JOUR 440 Multimedia Story

There are many interesting people in my life. I know literally hundreds of people that I could have interviewed back home in Freeport, Illinois for this assignment. Instead, I chose one of the many people I met here at Western Illinois University.

Campbell Atkins is a junior sports broadcasting major and journalism minor here at Western. He hails from Glenn Elynn, Illinois, which is about four and a half hours away from Macomb. It is a western suburb of Chicago, and home to many fans of the National Football League’s Chicago Bears. I myself am from northwest Illinois, which is split almost in half between Green Bay Packers fans (which I am) and Chicago fans. Campbell is the biggest fanatic of the Bears that I’ve ever met. He has been to countless games along the Lake Michigan shoreline in downtown Chicago at Soldier Field. He watches every single minute of every single Bears game every single season. To say he is a diehard fan doesn’t do the term justice. Just take a look at all of the apparel and memorabilia he has!

And that’s only about a quarter of his total Bears stuff. The other seventy-five percent of Chicago gear and other things are at his home in Glen Ellyn.

That means when you walk into Campbell’s room in his townhouse here at Western Illinois, it won’t take you long to figure out where his rooting interests are when it comes to the National Football League. I would venture as far to say that navy blue and orange comprise about thirty percent of the total colors in his room. It is a shrine to the Chicago Bears. Legendary coaches like Mike Ditka and George Halas would definitely approve of his room. Famous former players like Mike Singletary, William “The Fridge” Perry, Jim McMahon, Devin Hester, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman, and Matt Forte would no doubt sit and talk for hours with Campbell about the Bears.

Like I said before, I am a Green Bay Packers fan. They are chief rivals of the Chicago Bears. So when the NFL season starts up in September, Campbell and I disagree on a lot of things in the game. Then there are the two days in the year where we really don’t get along much at all. Those are when my Packers take on his Bears. The rivalry is intense, and na good majority¬†of the trash-talking is not rated PG. However when the game finishes and tensions calm down, we become friends again.

As much trash-talk that I sling Campbell’s way, I have to give him credit. He is one of the biggest football fans I have ever met. He is far and away the biggest Chicago Bears fans I’ve met. I absolutely respect his loyalty to his team. They could lose every single game in a season, and Campbell would still be on the edge of his seat cheering them on. Then again, nobody will yell and cheer louder when the Bears do win another Super Bowl than Campbell Atkins.

Audio Interview with Campbell


Evaluate a Multimedia Journalist Assingment

There is nobody that embodies the title of “multimedia journalist” in today’s world of journalism quite like William F. Leitch. There is so much that I admire about his work and story.

Leitch was only born a couple hours from Macomb in Mattoon, Illinois. He went through high school in his hometown, and was fortunate enough to be accepted into the University of Illinois in Champaign. His bachelor degree was in print journalism. However Leitch could not find a job right out of graduation. For the next half decade he worked odd jobs while trying to find work in his career field.

In 2003 at age 28, Will decided to turn toward being an author to drown his sorrows. His first book “Life As A Loser” was not a big hit at first, but became popular later in his life. Leitch’s big break came in 2005 when he launched the blog, “Deadspin”. Initially the blog was primarily about sports. But this wasn’t your typical informational sports blog.

No, Leitch had a different vision that conforming to the stereotypical model of blogs in his day. He was vulgar, often using cuss words in his headlines to attract fans’s attention. The posts were short, only about 50-250 words. Lastly “Deadspin” was one of the early innovators in hyperlinking to other material on the Web.

By 2008, Leitch was the owner of the most widely read independent sports blog in the history of the Internet. He left Deadspin in July of that year, and went to work as a freelance journalist for many other sites and magazines. To this day Will still contributes to Deadspin (rarely), Gawker, The New York Times, Esquire, The Atlantic, GQ, Bloomberg Businessweek, Fast Company, Parade, Glamour, and The National. He has expanded his writing to include movie reviews, fashion, finance, and individual feature pieces about some of the most powerful men and women in America.

Currently Mr. Leitch’s main focus is senior writer for his new blog “Sports On Earth”. The material is a bit more commercial-friendly than Deadspin was. It is a little more sports information than derogatory banter. In addition to his writing Will is the host of his daily podcast “The Will Leitch Experience”. It has been one of the most downloaded sports podcasts on iTunes since its launch.

What contributes to Leitch’s case as a successful multimedia journalist is his presence on social media. He constantly posts updates to his personal Facebook page. Will posts links to all of his stories about sports, business, and movie reviews. Where he really excels is on Tumblr and Twitter. He tweets out hyperlinks to all of his stories, as well as compiles them all at week’s end so readers can view all of his work he’s done that week. He is informative, unbiased, and opinionated. All three are traits that make him so successful in today’s multimedia landscape.

Overall Will Leitch has been leading the charge every since all media platforms old and new have combined. He is no doubt a career role model for me.

Without Media Project

Honestly it’s been really tough for me to do this project. It’s amazing how dependent I have become of my phone and laptop. I normally say that I’m not on it much, but I realized how much I truly am while doing this assignment.

I thought that I chose the perfect time to do this project. This past Sunday I was so busy that it was nuts. So much for Sunday being the day of rest for me. I woke up at 8 AM, and told myself that I was going to do this assignment. I left my phone in my room for eleven of the twelve hours.

The reason why the timing was perfect in my choice was that I simply didn’t need my phone or laptop. I had to help set up for the truck production of the Western Illinois home softball game on Sunday morning for three hours. Then I headed over to Alfred D. Boyer Stadium to broadcast the home baseball game between Western and Fort Wayne. That got over around 4 PM. I knew once I arrived home at 4:30, I only had three and a half more hours without social media to go. With my remaining time I decided to clean the entire house, which took me all the way up until 7 PM, only an hour to go. I did pick my phone up then, and called home like I always do on Sunday night to talk with my parents back home in Freeport, Illinois. That phone call lasted an hour, and I had finally completed my 12-hour project without any media.

