Experience as the Fairest

24 02 2011

By Carly Brown (@bcarly106)

When was the last time you attended a fair? If you have to think about it, it has been too long. This summer I had the privilege of advocating for my county fair as the 2010 Dane County Fairest of the Fair.

A little about my background, my name is Carly Brown and I am a junior here at UW Oshkosh majoring in journalism and emphasizing in public relations. I was raised and have worked on my family’s dairy farm my entire life and showed animals at the Dane County Fair since I was seven. I even remember the first thing I showed, it was a pet rock, and I named him Rock.

It all started in May when I was chosen out of five very qualified candidates to be the fairest of the fair. The selection included an individual interview, group interview and a 30-second radio spot. If you think this is a beauty pageant, it’s not. There is no talent or swimsuit portion of the selection process (thank goodness), but if there was my talent would be milking cows. It is a very professional position and as fairest I positively advocate for fairs and agriculture.

Being the Fairest of the Fair meant that I was the official spokeswomen and hostess of the 2010 Dane County Fair. My job for the summer was to promote the fair and get people to experience the great things at the fair such as the animals, rides, free entertainment and the deep-fried fair food.


Carly Brown is interviewed after being crowned Fairest of the Fair at the Dane County Fair. (Say that five times fast.)


As I attended each appearance I gained more confidence, became a better speaker, and became more poised. I did live radio and TV interviews, podcast videos, newspaper interviews, introduced acts, gave speeches, attended meetings, and even got to hold an albino alligator, and the list goes on for all the experiences I had throughout the summer. I had one of the greatest experiences of my life promoting the Dane County Fair and agriculture.

I also got to network with people through the agricultural business. In my near future I would love to become an agricultural journalist, and being the Fairest of the Fair helped open doors toward a future career.

I hope that I have encouraged you to attend one of Wisconsin’s 76 county, district and state fairs this summer. There is something for everyone at the fair. Go out and explore a great part of Wisconsin.


Another Student is Finalist in Photo Contest

22 02 2011

A Journalism senior is a finalist in the Photographer’s Forum’s Best of College Photography Contest.

Patti Werner submitted a photograph to the contest as a requirement for Dr. Gleason‘s Media Photograph II class, and it paid off. Werner received a letter from the publication informing her that she has been chosen as a finalist.

“I thought, ‘What kind of junk mail is this now?'” she said. “Low and behold, once I saw the company’s name and saw a ‘We are pleased to inform you…’ I literally started rambling off the situation to my sister.”


Journalism student Patti Werner. (@Triciael)


Her sister, Kate Unger, marketing manager at Reeve Union, was the inspiration for the photo. The unique picture is of Unger dressed as a man with a drawn-on mustache on her finger held up to her face.

Werner wanted to take the photo after the finger-mustache became a running joke in her family. She also wanted to give the picture a special twist by playing on the idea of gender roles.

“I liked drawing mustaches with sharpies on peoples fingers because later on in the evening, I guarantee you, they forget about it and put their hand up to their mouth, and it’s hilarious,” she said. “I wanted to use Kate’s left hand with her wedding ring as a symbol of femininity, and then dress her in a man’s shirt, tie and pants, and she even wore my little brother’s shoes just to fit the role.”


Patti Werner's photo of Kate Unger that made her a finalist in the Photographer's Forum's Best of College Photography Contest.


Unger said the special bond with her sister allowed them both to be comfortable and willing to try out such an eccentric idea.

“We just had a great time being goofy and trying to make it the best we could for her project,” Unger said. “This photo shows that she is willing to take a risk and try something that is out of the norm. I am honored to be a part of it and wish her the best of luck with this contest.”

Journalism professor Tim Gleason said he was proud that another Journalism student had become a finalist in the competition.

“I’m excited for Patti,” Gleason said. “She has done interesting photos, and I was surprised by every assignment she submitted. I encourage students to go for it, because we have a very talented crew and they should test themselves against students from other colleges.”

Werner is excited to hear the results of the contest and said even being a finalist was an honor.

“I was ecstatic to find out that Photographer’s Forum chose this photo as a finalist selection group and even more happy that Dr. Gleason urged his photo students to enter,” Werner said. “I guess no one can resist the mustache.”

Journalism Scholarships

18 02 2011

Scholarships for Journalism students are due this Monday, Feb. 21. These scholarships can save students thousands of dollars for college. Some of the scholarships that are due this Monday are:

  • Gary Coll Journalism Fellowship
  • The Griffith Scholarship for Creative Portfolios in Journalism
  • E. Garner Horton Memorial Scholarship
  • David J. Lippert Memorial Scholarship
  • Scholarship for the Advancement of Interactive Advertising
  • Virginia A. Sokolowski Memorial Scholarship

For more information on these scholarships please visit the scholarship section of the Department of Journalism website.

