Author: hull2014

Introducing the 2016 Summer Journalism Experience participants

Emily Fornof, Pittsburgh, PA

By Nurah Lambert 

Born in Pittsburgh and lived in Natrona Heights at the time. At one, she moved to the suburb of Indianapolis. At five, she moved to Homer, NY. At six, she moved to Morrisville, NC. In October of the fourth grade she moved to Peters Township, PA and has lived there ever since.

She wrote for newspaper staring her junior year writing for random sections and editing. Her senior year she became editor of “Outside the Bubble,” the national and international news section of the paper.

Interests: Playing lacrosse, making and looking at art, listening to music (even though she claims to be bad at instruments—specifically the guitar), traveling, and hiking

Music: Mainly listens to alternative, indie, and reggaeton

If she could have dinner and talk with anyone for an hour she would Malala, Lin Manuel Miranda, and/or William Faulkner

Spirit Animal: Sharks are her fave but she’s nothing like a shark so she says dolphin because dolphins are the nicer version of sharks

She chose Tulane because it made sense financially and there’s so much get involved with on campus

She wants to study Political Science (Major), Spanish (Not sure whether major or minor yet), and Art History (Minor)

Weirdest Moment: She knew a kid in 3rd grade in NC but he moved away. Then she moved the following year and found out he had moved to the exact same place and was in her sister’s class.

Fave food: Crab ragoons

Fave color: Green

Pets: Cat named Roxy who acts like dog

Siblings: Twin sister

Future plans: Law school to become a juvenile public defender

Fave place ever travelled: Florence, Italy

If she could only listen to one music act for the rest of her life? Shakira

Fave movie: Fight Club

Fave book: Light in August by William Faulkner, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor D.

Unpopular opinion: She doesn’t like Mean Girls. FUN FACT: The more people reference it, the more she dislikes it

Zodiac Sign: Gemini

Fave meme: Ted Cruz zodiac killer, Harambe

Activity she’s always wanted to do: Skydiving

Favorite Jim prank: Jim get Asian man to pretend he’s him

Fave sports team: Steelers

Favorite child star gone rogue: Mckulley culkin (however you spell his name)

Least favorite internet subculture: Meninists

Poetry or Prose? Depends on her mood

Fave 5 yrs- When she was 5-10 y/o

Kanye or Taylor? Kanye

Fave music video: “Breezeblocks” by Alt-J, “Senorita”- Vince Staples, “Latinoamerica”- Calle 13, “Rain on Me”- Pitbull & Marc Anthony

Fave board game- Balderdash

Object that reminds her of her childhood: Scooter

Nurah Lambert, Chicago, IL

By Emily Fornof

Throughout Nurah’s life she has lived in 6 different places.  Three of which were in the Chicago area, including the place she was born.  She then lived in two cities in Texas and one in Georgia.  Not only did she move states but schools as well, totaling three different high schools, four elementary schools, and two middle schools.  While she may have been constantly meeting people, oddly enough, one of her best friends ended up living with her in Georgia and Illinois.  Now she has made her move to New Orleans.  The city, the school’s financial benefits, and its ease of multiple majors encourage Lambert to head to Tulane.  During her time here she plays on majoring in economics, communications, and english.  Her love of economics has inspired to look into researching informal economy in her future and obtain a PhD in economics.  Her other career option fall more in line with her english major, which is becoming an entertainment writer.  Her love of entertainment is cultivated by her wide music taste (excluding country, of course), her siding with Kanye in the pop culture battle of the century, and her entertainment favorites.  These favorites include the movies, American Beauty, Scott Pilgrim Versus the World and Twilight, the music videos, Crying Lightning by Arctic Monkeys and Born this Way by Lady Gaga and Lemonade by Beyonce and West Coast by Lana Del Rey Tessellate by Alt-J, her favorite child star gone rouge, Lindsey Lohan, and her favorite Jim from the office prank of having his asian actor friend pretend to be him.  While she may love many of these pop culture greats, she diverts from the mainstream by not being a fan of Perks of Being a Wallflower and Hamilton.

Caroline Davenport, Bethesda, MD

By Robin Boch

Caroline Michela Davenport, an SJE freshman and Bethesda, Maryland native, has had a variety of experiences in the fields of community service and activism and is excited to continue these endeavors and pursue other interests during her time at Tulane. While in high school, she was a participant in her school’s Girl Up, Model UN, tour guide, and feminist organizations. Additionally, she went on a service trip to a village in Costa Rica, volunteered at a soup kitchen every Saturday, and worked at a local preschool for underprivileged children. Her favorite classes were AP Psychology, Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and AP US Government.