I learned that I have a strong urge to check all of my social media platforms every couple hours. I enjoy searching miscellaneous things on the Internet throughout the day, so that was tough. I realized how dependent I was on media, and it upset me a little. However it was nice to escape the hectic life I’ve created for myself for the majority of this past Sunday.

LA Times Social Media Critique

The Los Angeles Times is the premier mainstream news organization west of the Mississippi River. The paper has done marvelous investigative work throughout the years in print. However once the Internet boom happened in the mid-1990’s, the LA Times was one of the first media outlets in the country to take advantage of it. That paved the way for them to be leaders in the area of social media with it emerging in the mid-2000’s.

It makes sense that the LA Times has such a strong point of emphasis on social media. Hollywood and Beverly Hills are major papparazi attractions. The city has two professional basketball teams, a professional baseball team, a National Hockey League franchise, and recently became home to the National Football League’s Rams. Reporters and journalists have to be active on social media so they can update literally millions of people about all that’s going on in the Los Angeles area.

That means that there have to be rules for social media put in place for LA Times employees. A few of the rules intrigued me.

All reporters and journalists must properly identify themselves as Los Angeles Times employees on all their social media platforms. Many newspapers allow their workers to have personal and professional accounts on Twitter. However the LA Times states that the content of all posts must implicate personal and professional remarks. Another big point the social media policy of the Times says is that employees are not allowed to engage in political advocacy via social media. Politics are a moral grey area in journalism, and the LA Times did a great job of noticing that. They want their employees to remain unbiased in whatever line of journalism they do.

The Los Angeles Times has always been a frontrunner on social media reporting. They encourage their employees to be as interactive as humanly possible. The line of work does have guidelines, though. Those who break the rules are terminated immediately, no questions asked. It may be considered cutthroat, but the LA Times has built a stellar online brand over time. They became that way because their journalists and reporters obey the company’s social media policy.

Trevor Story’s Incredible Start

Every Major League Baseball fan knew that the Colorado Rockies were going to struggle this season. They never have much pitching, and the offense and defense took a hit last year at the trade deadline when the team dealt shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto. It looked like the Rockies were going to spend another season in the NL West cellar.

They still might end up in last by season’s end. However they are creating buzz thanks to their new rookie shortstop, Trevor Story.

Trevor Story

The 24-year-old has burst on the scene because of his power. Tulowitzki was long revered for his power from the shortstop position. The Rockies have been pleasantly surprised with his replacement’s numbers thus far. Tonight Story hit his league-leading eighth home run of this young season.

It will be impossible to keep up the pace for Story. But if he can produce numbers like Tulowitzki in Colorado, Rockies fans will embrace him like they did the old shortstop. For now, it’s all about enjoying this amazing story.

Jordan Spieth’s Masters Meltdown

On Sunday in Augusta, Georgia, the nation watched as a 22-year-0ld golf prodigy did the opposite of what everyone watching him expected to see. Jordan Spieth led by 5 shots at 7-under, and made the turn to the back nine after sinking four straight birdies. All he had to do was playing par golf to collect his second consecutive Green Jacket. However bogeys on 10 and 11 brought him back within striking distance to the rest of the field. He went to the tee at number 12, and disaster struck.

Spieth’s quadruple bogey 7 on number 12 opened the door for Englishman Danny Willett. The 28-year-old Brit shot a bogey-free final round 67 en route to his first Masters title and first ever win on the PGA Tour. Nobody expected him to win, especially after Spieth had such a commanding lead with just nine holes left to play.

The Masters - Final Round

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 10: Jordan Spieth of the United States reacts after finishing on the 18th green during the final round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Such a devastating collapse in the most famous event in golf can crush a career. How Spieth responds is yet to be seen. He has more than enough talent to compete in every tournament he plays in. However to have future success, he’ll have to shake off the most soul-crushing loss he’s ever endured.

And Then There Were Two

In about ten hours, the North Carolina Tar Heels and Villanova Wildcats will tip-off in Houston for the 2016 National Championship. It’s a matchup of the two best teams in the tournament. We haven’t seen that situation play out in recent years. So this time around it’s refreshing to know that the best team in the tournament will win it all.

UNC has had the easier road between the two teams to the title. The highest seed and toughest game they’ve been a part of was versus 5-seed Indiana in the Sweet 16. Their next two games came against ACC foes Notre Dame (6-seed) and Syracuse (10-seed). Now the Tar Heels face off against a powerhouse in Villanova. The Heels will have the advantage down low with Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks, Isaiah Hicks, and Joel James.

Brice Johnson

Power forward Brice Johnson was too much of a force for Syracuse down in the post.

On the other side it’s Villanova, the pride of the old Big East. Dave Gavitt is smiling upon this team up in heaven. They aren’t like the teams of old in the rough and tumble Big East. Instead they really on perimeter and mid-range points from driving to the hoop. Guards Ryan Arcidiacono, Josh Hart, Jalen Brunson, and Mikal Bridges have been the most lethal backcourt of this year’s tournament. They’ll have their hands full against Carolina’s backcourt, but should have the advantage in shooting. If the Wildcats repeat their performance against Oklahoma, UNC will have a tough time keeping up.


Ryan Arcidiacono and the Wildcats dismantled the Sooners by 44 in the National Semifinals. It’ll be a different game tonight against UNC.

My prediction: North Carolina 75 Villanova: 71