This is a link touching on our lesson covering poor headlines. I looked for it for our assignment but decided to take the assignment a little more seriously since most of these are pretty outdated. They are pretty hilarious and a good lesson in what not to do when writing headlines nonetheless.

Everyone is stressed with the second, more abusive, half of the semester -- read over some of these if you get a chance and need a laugh. They are both educational and amusing.  --Rachel Walther

Horrifically Bad Headlines


Banning Journalists From Using Social Media?

According to a Huffington Post article, print journalists are banned from using social media at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Any journalist at the Olympics who is caught using technology (such as a smartphone or camera) for social media purposes (like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) will lose his or her accreditation as a journalist and be kicked out of the Olympics.

This raises the question of what the Olympics will be without live Tweets (including Twitter photos and Twitter videos) about the events? How will people who cannot watch the games live get their information in real-time?

When the 2012 Summer Olympic Games were happening in London, I personally had other obligations that prevented me from watching the events in real-time. However, I was able to see updates on the winners and losers with a quick check of my Twitter. This way, I could still see the results of the events as they happened without tuning in to a television. Russia's ban on social media prevents journalists from live Tweeting the results. Does this mean that we'll have to wait a long time to find out the results of the events? Probably not. I'm sure news organizations will be able to get results up quickly without using social media, but Tweeting out results is probably a lot simpler and easier.

How will journalists handle this, though? Will they obey the rule? Or will news organizations boycott covering the Olympic Games because they cannot use social media?

Also, isn't Russia's surveillance technology an invasion of privacy? I personally don't think Russia's Federal Security Service should be allowed to get away with monitoring email, phone and social media communication. If individual spectators are going to be allowed to use social media to Tweet, Facebook and Instagram the Olympics, why is it such a big deal for Russia to monitor and ban journalists? Individual spectators will most likely live-Tweet the events and results. So if the information is going to get out there in one way or another (either by spectators or by credited journalists), wouldn't Russia prefer the information to come from credible, reliable journalistic organizations?

Trip to USA Today Has Been Moved to Dec. 3

Mark your calendars: Our newsroom tour of USA Today in McLean, Va., has been moved to Dec. 3. We'll meet in the lobby of USA Today, 7950 Jones Branch Drive McLean, Va., 22108, at 1:30 p.m. and stay till 3 p.m. Please arrange for a carpool in the comment area below.

We'll meet with social media editors Mary Hartney Nahorniak and Merrill alum Desair Brown Shaw, plus others from the newsroom. This will likely include Web news editors, videographers and others, who will talk about their jobs, the skills needed to do their jobs, and their career paths to these jobs. You will be given assigned questions to answer about the visit; your typed responses will count as an in-class grade, and will be due at the start of our last class.

Please note in the comment area below if you have a car and would be willing to drive some classmates. We will NOT be meeting in Knight Hall, unless your carpool has pre-arranged for this!

DIRECTIONS FROM THE CAPITAL BELTWAY FROM GOOGLE MAPS (Feel free to use your own GPS in lieu of this!):
  • Merge onto I-495 W/Capital Beltway/I-495 OUTERLOOP via the ramp on the left toward Northern Virginia/Silver Spring.
  • Keep left to take I-495 W/Capital Beltway/I-495 OUTERLOOP toward Northern Virginia (Crossing into Virginia).
  • Take exit 46A to merge onto VA-123 S/Chain Bridge Road toward Chain Bridge Road/Tysons Corner Vienna. Stay in the right lane. Immediately turn right onto Tysons Blvd. Go .3 miles.
  • Turn right onto Westbranch Drive. Go .5 miles
  • 9. Turn right onto Jones Branch Drive. USA Today Building is on the right. BUT turn into the big parking lot with the guard shack BEFORE your get to the building. You will be asked to identify yourself, (tell them you're with Chris Harvey's class and meeting Mary Nahorniak and Desair Brown Shaw for a tour); you will likely be directed to park in the garage. We'll meet in the lobby for the tour PROMPTLY at 1:30. Give yourself an hour to get there and park.