Tag: Journalism

February 12, 2018 Article Published

So my original plan was to get this little post out before my first two classes of the day. Unfortunately, I wound up having a more stressful morning than anticipated when I realized at about 10 a.m. that I had forgotten to print the assignment that was due in my 11 a.m. class.

Needless to say, after that there was a good amount of time spent running around in the library working to print the assignment out in time. Didn’t really help that the two computers I tried first did not work, which just kind of compounded the stress.

Seriously Pollak Library, I really appreciate your open computers and print options, but I would appreciate them a lot more if everything worked correctly.

But that’s enough complaining for now. After all, anyone who isn’t reading this post while it’s still timely and relevant would even notice the later posting time.

So let’s jump into the meat and potatoes: Academic Senate.

Though I had not expected to go to last Thursday’s meeting until… Well, last Wednesday I believe… It wound up being a relatively straight forward meeting to cover.

After about 45 minutes worth of continuing the conversation started at the body’s last meeting that covered department faculty evaluation committees (a topic I might dive into once more concrete decisions are made), a substantial portion of the time was spent discussing changes to university general education policies.

See, last year CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White put out an Executive Order requiring sweeping changes to general education policy across the system as a means of improving student graduation rates. Some of these mandated changes were widely disapproved, such as the elimination of certain remedial courses, but others seem to have more positive ramifications.

One of those changes was the primary subject of one of the two documents that were amended at the meeting: University Policy Statement 411.202 to be exact. There was a back-and-forth about clarifying the fact that with the Chancellor’s changes, you can take a given upper division course so long as you’ve taken (at a minimum) the “golden four” core competency classes and whatever prerequisites are listed, whereas before you needed to have at least 60 units no matter where you were in terms of preparedness.

The second document, University Policy Statement 411.200, essentially just received a clause saying that all general education courses which haven’t been offered in at least five years must have their GE status taken away. A smaller change, but one that I believe will just make the classification process easier, if I were to postulate on the subject without actually doing any interviewing about it.

Really, that’s about the breadth of what I covered. Governmental meetings are always a little complicated and dry, even at the school-level, so I’m overall I’d say I’m pretty proud of how my piece turned out. Granted, there were some edits I had to make on it that I personally feel detracted from the story a little bit, but that’s just part of the job in the end.

Luckily, online I was able to rectify some of those issues by linking out to all the documents specified in the piece. So check out the story online to see it with some extra research detail involved.

Speaking of, if you want to read the article in its entirety, you can see it here. Or you can check out my whole archive of work for the Daily Titan over on the right!

Seems like Academic Senate is slowly but surely becoming my beat this semester, so we’ll see how that goes going forward.

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Entertainment Reporting Beat Overview

Our first assignment for Comm 436 had my class sent out into the wild, wild west of the internet to compile a list of basic details and possible future stories that we can examine throughout the semester.

The professor recommended we utilize our research as the first piece of our compendium of paying attention to the entertainment world, so I figured I would do just that.

This little explanatory introduction is pretty much just here to frame things. I won’t waste too much more time with it, so that said: Enjoy the minor fruits of my labor.


The California Video Game Industry

Local, Major Players:

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Informational Websites:

Possible Story Ideas:

February 8, 2018 Articles Published

I had another pair of articles published in the Daily Titan today, which is frankly a pattern I’m liking so far this semester. Based on the chart Harrison has been keeping, I’m at the top of the newsroom’s byline record so far, and I’m happy about that.

I’m a little bit busy at the moment between doing some homework and preparing to cover Academic Senate again, so I won’t spend an exorbitant amount of time writing about these recent articles.

For the most part, they should speak for themselves.

The first story holds the very special distinction of being my first ever piece of journalistic writing for a sports desk. Of any paper.

As I’ve mentioned before, part of my experience in Comm 471 will involve trying out different desks through a rotation. Given that sports has been my first stop of the semester, it makes sense that I’d have a story out for the desk eventually.

What I wrote isn’t necessarily anything flashy. It’s a preview for two men’s basketball games happening this weekend, only about 300 words or so and entirely based upon research into some team-related statistics. There aren’t any interviews for the story because it was originally supposed to have quotes siphoned from an interview someone on the sports desk was going to do, but that interview was cancelled.

So… No quotes.

It’s also a little more jargon-y than I had originally written. After all, I’m clearly not a sports writer, so there are bits of terminology I would not have picked up on by myself that our desk editors had to implement so it could be more natural for their regular audience.

