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21 Aug 2011 16:19


About: What I learned this summer, from departing intern Justin Jones

  • Editor’s note: Justin Jones, our summer intern, has spent the past few months updating SFB and learning a couple of tricks along the way. As he begins his time back at the University of Florida again and leaves our humble abode, he wanted to share with you a few things he learned over the past few months. Enjoy. Oh, and thanks for the help, Justin. Much appreciated. — Ernie @ SFB
  • On people Community and the people who make it are critical, and it’s awesome here on Tumblr. I already had experience with that. What I didn’t have experience with is manning a Facebook and helping with the Twitter, and I learned how to do it in a way that interacted with all of you! I thought it was challenging, but in the end it ended up being really fun and a great learning experience.
  • On accuracy When you’re trying to post something quickly, it’s easy to misinterpret something from the source you’re getting it from. Having a fact error is the worst sin a journalist can commit (other than mispelling someone’s name), so I learned to double check everything before I posted it — and realized that sometimes only an editor will catch your mistakes.
  • On relevance Not every article you run across is relevant to your audience, or even important to post about based on what we’re trying to achieve with SFB. It’s a careful judgement you make each time you write a post, and one I honed with time — and I think this is my favorite thing I learned, because it’s that important. Not only that, but I hadn’t even thought about it much before.
  • » In addition to all of this, I also learned how to write in such a tight space. ShortFormBlog’s style is to keep things, well, short. It’s not as easy as it looks to summarize an entire news story into a quote and 100 words. I think it’s invaluable skill to have, and I learned from some pretty awesome guys. So now I’ll thank Ernie, Seth and Chris for having me around this summer — and for teaching me so much. I know now that I’m better prepared for my last three years in school, and I’m ready to take on some of the more challenging classes in the journalism college here at UF!

21 Aug 2011 14:18


World: Libyan rebels: The advantages and disadvantages they face

  • The rebels in Libya might have acted too soon. While they are converging on Tripoli now, they aren’t certain as to how much support Gaddafi still has there — and it might end up being really bad for them. They have another disadvantage too. The fighting in Tripoli is urban warfare, which is extremely difficult and grueling for soldiers, who face a much-stronger Gaddafi force. But don’t count them out, here’s what the rebels do have going for them:
  • Unclear uprising While it’s unclear if the population in Tripoli is loyal to Gaddafi or not, the rebels are pretty much relying on the possibility that they aren’t. Gaddafi knows how important it is for them to be loyal, too, so he’s been doing demonstrations and making speeches for weeks to keep them on his side.
  • Gaddafi’s departure? It’s likely that Gaddafi isn’t in Tripoli anymore — he’s not making the extravagant television appearances or showing up in public. It’s unclear where he is. If he leaves Libya altogether, (similar to Saddam Hussein, when he disappeared from power in Iraq and was later found near Tikrit), that would turn the tide.
  • Rebel reserves The rebels are coming in from a few different places (check the video if you haven’t yet) so they will be better off soon. the problem with this lies with the fact that the reinforcements might not get to Tripoli in time, especially depending on the resistance they encounter on the way to Tripoli. source

19 Aug 2011 17:06


U.S., World: Dominique Strauss-Kahn case might be decided by money, not courts

  • the Strauss-Kahn accuser might drop the case for money. However, the woman’s lawyer is denying these claims that follow a report from the Wall Street Journal that sites anonymous sources. However, it wouldn’t be surprising if they were trying to make a deal — anything close to a conviction in this case would be political suicide for prominent French politician Strauss-Kahn, if his career isn’t over already. It’s evident that he and his team want this case out of the way as soon as possible, and from what’s being said, the woman might just take money instead of going through with the trial. We’ll see. source

19 Aug 2011 16:53


U.S.: West Memphis Three aren’t so happy about having to admit guilt

  • Although I am innocent, this plea is in my best interest.
  • Jessie Miskelley Jr., one of the West Memphis Three • Explaining why he essentially pleaded guilty to get out of jail. It’s believed that the prosecution would’ve had enough evidence to convict them, so the plea deal was in their best interest — but none of the three seem to be happy about having to plead guilty to be free. As a condition of the plea deal, the trial will remain on probation for ten years, and if they re-offend they’ll have to go to prison for another ten years. So what do you think — was justice served? source

19 Aug 2011 16:23


Culture: ‘Real Housewives’ death won’t stop Bravo from airing the show

  • realityEven after a main character committed suicide, Bravo won’t cancel their hit reality show “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Russell Armstrong’s suicide follows on the heels of marriage and money problems that were likely caused by the show. Originally, the show’s return to airwaves wasn’t even going to be delayed.
  • actuality This situation shows how reality TV affects the stars — and the lengths networks are willing to take to keep the moneymakers on the air. People are fascinated with reality TV and want to watch others live their lives — but reality stars make a big sacrifice to keep up the facade. Russell Armstrong is a perfect example of that. source

16 Aug 2011 16:14


World: France and Germany are doing their best to help the economy

  • Germany and France feel absolutely determined to strengthen the Euro as our common currency and further develop it.
  • Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor • Talking about Germany and France’s new plan of joint taxation. They’re drawing up plans to have a common corporate tax rate beginning in 2013. Both countries are having difficult economic issues, in fact Germany’s GDP only grew 0.1% from March to June, which means it’s basically at a standstill. Germany and France are hoping that joint taxation would strengthen confidence in the Euro, which would be great for both their economies.  source

16 Aug 2011 15:55


World: New evidence might really hurt the Murdochs’ testimony

  • thenJames Murdoch pleaded ignorance when he went in front of Parliament last month as part of the phone hacking scandal that felled News of the World. Though it kinda seemed unlikely that Murdoch would know nothing of the phone hackings, there was no evidence against him.
  • nowThe law firm that previously represented News International has begun testifying against them — labeling their testimony as having “serious innaccuracies.” Murdoch might be questioned again, and he’ll have new evidence and testimony to answer for. source

12 Aug 2011 22:48


World: UK study: Cutting salt intake should be a global priority

  • 15% amount of salt the study suggests we should cut source
  • » Are food companies are pulling a fast one on us? According to the study, they’ve been adding extra salt to food to trick us into eating more. “They train your taste buds — the more salt you eat, the less salt you taste, the more salt you want, to get that saltiness,” notes Professor Francisco Cappucio of the University of Warwick, one of the authors of the study. He notes that this extra salt makes us want to eat more, leading to higher food industry profits. By cutting salt intake worldwide, we could save thousands of lives each year in the U.S. alone, the study notes — and 8.5 million lives in the next decade. The study suggests that the UN get involved.

12 Aug 2011 21:09


Tech: One of the masterminds of the IBM PC admits its decline

  • They’re going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records, CRT and incandescent light bulbs.
  • Mark Dean, IBM’s Middle East and Africa CTO • Talking about PCs. This is the one of the guys who originally designed the IBM PC, which has set the basic template for most desktop computers for roughly 30 years now. He goes on to say that he didn’t ever think that he’d witness its decline. “It’s becoming clear that innovation flourishes best not on devices but in the social spaces between them, where people and ideas meet and interact,” he said. And it’s true — think about all of the different devices we use today. The PC did start it all, but this article highlights why it’s evident that the PC is on its way out. source

12 Aug 2011 14:42


U.S.: Serial killer Anthony Sowell sentenced to death by lethal injection

Sowell, from Cleveland, was convicted in the deaths of 11 women. He didn’t even look at the victims’ families during the sentencing, nor did he acknowledge the judge when asked to sign a court document. source