Fabrications Cost Job

A reporter for The Intercept, a national-security focused website, recently lost his job for fabricating sources and quotes.

As discussed in class, the public relies on media to provide actionable information to make informed choices. It’s impossible to make informed decisions based on lies. If you plan to lie in your writing, switch professions and become a novelist instead.

Prepare to Vote

During one of today’s classes, I commented about student voting choices, i.e. Are you registered? Are you voting for a candidate because your parents or your friends did? Are you voting for a candidate because you’ve researched the issues and found out who most closely matches your position on the issues?


The Arkansas Secretary of State’s voterview.org lets you check to make sure you’re registered for the upcoming primaries and the general election. It provides sample ballots and the districts where you’re eligible to vote.

If you’re not registered, you can get an application to register at the following:

  • Your County Clerk’s office
  • state revenue office/department of motor vehicles (where you get your driver’s license)
  • public library
  • voter registration drive

Applications must be mailed no later than 30 days prior to the election when you plan to vote. Considering Arkansas’ primaries occur March 1, you may have missed it. If so, that’s OK as you can still register to vote in November’s general election.

But maybe you don’t know who to vote for? The best thing to do is find out the issues in your community that will affect you and your loved ones. You have more influence on local politics than national politics, and it directly affects things in your neighborhood (perhaps even in your own back yard).

Don’t be LAZY and vote for issues or people because your friends or family members plan to vote that way. Instead, do some research prior to voting. You may find although you love someone, they’re voting against their own best interests. Don’t be uninformed: you deserve to know all of your choices. An informed populace makes better decisions at the ballot box.

Do you know if your candidate actually shares your views? Don’t vote the party line; vote for the candidate who represents you best. Find out through the iSideWith.com quiz made by self-proclaimed unaffiliated political enthusiasts. The quiz allows you to expand responses so that you can assign importance to answers. Once you finish, check each candidate’s support across the nation, or view how each state leans from those who’ve participated.

Semester Clean-Up

Today, you must submit a Course Contract if you plan to remain in Sitton’s class. Those without will be dropped from the course. He will provide extras if you didn’t bring yours.

Those who have yet to get the About on their blog fixed should consider the following:

  1. Make sure you actually published the page rather than save it as draft.
  2. If you did not verify your email with WordPress, it may treat your pages as drafts. You must verify and then publish again.
  3. If you set your About as a post, it must be a PAGE to appear in your menu.
  4. If you see two About pages in your menu, delete the one without your First Day Survey info.
  5. If you’ve done the previous steps, publishing a blog post will sometimes cause the page menu to appear. Use class-related material for posts.
  6. You can also add a widget to make your pages appear in your sidebars
  7. As a last resort, you might change the template.

The following theme templates have proven problematic so far: Ryu, Canape, Boardwalk*, Cubic, Edin*, Lovecraft. If you cannot get them fixed today, you will need to change your theme. If people must search for your About, it defeats the purpose of an academic website; therefore it will receive a zero.

If you have not finished your Blackboard Journal, NOW IS THE TIME. If you used a picture of your full student ID, remove it, crop it and re-post it. The toggle switch to the right of your toolbar will allow you to find the media insert feature that allows your picture to show up in the page.

If for any reason you cannot accomplish these things, you should be coming to see me immediately. We don’t have time to wait any longer.

Final note: Beginning today, anyone who fails to tweet their selfie and the most important thing they learned in class will be considered absent, with those absences accumulating toward the attendance policy.

*multiple problems

Online Web Design

The Herald

Special Project Design – “Behind the Veil

News Around the World

Scholarship Apps DUE!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It’s not too early to think about the fall semester. If you’d like an opportunity at a College of Media & Communication scholarship, you will need to apply by Feb. 1.  Download the applications from the college website, fill them out and submit.

Much like the lottery, you cannot win if you don’t play.

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 3.55.20 PM

D.C. Internship Info (Are You Going?)


