Why The Internet is Important to Journalists

The internet has changed the world significantly in the past few years for all of us.  It is the new magic eight ball.  Even better because it often gives us a definitive answer.  This is also true for the world of journalism and the journalists who write the stories that inform the planet.

It certainly has changed how people get the news.  Most people get their news from the internet.  Fewer and fewer people actually buy a hard copy newspaper.  It is probably only the local papers that really have much value here.  The local beat is covered by the local beat writer.  You even might see a small local event advertised in it.  You may not necessarily go looking to see if there is a dog walk at the community park, but you could accidently come across it in the local news.

This is a smaller and smaller reading experience nowadays.  The internet is where it is at for the news.  Yet is also the new critical tool for the journalist.  Background and fact checks can be done in seconds on your laptop or tablet. Social media can give you instantaneous, on the spot insights into something.  It can even be something trivial.  During Hurricane Sandy, with all the power outages we suffered through, it was through Facebook that you could find out on your smart phone if the mall was open.  That little fact probably kept some people from going crazy.

Again, this is a tiny interaction of the news, the internet and the journalist.  The internet gives us real time updates and real time background on a story.  You can google to confirm something or discover insights into your story very quickly and comfortably.

However the internet does not replace the job of the journalist.  The journalist must still get to the site of the story.  The journalist must interview people to be able to tell the story.  While Facebook and Twitter can give you some idea of which direction the story should go, the journalist must make sense of it all.  Twitter is like fireflies drawing your attention, but the journalist must see beyond the small pinpricks of light to gauge the landscape of the story.

The internet is a tremendous asset to the journalist.  However, journalists must keep in mind it is just a tool, although a powerful one.  The more important tools are their probing questions and their notes to give the story its proper due.


Final Project Long Beach Reconstruction

Superstorm Sandy devastated most of the Atlantic Coast in October 2012, with its most severe damage hitting New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. While most areas have recovered, there are equally as many areas that are still suffering the storm’s damage. One of these areas include the city of Long Beach on Long Island, New York. The following compilation of multimedia elements about this topic is by Ashley Hartman, Magdalene Michalik, Taylor Leonard-Coleman, and Christopher Owens.


Check out our video which shows the Long Beach community speaking out about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.


Take a look at our Vuvox which shows a series of photos of Long Beach in its reconstruction process.


We reached out to residents and learned that they are still struggling daily to cope from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
Rebuilding Hearts and Homes
Superstorm Sandy hit New York and neighboring states like New Jersey approximately seven months ago, and the exhausting recovery attempt carries on with repairing, rebuilding and reopening devastated homes and businesses. The process has been rough and many people are still stressed in the aftermath of one of the most vicious storms to hit the Northeast region.
According to Long Beach Police Department Commissioner Michael Tagney, 30 percent of Long Beach’s residents have not returned to their homes after Hurricane Sandy. Many residents have not returned yet because there is nothing for them to return to.
“I evacuated my condo on West Park Avenue the day before the storm hit in late October and I am still out,” said Shari Kivet Stier, a Long Beach resident. “I had insurance but no flood insurance, so the process for rebuilding is taking much longer then expected. I lost everything.”
Superstorm Sandy has left countless Long Beach families stressed to conquer the natural damage and defeat that resulted from one of the worst storms to hit Long Island. The large quantity of building wreckage and still vacant residences confirm the reality that almost no one on this beach island was unaffected by this superstorm. What is not so candidly displayed, however, is the emotional suffering and mental wounds that frequently follow a tragic event like Sandy.
“I couldn’t even eat for weeks,” said Elliot Posner, a Long Beach resident. “I was devastated at the damage that Sandy caused both to my home and to my family. My kids were out of school for weeks and we lost basically our whole life. The rebuilding of my entire life was hard to grasp and still is but there is nothing I could of done and I just try my best everyday not to let the feeling overwhelm me.”
Posner is a father of four and has lived in Long Beach for only a few years. His house was completely flooded, ruining almost everything. He was stranded from his house for three months and when his family moved back in they still had no running water. The reconstruction of his house can take almost a year while waiting for insurance and money from FEMA.
“Waiting for FEMA is like watching paint dry,” said Posner. “It’s a long process but I have to do it for my family. We’ve been volunteering and helping the community rebuild that’s the only thing I want to happen.”
Tragedies like Superstorm Sandy often bring communities together. Now that the summer is quickly approaching we can still see that the camaraderie amongst fellow Long Beach citizens is still shining strong.


Check out our Storify about the public’s reactions about reconstructing the boardwalk:
Long Beach boardwalk reconstruction begins after Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy wrecked the town of Long Beach during its path on between October 22-21, 2012. The storm was the most destructive and deadliest hurricane in 2012. The damage included the Long Beach boardwalk.

