Friday, June 29, 2007

Trashing your wedding dress. . .


One of my former students, Dudley Brown, is a staff reporter for the daily newspaper in Spartanburg, S.C. Apparently at that newspaper, the print reporters are also shooting video to augment their newspaper stories. Dudley sent me this link today. wants to share this video with you:

Personal Message
Hey Timbs,

We're being encouraged to shoot video with some of our stories and here's one that I did. I shot everything and our online people edited it. We also sprinkled a few of the photographer's shots in. I had a lot of fun doing this. I also wrote a story about this trend.

Trashing A Wedding Dress

Spartanburg photographer Amy Wood has introduced a new service to clients - "trashing" their wedding dress. Wood photographs clients in their wedding dress in unusual settings.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Another student says thanks...


Interesting and reassuring when students write to me and say thanks. Here's a message I received today from Brian Troutman of Orangeburg, S.C.

Brian earned his degree in mass comm. from Winthrop about three years ago:

Professor Timbs,

Just wanted to let you know that of my professors at Winthrop, you were the one I learned the most from. Wanted to give you a shout. I just put a new blog entry on our website – Liars Club. I witnessed it!! I am still laughing to myself recalling stories you told in your classes and references you made to the Liars Club. Anyway, check out our website when you get a chance and my blog.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Rattlesnake rattles S.C. beach goers


Some stories in journalism almost write themselves and command instant strong reader interest, especially if you're writing about TTT (Timbs' Top Topics) for journalists.


1. UFOs or extraterrestials (I'd love to break the story about our first visitors from another planet or galaxy. Even the speculation that they're already among us generates a lot of tantalizing intrigue and mystery.)

2. Death

3. Sex or sexuality (We all want to do "it" or are interested in "it," so why not explore "it" as journalists?)

4. religion and/or spirituality

5. dogs (That's right, dogs, not cats)

6. snakes (pray, if you're a journalist, that someone in your community encounters a poisonous snake)

7. health, fitness or nutrition

Concerning #6 on my above list, a story in yesterday's Charlotte Observer, about a man who nearly stepped on a giant rattlesnake at a S.C. beach, caught my attention.

Danger other than sharks lurks at our beaches.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Student testimonial


Every now and then in teaching, you get an inkling that you've nudged a life in a positive direction.

A student (May 2007 graduate of Winthrop University) e-mailed me the following today:

For the past month I have been working at a 10,000-circulation weekly paper
in Greer, a growing town right outside of Greenville, where I grew up.

I am a general assignment reporter, covering a wide-range of stuff. I have
written stories about a new Dunkin Donuts opening, locals athletes moving on
to careers at the college- level or as professionals, a dog theme park,
peach shortages, and town hall meetings. I've only been at if for a month,
and it seems like I've done it all.

I enjoyed taking your classes, even though I wasn't always the most diligent
student. I would like to thank you for teaching me the skills I needed to
be able to find a job in the field, and put to use once I was hired.

I hope your summer is going well, and that your up-coming semester is just
as good.

Thank you,

Hale McGranahan

Barry closes in on Hank


Is Barry Bonds the greatest or is he a cheater?

Folks in the know in the baseball community in Chester, S.C., vent about him in a column I recently got published in the hometown newspaper there--the Chester News & Reporter.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Reputation tarnished online?


What if someone said something negative, defamatory, or, at the very least, unflattering--about you--and put it on the Web?

What could you do, if anything?

Well, maybe a Web company called "Reputation Defender" could help.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Jock Lauterer: resource for community press


Who is THE leading voice of authority on community journalism in the United States?

Might be my friend, Jock Lauterer, who does a great job at UNC-Chapel Hill; Jock also helps improve journalism throughout North Carolina. Nice going, good guy!

Blogging dissident sentenced to prison--4 yrs.


They're trying to rein in bloggers all over the world. One recently went to jail for blogging (critically) about the president of Saudi Arabia.

Four years in a prison for blogging!

Long live the First Amendment.

Pot story engages readers in small town in S.C.


Not to be so overoccupied with media coverage of marijuana eradication (law enforcement term) but here's the link to a story which appeared
last year in the Chester (S.C.) News & Reporter, a twice-a-week 7,500-circulation community newspaper in rural S.C.

Key questions:

1. Why or why isn't this quality community journalism?

2. What tools does the writer employ to engage his readers?

3. Should marijuana be legalized? (Joking on this last one.)

The link to the pot story from last year, worth reading, is:

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

My research paper on blogging


The blogosphere and those who post to it or explore it continue to intrigue and fascinate me.

A few months ago, I interviewed about a dozen journalist bloggers (as well as others in the know about blogging), trying to discern what they do, why they do it, how it's changing themselves as journalists and how it's impacting their readers.

Read my research paper on blogging at the link for this post.

When you click on the link, scroll down to: Symposium XII info--2006

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Watch what thy says...


Okay, I usually blog about First Amendment topics and stuff about the media or in the media, but today, just for the fun of it (and for the sake of diversity), here are a few words of wisdom about what to say and what not to say on that first date (as in relationships and trying to understand and connect with one another.)

For one thing, don't try to break the ice with that old, tired, predictable question: Where to you work?

Instead, ask: "What do you do for fun?"

Read the other pearls of wisdom in the link to this post.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Blogsphere touches a court case


Be careful what thy blog about: seems to be the lesson from a court case involving a key player who blogged about himself pseudonomously--but was unmasked just the same.

Read about it.