Erin Meyering

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Jay Rosen critiques modern journalism, tending toward individual expert franchises

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Blogging: the dreaded b word. It’s a word to describe an, often simple, citizen-run website but journalists may think of blogging as a potentially noteworthy way of niche writing.

Jay Rosen, sharp media critic, writer and professor at New York University, is using a better term: Personal Franchise Site.

Personal Franchise Sites can be created by professional journalists, but also support the notion of community journalism, where citizen experts on specific niche subjects contribute their own opinions and information.

The creator of the Personal Franchise Site carries a strong, loyal following, either from a connection to a larger news institution or organically grown through interested web viewers pursuing information on a particular subject. Examples Rosen finds successful include: ESPN’s Grantland on sports and popculture, Dealbook on Wall Street dealmaking, Wonkblog on politics and public policy, among several others.

These incredibly tender and flexible sites give journalists the opportunity and forum to have a, more or less, direct conversation with the reader. Becoming an expert on a subject encourages knowledgeable journalists to reveal their personal opinions concerning their area of expertise.

“There’s a gap between what [journalists] know from reporting and what they can [actually] say,” Rosen said.

He further explained that the journalists leaving larger institutions to transfer their effort into a Personal Franchise Site, don’t want to live in that gap of providing only part of the story. In other words, people innately love to share their own opinions and people ingesting news want to hear informed, real opinions as opposed to completely objective .

Because this form of transferring information and current news is becoming increasingly popular, it’s natural to wonder where the big guys like the New York Times, National Public Radio and Bloomberg lie.

“Big institutions will struggle to adapt and they have big challenges ahead of them,” Rosen said. “[But] no one can do what they do.”

In a lecture at the University of Nevada Reno on Wednesday, Rosen seemed to reference the idea that both big brand, big name objective journalism can coexist with these Personal Franchise Sites, unveiling perhaps more detail and opinion on specific subjects.


Written by emeyering

February 6, 2014 at 3:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized

My Semester Portfolio

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Semester Work

Overall, I improved significantly throughout the semester. Whether it be from using lingo (and actually understanding it) like ISO and camera aperture or feeling like it’s natural to snap 800 pictures for one event. My work improved as my knowledge of the camera and its features did. My favorite assignment was the first one, which looked at people working and people playing. I now feel more comfortable operating a DSLR camera and feel that I could get the picture I wanted by playing with settings versus crossing my fingers and clicking away with the camera on auto. Because a journalist and his or her work is combining, they may have to be a jack of all trades – learn social media, operate a camera and write well. I’m glad that I took this class and have a better command of photography.


Laundry Virtual Reality

The laundry facility at John Asuaga’s Nugget in Sparks. The huge machines displayed can hold over 200 lbs of laundry each load. The laundry team starts early in the morning and works with the impressive machines (some of which can fold sheets automatically) all day.


Written by emeyering

May 2, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Despite healthcare reform’s rigidity in traditional medicine, people seek out alternatives

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Alternative treatment can sometimes include diet change and herbal remedies seen here in the Food Co-Op of Northern Nevada.

In today’s maze of overwhelmingly detailed healthcare reform and a seemingly unlimited amount of healthcare options, it is easy and perhaps understandable for people to block out fussy healthcare alternatives.

However, this does not seem to be the case.

According to, in a National Health Interview Survey complied between 2002 and 2007, the use of complementary and alternative medicine therapies (referred to by researchers as CAM), increased by 18.1 percent among whites, 17.2 percent among Asians, 6.6 percent among blacks and 1 percent among Hispanics.

Alternative medicine includes treatments like herbal remedies, aromatherapy, massage, acupuncture, reflexology, sound therapy and specific nutrition guidelines.

The new healthcare bill does not directly acknowledge alternative medicine, but there are indications that many are becoming increasingly aware of their healthcare alternatives.

“I think [complementary medicine] will start changing the system because of young people,” said Dr. Judy Strauss, a marketing and journalism professor at UNR. “People are requesting it and finding it for themselves.

Although medical experts of both the alternative and traditional fields claim that it is beneficial for patients to experience both types of treatment, the healthcare bill has not fully jumped onto the complementary medicine bandwagon.

