Books and Journalism, Learning to Evolve

 

Nothing beats the smell of a fresh, new paper-backed novel. However, with classic novels evolving into e-readers and other forms of technology such as kindles, it’s no secret that today’s digital revolution has cleaned out our bookshelves.

Barnes and Noble claims it now sells three times as many digital books as all formats of physical books combined. Similarly, Amazon sells 242 e-books for every 100 hardback books. This isn’t surprising, although what does this mean for the future careers of brilliant authors and writers?

With the era of digital publishing and reading, the future for author advancement is coming to a close. Authors depend upon their future profits, therefore they sink themselves into debt on the chance of a brand new hit. In reaction to the reduction of their living wages, lots of today’s writers have decided to abandon the mainstream altogether. Authors want to be in print, and appear in bookstores, not on our phone screens.

As for journalism, there’s a big rumor floating around that journalism is “dead.”

Only silly folks can believe such a tale, journalism is not dying. It’s evolving, and journalists are just now learning how to evolve with it. People all over the world still have enthusiasm for telling stories, and that alone is enough to keep journalism alive.

Being a high school writer on my newspaper staff, I’ve witnessed the enthusiasm and excitement today’s generation of young writers have for journalism. Early November, I traveled to DC for the National Journalism Convention where thousands of highschool students from all over the country came together to celebrate and learn about the growing evolution of journalism and its branches.

Social media holds some credit to the journalism boom. Because of today’s technology, news is traveling faster and faster and becoming more accessible. Just minutes after something remarkable happens, the details are posted within minutes online. People crave news.

Although newspapers aren’t doing very well, the content that’s found in them can still be accessed, just in a different form. Journalism has undergone some major transformations in past few years, from traditional newspapers themselves, to radio broadcasts, to television, and now to the Internet. The mother of all information.

Journalism isn’t about the form that it takes, it’s about the facts, opinions, views and stories that are available to the public. Journalism, like any other industry, has to adapt and move with time. Thanks to the Internet, journalists and writers now have several opportunities to be read and noticed. By including images, links, audio, videos, these writers can find their own creative outlet to utilize their stories even better.

 


 

Some people don’t believe that journalism can thrive without newspapers, but maybe journalists just need to learn when it’s time to step away from tradition. Society doesn’t need newspapers, it needs the material that’s published in them. This content is just in the process of being presented in a more modern way.

For books and journalists, storytelling will never die, it’s just shedding off some old skin.

What do you think about the decline of newspapers? Can journalism survive without newspapers? Can authors and journalists learn how to present their stories in a new technological era?

 


 

Distracted Driving Becomes a Growing Epidemic

Parents, imagine this. Your teen is out driving around at night, and you’re sitting in angst waiting for them to come back home. Shortly later, you hear a knock at the door in the middle of night. You look out the window and notice several police officers standing at your front door. You open the door, and are told that your child has been killed in a fatal car wreck. For those of you who are on the other side of the screen and are thinking ‘this could never happen to me or my teen,’ you’re wrong.

Despite his profession of being a sportscaster for WBNS-TV, Dom Tiberi was just like any other typical man. He loves to cook, watch the Cincinnati Reds, and more importantly, he loves his three children. However, little did Tiberi know that he was about to begin a new journey promoting and engaging children and teens about the hazards of distracted driving. This new mission has a title. And that title is “Maria’s Message.”

September 17, 2013. A night Tiberi and his family will never forget. “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare that we’re livin’,” said Tiberi. At 10:38 that night, Tiberi’s daughter, Maria Tiberi, left the house to go see her sister at work, and was killed 5 minutes later. “Something caused her to hit a semi truck at 53mph,” said Tiberi, “We know that she wasn’t on her cell phone, and we know that she wasn’t texting.” Police have yet to figure out exactly what caused Maria to become distracted.

Below is a video containing an interview with the Tiberi family

Despite the mysterious twist, Maria Tiberi is no different than the hundreds of other teens whose lives are shattered on the roadways every year. “Every 16 minutes, somebody in the United States dies in an automobile accident,” said Tiberi, “We just saw a tragedy in Johnstown where three kids lost their lives and they were all ages fifteen to seventeen.”

So what has caused this new and dangerous trend to contaminate the driving habits of so many teens? It might have to do with the major ego of many teens who think that they’re “good” at texting and driving at the same time. “We all thought when we were sixteen that we were ten feet tall,” Tiberi said. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 97% of teens say texting and driving is dangerous, yet 43% admit to doing it. The popularity and evolution of mobile devices has sent many teens on a new rampage to become technologically involved in every aspect of their daily lives.

Tiberi’s loss has sent him on a new quest to speak out to teens all over the state about the devastating impacts and dangers of distracted driving. “I’ve been to sixteen high schools,” said Tiberi, “There are usually not too many dry eyes in the auditoriums that I’ve been to.” Some of those auditoriums includes those in schools such as Lancaster, Canal Winchester, Dublin Jerome, and Northmor. “I will continue to do this for as long as kids wanna hear from me,” Tiberi said.