When she is not working on assignments for classes or meeting with people from the organizations with which she is involved, Caroline loves watching shows on Netflix. Some of her favorites includes “The Office” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” She said, “I watch an embarrassing amount of TV!” She is not much of a music person, but she definitely enjoys to read nonfiction books about intriguing topics.

Caroline did not know much about Tulane when she first applied, but when she visited, she “just had an amazing time” and committed when she got home. She is planning to major in political science and possibly double major in another subject, and she is interested in getting involved with organizations on campus such as The Hullaballoo and College Democrats. She is most excited about meeting so many new people and make a life for herself in a new place, in addition to getting involved with whatever sparks her interest.

Robin Boch, Roanoke, VA

By Caroline Davenport

Robin McCauley Boch believes in ghosts and aliens, but not astrology. Spring would be her favorite season if she didn’t have allergies. She has watched the entirety of “Gossip Girl” an impressive two times through and enjoys political comedy shows. She was born on March 11.

 The Virginia born and raised Tulane freshman has ambitious plans for her next four years here. She plans on double majoring in French and political science, with a concentration in international relations. Back home she lived with her father and two sisters, one of whom was adopted from China. Another important member of her family is her dog, Mojo. Tulane appealed to her because she “wanted to go somewhere that had good academics but wasn’t cutthroat and that would offer a lot to do on campus and in the city.” She is looking forward to getting involved with The Hullabaloo, TOGA, College Democrats, and “anything else that sparks her interest.” She is most excited for her honors colloquium and international relations classes.

 Her illustrious high school career at Chatham Hall included leadership positions in Model UN, the student newspaper, and the honors society. She also was captain of her high school’s field hockey and basketball teams. She relished her time in European History, Ethics, French, and Human Geography.

 Looking into the future, if she could have any job in the world she would be a journalist who travels a lot. If she could live anywhere in the world she would live in New Orleans (obviously). 

Clifford Soloway, Westchester, NY

By Cam Lutz

The upcoming Freshman class at Tulane University boasts many talented students with diverse interests and aptitudes and a potential to excel. Clifford Soloway, a cell biology and political economics double major from Westchester, NY, stands out as a prime example.

Cliff resides in the Wall, the new Freshman Honors dorm. In addition to being selected to join the honors program, Cliff won the Paul Tulane Award. Each year, a committee led by the Dean of Admission grants about 50 students a full-tuition scholarship based on academic achievement and writing aptitude. Cliff wrote an opinion on the Fisher v. Texas decision and a tutorial called “How to Fail a Road Test.” 

It was not just the financial generosity of the university that prompted Cliff to accept the university’s admission offer. He was also drawn to the university’s community service opportunities and academics. Cliff believes that the university’s distinguished political economics program would be good preparation for law school, an alternative to a career in cell research. 

As part of a science research program at his high school, Cliff designed an experiment on metabolism cancer. The summer after his Junior year, he traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, where he made significant contributions to the field, specifically in post-translation modification. Cliff hopes to learn more about cell biology and make further contributions to the field in the future. 

When he is not conducting cancer research or studying, Cliff enjoys playing the saxophone, binge watching shows on Netflix and reading. His favorite book is East of Eden by John Steinbeck. But Cliff doesn’t just read for pleasure. He said, “I don’t read literature as much as I read philosophy and political writings.” He is especially interested in political philosophy, and has read works from notable writers on the subject, including Naomi Klein, Karl Marx, Emma Goldman and Adam Smith. 

Cliff has already begun writing for the Hullabaloo. He will surely contribute to the Tulane community and beyond in significant ways. 

Campbell Lutz, Austin, TX

By Clifford Soloway

 

Campbell Lutz: an individual as flavorful and zesty as the soups that share his name. Born in Houston, Cam has been a Texas native all his life. When he was two years old, he and his family moved to Curville to follow his Father’s job in a trust and estate law firm. The family moved to Austin six months later for the same reason. In Austin, Cam began to grow into the 6’2” giant he is today. His height he inherits from both his parents, his Father standing in at 6’7” while his mother is 5’11”. He developed a love for reading in his spare time, specifically enjoying dystopic and fantasy novels, as well as classic literature. He read “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury in his freshman year of high school, and both the book and author remain his favorites. Additionally, Cam harbors a rather dark sense of humor, as reflected in his appreciation of Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. He says he enjoys the protagonist Yossarian, along with Heller’s “clever twist on war and the absurdity of war through comedy.” Although Cam reads these novels for entertainment, he also enjoys the thought that they provoke.