“If there is evidence of [alternative medicine’s] benefit, then yes I refer my patients,” said John Watson, physician of internal medicine at Renown said. “It must be studied and proven to be effective.”

Though, in Nevada, the 518,000 residents who are uninsured and 132,000 residents who have individual market insurance will gain access to affordable coverage with the new healthcare reform (Senator Harry Reid’s website) may not seek out alternative medicine based on the contents of their policy, other people are.

“Acupuncture is not a panacea, it does not treat everything but it treats many, many things and it’s a great complement to a lot of western treatments,” said Maureen McKenny, oriental medicine doctor.
Photo curtesy of Google Images.

Sarah Whitson, 18, makes use of alternative medicine. Raised in a household encouraging it, Whitson has developed a particular appreciation for it.

“I think holistic medicine can be a good alternative to conventional medicine, but it may not always be the answer,” Whitson said.

Whitson has received acupunctural treatment herself, since age 16, for severe migraines. The alternative treatment keeps her off heavy drugs such as “rescue drugs” many migraine suffers may take, she said. Whitson’s dog has even had acupuncture for the promotion of good muscle function and blood flow.

Alternative medicine and traditional medicine both seek to help, conquer, relieve and treat. Their methods of doing these things are varied, but their goal is still the same.

After years of dealing with immense stress and finding no constant relief through traditional medicine, Strauss turned to complementary treatment. In addition to an overall connection with sound therapy, Strauss actively participates in gong meditations by performing an intense series of sound with a gong for some of her students on campus.

The music and sound therapy focuses on the main rhythms of the body, Strauss explained. The heart, breath and brainwaves’ rhythm compel the body to move and heal in synch with one another.

For a sneak peak at Strauss’s gong meditation visit:

Strauss and John Peckham, director of health policy research at UNR, said that more and more students are requesting information on alternative treatments.

According to The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), nearly three fourths of U.S. medical schools offer elective courses in natural or alternative medicine or include it in required courses.

Although a variety of classes are offered, no classes seem to carry the title “alternative medicine” at UNR in Fall 2012.

With people of all ages showing interest in alternative medicine, some specialists’ hopes are up for change.

“What I would like to see change, and it is changing, there’s much more communication between a western doctor and myself,” said Maureen McKenney, oriental medicine doctor and local acupuncturist at Path to Wellness.

St. Mary’s Urgent Care is one of the many providers of traditional medical care for Northern Nevadans.

However the reality can be different than what is actually being seen in current healthcare reform.

The states’ leeway in adopting the healthcare legislation to fit their states needs includes “preventative or wellness services.” According to Peckham, this is how alternative medicine treatments could potentially be brought in.

“The reform legislation primarily focuses on health insurance reform…that basically doesn’t include alternative medicine,” said Peckham. “What’s interesting is that the federal government is allowing states to define what is considered an ‘essential health benefit.’”

The Department of Health and Human Services healthcare website labels January 1, 2014 the reform’s deadline. Time and The Supreme Court will determine how alternative medicine factors into the bill.

Quick Tips: How can you find appropriate and accurate health information with all that is out there?

Be open to new things: Speak to your primary health care provider about different options.

Do your homework: Research, research, research. Find sources based on statistical information.

Double check: Each and every source should be reviewed and vetted for best information.

Seek out help: Ask your insurance provider about your options in combining alternative and tradition medicine.

Trial and error: Like anything, you may need to try different methods of treatment to find the best fit for you.

Compiled by Erin Meyering, with information from John Peckham

Written by emeyering

May 2, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

UNR’s Presidential Search: Process, Politics and Personality

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From Left, UNR President, Marc Johnson, Vice President of Administration and Finance, Ron Zurek, and Government Relations Director, Bob Dickens, further discuss issues addressed at President's Council on Tuesday.

Define President.





Regardless of particulars, the University of Nevada, Reno will have a more permanent patriarch in the short range of five months time.

The regents’ search for a new president began last September and continues with their sights set on finalizing the decision. The person selected for the position of president to take office July, 1st 2012.

With the university’s greater affect on Northern Nevada as a whole, a possible change in the president is significant.

