Thursday, November 15, 2007

West Side Story- 11/16/07

When people think of gang violence, what rarely comes to mind is dancing. But in the case of West Side Story, the two are tied together as one.

The Edina High School performance of the musical, West Side Story, runs from Nov. 1-10. The musical is a modern rendition of William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. West Side Story is about love and the things that prevent it, in the sad tale of two young adults named Tony and Maria.

“Wait until you see those kids move,” said Mr. Tony Matthes, who directs the play and teaches theatre classes at Edina High School. “It hasn’t been easy trying to get 60 cast members, 15 crew, and 25 pit people together and on the same page, learning the dance.”

Though unhappiness and tragedy strike the characters in the musical, that is anything but the reaction of the audience.

“[West Side Story] is different from how we did Les Miserables, which was all singing, this is more of a dancing musical, an acting musical,” said Luke Randall, who played a Jet named A-rab and is Thespian Club Vice President.

Matthes said the dancing has been the most challenging factor in putting the musical together.

The choreography was put together by a number of people including Greg Joelson, Jessica Froehlich, Jolene Konkel, and a number of students.

“Let the choreography tell the story, let the dance tell the story,” Matthes said. “The commitment of these kids has been amazing, they’ve been coming in for play practice six days a week for 10 weeks.”

Another quality of the musical is it features the original choreography found in the movie and the Broadway productions.

“Trying to do the original Jerome Robbins choreography with non-professional dancers, in only months, to do dancing that Broadway dancers do, was a definite obstacle,” said Ms. Jessica Froehlich, a choreographer and English teacher. “We got the original manual of Jerome Robbins with the original choreography in it, we also used the film which was a great resource.”

Even the idea of a show told only through dance is new. “I’ve never done a show that’s specifically told through dance,” Matthes said. “[West Side Story] has it’s obvious message in it, violence, which has an effect on all of society. We’re doing this play in honor of musical theatre, the references to Romeo and Juliet still hold true today”.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


MNDOT introduces the initial designs for new I-35W bridge: This article has a couple of initial issues. First of all the title is a bit too long, especially for the cover story. Usually those leading articles have snappy, clever, quick, and to the point title. Another thing is that the story was all about whether people liked or didn't like the new bridge designs, which I don't know if is okay or not, but the title didn't really reflect the angle of it at all. Another potential problem is that it seemed like they were trying to convey the opinions of everyone through a couple of quotes from 3 people, which just seems like they were trying to do some sort of poll. But on a more positive note, the writer did get amazing quotes from people, like Linda Figg. Also the article had a great lede and nut graf, and seemed very well written in general.
Lend a hand this Thanksgiving: Hundreds of Edina citizens rely on food shelves for their meals: First of all this title is WAY too long! They could have easily shortened that and made it somewhat creative. Also right off the bat they were wrong! VEAP doesn't stand for Volunteers Enlisted to Help People, its Volunteers Enlisted to AIDE People!! That is just a careless mistake that seems weird to not be able to catch, the acronym even is repeated FIVE times and obviously is V-E-A-P! And its a front page story, so that one should have been more closely edited, but I guess you can't always catch every mistake every time. That's credibility that's lost there though. A positive thing about this article is that it is even on the front page, to me that is gatekeeping at its best. Another thing is that, reading this article, I still don't understand why churches are done with donations for the season, when it is right before the holidays. The way that the story explains the situation doesn't make enough sense. Also she is missing the most important angle of this article that makes it significant! She doesn't explain how to get involved and help contribute until the very end of the story, which is what makes this story important.
Classes give gender break: First of all the title is perfect, short, comprehensive, very good! Over all this is a great article! No complaints! The idea is very interesting, great timeliness, proximity, etc. Also the lede and nut graf are extremely comprehensive and don't leave the reader with remaining questions. Also the quotes are great! They are insightful and offer additional insight that is very interesting. If there is anything wrong with it I would say that this story should have made it to the second page, not the third. But over all very well written, no mistakes, and very interesting.
The Sensual Confessions of a Teenage Zephyrus Date: I do not understand at all this segment. I don't get why its even there at all except that it was a bad attempt at being funny. This lacks every element except maybe proximity, but I don't even know what it is, it isn't a comic strip, its not a story, its not anything, its not even interesting. Maybe it's just me, but I don't get it at all, why would they document a fake date, why would anyone care? There is no prominence, which is what this story needed, we needed to care who is in this for it to have some kind of substance. This should not have made it to the third page if at all.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

News Story Idea #2:

1) Edina Girls Tennis- 10/27/07

2) Sports

3) Timeliness: The girls tennis team is going to state, which is this Wednesday-Saturday. By writing a story on the girls and how they did next week, would be perfect timing.

Proximity: This story is extremely close to the student body, the story is written about EHS students.

Conflict: This story involves conflict in that the school as a result is happy for the win. But most importantly, it was the eleventh year in a row that EHS has won state.

4) The story will be about the Edina girl's tennis team and the results of the state tournament (7-0 Edina!). The article could include interviews of various team members and the reactions of the state meet. Whats their reaction to the win? What players did well? Who did not? Etc.