Parents, even though the statistics are frightening, there is no reason to panic just yet. “Automobile accidents are so preventable,” Tiberi said. And these accidents can be even more preventable if parents are taking the proper actions to make sure their teens are driving responsibly and safely. “Don’t be afraid to be a parent,” said Tiberi, “We’ve got to set better examples.” Adults are just as vulnerable to texting and driving just as much as teens are. “Bottom line is, none of us should do it,” Tiberi said. Also, don’t be afraid to discard cell phones when necessary. Think about it, what’s more important? A person’s life, or what Julie said to Bob about Kate?

Tiberi’s dedicated efforts have pushed Ohio’s Governor John Kasich to sign legislation designating September as Safe Driving Awareness Month. Kasich has also vowed additional state efforts to draw attention to the dangers of distracted driving. “I think the main thing we need to do is step up the education and step up the awareness,” Tiberi said. The next step in Tiberi’s mission is to create a defensive driving program for students to undergo. “I think moms and dads need to do their part to make sure that kids learn the right way to [drive],” Tiberi said.

So, what are you going to do the next time you set foot in your car? Or how about the next time you pass by an accident? Instead of taking your life for granted, remember Tiberi’s words, “if it can happen to me and my family, it can certainly happen to you and your family.” Driving is a privilege that can instantly be turned into a deadly danger with just one small distraction. Don’t be a statistic when you can be part of the movement.

Here are some tips to prevent distracted driving brought to you from AAA Exchange:

1. If there is some other activity demanding your attention, instead of trying to attempt it while driving, pull of the road and park your vehicle in a safe place.

2. To avoid temptation, power down or store away all electronic devices or anything else that may cause you to take your focus off the road

3. Food can also be a distraction. Eat meals or snacks before or after your trip. When going through a drive thru, try eating in the parking lot.

4. Finish dressing and personal grooming at home, not while driving.

5. Make any vehicular adjustments before you start driving. Address systems such as GPS, seats, mirrors, and sound systems before driving. Also, decide on your route and check traffic/weather conditions beforehand.

6. Store loose gear, possessions, and other materials that could roll around in your car, so you do not feel tempted to reach for them on the floor or seat.

To find out more about Maria’s message visit 10tv.com/mariasmessage and make the pledge to not become a distracted driver

Misfit Academy Book Review

Recently I was given the opportunity to have my first book sent to me to review. I couldn’t help but freak out, I was stepping up in the world. I was given the book, Misfit Academy by Lisa R. Petty.

I’ll have to admit, for a high school student normally reading about alternate universes and teen dramas written by John Green, this was a new kind of book for me. It’s the kind of book that teenagers can relate to with their freshman and sophomore years of high school.

Misfit Academy is about male leading man, Scott and his small private school he attends, Concord Academy. This school has twenty-five kids in his class. So basically everyone knows everyone, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. Yet among these twenty-five children, there are still your typical cliques. You have some rude cheerleaders and the class bully, Wolfgang. Oh, and there’s a new girl, Ashley who keeps messing with Scott’s head. Scott can’t focus around her, not one bit he’s clumsy and can’t speak straight.

Throughout the novel, Scott faces several challenges that other teens have face. For example, Scott watches Ashley date Wolfgang. Scott’s parents are also fighting at home and heading towards divorce. Scott is stressed with all of this drama.

To be honest, this book wasn’t a challenge for me to read. Now, I’m not saying the book was bad, what I’m saying is it wasn’t a challenge. It was good, and I believe that middle school students would be really interested in this book. It’s also a good tool for middle school students to get a realistic idea of high school before entering high school themselves.

I know my freshman year it was really intimidating because I was so small and everyone was so much bigger than me. Plus I didn’t know about Hayes, but with a book like Misfit Academy I think this would be useful. I’m not saying that all of the things that Scott goes through other teens will go through, but sometimes similar events can happen and watching Scott go through these events could help others. So I really reccomend this story for any middle schoolers, or freshman in high school.

“An Open Letter to The Cleveland Browns from 10 Year Olds” (Video)

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These young 10 year old self proclaimed Cleveland Browns “problem solvers” make several compelling arguments for bringing former OSU football coach, Jim Tressel, to the NFL.

In the video the pint sized football fanatics state the Browns are “bad” and that Coach Tressel does one thing: “he wins games.”

Browns (or Tressel) fan or not, do you think he could be the answer to turning the Cleveland Browns around?

Watch the video and let us now your thoughts about bringing Tressel on in the comment section below.

Editor’s note: here are the Browns won loss record since 2008 (and I am a life-long Browns fan – SJE)

2008  4 – 12

2009  5 – 11

2010   5 – 11

2011   4 – 12

2012   5 – 11

2013   4 – 12