Finding Inspiration When Creating a Website

Be creative. There is a couple of ways to get creative when you are building your brand and putting out a digital portfolio. He first thing you have to figure what kind of content you want to put out there that will grab the attention of the company that you would like to work for. The next thing is to come up with web designs and ideas on how you would want your website to look like.

Digital Portfolio

Take Lam Thuy Vo, a multimedia reporter that has a creative digital portfolio. Getting an idea of what she is all about on her home page it consists of frame shots of her taking a taking a picture using her camera, her holding a keyboard, and holding a notepad covering half of her face.

The design of the website is very simple, clean and not a lot of colors used. Its just black, white and gray. The Digital Portfolio consist of eight pages and it is easy to follow

  • About Page: readers get a taste of where Vo has worked and how she got into multiplatform journalism. There is a list of her expertise and a picture of herself on an 100 hundred dollar bill, which represents that she covered the economy.
  • Video: The page is broken into her feature stories, news stories, motion graphic and miscellaneous videos.
  • Photos: The photos broken into enterprise, news, culture, street, and commission. The photos are colorful and it is wide range of different photos of varies subjects.
  • Graphics: Consist of different types of infographics that relates to the economy.
  • Writing: Her writing samples are broken down into the company’s that she worked for like Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal. There is links or PDF files for each story.
  • Resume: The resume page is not really creative, it a straight forward resume with the list of Vo’s expertise/
  • Resources: Is a tutorial and cheat sheet page. Infographics that can be a resources and helpful for anyone that is aspiring multiplatform journalist.

Nontraditional Website

One of the nontraditional news website has to be “The Soup” website that provides news about celebrities and the weird things that they do, it is “News that you can’t use”, meaning that these weird stories you would not use at all in a news program like “60 minutes” or “NBC Nightly news with Brian Williams”.

The website is easy to follow and is straightforward. The design of the website tries to grab the attention of the reader and their audience, it is very colorful.

Content that peaks Interest

Bleacher Report website peaks my interest because it is a website that is all about sport- related news. Navigating the website is simple and its homepage has  images and stories that are popular or breaking news.

It consist of 10 different pages of content about varies sports (MLB, NBA, NHL, Masters, etc.) It features “The Lineup” list of the top 10 viewed stories, which sometimes feature human interest stories.

The website and the design of the website is simply, but very colorful. Many of the stories may grab the attention of the audience. The color scheme is simple (orange and gray), but the design of the website is easy for the audience to find information and it’s easy for someone who is looking at the website for the first time.



Pat McGonigle Credits His Mentor For His Success

In journalism its about the play on words, learning about the Inverted pyramid, and coming up with catchy headlines, all of these skills that Pat McGonigle learned at Saint Louis University.  McGonigle graduated in 1994, still uses these skills every day as the morning anchor for KSDK in St. Louis. It also helped him land his first job at WHGH, the NBC affiliate in Boston.

In order to get the job in Boston, there was a writing test and they handed out AP wire copy. McGonigle had to write a 20-second TV script about the new Coca Cola campaign, where they were going to remove the ribbon from the can. “The lead-in that I wrote was a big ribbon ceremony for Coca Cola today, but not the one you may be thinking of,” McGonigle said.

McGonigle gives credit to his SLU mentor, Dr. Avis Meyer who McGonigle says taught him everything he knows about writing headlines and having fun with words and the knowledge that he learned from Meyer is the reason McGonigle got his first job.

McGonigle, a communication major  was in several classes that Meyer taught. One of Dr. Meyer’s fondest memories of McGonigle is when he learned that McGonigle was coming back to Saint Louis to work at KSDK. “ He called me to tell me that he got the job. I told him that I was really honored that he called me.  He said, ‘You know who I’m calling next?,’ I said ‘who?’ He said, ‘My parents,’ I think he gives me too much credit, but I love to brag on him,” Dr. Meyer said.

Top Five Ways Not To Violate Intellectual Property Laws

The first thing you might ask is “What is intellectual property?” Intellectual property is ownership of any idea or creation. Getting ready to create your own work, here are couples of things you need to know on ways of not violate intellectual property laws:

1) Copyright: protects the owner of their original work. The original work pay include: screenplays, movies, YouTube videos, or blog post. The owner has the right to perform or distribute their work.

  • Come up with your own ideas, not matter what taking someone else’s idea or creation and calling it your own is against the law.