When Cam isn’t reading, he is often traveling. The impressive list of countries he has visited with his family includes France, Ireland, Iceland, Greenland, Sweden, and Canada. From this family tradition of worldliness, Cam has developed a distinct love and appreciation for travel in general. As a result, he considers the eight-hour drive between Austin and New Orleans an ideal distance from home to spend the next few years.

Whether Cam is at home or abroad, you will never see him eating meat. As an objection to the practices of factory farming and the animal cruelty that it entails, Cam and his Father are both vegetarian. He does contend, however, that if meat was generally produced on smaller, locally based farms, he would have no ethical objection to its consumption.

Looking to the future, Cam is interested in studying psychology and possibly pursuing law school one day. He is at Tulane in part because of the significant scholarship he received. He is one of the few recipients of the 2016 Paul Tulane Award, which pays for his complete college tuition.

Hopefully, we will continue to see Cam working on the Tulane Hullabaloo over the next few years.

 

Armando Marin, Leesville, LA

By Parker Greenwood

Armando Marin, 20, born in Fort Hood, Texas, came to Tulane from Leesville, Louisiana. Leesville is a small town, about four and a half hours out from New Orleans, an hour West of Alexandria. He attended Anacoco High School, a public school with a graduating class of 34 kids. In that class was his best friend Brandi Doyal, current Editor-in-Chief of the Tulane Hullabaloo. The two friends joined the staff together their freshman year.

Marin is participating in a joint bachelor’s program in the business school, a five-year endeavor. The program will allow him to finish with an undergraduate double major in finance and management, as well as a graduate’s degree in accounting. He is also pursuing two minors, one in art history and the other in public health. He will have one more year at Tulane, in grad school, so that he may finish his joint program through the business school. He is positive that he will stay on the Hullabaloo staff next year.

After he finishes school, Marin would like to stay in New Orleans, for a while at least. He has no intentions of moving back to Leesville, believing that New Orleans would be a good city for raising a family.

Kicking off his freshman year on staff at the paper, he became the associate news editor. The following year he was the online news editor, switching to an advertising manager his junior year. Feeling limited, as he could not write articles that he would have liked to because of conflicts of interest, he says he left the business staff, noting that he valued the experience. This year, he is a copy editor.

Marin’s favorite animal is a dog, although he worries that such a choice may be a copout. He stated that he does not like cats, citing his slight allergy to the species, as well as the feline’s temperamental nature. He does ease up on the animal, saying that they “can be cute.” This can be witnessed while walking with Marin through parts of campus when he says hello to them as he passes. He says that personally, he would be closest to a bee. He may look like he cannot hurt you, but he insists that he really can sting. Paralleling this character is also his busy nature. In line with this theme, Spring time is his favorite season. He enjoys seeing the flowers, along with actually being able to go outside.

Marin wanted to add how rewarding Summer Journalism Experience was for him as a freshman. “It was an awesome experience” he said. Feeling that it is better than the other explore programs, he especially enjoys the aspect of creating a finished product by the time it is over. On top of all of this, he was able to get a feel for the city and meet people knowledgeable in regards to campus life.

 

Lauren Gaines, Baton Rouge, LA

By Josh Axelrod

Lauren Gaines describes herself as an average preppy Southerner, but beneath her own humble account lies a much more layered, creative, and energetic Baton Rouge resident who has lived through tragedy and tumult but never views herself as a victim.

The outgoing 18 year old has lived in Baton Rouge her whole life, and stood on the frontlines of Hurricane Katrina, tragic police shootings, and intense flooding. She remembers Katrina from a personal standpoint — as a 7-year-old, she was focused on losing power in her home and missing school, but now sees the Baton Rouge flooding through an expanded and empathetic lens.

Gaines believes that living in a city the country seems to turn its attention to every other week has helped her worldview grow and taught her the importance of community.

“When tragedy like that strikes you have to learn to support each other and lean on each other,”Gaines said.

When she’s not witnessing Louisiana in turmoil or disaster, Gaines is snapping pictures with her Nikon camera and spending time with her family. The compassionate teen looks up to her grandmother as a role model and has learned a lot about being stead in one’s ways and treating others with kindness and respect from her selfless matriarch.