What I Learned In: Advertising Copy, Layout and Production

14 02 2011

By Ryne Eberle (@rceberle)

It isn’t very often that students learn valuable skills in the classroom and have the opportunity to apply those skills in a real-world setting.

However, that’s exactly what the students in Advertising Copy, Layout and Production had the chance to do in the fall semester when they worked directly with UW Oshkosh alumnus Mike Fredrick, the creative director of Bader Rutter.

Students were formed into ad agencies and then wrote creative briefs and drew rough drafts of ads, which were later turned into finalized pieces for a presentation.

Writing the creative briefs was the first and most important thing the students did, because it established the target audience, which types of media would be utilized and how the students’ ads would stand out from the others.

Throughout the process of forming rough drafts into final pieces, the students learned how to design different types of ads, including print ads, flash ads, commercial storyboards and guerilla ads.

Not only did students learn how to design the different types of ads, but they also learned about how certain ads require specific locations and circumstances to be effective.

While creating their ads, the different groups consulted with Fredrick and used his feedback to polish their work.

When all of the ads were completed, the groups made PowerPoint presentations that explained components of their ads such as where an ad would be placed, the logic behind the placement and how the team thought of the ads.

These presentations were done in front of Fredrick, who sat down in a Q and A session with the students and later picked a group he thought had the best overall campaign.

During the Q-and-A session, Fredrick explained the importance of internships and improving your resume, how his time at UW Oshkosh helped his professional career.

If you are an Ad emphasis and are looking to learn applicable skills and knowledge of how the industry works, Advertising Copy, Layout and Production may be the class for you.

How To Woo A Journalist This Valentine’s Day

10 02 2011

By Tom Hanaway (@tomhanaway)

It’s once again that polarizing time of year known as Valentine’s Day. Some feel it is a time for people to unleash their feelings and let their loved one know how they feel about them. Others think the “holiday” is a cruel corporate joke.

Either way there is one thing that we can all agree on: It is not easy to woo a journalist. They are often curious, busy, outgoing, professional beings and normally on a deadline. If you have your eyes on a journalism student, here are a few tips on how to win him or her over this Valentine’s Day.

Spell check your love letters

When you are sending your potential lover a Facebook message or a text make sure you spell everything correctly. Nothing turns off journalism students more than using the wrong there/their/they’re or neglecting punctuation. It may sound superficial, but it’s true. Poor spelling is an unattractive quality that can cost you a date. I can’t remember how many times a friend said something to me like, “Tom, I can’t date him. He spelled ‘tomorrow’ with one ‘R.’ It’s not happening.”

Don’t blame journalism students though. We’ve been trained to spot an error a mile away. It’s in our blood.

My heart isn’t on my sleeve, it’s on CNN

Along with writing, journalists have a passion for the news. Heck, we’re the ones writing the news. Don’t be surprised if you find a journalist’s room covered in newspapers or if they are busy at 5:30 p.m. because they need to watch “ABC World News.” Most journalists have a borderline addiction to knowing the most recent breaking stories, so if you only read the “Busted” section of the Advance-Titan, don’t be surprised if a journalist “forgets” to return your phone calls.

This means that you need to do your homework and stay up on current events. Find articles online, watch CNN, and if you’re really hardcore, pick up a newspaper. We want to be able to have conversations about current events, so if you don’t know the difference between John Boehner and Joe Biden, you’re in trouble.



Make us twitterpated

In this day and age, journalists have to use the Web and social media to find and spread news in a quick and effective manner. Your Associated-Press paramour will probably be impressed if you are familiar with information-sharing sites like Twitter and blogging. But don’t overshare.

Avoid clogging up our newsfeeds by tweeting every two minutes and updating your Facebook status every five. Leaving some mystery will keep your crush guessing, but tweeting every single thought you have will make us simply guess, “Why am I dating you?” Censor your tweets, keep your profiles appropriate and don’t upload 47 new photos of yourself daily. These sites are used to communicate, not suffocate, so don’t abuse it.

Forgive us, we’re freaks

While I referred to journalists as “curious, busy, outgoing, professional beings,” others may call us freaks. And that term might be accurate as well. Sometimes we’re hyper social butterflies that can’t stop talking, other times we’re neurotic news geeks that would much rather be read than heard or seen. So be prepared.

Journalists can be an emotional and interesting bunch. We’re going to freak out when Associated Press changes the way to write “website,” we will go on rants when we see the phrase, “ATM machine,” and we will uncontrollably sob when we realize we misspelled a word  in a published story we wrote.

Do your best to bear with us. Sometimes you’ll have to fake empathy and you’ll quickly become a patient listener.