 2) Trademark: The trademark law protects the use of phrases or symbols created by a person or company. The owner of that trademark has the legal right to protect their work from being using by others. Examples of trademark The ESPN logo and the phrase “Greatness Awaits” from Sony, the PlayStation 4 slogan.

  • The slightest resemblance of a logo can violate intellectual property laws.

3) Trade Secrets: Trade secret is any secret information about a certain company given to another company or rival company. Examples of items that you should consider protect by trade secret laws: Marketing plans and financial information.

  • If the information is obtain illegal (theft or hacking) the owner is protected by trade secret law from having that information release.

 4)  Patent: This law provides ownership of any creation or methods. This law is in effect twenty years from the time an application was filed. Examples of Patents: Blueprints and Computer software.

  • You do not want to create a blueprint/computer software from someone else ideas.

5)  Industrial Designs: It is the creation of shape, two or three dimensional. It is granted to the creator to be rewarded by their time an effort of creating the product. Granted this title the owner has the right to sell or import the design. Examples of Industrial Designs: Mini Cooper iPad, iPhone, and iPod.

  • Remember that any violation could result in appears in court or mostly likely being sued.

This should give you a better understand of the different types of intellectual property laws and provide information that will help you not violate this laws.

Entering The World of Online Writing Here Are Some Tips

If you are deciding to become an online journalist, it is always important to get as much information about online writing as possible. In print, there are a lot long paragraphs and you might lose the reader, but when you are dealing with online writing it is very different. Here are a couple of tips you can use wen starting to write online:

  • Grammar is important! Always make sure you proof read your articles, before publishing them online. Several grammatical mistakes your articles will deter readers from reading your articles.
  • Keep your paragraphs short and to the point, you don’t want to bore your readers with long paragraphs.
  • You have to ask yourself these questions:  What is your brand? Why should people read your articles?
  • Think about your audience: Reframe from using slang terms. Your audience might not understand some of the terms you use. So it is important that you keep them in mind when writing.
  • Start writing and continue to write.  There is always room for improvement, the more your write the better writer you become.

Networking With Professionals: Tips and Words of Encouragement

It is always good to network with others people in whatever field you are interested in. The Communication department held a networking event for communications majors. Some of the guest speakers were SLU alumni. Speaker’s areas of expertise range from Public relations, Journalism, TV production, Marketing, and Marketing Research just to name a few.

The main theme of the event was “building your brand”. It doesn’t matter what field you are interesting get your work out there and start putting your name out there so people can take notice. Getting to that extra push you would need in getting your dream job. Jim Mayfield, Executive Creative Director, Schupp Company had some good tips when working on your portfolio. “It is about the three C’s. Consume, create, and connect,” Mayfield said. His philosophy is to consume as much information as you possible can about your interest, not just your field, but other things as well. Continue creating new work and always update your portfolio. Stay connected use Facebook, Twitter, and Linked in. Linked in is another website where you can stay connecting with professionals in whatever field you are interested in. Other tips that may be helpful to the audience:

  • “Just Do”. Think about it, talk about it, and act. Put the campaign in motion
  • Whatever idea you have, just do it. For example, starting a blog and produce videos.
  • Pay attention in class, because whatever you learn in class you can apply to the real world.
  • Work hard to perfect your craft.
  • Be open and never assume. Always be able to adapt in any situation.

Rachel Moylan says, “I hate networking, but I know this is a great opportunity to pick other’s brain about your field”. Walking away from this event could give the audience a little more motivation to start putting their work out there and not just talking about it. Go out there and do it.


News Organizations That Uses Social Media Sites Effectively

With technology constantly evolving news organizations find new ways to reach out there audience. Social media has played huge role for news organizations to find ways to get the news out there. Two news organizations ESPN and The Bleacher Report use social media sites to get news out to the audience. ESPN tweeta breaking news in the sports world and in many cases they tweet about highlights in a game. They also use Twitter and Facebook to reach to the audience with series of poll questions and if the answers are good enough they might air it on the live telecast of SportsCenter. The Bleacher Report is a perfect example of the use of social media sites for news. This news organization is all online. They have articles on their website and uses Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to get news out to the audience. For example, using Twitter to tweet out a YouTube clip of an upcoming point guard entering this year’s NBA Draft. ESPN dabbles into using social media sites, but The Bleacher Report is all about using social media sites to the news out to the audience.  Thinking about MPJ and using social media sites The Bleacher Report is a great example.