Monday, November 19, 2007

Tricks Over Treats

By : Tyler Bjerke
Slug : Hollow-Vandals

October 31st, the streets are flooded with colorful and dark costumes, children’s laughter in the air, kids rejoice in the free candy filled night of Halloween. Concerns now growing that this once glorious childhood holiday has been warped into a night of violence and destruction.

As the years progress teens in local neighborhoods seem to be picking up more and more the habit of vandalism, turning a night of fun for some, to a night of fear.

Parents are becoming concerned for the safety of their kids, as the stories poor in everywhere, of “eggings”, beatings, and theft.

“Some kid in black robe and a Scream mask ran up and grabbed my daughter’s candy bag,” said Kathy Fullerton, concerned mother of 4 year old Christina. “He ran too fast, and I couldn’t leave Christy. The police were unable catch him.”

Those still keeping the holiday spirit are losing it fast as those destroying their hard work get away scott free.

“I came home after trick or treating that night and found my pumpkins had been smashed against the wall of my house,” said 15 year old Valley View Middle School student Elsa Nordberg. “I was crushed to find my hard work smeared against the walls.”

Local friends and neighbors have begun to ban together in retaliation against these acts, creating a neighborhood watch system.

“Were trying to set up stations down our streets, where any volunteer adults can watch over any passing kids. No Child should have to live their Halloween in fear every year. We invite all neighborhoods to join us,” said Jannie Wallen local Edina citizen. “We’ll be ready for them next year.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Oh Zephyrus, how you've pained me so....

Front Page:
Even from the get go I'm rather disappointed with Zephyrus. The two articles displayed on the front page are filled with errors and seem to contradict everything we've learned in class in one way or another. The first article the I-35W bridge article lacks in the elements of news, its no longer timely, it lacks proximity seeing as it doesn't much affect an Edina Highschooler, there is no prominence, no human interest, no consequence, no conflict, and it barely wiggles it's way into "other". The article then slides further down hill by opening with two questions, where one question is left blank and open ended the rest of the article focuses on the other. The article was also poorly edited, the quotes aren't put into separate paragraphs, they are left embedded and almost hidden inside others. This article was written more like an essay then a journalistic article.
The second article is no more satisfying then the first, errors everywhere. It's entitles "Lend a hand this Thanksgiving: Hundreds of Edina citizens rely on food shelves for their meals". What I first notice, there are no quotes, making this a complete informative articles (booooooring......) or a complete opinionated article, I find out it's a little of both and gives off a very biased vibe. Upon actually reading the article the lede defies one of our rules, NEVER use "imagine" to start an article, never. This article uses the whole first paragraph for an "imagines". The next problem I notice is the acronym in the second paragraph, "Volunteers Enlisted to Help People (VEAP)"... I stunned by this mistake, I read it once and caught the mistake, last I checked the word "help" didn't begin with the letter "a". How could such a noticeable mistake get through the editors? Then later in the article I find something that almost hurt when when I read it, "Most of them have already finished for the season...", speaking of course of the food drives. That sentence alone contradicts the whole article, it's calling for help for something that's now over, something that gave the readers no time to respond, robbing the article of it's timeliness and for that matter, purpose. All in all again I was disappointed and I cant say I agree too much on the idea of a story that is no longer timely for the front page.

Second Page:
The first article of this page is entitled "Camel to the 9th", is an article about the targeting of woman from cigarette companies. This article was poorly written with no quotes, completely opinionated and a clear attempt to help clear up the miss hap of last months issue with the sexist article, "Nice...Shirt".
The Second article, "Safety First" was much better, it was informative and relative to the high school . The only problem I found with this one was that the quotes were poorly cited, they were again embedded in the paragraphs but also the author didn't use the word "said" once for any of the quotes, in its stead she used words such as, "reflected", "declared", "revealed" and "insisted". Though that seems like a small mistake to make, words such as those might create a new view point or feeling for the quote that the interviewed did not intend.
The last article of the page, "Got illegal tunes?", had so much potential and disappointed me so much. This article had so many different elements of news in it, proximity, timeliness and consequence, but was too poorly written to get any kind of point across. The article could have been lined with quotes from students, because just about anyone in the school with an ipod has downloaded illegally, but instead had none. I was happy to see though that the Zephyrus got their acronyms straight this time though.

Just two pages into the paper and I no longer want to continue, it's riddled with mistakes and stories that are really uninteresting, and its honestly demoralizing, I'm losing faith in my fellow peers and their talents. I think the Zephyrus staff needs to throw on a couple more editors to make sure there are fewer mistakes, and to say, "No, you NEED quotes". But lastly the writers REALLY need to start using the "Who cares?" method, because for most of these stories majority of the high school is saying, "I don't".