Posts Tagged ‘journalism’

Ai Shiteru…

April 30, 2009
My picture for one of my KOMU stories

My picture for one of my KOMU stories

Did you like my little confession to the profession of journalism up there?  My worries from last week are gone!  This is exciting because I feel like I am back on track to becoming the journalist I would like myself to be.  Last week I was slightly distraught because I had trouble with my first assignment at KOMU.  Since then I have done three more and am able to use the software with much more ease.  Another exciting thing?  News at the state Capitol last night!

I usually work in Jefferson City Mondays and Tuesdays, but I swapped this week so I could do a package for KOMU.  I went in to the Capitol on Wednesday this week and guess what happened?  I finished with my radio stories for the day (they were on a bill about motorcycles high and low beams, read them here) when the Governor announced he was holding a 6 p.m. meeting about the swine flu.  My editor, Phill Brooks, immediately climbed into his excited shoes and began ranting about how the first case of swine flu must be in Missouri.  Some of my co-workers were  a bit skeptical, but it turns out Phill was right!  Instead of going home, I began to Twitter, Facebook and blog about the night’s events for the next two hours!  Two of our reporter’s went to the Gov’s meeting and were updating us as the words were spilling from Nixon’s mouth.  What an exciting use of technology to get the word out to people right as it was happening!

At KOMU this and part of last week, I’ve done two more stories.  One was on a presentation about the forgotten Ioway tribe which once reigned Missouri and the other was on a growing and disturbing new 21st century addiction:  internet addiction.  Read and watch my story about the Ioway here and read/watch my story about internet addiction, here.

I am still sick, but it is now confined to just my nasty cough. I finished my strep medicine yesterday morning, but I think it may be something else since I am not 100% yet. I missed my Broadcast 2 class this morning (sorry Greeley!) to rest and hopefully feel good enough to go to class by 1 today. Speaking of, I better get on the move since it is about 12:12 now.

Until next week,
Christine Slusser


It’s A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood…

April 23, 2009

It really feels like spring today!  Other than my sniffles, I am enjoying the weather!  I have my second VO Patrol shift tonight from 6-11 at the station.  To be honest, my first experience scared me.  I did not like it and this is a major concern since this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.  I just did not know how to use the software.  I turned in my final story at 9:56 (it was due at 10) and the stress actually gave me a headache.  I hope my second one goes better and that I can use the software with at least a tiny bit more ease. Click here to read the online version of my first story. If you look to the right of it, you can also watch the video that was aired on the 10 p.m. news.

Unfortunately for me, allergy season is here.  What is even more unfortunate is the fact that I have strep throat on top of that and the flu.  Ouch.


In other news, I am a youth group/Sunday school teacher for Wilkes Boulevard UMC. They were featured in the Columbia Missourian for their trip out to Heifer Ranch. Read it, here.
Here is the picture featured in the article:
Courtesy of the Columbia Missourian

Other major news? Most of the computers in the broadcast lab are not working. I just have a feeling that today will not be my cup of tea. My electricity got shut off (ouch), I have tried about 20 computers and none of them are working, and the one I find that does work does not have a working printer. Grr. I suppose it could be worse…


I could look like this…

Have a great day for me,

I feel like my head is a little detached from my body today, too.  Courtesy

World-Wide Web of Journalism

April 2, 2009

What an amazing week I’ve had! 

For starters, my stories down at the State Capitol were brilliant.  Not to sound arrogant, but I am excited I was able to cover “breaking news” on Tuesday.  Various reports from the AP and Kansas City Star (who broke the story) said there were FBI investigations going on in Jeff’s Capitol. 

My first reaction was, “what!?”  The only source the legislators had was the article.  Then later Tuesday AP broke a report that Rep. LeVota’s name was being brought into FBI investigator’s questions.

Representative LeVota of Independence, MO

Photo courtesy

Shortly after the report, the Democrats held an emergency caucus.  I was there to cover it, waiting outside the doors until it adjourned.

To read my radio story, click here.

To read the KC Star’s story, click here.

As far as what will be my last package (I am determined to make it so good it will be), I will be doing a second-round of interviews this coming Sunday.  My story is on a group of college guys who started their own fraternity on Mizzou’s campus.   It’s not every day that you see this and I thought it would be a great story.  I went over my first script with Greeley before Spring Break and hope that my new corrections will make it an even more exciting story than before.