Gaines is also a fashion and dance enthusiast and cares a lot about her friends and her Southern Baptist religion. She was raised in her church and was able to come to Tulane University with financial help from the religious institution.

She plans on studying communication at Tulane University and hopes to be involved with a career in journalism in the future. Gaines’ dream is to work for Vogue or Buzzfeed.

Josh Axelrod, Fanwood, NJ

By Lauren Gaines

Upon hearing the last name Axelrod, images of an extremely cool individual-an action star, a daredevil, or a thrill-seeker-may come to mind. The general consensus is that anyone with the last name Axelrod is most likely an intriguing and adventurous person, and incoming Tulane freshman Josh Axelrod is no exception. An avid journalism and performing arts enthusiast, Josh is no stranger to putting himself in front of the public eye. Hailing from the small, close knit community of Fanwood, New Jersey, he spent his high school career as an staple member of both his community and his school’s theater programs.

Josh has performed in numerous productions, including GreaseFootlooseand How to Succeed in Business Without Really Tryingand was Vice-President of the Choral Studies Department. Outside of theater, Josh had the opportunity to write for a senior program internship, where he got to meet and interview many community leaders, and he was also involved in Model United Nations, Acapella, and was very much involved in his temple as a part of his Jewish faith all while finding time to intern with community leaders, attend Broadway shows, perform as a vocalist in his jazz band, and spend time with his friends.

During his time at Tulane, Josh plans to pursue Communications and Journalism with special interests in law and history. It is safe to say he is going to do great things as a member of the Green Wave!

 

 

 

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Adjusting to our new digital purpose: improving copy editing, making more multimedia

Four issues into our second semester as a digital first media company, we’ve identified a few obstacles to raising our standard of content. I haven’t been surprised to see new challenges emerge given the drastic changes The Hullabaloo has undergone in the last six months, and thankfully, I find them to be more easily fixed than others.

The first is training associates and staff reporters to edit using AP style, enough to prepare them to take an editor position when the time comes. When we edited on paper, associates’ jobs largely consisted of entering in corrections that their editors made. That process slowed down production significantly, but one byproduct was more-or-less educating associates on basic AP style and content-based edits. Without this process, it appears that a stronger relationship between the copy editing staff and the section editors/associates needs to exist. I was lucky, and take for granted, that I began as a copy editor and therefore have worked closely with AP style.

There are multiple ways to go about this problem, including training sessions, bringing associates in to copy edit alongside copy editors during print production nights, inserting them into the editing process by creating an additional round of edits, etc. All of these possibilities have their pros and cons. Identifying this problem, and brainstorming, is the first step toward figuring it out, though.

The second is a lack in photography in the field, which stems from the difficulty in prompting reporters to take extra steps in adding multimedia to their stories. There is only so much that one photo editor can do to cover all the stories The Hullabaloo produces given its newly consistent flow of online content. Mobilizing the masses, per say, is much easier said than done. Training reporters to feel comfortable taking and uploading photos, videoing snippets and live-tweeting events is time-consuming and relies heavily on repetition. This routine has not been established.

While sections editors have begun to embrace using the (mostly) website, twitter and in some cases iPhone shots in the absence of professional cameras, this drive to add multimedia needs to increase. I believe a degree of this technology has become second nature for many on staff, and it is time for them to push further. As they move forward, however, we need to pass down our knowledge of digital journalism, not only concerning written content but also multimedia.

Education, especially lasting education, in my opinion, is the biggest challenge that college newspapers face. Theoretically, a fourth of the staff graduates every year. Professional newsrooms (not to say that our University paper is not professional) can build up that knowledge over decades, but often in our case, seniors graduate and leave with knowledge that has yet to be shared. Multimedia presents a particularly difficult obstacle, as well. We can write manuals and guides for content and AP style because it evolves relatively slowly, but the same cannot be said for the digital part of digital journalism.

Informal, hands-on training, I would argue, is the way to go. The Hullabaloo has only one adviser, who splits her time between us and a large chunk of other clubs on campus. We’ve got to just jump into the ring and, starting with even one other reporter, pull the whole newsroom in with us. We can figure it out as we go — that’s what every good journalist is doing.