Even so, my buddy Jared told me he was really impressed by the information I was able to pull together and said the edits were very minimal, which I’ll take as a big win for my first sports article.

If you want to check that out, you can see it here. For my fellow non-sporting persons out and about, I assure you it’s a short read.

My second article of the day is a little more involved.

At the Academic Senate meeting two weeks ago, one of the subjects brought up by the body’s Graduate Education Committee was their support for a new database being created to house the theses and dissertations written by graduate students.

I thought that sounded interesting, so I started to do some digging.

Very quickly I found myself a bit more over my head than expected. I first spoke with Mark Bilby from the Pollak Library (who, serendipitously, I met last semester at the Pollak Library’s holiday party). We had a 30 minute conversation about open source data repositories.

That was a joy to transcribe, let me tell you.

Perhaps that sounds a little harsh, as Mark was actually a pretty good communicator of technical issues. He’s one of those people that can make something complicated sound sensible for non-technical people, which is something I’ve found with others I talked to for Gladeo. But that’s a story for another day soon.

I then talked with two members of the Office of Graduate Studies, the current interim director (who started about three days before I spoke to him) and faculty mentor Sandra Perez, who is also the Director of the University Honors program.

Retrospectively, I was at fault trying to include information from Dr. Perez considering it’s a bit of a conflict of interest to talk to someone I know in that fairly personal sense. So everything I had included from our talk was cut out. While that’s a shame considering I liked some of the stuff she said, it’s something I can have someone return to in the future now that I know about some discussions she has been a part of.

Even with that said, I think the article turned out really great. It was re-arranged a bit to emphasize some points, but otherwise all of the stuff sans Dr. Perez that I had included was kept, so I feel good about how I was able to take a rather complicated subject and make it easier to understand for a wider audience.

If you want to see that article in it’s entirety, check it out here.

You can also find the full archive of my work for the Daily Titan over on the right!

February 5, 2018 Article Published

This particular article has been a bit of a long time coming at this point.

Remember about a week ago when I was sort of live tweeting about the College Republicans club watch party for the State of the Union address I covered?

Well, the piece I wrote with Brandon about the address is officially live and in print as of today.

There was originally some confusion surrounding the article as I was expecting us to have something written the night of. However, apparently our plan was to go around and get some more reactions from various campus groups regarding what President Trump said.

It would have been nice if Brandon hadn’t forgotten to tell me that night so I didn’t show up to the newsroom, finding it empty… But that’s all water under the bridge now.

If anything, I do agree with the position now that we’re past it, since the story came out much better with some time to marinate.

Not only did we have plenty of reactions from the College Republicans (who had an interesting watch party that featured a number of extra guest appearances, such as Congressional District 39 candidate Andrew Sarega), I also talked with Romarilyn Ralston from Project Rebound about the comments made regarding prison reform and Brandon talked to a member of the Black Student Union to get a more generally left-leaning perspective.

In the end I think the extra opinions definitely made the piece better. I just hope we don’t get a lot of pushback for this coming out so late after the State of the Union… We wrote the bulk of the thing last Wednesday, but wanted to make sure it went through the full wringer before we put it out in the world.

Oh, also it’s worth noting that I took pictures for this event. Not a lot of them wound up getting used for the story proper, but it’s just one recent example of me trying to practice my multimedia skills.

Between that and a few other events I’ve been taking pictures for, I’ve found that I actually kind of enjoy doing photography more than I expected to. It’s weird to say having always categorized myself as such a hardcore print writing specialist, but it’s nice to just zone out and take photos for a while.

I also have way more respect for our photo desk and how much they do now that I have a better grasp on what it’s like.

The watch party was an interesting thing to cover and take photos for in part because there was a photographer from TIME Magazine there as well, apparently doing a longer-form piece on Republican college-level activism in California.

While that’s probably something to leave for another day, I thought it was kinda cool all the same. Even if having two people walking around made the room feel much more cramped than it already was.

With all that said, if you’re interested in reading our article, you can check it out here. But of course, if you want to see my full archive of work, you can look at it over in the archive to the right.

For now I’ve got to go. There’s class in about a half hour and I have three or four other articles on my back burner that I need to finish, so expect to see some more coming out soon.

Introducing Communications 436

Introducing Communications 436

It’s been a fairly big week for my journalistic endeavors.

That goes beyond just reporting for the Titan, even if I spent a good amount of time taking pictures and getting content at the College Republicans club watch party for the president’s State of the Union address and later impressed myself by doing three successive interviews in a row on Thursday.