I guess in the end we’re both at fault. We have extremely high expectations and look for very specific qualities in people, but if you promise to forgive our obsessive tendencies and hectic schedules, we’ll forgive you for not knowing who Hosni Mubarak is.

Foursquare 101: Check-in to the Social-Networking Site

8 02 2011

By Kate Unger (@UngerKate)

Kate Unger is the marketing manager at Reeve Memorial Union and is the adviser for the Social Media Club of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, a club that discusses and teaches about all aspects of social media. The first meeting of the semester is Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Clow 128.

“I just unlocked the Local Badge!”

If you know what I’m talking about, you’re probably an avid user of Foursquare. If you have no clue, keep reading.

Foursquare is a location-based, social-networking site that allows you to check in at various locations in your city in order for you to earn badges and recognition for your social activities and exploration.

Yes. On occasion, I have been known to use Foursquare but I am definitely not an addict – yet.

There are many misconceptions and confusion surrounding this new kind of social networking. So, to help you out a little, I compiled a list of five frequently asked questions in hopes that you will become a little more educated about Foursquare and possibly begin using it in your busy life. After all, we’re all curious about where you buy your toilet paper and your groceries.

Q: What is a Foursquare check-in?

A: A Foursquare check-in is when you tell Foursquare where you are. This is the act of “checking in”. You can check in from stores, restaurants, libraries … just about anywhere.

Q: How do I check in on Foursquare?

A: All you have to do is load a Foursquare app on your mobile device, click “check-in” and then select the place where you currently are from the Places tab. The GPS in your mobile device will assist Foursquare in recognizing your location.

Q: What is a Foursquare badge?

A: Foursquare is a type of social networking game where people who participate can earn points and get badges for the what kind of venue they visit and how often. For example, I earned the Explorer badge because I checked into 25 different locations since I signed up for my Foursquare account. According to 4squarebadges.com, there are over 150 different badges you can aquire. Check out the site and click on the badges to see how you can earn them.

Q: What is a Foursquare tip?

A:  By leaving a tip on Foursquare, you are letting other users know insider information about that specific location based on your experiences there. For example, I left a tip when I checked into Reeve Union by letting other visitors of Reeve on Foursquare know that they can check out Summer Scoops every Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on the Albee Patio during the summer months.

Q: How can I become the mayor of a location on Foursquare?

A: A mayor on Foursquare is the user with the most number of days with check-ins at a specific place within the past 60 days. Only one check-in per day counts towards your mayorship tally. Sometimes mayors receive special discounts from businesses, like free breadsticks at Pizza Hut. When I earned my first mayor badge, I’m not going to lie. I felt pretty cool. I happen to be the mayor of Family Values Hair Salon, Fugleberg Park, Grace Lutheran Church and Pollock Community Waterpark.

Everyone is getting on Foursquare. There are even badges created specifically for the UW Oshkosh campus.

So, there you have it. Foursquare is fun, interactive, competitive and, most of all, social. Check out this video to learn a little bit more about Foursquare. Happy exploring!


What I Learned In: History of Journalism

4 02 2011

By Kari Robinson (@karieva)

For my last semester of undergraduate work at UW-Oshkosh, I really only needed one class. Rather than take three random classes to fill up the rest of my schedule, I figured I’d be a huge j-nerd. This is how I ended up in History of Journalism, taught by Dr. Tim Gleason.

We started the semester off with a solid base of learning about the fundamentals of historical research.  After discussing research procedures and techniques we got into the origins of mass communication. From the colonial press through printing during the Revolutionary and Civil wars, we learned how journalism helped shape American history. We learned about the changes brought on by the Industrial Revolution and the even bigger changes that came with the advent of radio and television. We also discussed magazines, advertising and public relations.

Dr. Gleason used videos, photos and music for every topic to make historical events relatable. One memorable example was when Dr. Gleason showed a video of the Andrews Sisters singing group from WWII and then compared it to more recent videos by the Puppini Sisters and Christina Aguilera. It was interesting to see new media with media from the era that inspired it.



There were no projects in the class; instead we were graded on three take-home exams based on lecture and readings and four papers. The papers led to an interesting research adventure: microfilm. I had only ever read about microfilm in young adult novels based in the ‘80s and didn’t imagine that using it would be terribly difficult. I was mistaken.

The microfilm readers in Polk Library are hulking, intimidating apparatuses across from a long row of filing cabinets filled with rolls of old newspapers transposed on film. The hassle of figuring out how to use them was rewarded by a fascinating look at newspapers from ye olden days.

I didn’t need History of Journalism to graduate, but I’m glad that I took the class. From it I gained valuable insight into the path American journalism has taken over the course of the last 400 years to what it is today. It was interesting to learn what has changed but even more so to learn which principles have stayed the same.