Thursday, March 31, 2011

Journalism for Fall 2011

The journalism course will be offered again in the fall at Mount Angel Seminary!  This is a great opportunity to sharpen and expand your writing and gain more skills for your future ministries.  Learn about the principles of journalism and help to share the news about the good work happening at the seminary.

While the course schedule has days and times listed, we will meet on the first day and find meeting times that work for all the students who register for the course.  

More information about the course may be found on the page marked for the journalism course above.  Click on the labels to the right and find possible story ideas and student work from this year's journalism course.

For more information about the course, contact Sister Hilda at or x3576.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Fresh Interview for a New Beginning

The most recent story by one of our journalism practicum students is an example of the effective use of the questions and answer format.  The reader is invited into the conversation between the interviewer, Brother Peter, and Jodi Kilcup, the new Director of Development.

Questions for the New Director of Development
Brother Peter Tynan, OSB

Jodi Kilcup came to Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary this February as our new Director of Development.  I had a chance to ask a few questions about her new job for the the MAS journalism blog and for the seminary website.

Jodi Kilcup
What led you to come to work for Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary?

I believe God led me here in a way that was most unexpected.  While working in my previous position at Linfield College, I happened upon a posting for the new Director of Development at the Abbey while checking online to ensure a Linfield position had been listed.  The new role was very attractive to me, mainly due to my experience with Benedictine communities.  I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the ways Dorothy Day's leadership was influenced by her affiliation as a Benedictine oblate, and I've been an oblate myself since 2004.  The possibility of serving the Abbey, using the skills I had developed throughout my career, seemed like a true gift.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Music and Good Company - The Irish Band

Last night the seminary's Irish Band entertained a crowd of seminarians, faculty and staff, and friends of the seminary in the seminary coffeehouse.

The music included a number of soloists and instrumentalists.

The Irish Band gathers to begin their first song.

An enjoyable evening such as this has great potential for a number of stories by our present (and future!) journalism students, including though certainly not limited to:

- How and why the Irish Band was established
- The story behind the musical talents of the band members
- How evenings of music and camaraderie contribute to the culture of the seminary

Enjoy the pictures!

Father Pius X Harding contributes his musical talents.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Stories on The World

The World is a weekday news program on NPR with a wonderful variety of stories and interviews.  Two of yesterday's stories pertained to journalism:

The first story covers press freedom in Turkey.  While Turkey is a democratic nation, journalists are still being persecuted and jailed.  The second story concerns Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore, a woman who covered an earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 1896.  In conjunction with the most recent tragedy in Japan, her article and photographs have been republished in National Geographic.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Online News

The Pew Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism recently published its report on the State of the Media.  Tom Rosenstiel, the director of the project and the author of The Elements of Journalism, was recently interviewed on National Public Radio about the report.

The newspapers stack up in the Mount Angel Abbey Library
The report explains that for the first time, more people are looking for their news online than in daily papers, resulting in a loss of jobs for print journalists and new jobs for online journalists.  I would assume the situation is similar for people who keep up with daily news on the Church and work for organizations that cover religion in the news.

When you began paying attention to the news, where did you look?  Have your habits changed, and if so, how?  How well do you think your diocese has adapted to the new environment of online news?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Journalism and Reviewing

Reviews of music, films, books, and other media are part of journalism, and one of our practicum students has submitted the following review of recent work by the band Angels and Airwaves.  

A Review of Angels and Airwaves - Love
by Mathew Olson

Author's note: As a college student of Mount Angel Seminary, I am required to take a class entitled History of Music.  Within the class, Professor Linda Showman challenges us to interpret and critique music.  I decided to take this challenge to one of my favorite contemporary music groups.

Background: Angels and Airwaves is a critically-acclaimed band from Los Angeles, CA.  Their newest release, Love, was released on February 14, 2010.  It was released for free on their website.  The band is also debuting a movie with the same title as their new album.  According to director William Eubank, "Love portrays the personal-psychological effects of isolation and loneliness when an astronaut becomes stranded in space and through this, emphasizes the importance of human connection and love."

Angels and Airwaves - Love
Released: February 14, 2010
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label: Self-Released
Number of Tracks: 11
Tom Delonge - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Matt Wachter - bass, keyboard
David Kennedy - lead guitar
Atom Willard - drums, percussion

Impression: I am very impressed with this album.  Angels and Airwaves is seeking to discuss very adult themes within the context of their music.  (They are often referred to as AvA in contemporary music circles.  I will use that acronym to refer to them throughout this review).  Whereas other bands are seeking to discuss issues such as sex, dating, gambling, drugs, and alcohol, AvA is attempting to discuss mature themes using sounds of popular music.  However, they fail to measure up to this aspect with immature attempts at imagery.  Yet, I still believe that the band has much to deliver in the next coming albums.  I see this album as a stepping stone into a mature development of lyrical imagery and continuing unique sounds.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Capstone Projects

As a part of the culmination of their studies, undergraduate seminarians at MAS are required to complete a capstone project.  A possible journalism story could cover one or several of the presentations to the seminary community that is a part of completing the project.

Why did a student choose their particular topic?  What impact will it have on their future studies and ministry?  How did the professors and students attending their presentation respond to the student's ideas?

Stories on our capstone projects would be an excellent way to spread the news about the good work happening at Mount Angel Seminary.