Probably the biggest thing that happened this week was the arrival of my Society of Professional Journalists card.

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I would show the front, but it has my identification number on it, so… Not giving that out.

Joining SPJ has been a long time coming. I meant to earlier, but I’ve always put it off from some combination of being too busy or not wanting to spent the money on membership.

Both admittedly lame excuses in retrospect, but what can I say.

I joined primarily to get in on the SPJ awards not too long ago, but I’ve also had the opportunity to help out with the local CSUF chapter SPJ club by tabling at DiscoverFest throughout the week.

Here’s me with my friend Megan, the president of our SPJ chapter this semester, picture taken by the Daily Titan’s co-illustrator Anita Huor.

Even if I probably burned myself out in the sun and ate one too many Starbursts for my own good, it was a pretty good time. Not only was it a nice opportunity to chat with some of my friends, it was also cool to talk with a couple of people interested in journalism – both print and broadcast.

But I will say it was lame that we were stuck off in a corner, so there weren’t quite as many people to talk with as we expected. Oh well.

While all of that is cool, obviously I’m doing this post for a slightly different reason if the title can be believed.

Which it can, coming from the one who wrote it.

One of the more interesting classes I’m taking this semester is Communications 436: Reporting on the Entertainment Industry. Admittedly a carryover from when I was shooting to be a Lifestyle desk assistant, this class was my main attempt to try covering new things in a field I’m interested in. Video games, movies… All that good stuff.

So far, it has also turned out to be one of the most interesting classes I’ve ever taken. It’s a three-hour class every Thursday night, where the first half of the class is a lecture into some aspect of the industry and the second half consists of a mock newsroom.

That mock newsroom, though we’ve only done one so far, lives up to the expectations the professor built as helping everything feel like the fastest three-hour class on campus. In essence, he splits the room into two teams and each team has to come up with a number of quick stories and a design for a specific news receptacle to create a finished idealized product in about an hour and a half.

Our first assignment was a newspaper’s Friday entertainment section, for example. He has also suggested there’s going to potentially be magazines, websites, blogs… So on and so forth.

The two teams pick out one editor and one designer, with everyone else serving as staff writers.

For the first mock newsroom, I was the editor, and it was really interesting to take my experience on the Daily Titan and sort of expand that into a taste of complete power over story choice and design, even if it just pertained to a small lab environment.

We put together a pretty sweet little paper too, I might add:

Look at those circles under my eyes… I should really get more sleep.

It wasn’t perfect, and we got some nice critiques, but it was definitely a fun hands-on experience I haven’t seen in any other course.

I didn’t bring up this class just to brag about how fun it is, however. In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a new posting category at the side of my blog for this class. That’s because one of our assignments throughout the semester is to keep something of a blog that compiles entertainment news related to beats we’ve been assigned.

So, over the next few months, I’m going to be putting out a couple of posts specifically related to this class. What the posts are going to be isn’t exactly concrete in my head yet, though I’m imagining some sort of listicle just pointing out a number of stories from the previous week.

The only one that is planned out is the first post, which I’m going to put out toward the end of next week as a means of gathering background knowledge on my beat (luckily enough, video games).

I just wanted to make this post to let you all know what will be coming. Who knows, maybe if I enjoy the practice enough, it’ll be something I continue on with. Only time will tell.

A Legendary Banner for a miniature Tempest Trial

A Legendary Banner for a miniature Tempest Trial

This likely won’t be a substantial post (he says hopefully before getting into the actual writing portion of things), but I felt enough happened in Fire Emblem Heroes today to warrant something before the inevitable one year anniversary celebration.

Coming soon.

First and foremost, there was a new Feh Channel released yesterday that updated everyone on new things coming around the bend.

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I unfortunately have not had the time to watch it. That’s a majority of reason why I’m expecting this to be short.

Basically, I didn’t have time because all of yesterday evening was spent helping to cover President Trump’s State of the Union address.

I was at the College Republicans club watch party, took my own photos, did a wee bit of live tweeting, got a bunch of interviews… It was a pretty nice experience overall.

Then there was some weird stuff going on that led to us not having an article on it quite yet for some reason? But uhh… That’s a story for another time. Namely a time when that article actually gets written and published. Which will hopefully be soon.

That said, if you’re interested in watching the Feh Channel check it out here. I’ll probably get more caught up on the subject matter later.

In the meantime, some of the updates elaborated on in the informational video have already begun to roll out.

My picture just above kind of spoils things, but not as obviously as the featured image for this post… So I’ll quit burying the lede.