As far as the news goes, I have been appalled by the number of reported plane crashes lately.  The one that caught my eye today, however, was a story by USA Today.  They said the Montana plane crash that killed 14 people could have been prevented.  The pilot apparently called back to traffic controllers twice to divert from the planned route.

Now my question is, why wasn’t he allowed to?  To read the story, click here.

Until next week,

Christine Slusser

I can't wait to play in the sprinklers, too!  It's spring time!

Intrigued?  Check out my other blog, here.

The Break of Spring.

March 25, 2009


Yay!  Tune in to KOMU around 7:45 a.m.

Now onto the blog…

This week was supposed to be my spring break from Mizzou (note the word “supposed”). Since break, I have worked at KOMU for most of it. I pulled a Sunday night shift, an all-day Monday shift (7:15 a.m. – 11 p.m.), took an iNews Avid edit test Tuesday (which I passed – yay) and then worked today as well. I am not complaining, mind you, but I just keep myself awfully busy even when it is supposed to be a break.

I think one great thing is the new Pepper & Friends set. Until the official digital switch-over, we are in a shed. A soybean shed…with a barn cat even!  To see him, click here to watch the open of Pepper and Friends.  Paul introduces him toward the middle.

Other than work, however, I have been able to start reading a book (for FUN even)! It is called So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore? It is fascinating. I first started reading it to see if I could use it as a mini-book club for my youth group kids at Wilkes Blvd. I think it may be a little over their heads, but even though that won’t work out for them, it has been a great and inspiring read for me!

The excerpt gives is,

“What would you do if you met someone you thought just might be one of Jesus original disciples still living in the 21st Century? That’s Jake’s dilemma as he meets a man who talks of Jesus as if he had known him, and whose way of living challenges everything Jake had previously known. So You Don t Want to Go To Church Anymore is Jake s compelling journal that chronicles thirteen conversations with his newfound friend over a four-year period and how those exchanges turn Jake’s world upside-down. With his help, Jake faces his darkest fears, struggles through brutal circumstances and comes out on the other side in the joy and freedom he always dreamed was possible. If you’re tired of just going through the motions of Christianity and want to mine the depths of what it really means to live deeply in Christ, you ll find Jake s story will give you hope for your own. This book probes the difficult questions and offers some far-reaching answers. It just might turn your world upside-down as well!”



I haven’t worked on any projects for school so far this week, but I plan to Friday. I should probably jump on my Meteorology reading as well. Want to hear an interesting meteorological factoid? If you compare a night with clear skies to a night with cloudy skies, the night with clouds will always be warmer. This is because the clouds act like “blankets” to the earth and send the heat that is trying to rise and escape back down to the ground.

Nifty, huh?

If I made an educated guess, I would say these are altocumulus clouds. Courtesy of

Since I don’t have much in the way of “journalistic reflection” this week, I am going to rant about something. If you’ve been reading this blog or even slightly glancing over it, you will notice there are pictures of Ms. Mary Pickford after about every post. I try to tie the picture in with something interesting or something I have talked about during the blog, but this week I am going to point out what I would call an idiotic comparison. I discovered this almost a year ago and it still makes my blood slightly simmer.

Someone (from a prestigious newspaper no less) had the audacity to compare Mary Pickford to Paris Hilton.


This is the picture posted on the blog.


 Courtesy AP and Milestone Films.
Here is the blog site link. Read it if you dare. 

Until next week,

Christine Slusser

After this blog, I would look upset too Mary.

Captain Hook?

March 11, 2009

Keep in mind, this is a true story. While I wrote about this in my other blog, it is worth mentioning again.

I teach Sunday School and Youth Group at Wilkes Boulevard UMC. On a little break, my fellow Sunday school leader and myself went to Taco Bell for lunch…

Sounds normal enough so far, right?
Taco Bell, Columbia, MO
While I was in there, a man with a hook for one hand (I am not joking) came up to our table and put a tiny, black rock in our faces.
“Must be gold,” he said, “maybe a diamond, feel it.”
Althought I thought there was a possibility it was bird dung, I took it out of sheer courtesy. Well, it was smooth…
Then, he dropped it on the ground. He picked it up and dropped it again. And again. And again.
“See how it doesn’t break? Must be gold.”
“Do you think it’s gold?”

