Category Archives: Be Professional

Lessons in Immersion

Frustration shows you’re learning. Confusion is just confusing.
When writing a news story a reporter has to research his or her topic and fact check more than they breathe. They don’t pass go and they certainly don’t provide their opinion. In short reporters don’t exist.
You carry that rule with you from your first news story to your grave— remaining objective, but effective. After a while it becomes second nature. You omit the “I’s”, refrain from the “we’s” and you don’t dare say “in my opinion—“unless you’re Nancy Grace. So when I was told to write an immersion piece I was taken by surprise.

An immersion piece uses the writer to take the reader to a certain place and time. The reader’s senses depend solely on those of the writer making them [the writer] a vital part of the story.
Therefore, when I began writing I had no idea where to start. Being overwhelmed with the power of “I” it was hard to narrow down my experiences to those that were important and those that were not. I assumed that since I was entering a different realm of writing my previous knowledge was irrelevant. However I found that just as you have to be careful about what you put in a news article, you have to also be selective about what you put in an immersion piece. William Zinsser said it best, “ … you must keep a tight rein on your subjective self … and keep an objective eye on the reader.”
With this in mind I weed out all the unimportant details- like how sweaty I was after a workout- and include those that provide a new vantage point for the reader. I’m learning to combine this new form of writing with my journalistic style, and in turn I’m becoming a better journalist.

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Posted by on March 31, 2014 in Be Professional


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Twitter: My Do’s for 2014

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As a journalism major I have some interesting classes, one of which requires me to post certain stories once in while. Today’s post will be about my goals for my Twitter. I’m relatively new at this, so first I’d like to get the hang of how to post, as well as what to post. I’m active on my account– and I feel that what I post is relevant– but you can never be too sure. With that said I plan on posting more focused ideas each week. This means that on certain days my posts will pertain to topics like fitness, motivation, hair or nails– as seen in the screenshot above.  Having assigned topics, as well as the use of *hashtags, will help me stay relevant and eventually increase my followers.  So, if anyone were to search the term #hairtips my post would appear and I could gain a potential follower.

*Hashtags are formerly known as the pound sign, “#.” However on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram they are used as a way of categorizing your posts- making it easier for people to find them and you.

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Posted by on February 10, 2014 in Be Professional


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Tweet like a Pro

   Twitter is one of the most used places on the web, but it’s also one of the most misused. It’s hard to imagine that the same place you can get your news is the same place someone is saying “Just a burg nah finna pik up da kids,” but it happens. However, you don’t have to be that person. Your Twitter account can open doors of opportunity you didn’t even know existed, and it can do so without making you seem like some bland nutjob trapped in a cubicle.

    The first thing to accurately portray yourself on this social media site is your photo. It’s the first thing everyone looks for when they search for you, so make it look nice. This means no solo cups, no “blunts” or cigarettes, no gang signs and no middle fingers- just keep your hands out of the picture to be safe. Given that it’s the first thing a future employer will see, you want your photo to look professional. Therefore, make sure your hair is out of your face, smile and dress appropriately (i.e. no peeking bra straps or dramatically low-cut tops, pull up your pants and lengthen your skirts). You’re also going to want to make sure the individual looking at your photo can see your face, so it’s best to take the photo from the bust up. Now, if you want to add some flavor to your profile you should make sure to include a header- that’s the big photo that will go behind your profile picture. Make sure the photo represents your interests and future endeavors. For example, I’d like to be a writer for Cosmo, so my header could either be a Cosmo magazine cover or something pertaining to beauty or fashion. Just don’t make it anything too confusing, you want the viewer to be able to tie your header in with your bio and tweets. Having a header that says you’re interested in fashion and a bio that’s about your singing career can be a bit misleading.

          Now for the tweets, which is honestly what Twitter is all about. Your tweets say a lot about you, whether you want them to or not, so handle with care. Just imagine that the Twitter symbol, a bird, is like a stork that brings your tweet babies to the world. You don’t want your tweet babies perverted by foul language or uncensored images, so don’t send tweets with either. If you went out with friends and did some unmentionable things, store it in the back of your mind not on your social media. Another aspect of tweeting is how you tweet, which ties into your presence. You’re not going to tweet anything perverse, but you are going tweet. When you do they need to portray your interests and some of your opinions. If you hear about a new bill and you have an opinion, as long as it’s grounded in reason, tweet about it. If you see someone post something that interest you, retweet it or reply to it. Favoriting a tweet is good too. So if you honestly have no reply to the post, but you’d still like to show your approval go ahead and press the star. It shows the tweeter that you heard what they had to say and you understand, even if you don’t agree. Be cautious however, because anyone who looks at your tweets will be able to see the ones you have retreated and favorite.

         Twitter can be a lot of fun, and be the start to a new career when used wisely. However it can get a little tricky, so here are a few acceptable Twitter accounts to use as templates for your own. You will see that each of the provide their opinions on different articles without sounding bland. They also have appropriate photos for their profile picture, portraying who they are and allowing potential employers to identify them. In addition, their headers are professional- the lack of a header doesn’t take away from the profile. Their tweets are also related to who they are, showing their personality, without showing their personal lives. They are the perfect candidates for a job position in their field.                                      Paige Morgan Oswald

Paige Morgan Oswald      

Twitter: @Paige_M_Oswald

@FGCU 2016 – Staff Writer @FGCUEagleNews – Producing with @ESPN3 – Aspiring @CNN journalist –  @jou_fgcu & communication student – Poli sci nut





Sara Fischer      

Sarah Fischer

Twitter: @sarafischer

Co-author of CNN’s Political @GutCheckCNN, Just a Jersey girl looking for a good bagel in DC – …

Washington DC          



Jessica Souza

Jessica Souza      

Twitter: @Jessica_E_Souza

@JOU_FGCU major. Aspiring journalist. Staff writer @fgcueaglenews. #DunkCity 2016. I’m obsessed with @ColbertReport, @TheDailyShow & @SURFER_magazine.

            Southwest Florida    · 

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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Be Professional


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