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Ike has returned in a third form, this time as a Legendary Hero.

Seriously, anyone else remember when we were all wondering why Ike hadn’t shown up in game when he was clearly a title character all over the branding?

Good times.

Now a days there are three different versions of Ike: His normal appearance, a Brave variant and now a Legendary variant (which is incredibly reminiscent of his Smash Brothers counterpart, I might add).

He’s a pretty strong looking character too.

  • IkeVanguard Legend
    • Legendary Hero Ike comes equipped with some familiar skills and some not-so-familiar skills. His weapon, Ragnell, is the same as his normal variant and gives him distant attack counters. He also comes with a more advanced version of his regular special attack called Radiant Aether which allows him to slash an opponent’s defensive stats and regain 50 percent of the damage he deals as his own health. By itself that’s a pretty wild combination of things. Yet, he also comes with three more skills in the form of Warding Breath (granting him +4 resistance if attacked and increasing Special cooldown charge), Seal Attack and Defense (causing a -5 debuff to both those stats after combat with a unit) and Defense Tactic (granting all infantry and armored units in his 2 square vicinity +6 defense each turn). I have a Brave Ike in my collection but not a regular Ike, so I would definitely be happy to pull this guy.

One of these days I’m really going to have to play the Radiant titles so I understand why Ike was so popular better.

But until I do, I can live out the hype with this beefy looking unit right here.

Assuming I can summon him.

Which, spoiler alert, has not been going super well for me so far. But because there are also some other subsidiary units on his Legendary Banner that I would want (namely Summer Xander, Gunnthrá and Siegbert), I’m going to keep going at it.

In controlled bursts. Not looking to go too crazy when there’s presumably Valentine’s Day units coming up soon. Even if there are only four days on this banner.

Though with the exceptional grace of a beautiful transition, there is an extra source of orbs in our midst as well.


Another miniature Tempest Trials has arrived, not too long after our last New Years-themed event. A long time ago I complained about burnout associated with these suckers, but since I’ve discovered a grinding method that works for me I’m far more welcoming of it.

Even if that trial I complained about was themed after Ike’s games, ironically enough.

Maybe this is what it means to have a full developmental arc?

Who knows. After all, all of that is beside the point because really who can complain about extra orbs, medals and a new character? Especially when that new character is Marisa:

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You’re no Neimi, but you’ll do. Welcome to the team.

Part of my burnout treatment has been not talking about these Tempest Trial runs like I used to, but this one is special enough that I felt it would be worth delving into the plot a little bit further.

As always, it begins with Lucina (or Marth still, despite the fact that it seems like everyone knows something is fishy behind her mask) arriving at a new place to take on yet another outcropping of the threatening Tempest. This time with Heroes-specific units to greet her:

Fjorm seems interested in helping out, but as I mentioned is suspicious of the mask. It makes Lucina untrustworthy apparently.

I do understand that to an extent… But let’s be real, the mask is super sweet and I would trust anyone wearing it.



Editor’s Note: Don’t try to coerce me into things wearing Lucina’s butterfly mask.

Just figured I’d put that out there.



Fjorm has just one idea to prove that Lucina is a trustworthy compatriot:

But then, just as Fjorm is about to take the legendary Falchion…

WHOA!

Plot twist.

Fjorm wasn’t Fjorm all along! She was Loki in disguise once again.

From there she just says she’ll wait for you to arrive at the deepest part of the Tempest to fight her, but there was honestly just something about this plot twist I really enjoyed.

I don’t know, I guess it just worked well in reference to character traits Intelligent Systems has established thus far. You know me, I’m a fan of strong characterization.

It continues on too, considering Loki is actually Fjorm in the final battle of the Tempest Trial run.

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That about covers everything I have to say regarding this Fire Emblem Heroes update.

Like I said earlier, there should be more to come in the near future when we get to the anniversary of the game’s release. That’ll be dope for anyone who pines during the downtime without Fire Emblem posts.

For anyone who doesn’t pine for Fire Emblem posts… Well… Like I said, something about the State of the Union should be coming soon. I also have a few other plans in the next couple days I’m planning on writing about, so overall there should just be some nice activity going on around here.

So, until next time, what do you think about Legendary Ike? Besides him, who else would you want to get out of the new summoning banner?

Let me know in the comments down below!

January 29, 2018 Articles Published

Happy windy Monday everybody.