My other youth group leader, Zach, only said, “Well…maybe.”
It looked something like this…
Rough hematite
Ummm, not to burst his Neverland bubble or anything, but I don’t think so…

Speaking of gold, it was just discovered that Lincoln’s every-day pocket watch had a secret inscription written on it from when the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Read the article, here.

Not so golden? My package I made last week.  It was the one about the memorial maker I mentioned earlier. While it was my highest score, I was counted off for more technical errors than usual which, consequently, turned it from my best score to the lowest. Now that we have produced more than three, we can take our time on churning out the next story. I am going to make sure I do so and make it the best package I’ve ever made and then hopefully (cross your fingers for me) get cleared for KOMU. That’s the goal.

This week at the State Capitol, I did a “whip-around” story. A “whip-around” is when it goes from one reporter and then whips straight to the next one who is covering the same story, but with a different focus. The story is about a Senate Committee Hearing about Springfield’s City Utilities wanting to be some of the first in the nation to begin pumping CO2 into the ground…without liability. Read my stories here. Read my fellow radio reporters here. It is going to be on Springfield’s radio station, KSMU.

Stay tuned,

Pickford sailing with her third husband, Buddy Rogers.

The Waves of Change

March 5, 2009

My birthday is in three days.  Since my birthday is in March, this makes me a Pisces.  Here is my horoscope for the day:

“Thursday, March 5 (Moon in Gemini to Cancder 6:08 a.m.)

You certainly do enjoy the Cancer moon.  It shifts your emotional focus to romance creativity, and what you do for fun an dpleasure.  Play for all you’re worth.  Tomorrow, Venus turns retrograde in Aries, so your love life could get a bit bumpy.”

Now, while I am not quite sure the significance of Venus turning retrograde…I think it is safe to say it is a bad thing since my love life could get botched. 

I think astrology is extremely important, sort of a look into the unknown universe.  It has been around for centuries, there is Chinese astrology (I’m a dragon) which goes by years instead of months, the astrology we use here in America (according to birth months) and other various forms all around the world.

People just want to know what they cannot.  We make constellations, tell stories of how the stars got there and give each person born under a certain month pre-planned characteristics.  Pisces are supposed to be good in the water, very emotional and sociable.  Some recommended professions for Pisces are actually, believe it or not, journalists and actors.


But really…why are people so obsessed?  Links to your astrological prediction for the day are available as Widgets, in most newspapers and even on online sites such as Click here to go to an article they did about what your zodiac says about your profession.


This week I worked on a story about one man battling the sour economy. He is a memorial maker, by which I mean, he makes headstones and other carvings into stone. As soon as I figure out how to post it on here, I will be sure to do so. Stay tuned!

This package was probably my hardest. I contacted 10-15 economy “experts” and they all said they were too busy to interview with me. My next resort? Going door-to-door in my apartment complex and asking people how the economy has affected them. It worked out wonderfully. I think this is my best package yet so I will be sure to post it up here when I find a spare minute.

I worked the 4 a.m. shift at KOMU this morning and it was surprisingly swell. I really liked working with the “old” summer crew – it was like a mini family reunion. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the TV station is trying to save money (aren’t we all?) so they did away with their complimentary coffee. One of the crew members brought in a coffee maker and I have never been so excited to drink a good ol’ cup of Joe in my life.

At the Capitol this week I wrote about a Senator who is pushing the right to pray in school and other government-owned properties. To read it, click here.

Until next week,
Christine Slusser
Intrigued? Check out my other blog and radio stories, here.
Pickford's grave...I wonder if the guy I interviewed could make something like this?

The Starving Artist

February 26, 2009

I think the last time I ate today was around 1 p.m.  I am not entirely sure because I have been too busy running around Columbia.  My story this week comes from a study I found that highlighted a marriage decline in Missouri.  I just finished editing, voicing, editing some more, interviewing, editing, interviewing and did I mention editing?  I am hungry, tired and a tad cranky, but I think what makes me crazier is the fact that I don’t mind it.  I wouldn’t mind doing this for the rest of my life.  It’s a good thing, too, because it is the rest of my life.

