Archive for April, 2009

24
Apr
09

12 year old executes emergency landing, tragedy narrowly avoided

William Neff

Media Writing

Wednesday March 11, 2009

 

 

12 year old executes emergency landing, tragedy narrowly avoided

 

By William Neff

 Twelve-year-old Alyssa Shanahan had to perform an emergency landing of her father’s Mooney Executive 21 propeller-driven airplane, after her father James Shanahan lost consciousness wile at the controls.

James Shanahan, his two daughters Alyssa and Adrienne, and his wife Mary, were traveling from Grand Rapids Michigan, to the Burlington area. James Shanahan is a licensed pilot with hours of flying experience under his belt, but midway through the flight Mr. Shanahan began complaining of dizziness and soon after lost conciseness. At which point the plane began a shallow noise dive. Trapped in the back seat with her daughter Adrienne, Marry Shanahan felt helpless, “There was nothing I could do.” Said Mrs. Shanahan, “I was in the back seat and with my daughter Adrienne. I couldn’t reach the controls.”

Daughter Alyssa then sprang into action and took control of the plane. “I’ve been flying with my daddy since I was a little girl.” Said Alyssa, “He taught me all about flying and even let me handle the controls sometimes.”

Alyssa then contacted Air traffic control, and was guided through the emergency landing, skidding to a stop only ten feet from the northbound lane of Interstate 51.

No one was seriously injured in the landing, and after being rushed to the hospital, it was found that the cause of James Shanahan’s sudden lose of conciseness was caused by an allergic reaction he had to a prescription that he had begun taking that morning. 

24
Apr
09

God is Not a Louisville Slugger

William Neff

Media Writing

Monday, March 3, 2009

Outside Writing assignment

 

 

 

 

 

 

God is Not a Louisville Slugger

 

Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist Leonard Pitts painted a vivid picture of a “Christian conservative right” that “rode rough shot over the nation.”

 

Leonard Pitts is a Christian, who believes that his religion is being hijacked by the conservative right. Pitts thinks that the right is wielding god like a bludgeon in a Machiavellian plot to accomplish conservative ends.

Today at 7:30 p.m. Leonard Pitts gave a keynote speech that wrapped up the daylong conference being help on the Elon University campus, titled “Faith, Doubt and the Media.” Pitts, is a Pulitzer Prize winner who has become famous for his social commentary columns usually focused on religion, and his ‘direct’ conversations with god, in which he writes a comical satire between himself and god. “God and I were playing our weekly game of hoops… Not many people know this, but god is unstoppable in the post.” Pitts wrote in one of his columns.

Despite the obvious humor in his writing, Pitts is a very spiritual man who is deeply concerned with the direction that his religion is heading in. He fears that being ‘Christian’ dose not mean what it used to. “Am I a Christian?” Pitts asked of himself, “ The answer to that question used to mean that you believed in Christ, but that was before the rise of the fundamentalists, before the Christian right began creeping like shadows. By their definition, to be Christian meant one who follows Bush and Rush Limbaugh, someone who cuts taxes for the rich and denounces gay and lesbians, and who only accepts those who look like they were from Beaver Cleavers neighborhood.”

Pitts explained how so many stances taken by conservative Christians are in direct disagreement with what Pitts believes are the fundamentals of the true Christian faith. He explained how people like Rush Limbaugh have used god as a weapon to further their right political agenda, and how his own columns were a response to this, as Pitts attempted to fight the weapon of god that the right had evoked.

The conservative version of god is a strict and unforgiving dictator; whose law is to be carried out just as it is written. Pitts summed up the conservative god neatly with this quote, “God votes straight republican, and never misses the Rush Limbaugh show, and how dare you in vision him any other way.” But Pitts believes in a kinder god, who cannot be understood or shaped by humans. Pitts explained that he believes it is impossible for a human to comprehend god, as we are mortal. “Morality by definition, cannot comprehend the infinite.” Said Pitts.

In the closeting minutes of his speech, Pitts echoed the overall tone of his speech, “God is not a republican!” said Pitts, but then he brought his thinking full circle an pushed the audience in a new direction, “ God is also not a Democrat, I reject this idea that god backs any party, god is bigger than a political party.” Said Pitts. God is no ones Louisville slugger, and in Pitts’ opinion just out of human comprehension, but Pitts won’t let that keep him from playing basketball with him.

24
Apr
09

Dose the World Really Have Room for Another Social Network?

William Neff

Media writing

One-day deadline story

 

          Dose the World Really Have Room for Another Social Network?

 

 

By Will Neff

 

 

                        Recently the popularity of social networks has blown up. It seems like everyone has a Facebook, or a Myspace or at least a text message capable phone, but what about a Twitter account? What makes Twitter different form any other E-mail, blog, chat, or RSS, and will Tweeting really be able to compete against connective media giants like Facebook.

Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users’ updates known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 bytes in length. In March 2006 Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams founded twitter. Twitter began as a research and development project inside San Francisco Podcasting Company called Odeo. Recently Twitter’s popularity has exploded, and now Twitter boasts an impressive 6 million users. Twitter has also received some very positive reviews form some sources of note, Newsweek had this to say, “Suddenly, it seems as though all the world’s a-twitter.” And even Time magazine has jumped on the Twitter band wagon,  “ Twitter is on its way to becoming the next killer app.”

Despite it critical acclaim and nationwide popularity, when asked what they thought about Twitter, it seemed as though Elon students did not share the same enthusiasm for the social Network. Many students had never even heard of Twitter and those that did didn’t have much positive to say. Todd Thomann, a freshman student at Elon thinks that twitter can’t contend with other social networks. “I feel like Facebook eclipses Twitter,” said Thomann, “It just seems Irrelevant in this day in age, if I want to know what your doing ill just send a text message.”

Others feel that Twitter is a recycled technology that can be already be accessed in other forms. Rebekah Kall, another freshman, had this to say about Twitter, “Someone just stole Facebook’s status update and made their own program out of it, really it’s just another way to stock people.”

While it is true that Facebook’s status update and Twitters Tweet are very similar, Twitter finds its niche by offering instant gratification to its user. Programs like Tweetastic allow users to access tweets form a verity of portable devices. Also uses can follows the Tweets of celebs and other persons of note, making twitter a unique Blog of sorts. Even Elon has begun to use the technology by sending updates on sports and campus events in the form of a Tweet.

Chris Slavin, a freshman Business major is a big fan of Twitter and uses it to follow some interesting people. “Twitter is cool, you can really follow anyone, and I even follow some porn stars. Chris said with a laugh.

Twitter is not for everyone, but for tech junkies and people who want to stay super connected with friends and celebrities, it might be just the thing.  

24
Apr
09

broadcast stories

Key: Link between drinking and birth defects proven by Elon researchers.

Reporter: William Neff

 

William Neff (Elon News)

After three long years of study Elon University researches have confirmed the widely assumed like between drinking while pregnant and birth defects. For expecting mothers, researchers are recommending total restraint from drinking, as they can not determine how much alcohol can safely be consumed, or at what point in the 9 month pregnancy it is safe to do so

 

Researches found that women who drink while pregnant not only increase the risk of physical defects like retardation, but also increase the rise of premature births and miscarriage.

 

 

 

 

Key: City to raise fine on parking violators

Reporter: William Neff

 

 

 

            William Neff (BBC)

The Burlington city council met last night to deal with a recent rash of motorists illegally paring in handicapped spaces. The council submitted a vote of 5-2 in favor of raising the fine form the current 20 dollars to the new 250 dollars. The move to increase fines was largely inspired by complaints the city council received from elderly and handicapped drives.

 

            Residents say they are sick and tied of seeing able bodied people abuse the reserved spots. The new fine will go into effect in 30 days, and will be the new highest parking fine in the state.

24
Apr
09

Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper

A 360 look at world events April 7, 2009

Koury center

Key: A 360 look at world events…  a presentation to Elon students by Anderson Cooper

Reporter: William Neff

 

 

Anchor: Today in his widely anticipated appearance, popular CNN anchor Anderson Cooper gave a “360” perspective on world events.

 

William Neff (reporter): Cooper spoke today to a packed auditorium at Elon university. Cooper is the host of the wildly successful Anderson Cooper 360 and is famous for his insightful and compassionate analysis of world events. Although his reputation and success precede him, cooper gave a sympathetic and humble speech.

 

Anderson Cooper (CNN Anchor)

 

            The last thing we need is another over paid over blown Anchor telling us what to think.

 

William Neff (reporter)

 

            Cooper emphasized in his Speech that he doesn’t believe that his work will necessary change the world. But that it is his responsibility, and the responsibility of the press to report on breaking news, and tell the stories of those who don’t have that ability. Copper warned students that in an age of instant and unreliable information, the importance of dependable information is rising.

 

Anderson Cooper (CNN Anchor)

 

            To me the best example of why reporting still matters, is hurricane Katrina. I would hear politicians thanking one another talking about the tremendous relief effort that was under way and what an unprecedented and unpredictable disaster this was and I found this quite stunning because while it was unprecedented, it certainly wasn’t unpredicted. So hearing politicians thank one another was truly infuriating. In Mississippi in the days after the silence was just shocking and I don’t know if that really came across on television.

 

William Neff (reporter)

 

            Cooper also mentioned his wide experience covering and moderating in the world of politics. Cooper says that if his time around politicians has taught him one this it is to be wary of the spin.

 

Anderson Cooper (CNN Anchor)

Being around some politicians is like visiting the hall of presidents in Disney World, They seem so life like until you get up close, and once they get into their spiel they won’t stop.

 

William Neff (reporter)

 

Anderson Coopers contribution will be taken to heart and appreciated by many Communications majors here at Elon. For Phoenix 14 I’m William Neff saying keep your eyes open Elon.