Seriously though, for just a momentary how the sausage is made, I’m starting to write this as I’m walking from my parking spot in Lot A to my first class of the day at the Humanities and Social Sciences building (which for those of you who have not been to Cal State Fullerton, is a literal cross-campus walk) because I was so awe-struck by the force of nature on display today.

The wind was so strong that not only was it making it hard for me to open my door, but it also slammed the door shut behind me. Like actually slammed it. Probably could have hurt me if I was in the path of the door!

Don’t know why that struck me so poignantly today, but I felt it was worth noting before I got into my articles.

That said… Let’s talk about my articles published today.

Once again we had a weeklong issue, our last one before we begin daily productions next week. So once again I took the extra time to write two stories.

The first was a much quicker project. It was a crime story based on a tip we received from our Layout Editor Tracy. I talked with University Police Captain Scot Willey about it, and though he did not know a lot about the actual incident, we did talk a bit about the procedure and recommendations surround it.

Essentially, the police got a suspicious person call regarding a non-student in the Pollak Library who was believed to be watching pornography on one of the library’s computers. The officers who responded did not find anything necessarily suspicious, but the call was enough that they asked the man to leave and he readily complied.

No super huge crime drama here, but it does include a good couple pieces of advice that I think could be applicable even outside of our own personal University Police jurisdiction. Plus, in some roundabout way, I got to write about pornography in the school newspaper. So that’s a pretty special occasion in its own right.

If you want to read that article, check it out here.

The second piece I wrote was far more involved and frankly became one of my favorite articles… Well, ever really. But probably more for the intrinsic reasonings behind it.

A mainstay of our coverage of Cal State Fullerton on the Daily Titan, as I would assume stands for all college newspapers, is attending and deep-diving into the Academic Senate. It’s essentially a governing body akin to a City Council after all, just with more of a direct impact on the campus proper.

In the past our Academic Senate writers have not been… Fantastic, in my experience. That’s not to say they’re at fault necessarily, it’s a touch subject to jump into for someone with little-to-know governmental reporting experience – or reporting experience in general for that matter. However, because it has such an impact on the campus, I’ve always felt bad that it never seems to get the care and attention it otherwise deserves.

So I put my money where my mouth was and covered a meeting of my own this last week.

It turned out that I picked a good meeting to cover at that, since the main decision of the meeting was plenty interesting. Easily passed on the consent calendar was a proposal requesting that the Asian American Studies program on campus undergo an administrative change to become a full-on department in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Now, just because it passed at the Academic Senate doesn’t mean we have a new department already. The decision actually acts as more of a recommendation to pass the proposal, with the president’s office receiving the documentation to make a final decision sometime about a week after the meeting according to Academic Senate Chair Stephen Stambough.

Luckily, I had preempted that this decision would be the most interesting part of the meeting judging by the agenda we received ahead of time, and I spent some time doing interviews with people like the coordinator of the program, Eliza Noh, to get a better understanding of its history and why the faculty hoped to move it up to department status.

In essence it was presented that shifting into a department would create no new burden on the school because Asian American Studies already operates so closely to a department. It would mostly effect things like the professors’ letterhead and allow them to be more widely recognized as an official mainstay at CSUF.

The coordinator and Thomas Fujita-Tony, the liaison between Asian American Studies and the Academic Senate, were quite happy about the development. As was most of the rest of the chamber given their cheer when the decision was made.

Also, just as an extra teaser, this article had probably one of my favorite little scene openers ever. So if you want to see that or are just generally interested in a small dive into a program meant to flesh out otherwise probably dull meeting coverage story, check out my article here.

I also quite liked this one because I went out of my way to get some extra visuals for online only, so I consider it an extended cut compared to the print version.

As always, you can also see the full archive of my work for the Daily Titan over on the right.

Sports? On my blog?

Sports? On my blog?

It’s a rare occurrence I know, but frankly observing sports is a rare occurrence in my life in general, so it makes sense.

I have been known to enjoy a good Dodger game with my family or watch the Lakers on T.V. on occasion, but I’ve never proclaimed to be a sports nut in any respect. In fact, the Women’s Basketball game I went to tonight is the first sport game of any kind of that I’ve gone to during my nearly three year experience at Cal State Fullerton.

I’ve only been inside the Titan Gym only one other time before this, and that was after I first committed to CSUF. It was one of those “welcome to our school” pep rally sort of deals, but I don’t admittedly remember very much about it other than the fact that it was held in the gym.

Probably the only reason that sticks out in my mind is because that was my only experience in that gym up until now, since I’m thinking about it…

But that’s getting a bit too into the weeds on unnecessary information.