Hull Business sets up shop with Green Wave photography, crowd funding

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One of the main concerns The Hullabaloo considered during its transition to an online presence and acceptance of the changing dynamic of journalism was the difficulty in financially supporting our editorial purpose in the long term. Ad revenue continues to shrink, and online advertising is not filling that hole for a number of different reasons.

Consultant Ryan Frank brought to our attention a number of revenue opportunities focused on service-based business models (in addition to continued print ad revenue), one of which included a photography business. We discussed the advantages in theoretical terms, and he said it worked well for the college newspaper he advised at the time, the Oregon Daily Emerald. Much discussion surrounded this idea until recently, when an aspiring marketing associate and our busy business manager broke ground on the project, deemed Green Wave Photography.

Having hired two photographers, and possibly more in the future, Green Wave Photographer has landed its first three gigs, taking advantage of Homecoming festivities, with hopefully many more opportunities to come. Our marketing associate created a website, drew up contracts for both the photographers and the clients, contacted numerous organizations, consulted student government to estimate student organizations’ budgets, and compared prices with peer photography businesses to come up with an optimal price (depending on the nature of the event). The business will spend the next few weeks pinning down its niche, and we are hopeful that it will become a consistent revenue generator come next semester.

This endeavor inspired several conversations about ethical issues regarding the content these photographers would produce, and the main concern was that we ensure the photographs taken for clients and photos taken for The Hullabaloo newspaper content would remain completely and mutually exclusive. Hiring two photographers separate from the editorial process allows us to draw a thicker ethical line than we necessarily expected off the bat given our limited resources. Starting the pay off at $150 for experienced photographers eventually drew in some talent, though!

In addition to this new business venture, our business manager has signed The Hullabaloo up for what has become a popular way to create funds through the internet called crowd funding where anyone interested can fund the digitization of The Hullabaloo by financially assisting our need for sending staff to conferences, buying video equipment, and bringing in professional speakers to educate the staff (I’m a strong believer that educational at the fundamental level is the answer to a stronger and better news organization.). You can donate to our cause at gofundme.com. Gifts we offer include Hullabaloo lanyards, mugs, subscriptions, newspapers signed by staff and social media shoot outs.

I’m really proud to see the hard work and initiative of our marketing associate and business manager, and I am excited to see our business department work toward the continued financial independence of The Hullabaloo, even in this digital age. While we can never be certain that our endeavors will stick, whether editorial or business, I am confident that the initiative of this hardworking team will bring The Hullabaloo financial stability, whether with these ventures or the next.

1, 2, 3: Hull views increase

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Given The Hullabaloo‘s recent and sudden transition into the digital age, now that we are several weeks into the semester, I thought we’d take a step back and look at the stats. They’re encouraging. These numbers are rough, drawing from Google Analytics for the first two years and Town News’ own analytic system for this year. Even then, these rough numbers can’t be construed as anything but a significant climb in online views. While it’s difficult to find out how many people pick up the print edition for a read (rather than packing material), these analytics are striking encouragement in a chaotic struggle to make The Hullabaloo relevant and online-savvy.

As The Hullabaloo, and many other student-run newspapers, only publish during the school year, these numbers only take into account the latter half of August through the first half of May for each year of data. Here is the breakdown:

2012-13

  • Average views per month (4 weeks): 29,122
  • Average views per week (7 days): 7,281
  • Highest day: 4,686
  • Lowest day: 265

2013-14

  • Average views per month (4 weeks): 39,915
  • Average views per week (7 days): 9,979
  • Highest day: 11,813
  • Lowest day: 92

2014-15

  • Average views per month (4 weeks) so far: 47,023
  • Average views per week (7 days) so far: 11,756
  • Highest day: 19,270
  • Lowest day: 418

Unfortunately, the median was not easily accessible and though I think it would be more telling than the average, at this point this is the best way we can reasonably represent the consistent increase in The Hullabaloo’s website views. I’m very happy to see this progress on the website, and I can only hope that views continue to hold through the rest of the school year and after that.

Thanks to the multimedia director and previous EIC for helping me put these numbers together!

What to link, what to link

One debate our managing board has begun to face on a more regular basis, given our recent online presence on our website tulanehullabaloo.com and our lively Twitter feeds (@the_hullabaloo and @hullsports specifically), is what is appropriate to link, and what links border on advertisement or bias. I first encountered this debate when I worked at U.S. News, and businesses asked that I link to their business websites whenever I quoted one of their employees. This question, however, is fairly new to The Hullabaloo.