5) Steve Paulsen, Jenny Johnson the athletic director to find out contact information. I will interview the coach to get their point of view of the meet, how did he think it went?

Star Athlete(s), find out from the Steve Paulsen, interview players to find out their perspective for how things went, how they feel about the results. Possible athletes; Megan Gaard or Emily Warner, the winning doubles athletes.

Losing Team's Coach (Mounds View HS) what did they think of Edina's athletes, were they impressed? The coaches are; Mike Cartwright (assis. coaches are- David Weinberg, Holly Arnfelt, Jan Swanson, Gretchen Zahn).

6) I need to decide specifically which athletes and coaches that I will interview.

7) I need to know every side's opinion, if I cannot get a coaches opinion, then I'll get an assistant coaches opinion, etc.

8) Photo opportunities would be at state, which is at the U of M 10:00 am on Wed. and 8:00 am on Fri. Photos would be of the star athletes, once I find out specifically who that is.

9) A photographer would have to be cleared by Jenny Johnson.

10) The biggest problem with this story is time. If the tournament was a week ago now, then we are losing the timeliness of the story which is significant!

11) NONE

News Story Idea #1:

1) WSS-11/01/07

2) Features

3) Timeliness: This story is timely because if the play is going on right now, then by doing a story to get people interested and informed on what's going on now is perfect. By doing this story this week then you can get more people to learn about the play and get people that might not otherwise go, to go.

Proximity: The play is being done by students from our school, in our school, it doesn't really get more closer to the student body than that.

Other Factor: The other news element in this story fits under the umbrella of "other" because this story is reporting on a drama production. It is not really prominence because the story lacks a celebrity, but within our school the play is a prominent event. The story is mainly reporting that a significant production at our school is about to take place. This factor, however, does not fit in with any other specific news element, yet the story is news, so this factor is "other".

4) The story will be about the play being done in Nov., West Side Story, it will include information about the play. The story will include who is playing the lead parts, and possible quotes from them. Also the expectations for the play, is there something that will make this one extra special?

5) Tony Matthes the EHS Thespian Club Advisor and play director, to get the cast list and other details involving the play. Also in interview, get his take on the play, how is it going? What are any concerns? Is anything about this specific play especially great? Especially bad? What have the challenges been with putting together this production?

Thespian President of 2007/2008 (Leia Young, Marissa Buie, etc.) , quote from president(s) and try to get their impression of the play thus far, whats their impression? Are they the ones that pick out the play that will be performed? If so, how/why did they pick this one?

West Side Story Actor/Lead (either Cara Claflin or Beau Richard, the leads) ask how he/she thinks the play is going, any comments or concerns?

6) Additional information needed is the more detailed cast list, and other significant people in the musical's production to include in the article.

7) I need to get the specific roles and names of the cast, I need to get opinions of everyone that I interview, at least one concern for the play, I need to basically get information that you couldn't find just anywhere, the story needs that to be interesting and not just a whole paper on things that they already know.

8) Photo opportunities would be play practices or depending on the timing of when the story runs, the actual play itself.

9) Photo opportunities could be provided for by Tony Matthes, Thespian Club Advisor/Director.

10) Possible problems in getting the story include; lack of help and support from Tony Matthes, or cooperation from the Thespian Club and/or cast members. Also, the cast members will be especially busy because the musical is being performed right now, so they might be too busy to set up an interview.

11) NONE

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"To Be A Successful Reporter"

The quality that I chose was honesty. The reason that reporters have to be honest with the readers is very simple. If journalists should seek the truth from both sides of every story. They should be honest in everything that they write, they should keep promises and be dependable.

If journalists ceased to be honest, then it would be the end of news all together. If people could no longer trust what's being written to be true, then they would no longer even bother to read/watch/etc. any of it. There are many journalists out there today that aren't concerned with maintaining honesty in what they write. Those journalists plagiarise, lie, anything just to get their story on the front page and in the headlines. Those types of journalists give all other journalists bad names and inevitable lose their credibility. Those are the journalist that tend to write for the tabloids and magazines that write not to inform the public but to sell papers and gain viewers at any expense. Those are the journalists that you see on the news that are harassing the family that just lost a brother/sister/parent/etc. in a tragic accident. Those are the journalists that lose their jobs because of lying and making false statements out to be the truth. The journalists that take pride in finding out the whole truth of a story and write nothing but the pure facts are the journalists that win the Pulitzer Prizes and inform people everyday. The journalists that seek to be honest are the ones that make differences in journalism as a whole and give it a good name. Honesty is a vital aspect of journalism and without it the news would cease to be what it is today.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Edina High School

Edina High School is located in Edina, Minnesota. Located in the heart of typical suburbia, a school with high academic achievement and good athletics. Edina High School has the reputation of being inside what some might call a "bubble". Known for our stereotypical ditsy, spoiled, student population, Edina seems at times in a bubble of ignorance and disconnection from a lot of the harsh realities of today. While these preconceived notions and stereotypes do hold true to a small amount of the student body, the rest of the students here at EHS are different from all of that. Most students at EHS are well rounded, academically driven, individuals.