Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Students react to Mexico presentation

Journalists Alfredo Corchado and Angela Kocherga on Monday visited Flagler College and spoke about the drug violence that has killed more than 18,000 people in Mexico since 2006.

Here are some students' reactions to what they heard:

I find it shocking and interesting what both Alfredo and Angela see when doing their job. Eye opening what has to be endured to get the story.
- Marissa Marinan

I thought the presentation was very interesting today. I just read a news article last week detailing the increased amount of violence with media reporters on the Mexican border so it was cool to hear first hand experiences.
- Chris Jones

I feel that the presentation by Alfredo and Angela showed that you need to do whatever it takes to get the job done, whether that puts your life in danger or not. Also, always follow your dreams, don't do something because someone else told you to do it.
- Courtney Przepasniak

The most interesting point of the presentation today was understanding how dangerous journalism really is. Trying to cover stories that need to be shared such as the children being shot in Mexico can cost you your life.
- Paige Dotson

I thought that the opening presentation for communications week was extremely interesting. I have to be honest, I'm not a communications major and I was concerned that I would be bored, but the video footage, and speech, that Alfredo and Angela showed was very eye-opening. I really enjoyed going to this presentation.
Taryn Cooley

I thought that Alfredo and Angela gave great insight into journalism coverage in Mexico. It is amazing how dangerous that area of the world is right now.
- Joel Lowther

I really enjoyed this presentation, I never realized journalism could be this dangerous. They really showed a special passion for their line of work.
- Matt Stein

It was impactful to see Angela so well composed and objective while reporting in the video clips, as contrasted by her and Alfredo's personal accounts and emotional reactions to the violence that they witnessed- which they shared today.
- Eric Morrison

I was super impressed by Alfredo Corchado and Angela Kocherga coverage of the U.S. -Mexico boarder. I did not know before attending the speech how serious the matter is. By listening and seeing there coverage, I have gained more interest in the field of journalism. I look forward to attending more speakers during com week.
- Andrew Mercier

I was totally unaware of all of the violence going on in Mexico, so close to the US border. I had heard some about the drug Cartels problem but I didn't know it was so serious. I thought the presentation was really interesting. And I think that the media is too heavily censored, the American public deserves the right to know what is happening. And that story she said about her bloody shoes and having the throw them away would have only enhanced the story via video footage or still shots.
- Karly Berezowsky

I thought that their presentation was insightful and went well. I learned more than I ever knew about the drug trafficking within Mexico and the border regulations. I thought that they both handled the challenging commentary from the audience well and did their best to answer our concerns.
- Chelsea Walsh

Alfredo and Angela had a lot of information about Mexico and the war going on. I didn't know anything about the problems that Mexico's having with drug wars and internal fighting. The video clips they showed were interesting and the talks about having to censor the things you show for the news were also informal. I'm glad I ended up going and I learned a lot about rules of censorship and Mexico's internal problems.
- Gabby Burleson

I was shocked to learn about how many people have died, just since 2006 in the Mexican drug wars. It was sad to see the fear that the children of many of the border towns in Mexico must live in, because of the violence.
- Michael Greer

I enjoyed the informative presentation of Alfredo Corchado and Angela Kocherga. I did not know that the dangers of Mexico were getting worse day by day. Some people may say it's not ethical or in good taste to show the horrific gore these people witness from day to day, but I think showing the public the uncensored truth will provoke stronger emotions and begin solutions for the problem.
- Katidra Hicks

The speakers today really sparked my attention. I really wish they could have shown us raw footage instead of a sanitized version. Unfortunately, I had to leave early because of my 12 o'clock class. Can't wait for the next speaker!
- Jessica Reynolds

My aspirations as a Flagler College student studying Communications is to pursue a career in Journalism after graduation. It was inspiring to hear how both speakers have made such an impact on the world doing something they genuinely love to do.
-Marissa Melillo

What I found most interesting about this speech was that it focused on topics I had little education about, and it was very interesting to gain a new perspective.
-Jessica Duffy

Today when the two speakers, Angela and Alfredo, began speaking, I thought that the speeches were going to be about their jobs and how they got to where they are now, later to find out about a huge controversy happening in Mexico. I cannot fathom that fact that drug trafficking and mass murders happen on a daily basis and the government has no idea/won't do anything about it. I wish I didn't have another class at 12:00 today so I could stay and listen to their stories about how they report on the scene of where it all takes place, like the funeral they attended.
- Adam Krell

I thought the speakers were very interesting. I admire their courage for going into dangerous places and putting their lives at risk just to get the story out.
- Allison Parks

I found it extremely interesting how I had no idea of the severity of what is going on in Mexico right now. I really liked the speakers, they seemed very humble, and sincere. It intrigued me also because I am a Spanish major, and it was cool to see how the language is so important for them in their work. I also liked how they allowed the audience to answer some of the questions they asked. Like how much should one show when reporting on an incident. I think that they should show everything as long as it is not exploiting someone or a victim. For instance, blurring out body parts that may be showing. I wouldn't want my dead body to be exposed to the point where there a parts where if I was alive I would be covering up. I do think that we should not water down what is really going on in the world, maybe it would move some of us to try and do something about the issue. Overall, I enjoyed the speakers.
- Cierra Pillsbury

I felt that it was very interesting how journalists get put into so much harm's way. I always felt like they were protected because they were with the United States, but I guess not.
- David Ferguson

Communication week has been a great learning experience for me so far. I actually plan on changing my major from business administration to communication. The problem is that I have no idea what I want to do for work after college. When I attended our class in the student center on Monday the two speakers were very interesting to listen to. They had a lot of great stories of their experiences in the field. I could truly tell they both loved what they did and were both great communicators. Thank you for this opportunity to allow me to hear about their experiences and thoughts. Have a great week.
- Jeffrey Howard