We reached no sharp conclusion, but Managing Board agreed that linking to establishments such as Papa John’s marked advertisement. Linking to videos and professor’s Linkedin profiles, for instance, provoked a more in-depth discussion from the board. For now, we settled on the guideline that videos to outside sources can only be linked if the article specifically focuses on the video itself (not just the contents of the video) and that we cannot link to people’s information such as Linkedin profiles and research project websites until we have the capacity to do so equally and consistently across the board. The reality of our student newspaper, especially as a student-run and funded newspaper, is that we cannot effectively enforce such widespread linking as of now. These policies, however, I think should be revisited in the future whenever we have a better footing on our online platform.

For now, we will continue to encourage cross-linking between our own articles to increase people’s visits from article to article.

Post Fall Elections: Training the troops, two posts remain open

We had several positions open after the redrafting of The Hullabaloo’s board member structure. We filled two layout editor positions and three copy editor positions, as well as a video producer position. After elections, however, two board positions remain vacant: ads layout editor and more importantly to the digital purpose, a webmaster. Up until this point, the multimedia director and I have split webmaster responsibilities, the website is not receiving the love and kindness it needs to really thrive. As a result, I met with our recruiting coordinator and personnel director to target special individuals who would want and be good for this position.

We decided that going to computer programming classes may be a good start and emailing professors who may have students in mind for the job would be more useful than blasting pleas through the social media stream. For now, however, the multimedia director and I will continue to foot the bill. I knew this position would be difficult to fill and if we cannot find the right person for the job, it would be a good idea to reconsider the position all together. At this point, though, it is best to give our recruitment team a chance to shine. These things take time.

Meanwhile, I am confident our new hires will ease the load on the rest of the board, and I am excited to see what our new video producer and her associate will come up with in the next couple of weeks.

We’ve had a large influx of reporters since our general interest meeting a week or two ago. Around 40 of them have gone through a training session, which we created to give them the fundamentals of reporting and save editors time in releasing news on the go. The next couple of weeks will be a trial to see whether that training will pay off in the long run. I understand that it’s a lot of information for new reporters to take in at first, but hopefully much of what our training coordinator shares will stick with them.

For now, it is still up to the design team, photography editor and business department to train their new helpers. Largely, we are depending on our visual director to educate the design team and the photo editor to train new photographers. Likewise, our business consultant, and former business manager, has teamed up with our advertising manager and business manager. They are in the process of creating a training regimen for newcomers. We recognize that this isn’t the perfect solution for training incoming contributors, but at this point we also know it is most important that we lay the foundation with the masses, which is generally made up of reporters.

I’ll make a man out of you: Website launch, SJE, first production night

photo (2)This week has marked several milestones in the history of The Hullabaloo. We’ve launched our new and improved website as a digital first media company, completed our 9th annual Summer Journalism Experience and survived our first weekly production night.

The website came with one large obstacle, which is that when we launched it on Thursday it was visible to everyone except anyone on Tulane’s campus. As you can probably imagine, this realization nearly drove me over a hill. I spoke with our Town News project manager and one of the most helpful networking engineers you could come across at Tulane University. Supposedly, the issue stemmed from problems with server communication. Either way, the connection glitched throughout production night and into the next day’s afternoon before it consistently showed up on our computers in Tulane’s student center. The glitches took away the initial elation at the “launch date,” but it did not take away the relief I finally felt when the connection finally went through for good. 

The staff appeared unaffected by this delay, though, even though they could not see the live product of their efforts (thank goodness for the preview button). They took to the website much more quickly than I could ever imagine! By the end of the evening all editing was happening on the back end of the website as people acclimated to the new system. Our arts and entertainment editor integrated Spotify playlists into music articles. Our editors began putting in pull quotes, and we uploaded three separate videos. 

Minor setbacks we had to work through included that everyone’s usernames, which we set up during staff training, were that not all the accounts had all the access they needed, which I was able to come around and fix. We also learned that to use the undo option we had to use the keyboard shortcut. We have to copy and paste quotation marks that aren’t “up-and-down,” we had to put initials on the end of the headlines to mark who had edited what, and we decided to have the layout editors pull articles from the front end of the website to ensure that they used the final version (published). Publishing the article online before it is printed was a new concept for the newsroom, as well. To upload the videos, we created a YouTube channel, so we could imbed videos that were too large of a file to directly upload onto the website. 