Interim President Marc Johnson stepped up from vice president and has been the leader holding the reins for the university since former president Milton Glick.

Johnson is the only current declared candidate.

“This is a very strong university, and its strength is much greater than its national reputation, and its reputation is growing in the West,” Johnson said in an October interview with the Sagebrush. “It would be a real honor to get to lead the institution in the direction that we’ve been moving in.”

With all of the daily responsibilities and future plans, the university has a concise idea of what type of leader they’re looking for.

“A successful candidate must be concerned with the present while working with a wide range of constituencies to plan for the university’s future,” a university document outlining the presidential search says.

In addition, the next president will aggressively promote the highest quality in academics, research, student life, alumni relations and service to the community using the system’s master plan as well as the institution’s master and strategic plans for guidance, according to the same presidential search document.

Characteristic Requests of the Next President:


The communication factor between the students and the president is also important to a successful university.

“President Johnson, in the time he’s had the job, has always done a good job at making himself as available as he can,” Associated Students of the University of Nevada President, Casey Stiteler said.

President Glick, the previous president of UNR, always had an annual holiday party, Stiteler said. Continuing his tradition, President Johnson now hosts a summer BBQ at his house for some of the leaders of clubs and organizations on campus.

In addition to his holiday soirée, Johnson makes a point to frequently attend ASUN Senate meetings, where there are 22 senators present that represent every college on campus.

Attending these meetings may be the best way for the president to stay in touch with the students and what is happening around campus, Stiteler said.

While some have adapted to President Johnson, others believe that he could do a better job communicating with the students.

“I do not think that the current acting president has been as involved [on campus] and with students as [President Glick] was,” 19-year-old sophomore, Connie Anderson, said.

Most students talked to were also unaware of the search for a new president.

Whether his presence is felt around campus by students, or not, President Johnson is in the running for the position of the president.

The position is important to the greater Northern Nevada, as the university plays such a huge role in the town itself.

The Board of Regents will continue to look for fitting candidates and have meetings upon their selection. About six candidates’ names will be brought to the university for the entire committee. Their resumes will be reviewed and finally two or three will be interviewed by the Board of Regents, Stiteler said.

“The national search is critical, as it is important for the campus to see a wide range of qualified candidates and to engage in a discussion of who can best lead the university,” former Faculty Senate Chair Eric Herzik said in an October interview with the Sagebrush.

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The process of picking a president

The majority knows the university always has an acting president, but how the process works is another story in itself.

The president of the university is chosen through a series of meetings and has to jump through fire-lined hoops of eliminations and meeting a variety of students. When chosen, the president reports to the Chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), which governs only seven other institutions of higher education.

Before taking the position, though, he or she is sought after and interviewed by the Board of Regents. The Board of Regents includes people from all over the state of Nevada and consists of: five faculty members nominated by the Faculty Senate, three administrators, one classified staff member, one undergraduate student, one graduate student and one university alumnus.

“Regents are elected through the statewide election process administered through the Nevada Secretary of State’s office,” Media Relations Director for UNR, Jane Tors said. “Each represents a specific district and is elected by registered voters that district.”

For more information, go to the Regents’ website:

For more general information about the search, go to the search website:

All photos taken by Erin Meyering

Written by emeyering

February 24, 2012 at 12:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Concerns with young voter participation noticeable in caucus awareness

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With the Nevada Republican Caucus tomorrow, Feb. 4 and the presidential election just around the corner, young eyes, ears and voters have become either eager or apathetic to understand and participate in each party’s platform.

Republicans won all age demographics except the ‘under 30’ age group in the 2008 presidential election, according to, a website promoting young voter participation.

Even Orrin Johnson, Washoe County GOP chair of the Nevada Republican Caucus, said the Democratic Party has historically done more than the Republican Party to attract new and younger voters to the polls.

For some, like 19-year-old Christian McFall who was unaware of the upcoming caucus, the option to vote does not provide enough motivation to actually get involved.

“I haven’t voted yet,” McFall said. “Not sure I will either. I believe that a head count would be the only way I’d feel I had a voice. The electoral system to me is corrupt.”

Issues that may particularly pertain to some students may be education and government spending. The build-up of student loans has become astronomical this year, as tuition rises as well.