  1. Long Beach, NY Boardwalk Transition, part 1
  2. On April 27, 2013, reconstruction of the boardwalk began. The public is reminiscent while it awaits the beloved boardwalk to come back stronger than it was before.
  3. First trip to Long Beach since the hurricane. It looks so wrong without the boardwalk 😦
  4. Ship lights out at sea. So odd not having my beloved boardwalk, but it shall be back. Love my Long Beach. 4sq.com/11reY6f
  5. my summer won’t be the same without the boardwalk at long beach #memories
  6. Thought to myself I want to ride my bike on the boardwalk at long beach… Then I remembered there was no boardwalk #fusandy
  7. Others express their dissent about the $44 million project as many are still displaced from their homes.
  8. Long Beach is apparently getting close to 200 million in FEMA aid……included in this amount will be the 44 MILLION for the boardwalk……..Curious about where the other 156 Million is going? Directly to homeowners? Is the City using that money for overtime costs related to Hurricane Sandy too? What will be left for the homeowners? What will be left for the businesses? What will be left for the INFRASTRUCTURE that was damaged as a result of Sandy?
  9. The Long Beach boardwalk is going to
    cost 44 Million Dollars to repair ???Hahaha Hahahaaa !!! Unbelievable !!
    Oh my Lord !! Not hard to understand why this country is falling apart man. That is just incredible.
  10. it really annoys me every time i hear that the long beach boardwalk costs $44million to rebuild and fema will pick up most of the cost. i enjoy the boardwalk too but isnt it more important for people to rebuild their homes
  11. My family has been in Long Beach for close to a century, but I cannot, in good conscience go to support a boardwalk “groundbreaking” ceremony when our infrastructure is collapsing around us. I love this City, but families and businesses are still displaced. 44 Million dollars for a boardwalk is shameful.
  12. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy that the Broadwalk is finally getting rebuilt but what about the our homes? When will the “people””WE” get anything from all those fundraisers supposedly done for us? It’s been almost 6 months and we’re still displaced!
  13. More information about restoring the Long Beach boardwalk can be found here:
  14. The boardwalk will not be finished by the end of this summer. However, pieces of the 2.2 mile public attraction will open one at a time.

It’s My Ear, Bud

Back CameraBack Camera The first reaction to Mayor Bloomberg’s focus on cracking down on earbuds is, oh no, not another one. The mayor has focused his attention on public health issues like trans-fat and big sodas, and now it’s playing music too loud into your ear. Just like I can drink as big a soda as I please, I can listen to music as loud as I want to. We don’t need iPod police.
But you have to look a little more closely. First, it is a little scary that you’re basically saying I can go deaf if I want to. I really don’t want to lose my hearing. And unlike the ban on big sodas, the Mayor isn’t proposing a ban. He is planning a media blitz using social networking to help educate the public on the dangers of playing music too loud. IPods can play music at 115 decibels while above 85 is considered unsafe.
And this is new territory. We were just about born with iPods in our hands and earbuds in our ears. And you can keep thousands of songs on your playlist. If you let it run, that’s a lot of time at full blast. And how often have you fallen asleep while listening to music? It’s very easy to just listen at full volume for a long, long time.
Chelsea Bartholomew, a junior at Georgia’s Valdosta State University majoring in Speech Pathology, agrees with the Mayor. “Direct Research shows loud music through headphones causes hearing loss.” She also agrees that we need to be aware of this public health problem, “If people do ignore this, it will get much worse and more and more people will be affected.”
It is very irritating to be constantly told what is good for you. And I think the Mayor enjoys putting all of this out there like he’s smarter than we are (though he probably is) and knows what is best. That gets old. But you don’t want to do yourself harm out of spite.
It bothers me to admit that maybe the Mayor is on to something. He’s using his elected power and city-wide, even national, popularity to get the word out on something he believes will be good for a lot of us in the long run. We don’t want to go from putting earbuds in our ears to putting hearing aids in them.
It can’t hurt to listen, especially while you still can. So, your Honor, on your new campaign to save our ears from the evils of loud music, I say, hear hear!

Photo essays

I covered Hofstra Admitted Student Day.  I took pictures of the new students admitted for next Fall and some of the RA staff conducting the tours.  It was a nice day for a nice event for the incoming freshmen.



My funny side

My funny side

Hopefully my job someday!

Me acting

Me acting

Me portraying Ken Gorman in Neil Simon’s “Rumors”

Black Camaro

Black Camaro

My Pride and Joy