We use a BLOX system with Town News, and there were several instances in which the wrong content was feeding into a certain block, which I had to fix multiple times throughout production night. I had the resources to figure that out, however, so it was an easy fix. During production night, we had three board members, the chief layout editor, the multimedia director and me, who knew the basics of BLOX and were able to make rounds to help.

There were little to no complaints about the new website during production night (I can’t remember any complaints at all at the moment). Instead, they had tons of questions about how they could do this and that. Those questions were very encouraging, and I knew off the bat that The Hullabaloo elected the exact staff it needed to make this transition to the digital age. They had the enthusiasm and curiosity to integrate the website into their routine from the start. I’d heard plenty of stories about how 

Spearheading the website, however, has been particularly stressful because I’ve been filling two positions, the EIC and the webmaster. Even more, the project manager for our website did not want to communicate with anyone but me since I was the one working with her all through the summer. This put time constraints on me that I feel could be avoided in other newsrooms.

In addition, by creating three more copy editing positions in the spring to speed up the editing process and because our layout team has two unfilled position, the staff is working overtime to make sure the print job gets done. A print production night that should be ending around 1 a.m. stretched to 5 a.m. on our first night because we edited both online and print articles to jumpstart the website launch, and the chief layout editor was forced to layout almost three sections on her own with help from the visual director. This stress on the team should be relieved after our general interest meeting, which usually attracts around 60 or 70 interested students, and after elections to fill these open positions in a week or so.

Several of the Summer Journalism Experience participants seem to enjoy The Hullabaloo, and we are hoping that a few of them will apply to fill these positions. I am hopeful that, that will be the case.

New Post-ers to Come…

With the new year beginning, the office is filling up with the excellent editors and board members we hired in the spring. We’ll be in full force taking on our content and digital obstacles with each new issue per week. As a result, we will probably run into problems in each section of the newspaper, problems that will be solved with the help of Managing Board often cases. Given that anticipation, to make sure this blog records all of the ups and downs of a newsroom going digital, Managing Board will be posting articles semi-often whenever obstacles worth noting come about. These members include the personnel director, managing editor, business manager, visual director and me, as well as the multimedia director on occasion. We’ll make a habit of signing our position and name (if we’re comfortable with that) at the bottom. Look forward to all the posts!

Dani/EIC

Summer Journalism Experience and Staff Training: Digitized

photo (1)As part of educating the entire staff on digital journalism, we started integrating digital education as part of our incoming freshmen program. During this week, incoming students move in early and help the Board put together the first issue of the Fall, and we teach them the fundamentals of journalism. The difference is that digitization has become a fundamental of journalism.

Given that fact, we’ve altered our curriculum to include tutorials on how to directly upload articles to the back end of our new website, shoot a man-on-the-street video and edit it using the iMovie smartphone application and use social media as a live reporting tool during conferences/tours/SJE sessions (using #SJE2014). We are taking them on a tour of a local broadcasting station, as well. All of these activities are an attempt to expose them to all types of journalism avenues and hopefully expand how they think about spreading news. To accompany these new platforms, we’ve covered how the law covers digital media with the Board during staff training and SJE.

Because we do not have a large budget to put toward digitization (and we recently bought Mac desktops), we decided to put our money toward one expensive purchase. We voted between a TV, which could be used to educate the staff on layout and a number of other parts of the newspaper, and a GoPro. The GoPro won. With a new football stadium opening in a few weeks, it should be an excellent way to showcase a new aspect of student life.

While the staff and I are still raking through BLOX tutorials, I’m confident that we will be able to upload our articles to create a basic front page of content on the website. Eventually, with persistence (and my encouragement), we should have a steady handle on the website, and we will be able to pass that knowledge on without watching hours of BLOX videos. I’m still concerned about that challenge, but I’ll keep you posted…

Website, SJE, Staff Training: Just Around the Riverbend

We’ve had quite a few developments over the summer so far. Our new website will launch August 14. At this point, we have a skeleton that we’re working to fill with content and tweaking to make it a website that represents The Hullabaloo’s high standards. In addition, we’ve ordered new newspaper racks to fit the new print format of the newspaper, which will be 13.5’’ by 10.5’’.

A small committee of people who are in New Orleans right now, as well as key players outside of Louisiana, are putting together the schedule and the logistics of the incoming freshmen program and staff training, which will both look a little different from last year. Staff training and SJE will serve as the starting point for our staff in our digital first initiative. I’m really proud to see how involved several people have become on this project, as most of it was done by three people last year.