Locally, the University of Nevada Reno students are now facing an 8 percent increase in their tuition.

“More students should get involved,” David Huffmire, caucus coordinator and vice principal for Galena High School said. “It’s their future!”

Regardless of what issues cause younger voters to actually get involved, whether that be through social media, discussion with friends or physically casting their vote, the participation will never be there without a certain amount of awareness.

Aside from their own media intake and vague and routine announcements over the intercom, Galena High School, students, some registered voters, haven’t heard much about the caucus although their school is one of the 14 locations this year.

Even the announcements made over the loud speaker focused on Mitt Romney’s awaited visit, that was canceled by email at 9 a.m. this morning, not the caucus, Huffmire said.

“It’s a shame that parties have done nothing to promote the caucus at our school,” Huffmire said.

Despite common misconception, some of the generation is interested and well educated on the election and caucus process.

“I am actively following the election and politics interests me,” 20-year-old student at Yale, Austin Elcano said.” “I consider it my duty as a citizen to stay up on current affairs.”

So for those uninterested in the recent political happenings, if not now, when?

“I do think people should become involved with politics [around] 18 years old,” McFall said. It’s the age where you make your first big decisions…[the] perfect time to add it to your list of responsibilities.”

Agreeing with McFall, Huffmire claimed his students would be more involved with the caucus had their been more promotion and recruitment from the parties.

“I sometimes scratch my head and wonder why more [young people] aren’t involved,” Huffmire said.

Elcano claims that the political process is not that black and white, though. Participation should depend on depth of understanding and level of awareness versus the simple matter of age.

“People should become involved with politics and vote as soon as they are old enough to critically look at the issues and start forming their own opinions,” Elcano said.

Written by emeyering

February 4, 2012 at 1:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Carson City student orchestra program beats challenging budget odds

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Sue Jesch, Education Director for the Carson City Symphony, tunes students' intruments before Strings in the Schools' 2nd annual "This is Not a Christmas Concert."

The music is ringing through the halls of Carson City Schools despite little funding and sparse resources.

With little financial assistance coming from the Carson City School District budget, Strings in the Schools, Carson City Symphony’s after-school program, depends on private donations, association memberships and support from the community to fuel their expanding and dedicated program.

With over 150 in-school participants, Strings in the Schools costs an estimated $25,000 each year. Although it is a tuition-free program, Strings in the Schools, has managed to thrive in a suffering state economic wise and a tight budget, unwilling to compromise.

Tony Turley, Director of Fiscal Services for the Carson City School District projected a 12 percent budget reduction for the 2011-2012 school year, according to minutes taken from the Special Public Hearing Meeting of the Carson City School District. In that case, Turley also said that would be the district budgeting for the worst-case scenario.

Although the program is operating in a ‘worst-case’ scenario, it is functioning well on a donation driven budget and has no plans of slowing progression.

“The economy makes the parents really excited that they have this option for their students,” Elinor Bugli, President of the Carson City Symphony said. “Even if they lose their job or can’t afford private lessons, [their child] can continue [playing].”

Ever since Elinor and David Bugli started the Carson City Symphony in 1984, they have been striving to get an orchestra program in the schools. Sue Jesch, Education Director for the Carson City Symphony, helped get the program up and running.

The Strings in the Schools began in 2004 but just this past year, in Fall 2011, Strings in the Schools was integrated into Carson City High School. As a tuition-free program, it is dependant on constant donations, as well as private donations and funding such as grants from the Nevada Arts Council, the Sierra Philharmonic League and the Carson City Music Club.

“One good thing is that even in bad times, funders like to support things [involving] children and that’s our future,” Elinor said.

The program is open to public-, private- and home-school students. Bordewich-Bray Elementary, Empire Elementary and Carson High School participate during the school year.

It provides free beginning violin lessons for students in grades 2-5 and ensemble or orchestra experience to any Carson City student who is interested. The only cost for students is their instrument, and even then, the program has rentals.

Despite a lot of nationwide art and music programs being cut in the poor economy, Strings in the Schools has managed to create an environment and cause in which the community is happy to donate to.

“We have no difficulty having people donate,” Jesch said. “They’re wonderful and when you see the kids, you’ll know why.”

