You’re fired!

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Is it a good idea to lay off a Pulitzer Prize winner? I don’t think so.

What is the Chicago Sun-Times trying to prove? That reporters and freelancers are better than Pulitzer Prize winners?

If the Sun-Times didn’t have the money to keep employees, I would understand if they let go some of the staff. But, the entire photography staff? Blasphemy. What’s more sad is that the Sun-Times is unprofitable, and I feel like they were trying to cover that up with the sorry excuse that they wanted to appeal to their digital consumers. Being in debt is not the same as trying to appeal to a certain audience.

While this may be an attempt to get out of the red, I agree with media analyst Alan Mutter when he said that we will lose iconic and memorable photographs. Is sacrificing quality for quantity really worth it? I don’t think so.

Expecting less people to do more work is counterintuitive and will eventually wear out the staff that hasn’t already quit. While this may be a trend according to Mutter, I believe it is the wrong road to go down.

It would be interesting to compare the quality of photographs before and after this massive firing to see if there really is a notable difference.

Who can imagine a paper without a photography staff? I can’t.

We are always progressing.

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Technology is always progressing. There is no way to stop the further progression of humans. But when it comes to journalism, is this a good or bad thing? Was the old way of doing things in the writing world more or less efficient? I don’t believe that anyone has fully attempted to answer this question, or if there is even an answer at this point. However, technology is changing the way that journalism works, even attempting to supposedly convert the entire industry to an electronic format, and there seems to be only a handful of people who really care about the effects that this might have.

Will reporters become unreliable and lazy due to the ease of access to information? How will they know when to distinguish between trustworthy and untrustworthy sources and information that is found online? Will fact checking solely exist in communications over the Internet, slowly diminishing the human element of news writing? And more importantly, how will this change the quality of stories that are produced?

Should all journalism students be required to learn the old way of putting together a news story, as in the All On Paper project at Florida Atlantic University, before they learn the new and modern ways? Will this help them understand how powerful of a tool technology, especially the Internet, is and help them not take it for granted? The professor at FAU mentioned how no one documented the process of reporting in the past, and no one is documenting the process today.  Maybe we should study and use the methods of the past, in addition to those of the present.

I’ve thought about this a lot, and most of the time, I find myself wishing that the old ways of reporting were still commonplace. I like the idea of manually putting together a newspaper. It sounds fun, exciting and more productive than the constant back-and-forth email conversations I’ve had with some editors. In my opinion, generating conversation in person is more relatable and allows for a more creative atmosphere. I believe that these two things are very important in journalism and should not be lost.

Alachua Habitat for Humanity Newsletter: The Warm-Smiled Greeter, Donna Seay

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Three out of the five weekdays that someone walks into the Alachua Habitat for Humanity office, they will be greeted with a warm smile as a woman pops her head up and greets you with a friendly voice.

Although she is not on the payroll, for the last year, Donna Seay has been coming into the Habitat office every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to assist with secretarial work.

Without the help of volunteers, Alachua Habitat for Humanity wouldn’t be possible. Volunteers are the backbone behind any non-profit organization, and at Habitat, they build houses, keep the ReStore running and even act as secretaries, as is the case with Seay.

Seay first got involved with Habitat for Humanity about 10 years ago when her daughter organized a volunteer group within her office in Chicago. With about 40 other people, Seay experienced the effort and hard work that goes into building not only one, but two houses.

Her volunteering doesn’t end there.

She was heavily involved with the Girl Scouts of the United States of America for 22 years in Long Island, NY, where she is from.

“I feel like God has been extremely good to me in my life,” Seay said. “I have always felt that it’s necessary to give back because I’ve been blessed.”

Without Seay, many of the people who work at Habitat think that day-to-day operations would be impossible. Besides answering phones and doing secretarial work, Seay assists every single member of the staff with whatever they need. She has begun to arrange and modernize the Alachua Habitat donor database; a daunting task.

“My biggest challenge is that they had a database here that nobody has used for years and years, and it’s a very big tool for us,” Seay said. “So, I’ve been working very hard for the last five or six months in this database getting all of the current information up so that they can start using it as a tool.”

A year and a half ago, Seay moved to Florida after retirement because of the difference in the cost of living. In her spare time, she likes to travel. She lives with her husband in their RV, making it easy to pick up and go whenever they want. Seay was a stewardess for Pan American World Airways for eight years and has traveled not only this country, but also the world.

Even though Seay works only three days per week, her efforts don’t go unnoticed. She has become an integral part of the Alachua Habitat team.

 

via Alachua Habitat for Humanity bi-monthly print and email newsletter

Spirit Guide and Every release EP on NYC label Ounce.

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New York City-based label Ounce. has done it again. May 1 marks the release of the3×3 EP by Spirit Guide and Every, available on the label’s bandcamp. The six-song collaboration is a beautiful combination of dreamy-like beats and ambient melodies that has the ability to mesmerize and whisk you away into another world.

Spirit Guide and Every live several states apart, making the collab more interesting than most.

“I’ve really started to enjoy this way of working — sending sketches back and forth instead of sitting down and trying to make something solid on the first go. It’s kind of showed me that if you think of everything as a sketch or idea, then there’s a lot less pressure,” Spirit Guide said. “I don’t think it’s really realistic to just sit down and put on your stern face and write your opus. It’s so much more pleasant when you say, ‘I’m just gonna mess around for a while.'”

“Collar,” the opening track, is a thoughtful mixture of layered effects that has distinct sections, but fluently and masterfully transcends from each portion of the song to the next. Never chaotic or confusing, but still somewhat upbeat, this song is easily the track of the EP that has the potential to become the most popular and is one of the best of the six songs.

“Motivation” heavily samples the Kelly Rowland single, but the duo makes it their own with the deep basslines and downtempo beats. The decision to leave out the original lyrics was a smart move by the two musicians.

This isn’t the first time that the two have worked together. Back in late 2012, the Intel and Vice collective network The Creator’s Project released an in-depth look, in the musicians own words, at how the duo made the song “Union,” which is also featured on the new EP. They go into who was responsible for specific parts of the song and why certain decisions were made. Getting a different perspective on how two artists come together to create a flowing song is very interesting.

In my opinion, “Union” is possibly the best track of the EP. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve heard this song before or because I’ve read the break down of how the song was made, but there’s just something about it that grabs my attention for the whole 5 minutes. It’s a low-key song that has the potential to be a  huge hit.

The second half of the EP seems somewhat different compared to the first half. Don’t get me wrong, the songs are of very high quality and stature, but for some reason, they don’t seem to be cohesive with the first half. It’s almost as if the first three songs and the last three songs can be their own separate EPs.

All in all, this EP holds an enjoyable listening experience. Released just in time for summer, you can easily listen to this lounging by the pool on a hot summer day or curled up inside when those treacherous Florida thunderstorms hit.