What is important right now is that I was in the gym for an actual for real game! As part of Kyle and Sarah’s new design for Comm 471 this semester, all of us staff writers are being required to cycle between the four main desks as dedicated writers for a couple of weeks at a time. That means for two week run times, each of us are going to be a dedicated part of the News, Opinion, Lifestyle and Sports desks.

It figures that an anti-sport kind of guy like me would get Sports desk first and foremost in that rotation.

Actually, it is a little funny how things worked out. Out of the seven or eight people in my rotation group, I’m the only person who isn’t already a sports junkie. So it’s a bit more of an uphill climb for me to get used to everything that’s going on than it is for everyone else in my group.

The nice thing is, getting used to things involves trying stuff out that I otherwise never would do on my own. Like going to a basketball game.

Hell I arguably got a cooler experience than most because I got to be credentialed for the game:

Plus I got to be court side at the game and sit in on our sports editor Jared’s interview with a couple of the players and the coach afterward in the conference room.

Really, although it was cool to check out a game and see some of the inner workings of writing a recap of a sporting event, I think I got a pretty clear understanding of why sports aren’t exactly my forte.

A good chunk of that was the predictable not-complete-comprehension of all the specific statistics and lingo involved with following sports for a living.

Seriously look at how many of these box score readouts they give out to the press. Not only are there a metric ton of them just for one game, but I honestly have no idea what I’m supposed to be gathering from any of them. I think I can figure out a little bit of what they say here or there, but until I get more used to reading them they mostly just look like a jumbled mess of numbers to me.

However, the reason that stuck out to me the most during this experience of physically being there was just… Generally how little I felt like I was focusing on the game itself compared to everything happening around it.Like yes it was engaging watching the players move back and forth and fall all over each other to an extent, but even so I seemed to be more curious about the people other than the players.Like for instance:I was watching and listening to the band quite a bit, both to essentially live tweet what they were playing to my band geek of a sister but also just to figure out exactly what they were playing and why we needed the live band if there was also going to be other artists DJ’d on the speakers.

I also found myself paying quite a bit of attention to the auxiliary cheer and spirit accompaniment. I had no idea they just sat at the side of the court waiting. What are they doing when they aren’t doing a routine? What are they thinking about? How do they keep themselves entertained if they aren’t sports lovers like myself and don’t want to watch the game?

Plus don’t even get me started on the person in the Tuffy mascot costume. I can’t even look at that thing without remembering my friend Harrison’s story about a Public Relations person trying to convince him that the mascot was a real elephant that didn’t have a person inside.Also watching the referees having to run back and forth all night alongside the players was pretty hilarious to me, honestly. I don’t know why, but I was thoroughly entertained just watching them and the people who came in whenever a player fell to sweep up and polish the floor again.

Then beyond that I was also doing some work on my phone at the same time, section editing stories and such, as I was listening in on the radio announcers sitting next to us who were talking live over the whole event. It’s always baffled me how they can follow a game and talk over it the entire time. Though I suppose that’s the same thing as half of the gaming YouTube personalities I watch… So I shouldn’t be that enamored by it.Anyway, I think that’s enough rambling for now. Long story short, I went to a sports game with the editor who’s a cool guy, had a pretty nice time and let my mind wander to all the extra things going on that I never would have noticed due to my general apathy.Should be an interesting couple of weeks as I try to figure out exactly how to cover something I have next to no experience with.Until then I have two articles getting published for this upcoming weeklong paper tomorrow, and a bunch of other work adjusting to all of my classes. So I’m going to head home and get started on most of that.Peace Fullerton, thanks for giving me the opportunity to get some insight on something new, and I’ll see you again tomorrow.

Jason’s Take on “The Post”

Jason’s Take on “The Post”

Editor’s Note: For anyone who may be confused seeing this style of review show up here, let me explain. This article was one I had originally written for the Daily Titan’s first spring 2018 issue. Though the movie had its official wide release on Jan. 12 and we find ourselves in the midst of Oscar season, it was decided a review of this particular flick wouldn’t be timely enough to go in print by the time we hit production.

But of course, as luck would have it, I had finished writing the article before finding out it wasn’t running.

So I decided to cannibalize my own work and put it out on my personal blog with some additional bits added on. After all, what would be the point of having a blog for my writing if I didn’t do that sort of thing, and what better time is there to share something like this than the day Oscar nominations have been announced? It is a best picture nominee after all, amongst other things.

Plus I figured this movie in particular fit the theme of my blog given that it surrounds an important part of journalism history.