Donations of instruments are also encouraged. These can be turned into rentals that the students can borrow while they participate in the program. Having an orchestra program in the schools of Carson City, may be a new thing – but that just leaves it plenty of room to make an impact.
“The significance of having music programs within the school day is that it shows the important of music and the arts,” Elinor said. “It shows a well-rounded education. Plus after school, we have to compete with other activities, sports and transportation issues.”

Despite the current state of the economy, people seem to give when they see a need. Elinor and Jesche claimed the program was very fortunate in that there haven’t been any major problems monetarily as the program has a plethora of willing volunteers.

Everyone, including the many volunteers that showed, was in high spirits Thursday, Dec. 8 when the Strings in the Schools program held their 2nd annual “This is Not a Christmas Concert.” Even though it has been mostly smooth sailing with the budget, the program hasn’t always has such an easy time finding a venue. This concert, though, was successfully held at the Carson City Community Center, which housed many eager parents and interested listeners.

“We’re so big so it’s been difficult finding a place to hold our concerts,” Jesche said. “But that’s what’s so amazing about this, everyone is so cooperative.”

From start to finish, the concert acted as a forum for the students, of many ages, to show off. They were positive, encouraging and seemed proud of what they could do. They performed.

“People sign up because they get to see other kids performing, music is a great cooperative venture,” Music Director of the Carson City Symphony, David Bugli said.

Without this free program, many students wouldn’t be able to afford such high-quality lessons. Jesche oversees the entire program, and with over 40 years of experience teaching, she is still excited to be able to see each student progress. According to Jesche, the students, no matter who age, mingle and support each other.

“[Strings in the Schools] has given me a world of opportunity,” 14-year-old Samantha Lowe, a talented violin player in the program said. “The musical world is an entire subculture…[playing] violin has changed my entire life and it wouldn’t be a big part of my life without the program.”

Upcoming Student Performances:

• Thursday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. – Carson Middle School Concert (orchestra and choir) at Carson Middle School

• Sunday, Dec.18 from 2 – 3 p.m. – STRAZZ plays at Trader Joe’s in Carson City.

• Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 6:20 p.m. – Eagle Valley Middle School Concert (band, choir and orchestra) at Eagle Valley Middle School.

• Thursday, Dec. 22 at 1:30 p.m. – Christmas Carol Playalong at the Carson Mall. To play, call 775-450-5584.

Take a listen:

Written by emeyering

December 13, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Local photojournalist shares her passion in impacting and raising awareness of Africa

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Candice Nyando, business owner, mother and creative photographer reflected on her time in Africa when she willingly shared her moving and insightful experiences with a journalism class at UNR on Monday.

After having traveled to Africa several times to help the ‘lost boys’ and raise awareness of their struggles, Nyando realized how impacted she was by the ups and downs, trauma and fortune found along the way.

“The two things that have changed my life most profoundly are my time in Africa and being a mother,” Nyando said.

Despite facing danger and upset along the way, Nyando’s face lit up when speaking of helping the Luo Tribe in Africa. The serious issues Nyando dealt with help her put her own life in retrospect.

“[The whole experience] was challenging,” Nyando said. “But I had the time of my life.”

Overcoming hurtful stereotypes and impacting a stubborn and proud people has not been easy but Nyando doesn’t plan on giving up, as she is still extremely active in the natives lives. Only making an impact there, in Africa, is not enough.

The Tribe is a non-governmental agency Nyando and her husband, who is native to Africa, are starting to help raise awareness for the needs they saw in Africa. On top of an extremely corrupt government, the Luo Tribe in Africa faces flawed education and poor conditions.

Driven by her incredible experiences, Nyando plans on helping as much as she can.

“I’m proud of the work I’ve done for the lost boys and they’re still really dear to me,” Nyando said. “They gave me a lot of balance and perspective before I even got there.”

Slowing down her speech and taking the time to find the right words, Nyando closed her time with the mesmerized journalism students by crediting the struggling people she met.

“If I ever start to feel like things aren’t going well for my life, I always instantly reflect on the lost boys or my life in Kenya.”

Written by emeyering

December 5, 2011 at 8:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized