THE WORMS.

People kept looking at me like I was insane; run, run, run, stop pick up a worm, run some more.

I was so busy picking up worms that I didn’t even realize that I had successfully gotten up and started my day without feeling like I had been hit by a truck. When I finally got back to my house I was so proud of myself for being a relatively successful grown up who had just spent the last hour saving worms all around her neighborhood.

Not all heroes wear capes.

worm on sidewalk.jpg
A picture of one of the many lives I saved before most of you had finished your morning coffee 


Day three: Good morning sunshine

Day three:

This morning, when the horrid shriek of my alarm went off I was not immediately consumed by rage. Instead, I found myself exhausted but not as resilient and it was much easier to sit up and start my day.

I got on my workout clothes and headed out into the soft morning light and what’s more, I was almost excited to start my run. ALMOST. I have a difficult time warming up in the morning and it takes me quite a while to find my stride.

So far this challenge has been interesting. Waking up early to exercise is so far out of my comfort zone that it’s been fun to push myself. I have noticed more energy throughout the day and it’s forced me to go to bed early which is something I have never been very good at. I’m a night owl through and through so having to reverse my typical internal clock has been kind of fun in a weird sadistic way.

I have four days of this little personal challenge left and I hope that by the end of the week waking up and getting out of bed won’t be such a struggle. So far the first 20 minutes of my day have not been enjoyable at all and I would like it to not feel like such a chore. I think there is a lot of merit in being able to get an early start and hopefully by the end of the week I’ll be in that place.

The face you make when it’s spring break and you’ve been up at 6am every day 


Day Two: Rise and Whine

Day two:

I like the idea of starting my day early more than I actually like it

This morning was worse than yesterday. When my alarm went off at an ungodly hour, using its electronic shriek to get me out of bed, I cried. The mornings are so cold and dark. There is a reason why people should sleep in. I see no point in getting up until the surrounding world is as warm as the inside of my house.

In an effort to make a life a little easier I set all of my clothes and running things out last night so that I wouldn’t have to fumble half blindly in the dark to gather all of my stuff. It actually helped a little and made the transition slightly less painful once I got over the shock and horror of being awake.

The run got off to a slow start, I’ve noticed it takes my body much more time to warm up and get in a good rhythm in the morning than it does when I exercise at night. I like feeling more energized afterwards but the build-up to the run takes so much more time that I’m not sure the energy boost later is worth it.

Five more days to go. I keep hoping with every small fiber of my being that by the end of this seven-day challenged I won’t be so physically pained to wake up at 6am.

But I have a sinking suspicion that won’t be the case.

I finally widened up a decided to lay my clothes out the night before 


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New Journalism 2017

the coolest class at CCD

Roberto Alba


Drei Howell Blog

Journalist, Writer, & Cheese Enthusiast


A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

New Journalism 2017

the coolest class at CCD

Roberto Alba


Drei Howell Blog

Journalist, Writer, & Cheese Enthusiast