Independence Day 2011

Abigail, Ezra, Elijah and Anna celebrating shortly after swimming.

This Independence Day in Keystone Heights was just as busy (and fun) as usual. For a few of us, it started as early as 7:00, when Papa, Daniel, Joseph, and Nehemiah helped prepare the fire trucks at KHVFD for the parade.

After the parade, most of us ended up at the Volunteer Fire Station, which always holds an open house and serves as the unofficial "end" of the parade. For Daniel and Joseph, as Fire Explorers, the 4th of July still had its best part in store...Fireworks: up close!

Daniel, and Joseph were able to be on Volunteer Brush Trucks, very close by the firework launching site. As usual, this provided a spectacular view of the Keystone Heights Firework show. Joseph, in fact, viewed an up-close mishap. In Joseph's words:

I was laying on my bunker gear, which I had spread out on the grass, when I realized that the latest firework had exploded a little lower than normal. I sat up to look at the launching station--which was about 200 feet in front of us, when suddenly a firework exploded at ground level! All the pyrotechnics at the site dove to the ground as cardboard shrapnel and large embers flew in every direction. Mr. Curtis, the volunteer who was manning Brush 10, grabbed a shovel and headed off towards a spot fire (a fire started by floating embers) which was about 3 feet in diameter. Woods 10 soon doused a small tree which had caught fire, and proceeded to hose down grass which had begun to smolder. We talked to the pyrotechnics who, though shaken, managed to finish up the show with a (slightly shortened) grand finale.
Our Independence day celebrations were just as enjoyable as ever. Just as with all celebrations, we mustn't fail to remember the servicemen who, for generations past, have given the greatest sacrifice in defense of our nation.

Though our nation often strays far off the path which our founding fathers intended it to be on, we must remember that despite it all--the freedom which we experience in America is something to be treasured, and defended for it is increasingly uncommon throughout the world.

Below is another article by Joseph, written for his FLVS Journalism course.

For an FLVS Journalism, I watched almost an hour of local news, put forth by News4Jax. Some of the things I was supposed to look out for were: expressions of opinion (a big no-no in reporting) the effectiveness of informing the viewer, and things done correctly or incorrectly.

I started watching the news at about 5:30, and finished shortly before 6:30. News4Jax, just like every other station at that time, was running headlines about the recent verdict of the Casey Anthony case, among a few other topics. News4Jax effectively presented both sides of the story, by showing clips of citizens who voiced both support and opposition to the outcome of the trial. The reporters themselves did not express their opinion, but merely prodded those whom they interviewed, to give detailed responses as to why the felt as they did.

Besides the Casey Anthony case, News4Jax covered topics such as beach cleanup after Independence day celebrations, questions concerning Governor Scott’s policies, and others. As I said before, News4Jax did a splendid job of keeping their opinion from conflicting with the facts.

Only in one instance, did I see opinion expressed, and it can easily be excused. John Gaughan (in my opinion—the best weatherman ever) discussed the upcoming weather using terms such as “I think”, “most likely” and “probably”. Though this is an expression of opinion, it can be excused because the subject of weather is an art of prediction—and consequently a knowledge opinion.

In conclusion, News4Jax was effective in informing me about topics regarding both local and national news. It was presented in a professional light, and the viewer was given the straight facts regarding the issues. I cannot think of any particular way in which News4Jax could have presented the news, as they did so extremely well.




How newspapers make money

Another update by Joseph about Journalism! This post focuses on how Newspapers make money. You can expect an update about the family shortly after the Fourth of July!

In today’s day and age, many newspapers are struggling to stay afloat. Nonetheless, many manage to do so successfully. An important part of running a business, is making money! How do you think newspapers make money?

The first way newspapers make money is through subscription services, when people buy an online or hard-copy. Subscriptions usually entail consumers paying a monthly (or yearly) fee, in exchange for the delivery of the newspaper (either through hard-copy or an “e-version”).

The second (and most likely primary) way newspapers make money is through advertisements. In the Wall Street Journal, a full page black and white ad can cost up to $164,300! A color ad usually costs about $210,300! As you can see, for large newspapers, the majority of profit is made through those who want to advertise in a newspaper. As technology advances, many newspapers also provide online articles. Advertisement space on large newspaper websites is in nearly as large demand as broadsheet advertisements.

In conclusion, newspapers make money in two simple ways: Subscription services, and advertisements. Both are effective, and both are adapting to technological advancements.

My sources were:




American Journalism

Once more, this is a post written by Joseph regarding Journalism. As mentioned in a previous post, this is a requirement of his FLVS course. Please leave comments, as he appreciates any feedback regarding his writing!

Journalism in the Western Hemisphere, particularly the new land of “America” can trace its roots to Captain John Smith (founder of Jamestown) who published a newsletter entitled “Newes from Virginia”. Others periodically found their way into the growing English colonies. Eventually though, “American” journalism officially began when the “colonies across the sea” sought independence from an increasingly immoral and irresponsible government.

Samuel Adams and the “Sons of Liberty” spread word of British movements through the “Journal of Occurrences” which appeared in several colonial newspapers. Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” was disseminated through newspapers as well—describing that the only way for revolution (return to the norm) was through war. Over 20 newspapers carried the Declaration of Independence—spreading the word through the colonies about the now self-declared nation of America. The advent of the printing press was vital to the spread of news throughout the colonies. Men were able to debate for or against the Revolutionary war in an open forum, where others could observe and learn from their debates. Many ministers preached the importance of separating from England through their pulpits! Considering that most preachers of the day pre-wrote and read their sermons, this can be considered a form of Journalism.

After the Revolutionary war, when America was recognized as an independent nation, they set about creating a stable government. When the Constitution was created, it took many years for it to be accepted by all the states. The Federalist Papers, written by Alexander Hamilton, were disseminated throughout newspapers in all the states. The Federalist Papers described, in detail, the logic behind the Constitution, and the importance of accepting it. Soon after its acceptance by the states, ten amendments (The Bill of Rights) were added to guarantee certain core freedoms.

The Bill of Rights guaranteed basic freedoms—freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the right to “bear arms”, etc. By distinctly marking these rights of citizens, the Founding Fathers made it clear that the government could never intrude into the basic human rights of Americans. Since the time of the Revolutionary War, the Government has, in part, disregarded many of these core freedoms. The restrictions on publishing books, the PATRIOT act, and “gun control”, are a few examples of the ever-growing power of the Government. If freedom of the press were not guaranteed, we would have no forum to express our opinions on any subject.

If we don’t use our freedom of speech to verbally fight against the overreaching powers of the federal government, we will see our rights continually limited. Our nation reflects only in part what the founding fathers envisioned for it, because the moral standards which they held are either not believed, or not verbalized publicly.

It may not be too long, before the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights become disregarded in growing folds of a strong central government. If we do not speak out, America may pass into the annals of history one more example of something that once was great.