I found the speaker's Alfredo and Angela very insightful. The kind of stories they covered concerning the Mexican cartels prove to be extremely dangerous. Numerous innocent people and reporters have been kidnapped and even murdered because of the drug cartels. I have been urged to become more involved and to learn more about the serious war on drugs, weapons and violence within Mexico.
-Kellie Westfield

I thought that the speakers showed true interest in what they did. They wanted to truly get the point across of how dangerous their job can actually be.
- Erica Carothers

I thought the speakers were very informative and I think their mission to bring these dangerous issues into the public eye is very noble. I wasn't aware these things were happening and i think it is horrible that they still occur. I am glad the government is finally distancing themselves from the organized crime and finally working to solve the problem. I wish i could have stayed for the entire presentation. Can't wait to see whats in store for tomorrow.
- Jim McNeill

The speakers on Monday, Alfredo Corchado and Angela Kocherga were really great. They were both extremely passionate for their job and the topics they covered over in Mexico. I got the impression that they took their job very seriously and wanted to do the best job covering the stories as possible.
- Leah Lehman

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Kevin Sites biography

Kevin Sites

Kevin Sites, an award-winning author and multi-media journalist, is scheduled to speak March 22 at Flagler College in St. Augustine. His biography is below:

Award-winning journalist and author Kevin Sites has spent the past decade covering global war and disaster for ABC, NBC, CNN and Yahoo! News. Dubbed by the trade press as the granddaddy of backpack journalists--Sites helped blaze the trail for intrepid reporters who work alone, carrying only a backpack of portable digital technology to shoot, write, edit and transmit multimedia reports from the world's most dangerous places.

Sites is currently in residence at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA having been named a 2010 Nieman Foundation Journalism Fellow and is working on his second book for Harper Perennial to be released in 2010, The Things We Cannot Say: What the World’s Warriors Can’t Tell You About What They’ve Seen, Done or Failed to Do in War. Sites’s first book, In the Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Wars, shares his effort to put a human face on global conflict by reporting from every major war zone in one year.

As Yahoo!’s first news correspondent, Sites covered every major conflict in the world from 2005 to 2006. Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone reported stories that often were under-covered or overlooked by mainstream media for Yahoo!’s global audience of 400 million users. In response, the Los Angeles Press Club awarded Sites the esteemed 2006 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism and Forbes Magazine listed him as one of 2007’s Web Celeb 25, “the biggest, brightest and most influential people on the web today.” Hot Zone’s site was designated by Time Magazine as one of 2006’s 50 Coolest Websites on the Internet. Hot Zone also won the prestigious Webby Award in 2007 for coverage of the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict and was identified as the best online journalism site by both the National Press Club and The National Headliner Awards. In 2008 he was inducted into Northwestern University’s Medill Hall of Achievement.

Sites became a flashpoint of controversy in November 2004 when, as an NBC News correspondent, he videotaped the shooting of a wounded Iraqi insurgent in a Falluja mosque by a U.S. Marine—one of the biggest stories of the current Iraqi war. After the video’s airing, Sites was praised as a journalist willing to reveal the harsh realities of war and simultaneously vilified as a traitor to both the Marine unit that embedded him and his country. For his television and web coverage of the story, Sites was honored with the 2005 Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism and was nominated for a national Emmy Award, his second such honor.

Sites’ controversial and award-winning war blog, www.kevinsites.net, revolutionized the genre as one of the first blogs that combined text, digital images and audio to provide readers with an intimate, behind-the-lines look at the war in Iraq and its coverage by mainstream media. Wired Magazine named Sites the recipient of their RAVE Award in 2004—the first ever for blogging.

Sites’s coverage extends from the jungles of Colombia where he filmed U.S. anti-drug efforts, including coca spraying operations and the Colombian government’s Jungle Commando training, to ground zero in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where he witnessed the aftermath of the 2005 Southeast Asia tsunami. He was captured by Saddam Hussein’s Fedayeen militia and threatened with death while attempting to be the first western journalists to reach Tikrit during the initial invasion of Iraq. Sites spent nearly six months in Afghanistan covering the Northern and Eastern Alliance forces before and after the fall of the Taliban, where he shot some of the earliest video of the conflict’s ground combat, including the first American casualty—a journalist wounded during a Taliban mortar attack.

Sites’s career spans cable and network news as well as print journalism. As a producer for NBC News, he received an Edward R. Murrow Award for coverage of the Kosovo war and was nominated for a national Emmy Award for contributions to a series on landmines. He has produced shows such as NBC’s Nightly News with Tom Brokaw and ABC's This Week with David Brinkley. Sites has published numerous articles in newspapers and magazines, including Popular Science, BlackBook and The New Times, among others.

During a two-year sabbatical, Sites served as Broadcast Lecturer at California Polytechnic State University, Cal Poly, in San Luis Obispo and was named Distinguished Lecturer by the California Faculty Association. While at Cal Poly, he initiated a joint research project with Xybernaut Inc. to modify wearable computers for solo digital reporting.

A native of Geneva, Ohio, Sites holds a Master's Degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. When not on assignment, he lives in Southern California.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Students, even some parents, painting feet for Haiti

A sampling of the painted feet

Flagler Colleges students - and even some of their parents - are painting their feet to raise awareness of Haitian earthquake victims. Some students are taking photos of their painted feet. Then they are replacing their Facebook profile photo with the feet picture.
Another thing you can do to get into the giving spirit: Text the keyword SHOES to #85944. That sends a pair of shoes to a child in Haiti and other developing nations; $5 is added to your cell phone bill. For more information, see Samaritan’s Feet web site.