That said, I’ll stop blabbing and let you get to my opinions. If you enjoy this sort of thing let me know, since I have been considering doing this kind of personal publishing more often.



In 1971, a series of classified documents known as The Pentagon Papers were leaked to and published by The New York Times, revealing multiple presidential opinions on the futility of the Vietnam War despite its escalation.

When the government attempted to censor this sensitive information publishing, other papers like The Washington Post stepped in to continue the job.

Steven Spielberg’s latest movie “The Post” captures this important period in American and journalistic history that brought The Washington Post to mainstream popularity while offering viewers a more intimate, behind-the-scenes glimpse at the paper’s struggle with deciding whether or not to publish The Pentagon Papers.

Trailer available from 20th Century Fox’s YouTube channel

This struggle is chiefly characterized by the film’s two lead characters, The Washington Post’s publisher Katherine “Kay” Graham (Meryl Streep) and editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks).

Throughout the movie Graham must come to terms with being the first female publisher of a major newspaper after she inherits the business from her deceased husband.

Her inner turmoil comes from having to make the decision to potentially betray old family friends in the White House’s previous administrations so the public can learn the truth, while subsequently dealing with the “boy’s club” of publishers and investors who don’t believe a woman has what it takes to handle the job.

Meanwhile, Bradlee has to deal with the humiliation of losing such a huge scoop to The New York Times despite being the editor of Washington D.C.’s local paper, as well as the immense amount of work it takes for his team to secure a copy of the documents and go to print in a limited timeframe.

Eventually Bradlee also must come to terms with the fact that the potential illegality of publishing classified government documents may backfire on his longtime ally and friend Graham, who has much more at stake and much more to lose.

One of the standout means of building tension in the film comes from the way it showcases the more limited technologies available in the 1970s that led to more of an involved newsprint production process.

For example, one scene that comes to mind has a copy editor asked to do all of his red pen corrections on a physical printout of the major article in 30 minutes before sending it off in a pneumatic tube to be laid out on a more traditional printing press.

However, as interesting as it is to see the time period captured, where “The Post” truly shines is in its performances. It is hard to compare Hank’s depiction of Bradlee to the classic 1976 performance of Jason Robards in “All the President’s Men,” but Hanks does hold his own as a leading actor.

However, Hank’s performance is clearly overshadowed by Streep, who does an incredible job capturing the internal debate and eventual paradigm shift of Graham to support her staff and the First Amendment in spite of what the government would prefer.

Her arc is also given some clear signposts throughout the movie to show her role as a historically significant feminine figure, which Streep nails in facial expressions alone in scenes like her emergence from the Supreme Court toward the end of the story. In that moment she seems to ignore the primarily male-dominated crowd of journalists to instead focus on the passing businesswomen who have stopped to watch the commotion.

While Streep’s performance is undoubtedly the takeaway Oscar-nomination in “The Post” (and as it turns out, she did get nominated for it), there is hardly anything bad to say about the surrounding ensemble of characters either.

Unfortunately, performances are really the only place that “The Post” stands out. Despite having the legendary team of Spielberg as director and John Williams as composer, nothing about the presentation is necessarily exceptional.

The movie looks nice and sounds nice, is well-cast and well-written, but one would be hard pressed to walk out of the theatre after watching it and remember a particular image or score from the experience as something special that stays with them.

Even with this caveat, the performances and socio-historical importance backing up the movie make it undoubtedly worth seeing.

In an era begot by cries of “fake news” and the divisive presidency of Donald Trump, it is especially important to see this story come to the table in such a high-profile form to remind the world about the importance both of newspapers as a government watchdog and of the public staying informed with a higher degree of news literacy.

On top of that, “The Post” also fits in wonderfully with the strong legacy of journalism-based films.

Because of the way Spielberg uses the same Washington Post office set piece and ends the movie on a sort of cliffhanger teasing the start of the Watergate scandal, “The Post” and “All the President’s Men” could literally be watched in seamless succession to give anyone who did or did not live through the 1970s a clear understanding of the importance of newspapers, particularly The Washington Post, in American history.


Featured Image taken from imdb.com

January 22, 2018 Articles Published

Just like that, the daily grind begins once again.

After our first official deadline night of the semester yesterday, I can definitely say that it was a strange experience to once again be sitting in the center of the room as an assistant. Probably the most off-putting thing about it is the fact that I feel more disconnected from the overall workings of the paper than I have in a long time.

Though I did personally get out at a reasonable hour.