At the State Capitol this week I wrote about how we are doomed to pay higher electric bills – regardless of nuclear or coal power.  Read my story here.  Other exciting events in the world?  To understand this highlight, you must first watch this YouTube video.  It is called “David After Dentist“.  A Dad taped his kid after he went to the dentist, still (and very apparently) high on the drugs.  CNN highlighted little David after his escapade.  Watch it here.

I think this video is hilarious.  By reading the comments on the YouTube page, others obviously did not.  One thing that jumped out at me was this one-liner, “u child molesting bastar”.  I didn’t see any child molesting, but I suppose this webber can imagine whatever they want.

Another YouTube member was encouraging little David to re-experience the dentist visit by taking Salvia divinorum.  Hm…I don’t think it is the best idea to be giving a grade schooler drug tips.

Some people take things way out of context.  I saw this as a Dad who thought his kids was being funny.  He was not on illegal drugs, he simply went to the dentist.  If my little brother were acting like this, I would pull out a camera immediately and, without hesitation, hit record.  Now, would I go as far as post it on YouTube?  Maybe not, but that little dentist kid was hamming up all the comments and attention.

Also, why do people think it is alright to randomly post mean things under people’s videos?  I have seen sweet little videos of kittens (check out this one) and then randomly there will be a comment (always gruesomely spelled) about how the little kitten should be drowned.

Yeah, okay…

I, personally, am on the kittens side.

(Here is mine, his name is Clairvoyant)

Well, since I began on the topic of a drugged up mammal, here is another.  Click here.

Until next time,

–Christine Slusser

Mary Pickford and best friend, Frances Marion

Stand by!

February 19, 2009

This week was certainly interesting!  At the Capitol I produced some rockin’ stories.  I covered a House hearing that mentioned a 1995 murder trial.  Shortly after, there was first round approval to give teachers more knowledge about problem students.  Read my story here.

My next story I wrote for radio down in Jefferson City involved hackers.  I learned a lot from this Senate meeting.  Before I delve into that, we met in the Senate lounge.  One thing I admire about the Capitol building is that it simply highlights Missouri’s history – both the good and the bad.  I was slightly disturbed by the rug on the wall with a man skinning a deer that was hanging upside down, a branch wedged between it’s feet to hold it in place.  Being a vegetarian, this especially struck me.  While I couldn’t find the picture online, here is a picture of our Capitol (from Wikipedia).

...I work here Mondays and Tuesdays for Missouri Digital NEws

...I work here Mondays and Tuesdays for Missouri Digital News

Back to the news… to read my story about how Missouri is 1 of 6 states that does not require businesses to notify you if your personal information has been stolen, click here.  Other interesting items in the news?  A univeral cell phone charger (also read why some say it won’t work), a magician who now can’t afford the rabbit or the hat and a swiss secret?

Last week I turned in my first package (I talked about it in my previous post), and it was brutal.  My teacher (also pictured in the last post), tore me apart.  I guess that just leaves a lot of room for improvement.  I am also confident this next package I have will have a higher grade.  I focused on doctors working around the year to find the cure for breast cancer.  Read the article that inspired me, here.

Unbeknownst to some, I am also a minor in Meteorology.  I figure with the economy the way it is, I should be indispensible.  If I can do the news and the weather, I will be less likely to be fired than that guy who can only read prompter.  That’s what I’m hoping anyway.  A- on my first test, at least I am well on my way.

Until next week,


Living, Eating, Breathing Journalism

February 12, 2009

Let me tell you, my week has been crazy. It has been both a journalistic Hell and Haven. It is Hell because I, literally, hardly find time to eat. It is a haven because this is what I love and I wouldn’t have it any other way. On Mondays and Tuesdays I work at Missouri’s State Capitol and write/produce radio stories. Check them out here. Wednesdays and Fridays I work at KOMU, running cameras for Pepper & Friends. In-between jobs, I have classes, tests, and projects (every week) for my Broadcast 2 class.