New topics we will be covering in addition to the fundamentals include how to input/edit articles directly on the website, how to use social media to our advantage, videoing with phones, simple video editing, and the new rolling schedule/editing process for the online team. We’ve also invited experienced speakers who have not visited in the past and scheduled a tour of a broadcasting station, which I’m hoping will open our print minds to what else is out there!

I understand that people are concerned about what the schedule will be both for SJE and for the rest of the year, but unlike years before us, our schedule is not set. This means that we will collectively decide on when the best times will be for necessary meetings. Print production night will have the same start time 6 p.m. Wednesday evenings, but all other commitments are not set in stone until we figure out what works for everyone (or almost everyone).

While the distance has presented an obstacle for our team, the biggest obstacle is the fact that the Hullabaloo board is active—meaning, everyone has a day job, which makes it difficult to deal with logistics that involve outside businesses like Town News, Sho Racks (where we purchased our new newspaper racks), ordering food for SJE, etc.

Another obstacle we have met is working with Tulane to push through contracts in a timely manner and pay for services, pay which must be authorized by the university. This problem has proved especially frustrating since we are on strict deadlines to accomplish everything by the time fall classes start, but we’ve been resilient. Despite credit card freezes and extensively absent legal counsel, I am confident that we should have everything in place around the time classes begin.

It’s exciting to see everything come together, and if we continue to work hard over the next couple of weeks we will be in good shape. I will be back in Louisiana soon, and I will make several trips to campus to make sure everything is in order. If you need to talk with me in person about anything, please shoot me an email!

Below is the letter I sent out to the Summer Journalism Experience participants and copied to the Hullabaloo Board:

 

“Dear SJE-er,

My name is Dani Maddox, and I am the editor-in-chief of The Hullabaloo. I would like to congratulate you on receiving a spot in The Hullabaloo’s summer journalism program and give you an overview of this year’s Summer Journalism Experience!

We’ve matched you with a staff member who will act as your mentor throughout the week, and he/she will contact you shortly to answer any questions he/she can about how the newspaper runs. Many of these staff members have not gone through the program, however, so they may not be able to answer many questions about SJE in specific, as the program is organized by a small committee on The Hullabaloo. I encourage you to get to know your mentor before you arrive in New Orleans, though, and while they may be busy with various internships, they will be happy to hear from you!

As a result, I’ve included more detailed information on what you’ll experience when you arrive in New Orleans! We will have a number of activities and speakers to introduce you to the fundamentals of journalism. We will discuss the ethics behind responsible reporting, and we will cover the four main content sections of The Hullabaloo: News, Sports, Arcade (Art and Entertainment) and Views (Opinion).

We will teach you how to write a basic article and how to navigate social media as a journalist, as well as use our website, which is under construction at the moment. In addition, you will learn how to edit content, write headlines and make picture captions according to Associated Press style, the national copy-editing benchmark for press.

We will hand out three projects for each of you to work on. While one project must be an article, your three projects can be a combination of articles, page designs (web or print), photo assignments or more depending on your preference. Don’t worry, though, because your mentor will work with you throughout the week to help you complete these assignments! You will also contribute one blog post per day to the SJE blog, whether that post is text, photos or another form of journalism.

Along the way, you will become close with our staff, and we will introduce you both to Tulane’s campus and the New Orleans area! We will take a swamp tour, go down to the French Quarter for a fieldtrip, and take a tour of a local news broadcast office. We will give you a taste of New Orleans by eating out at several classic NOLA spots and order in lunch from popular hole-in-the wall joints near campus! The staff will take you around Tulane’s campus and show you where your classes will take place.

We cannot guarantee that you will receive a byline in our first issue, but if you give us your best effort and work closely with your mentor to ensure your article reaches The Hullabaloo’s standard of content, your piece should run! Any photos you take may be considered for publication, as well.

For those who are interested, you will also have the opportunity to work with layout editors on design, learn the ins and outs of our business department, including advertising, and edit articles during content production that will be featured in the first issue of The Hullabaloo!

The staff is excited to meet you, and we can’t wait to welcome you to our campus and more specifically, our newsroom. Many of our participants become close-knit members of our newspaper family, and we hope that will be the case with you!

If you have any immediate concerns, please email our advisor …. or me at hull@tulane.edu. Again, let me know if you don’t hear from a Hullabaloo member within the next week. I am happy to take any phone calls on my mobile phone at the number below!

Thank you,

Dani”