Washington Monument 2002 (photo by Ronald Sitton)

The Washington Center, which sponsors internships in Washington DC, hosts an information session Tuesday, Jan. 26 from 2-3 p.m. in AState’s Humanities and Social Sciences Building, Room 1049.

AState Opens Late

Slick downtown roads didn't stop the morning mile.

Slick roads didn’t stop the morning mile.

I’m already here, folks, but use common sense to decide if you should be.

JONESBORO – Arkansas State University will have a delayed opening at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Overnight, a winter mix fell across the region and officials at A-State determined that roads and sidewalks on the Jonesboro campus could be cleared for classes to begin at 10 a.m.  University business offices will also open at 10 a.m. today.

Acansa Dining Hall will open at 9 a.m. today with the food court opening at 9:30 a.m.

While A-State is opening at 10 a.m., students, faculty and staff are cautioned to watch for patches of icy surfaces.

Students are also reminded of the Provost’s Office policy regarding safe travel to class.
During periods of inclement weather, Arkansas State University Provost Lynita Cooksey asks the A-State community to be flexible and responsible regarding classes and assignments.

“Commuter students are encouraged to use good judgment in deciding whether to drive to campus during inclement weather,” Cooksey said.  “Student safety is important to A-State, but we cannot account for the local circumstances of every student when a decision to open or close the university is made. This is why I say that students should not take chances.  At the same time, they must communicate with their professors.”

The Provost reminds students when the decision is made to not travel to campus under this policy, it is the responsibility of the student to immediately contact each professor upon return to explain the circumstances and to determine the need to complete any missed assignments.

Students with classes from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. cancelled today are instructed to check their official A-State email accounts and the Blackboard pages for those classes for any updates or assignments from their respective professors.

For updates on A-State events, please check the university’s official website or social media feeds, Facebook.com/ArkansasState or @ArkansasState on Twitter.

Bowie’s Book List


“BowieRaR87” by Elmar J. Lordemann (Jo Atmon) Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 de via Wikimedia Commons

The Guardian published a list of David Bowie’s Top 100 Must-Read Books. Much like the musician, it’s rather diverse and presented in reverse chronological order rather than preference. Here are the five I’ve read that Bowie read.

  • “A Confederacy of Dunces,” John Kennedy Toole (1980)
  • “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind,” Julian Jaynes (1976)
  • “In Cold Blood,” Truman Capote (1965)
  • “On the Road,” Jack Kerouac (1957)
  • “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” George Orwell (1949)

Considering how much I like this group of books, looks like my reading list continues to grow.

The Power of Words

Back in grad school, I saved this email devotional from “Daily in the Word” as it dealt with journalism. It may be more relevant today than then.

“Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.” — Luke 6:26-29

That great American hero, editor, school teacher, and clergyman Elijah Lovejoy left the pulpit and returned to the press in order to be sure his words reached more people. The Civil War might have been averted and a peaceful emancipation of slaves achieved had there been more like him. After observing one lynching, Lovejoy was uncompromisingly committed to forever fighting the awful sin of slavery.

Mob action was brought against him time after time; neither this nor many threats and attempts on his life deterred him. Repeated destruction of his presses did not stop him. “If by compromise it is meant that I should cease from my duty, I cannot make it. I fear God more that I fear man. Crush me if you will, but I shall die at my post.”

And he did, four days later, at the hands of another mob. Not one of the ruffians was prosecuted, indicted or punished in any way for this murder. (Some of Lovejoy’s defenders were prosecuted, and one of the mob assassins was later elected mayor of Alton!) However, Lovejoy’s death was not in vain. One young man who was around was deeply moved by the Lovejoy martyrdom. He had just been elected to the Illinois legislature. His name was Abraham Lincoln.

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,300 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Where, O Where?

Find course syllabi and webnotes under the Class Policies drop-down menu. Find the AP Cheat Sheet and other writing help under the Writing drop-down menu. Find beat information and more under the Reporting drop-down menu. Want to know about Sitton? Each college or university drop-down menu provides background or current info. A vita and bio can be found in the About drop-down menu. Thanks for visiting!

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