Speaking of the class, want to see the opening picture for the website? Here it is:

Greeley's Style
Yes, that is my professor of journalistic wisdom. For class this week we had to produce packages. These little buggers are what someone would see on the news that includes video with the reporter talking over it. There are few pauses for other interviewees to talk and then it is also common to see the reporter himself on-screen talking about something related to the story. If I figure out how to post them online, I will be sure to link it up.

This week has been a learning experience for me! Another requirement of the class is to complete four shadow shifts at the TV station. I went to one last night around 7:30 p.m. It was the live truck shift and it was crazy! I had no idea that those little tidbits you see on air that say “Reporting Live from…” take so much effort! We have to go to the location, find the perfect spot, set up the equipment (no small task, mind you) and do it all in the cold. Brrrr. I couldn’t feel my hands for a good hour or so afterwards. Check out the KOMU truck here.

When we were scoping out the scene, we stumbled upon a rock “house”. If it weren’t 9 p.m. and dark, it may not have been so scary (but I doubt it). There we were, right outside Mizzou’s Boone County Extension Center, looking at a creepy rock house. I have no idea why it is there, we investigated and nothing was in there except leaves and dirt. An awkward compost pile maybe? I finally found an equivalent on the web, here is an example of what it looked like:

image from
Back onto the topic of journalism, though. I just went through some stories on CNN and came up with a great idea! The economy is down, most know that, and I have seen various features on what people are doing to cope. What about from a magician’s point of view? I don’t know about you, but I think this would be a really neat story! Check out CNN’s version, here.

Well, unfortunately, I have to go back into the real world now. See you next week!

P.S. the lovely lady from the first post is Mary Pickford.
To listen to a lovely song about her, click here.

Journalistic Reflection

February 5, 2009

     I would like to start off my first post as a sort of “reflection” of what I have learned thus far in the vast world of journalism.  This semester alone my brain is filled to the brim with various tidbits and facts that I try to remember while writing:  give both sides of the story (it sounds so simple, but yet sometimes getting the other side to respond is oh-so-difficult), reach your deadline, spell check, only use one space after periods, no comma before and, you have the right to use a sidewalk etc…

     Does your head feel like exploding yet?  Other than the rules, another thing I find helpful is keeping up with the headlines.  Before this semester I was not the most “up-to-date” professional.  Now that my professor of perfection (it is just dreadful now, I will thank him every day of my life after this class) has opted to give us a quiz every class, I wake up every morning and read the headlines. What was I doing with my life beforehand?  There is so much information out there, so much going on in the world!  Sure, most of us know that Phelps was caught with pot by now, but did you know about the WWII vet who froze to death in his home?  How about the indestructable guitar?

     Reading these stories, among others, this week really made me think, “where do they find these stories”?  How can I find these stories?  How would I shoot these if I were recording them for our local TV station, KOMU?  These thoughts and others have been in the front of my mind all week (yes, right up there in that frontal lobe) and I hope that as I grow as a journalist these things will become second nature to me.

     So far I have been talking about other people’s stories, but now follow my thought process as I jump onto the topic of my stories for the week.  I work as a radio reporter at Missouri Digital News.  Missouri’s Capitol building is always hopping now that it is in session and I am privileged enough to have access to the press spots in the House and Senate.  Let me tell you first hand, they are a hoot!  They bicker, banter, applaud, laugh, and mess with their iPhones during session.  Our representatives are just like us!  It was refreshing to see that they really are just people working towards one common goal: what the people want. 

     This week I covered a two hour filibuster that prevented the Senate from voting on the possibility of laptops in the chamber. I also covered an interesting story about the state scrambling to find funds to improve MO’s radio communications systems. Today I also drove to the Capitol to be a mean, old, nasty editor.

     As far as my Broadcast II class goes, I am struggling to make ends meet with my story.  I read this article about animals increasing happiness and jumped right on it.  I love animals and I figured if I was enthusiastic about the story, it would shine through.  Two animal shelters in Columbia did not return my calls, but I did set up an interview with a Mizzou professor who allows animals in her classroom.  It should be interesting video, I hope I can find enough footage to make a great story.  That interview is tomorrow at 11 a.m., my project is due by 1 p.m.  I have confidence I will finish on time, though, and sometimes that’s all you need.

Random thought:

Want to see my hero? 
Here she is.

10 points if you know her name.