Considering that’s going to be happening a lot more this semester, I suppose I can’t complain.

Plus, the usual positives of working at the Titan were at play as usual. Namely getting to spend time with my friends on staff, who for the most part carried over from last semester. In particular it was nice having lunch with our now Social Media Editor Lissete, who is at least one of the people on my list of those I’d like to spend more time with now that I actually have some free time available as an assistant.

I can also certainly never argue with the great feeling that comes with getting content out on that newsprint.

For this first weeklong issue of the semester, I wrote two pieces.

The first, published in the main paper, is an article about current president searches in the Cal State University system. The story idea was originally something I had been discussing with our advisor Bonnie toward the end of last semester when Mildred García announced she would be leaving. At that point, Bonnie had told me that there were four CSU campuses looking for new presidents all at once. I thought it was a really interesting story at the time, but unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to commit to it at that point.

So for our first issue this semester, I finally picked it up.

Granted, the first kick in the pants for me came thanks to a request from Dr. Sexton, who wanted to know the layout of presidents across the system for an article he’s putting together for the LA Times. Compiling that data for him offered me the perfect opportunity to take the work and use it for my own purposes.

After looking through that compiled data to sort out which schools were searching for presidents – CSU Bakersfield, Dominguez Hills and San Diego, for the record – I was also able to find a few other interesting details. For example, only three current CSU presidents started their tenure before 2012. That’s three out of 23, for those who don’t know.

This information is important because it effects CSUF directly. Our new president, Framroze Virjee (who also got a dedicated article in this issue that’s worth the read), is a temporary appointment until June 2019. One of the reasons why the search for the person coming after him doesn’t start until this fall is because the CSU wants to get the current three searches out of the way first.

With all that said, I don’t want to give away my entire article here and now, so go ahead and give it a look here if you want to see some more detail and my interview with a CSU representative. I sort of sat on the piece for a while, but I wound up really liking how it turned out – even if it was basically the sum of an hour’s worth of work particularly finished on the drive to Hof’s Hut on Saturday.

Don’t know why I felt the need to advertise Hof’s Hut, but there you go.

If I had to guess, I’ll probably be pursuing this topic (the president searches, not Hof’s Hut) more in the future.

The second article I wrote went in the special first issue insert, themed after technology this semester. The topic I chose means a lot to me personally: video games.

My article for the Tech Issue is more specifically about the fairly recent addition of gaming disorder onto the World Health Organization’s beta draft for the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases. Or the WHO’s ICD-11 in much easier, abbreviated terms.

This one is actually the longer of the two pieces I wrote, since it wound up being more like an interesting little passion project for me. I won’t delve too deep into it here since you can check out the article for yourselves, but essentially I laid out exactly what this disorder would entail if it’s added into the ICD-11’s finalized version, talked about some of the history of looking at video games in a critical manner through other organizations like the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 and addressed some of the potential consequences of putting out an official potential diagnosis.

My two interviews, one with a Mihaylo College of Business and Economics professor who specializes in technological addiction, and the other with a School of Nursing professor who specializes in behavioral disorders and substance abuse. The prior wound up taking the most space in the story because I had a long, involved interview with him, while the latter was a little bit more specialized in individual places because we had some issues scheduling our time to talk. Her interview was shorter as a result, but I definitely got some interesting information all the same.

If you want to check out that story, you can here. I’d highly recommend that one actually, in part because I got to do a really fun photo illustration to go along with it.

Essentially, I just brought a lot of my video games and accompanying memorabilia to school so I could do a photo shoot.

The photos turned our phenomenally well thanks to one of our two photo editors this semester, Gabe Gandara, who I remember having a good time with when he came with me to the ASI Board of Directors meeting where they discussed the Milo Yiannopoulos resolution a few months back. Those photos in the story are so good, in fact, that I’m considering using them for my own personal ventures.

We’ll see if that pans out.

Of course, if you want to see any of my pieces for the Daily Titan, you can check out my archive over on the right. Since I’m a part of 471 this semester, you can probably expect me to be writing a bunch of articles to fill that up more than it already is. These two are just the beginning, and I have at least two more slated already for the next two weeks that I have to start working on.

However, for now my priority is getting some rest so I can be prepared for the first day of school tomorrow.

Or… Today technically, since this is coming out the morning of the 22nd. But hey, the human brain works in mysterious ways, so from a temporal standpoint I’m going to write how I feel like writing.

With all that said, good luck to anyone getting their school life going again this week. May we all survive the inevitable slog that is the spring 2018 semester.