Rapid Reaction: The refs are back in town

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Beckett torn to shreds

Starting with Yahoo Sports.

Josh Beckett’s golf round after missing start is further proof the Red Sox aren’t his top priority

On to Boston.com.

Josh Beckett needs to go for the good of the franchise

One more…

The Texas Con Man, Part II

How about one from ESPN…

Defiant Beckett doesn’t get it

One from CBS Sports. Okay!

Teeing off on Josh Beckett

The Boston Herald even had something to say.

Josh Beckett, Red Sox off course: Pitcher ends up buried in rough

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Fenway Park turns 100 years old!

To celebrate the ballpark, the Red Sox opened Fenway to the public for fans to explore at their leisure. Enjoy!

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ABCNews Track 12 Final!

This will be my 12th and final News Track of the semester. I have learned a lot from exploring ABC News and have enjoyed the process of tracking a professional news website. ABC News has taught me many different ways to distribute news. The three pillars of online journalism are: multimedia, interactivity, and on-demand delivery. ABC News certainly does a good job of incorporating all three of these pillars. For my final post, I would like to do review how well ABC News uses multimedia, interactivity, and on-demand delivery in its website.

Multimedia is ABC News greatest strength. Starting with the hundreds of hours of video in the video tab to the This Day in History blog, ABC News is packed full of different kinds of multimedia. It has slideshows of Meg Ryan’s home and photos of the Space Shuttle Enterprise. There are featured videos and News in a Flash videos every single day. ABC News has so much multimedia that it is almost overwhelming. This is exactly what its audience is looking for though: plenty of video, tons of photos, and different ways of telling a news story. ABC News gets an A+ for the multimedia pillar of online journalism.

As I said in one of my recent News Tracks, interactivity is of key importance in online journalism. Like I said,  interactivity is a way for journalists to actively engage their audience in a two-way transfer of information. ABC News does this through article comments, discussion boards, live chats and any type of user-generated content. There is always a poll on the homepage that allows ABC News to get an idea of what its audience is thinking. I have said before though that ABC News could do a better job with interactivity. Nonetheless, I give them a B+.

The third and final pillar of online journalism is on-demand delivery. Internet news websites have to be constantly updated in order to maintain a solid audience. ABC News is always producing new stories and new content. The homepage is almost never the same. If I go back to the homepage to look for a story that I just found an hour ago, it will likely not be in the same spot. Today’s news audience have the ability to control when and where it views news. ABC News is on Facebook, Twitter, and is available on most mobile phones. Overall, ABC News receives an A for on-demand delivery.

I believe that ABC News is a top-notch, professional news website. It provides its audience with plenty of multimedia and content to filter through for hours on end. ABC News is interactive and always has the latest, up-to-date stories. I have enjoyed my time tracking ABC News. I hope you did too.

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ABCNews Track 11

Interactivity is a fundamental element of online journalism. Forms of interactivity include: live blogs, forums, polls, surveys, games, quizzes, etc. Interactivity is a way for journalists to actively engage their audience in a two-way transfer of information.

As I said in one of my previous news tracks, I believe ABC News could do a better job of utilizing different ways to interact with its audience. ABC News does do a fine job of sticking to the basics with polls and forums for audience reaction, but I think they could do more considering the many different kinds of interactivity.

All of ABC News’ stories and blog posts leave room for comments and reaction. This is good for a journalist to get feedback for his or her stories and to see how many people are actually reading them. The problem I’m having today is that not many people have commented on ABC News’ top headlined stories. That being said, let’s still take a look at one headline that reads, “Iran Says Is Building Copy of Captured US Drone.” This story is obviously of interest for Americans if Iran has in fact recovered data from a US drone. So far only 15 people have commented on the story, but I still find that reading the comments is very interesting. I find it intriguing to see whether the audience is actually buying into the news story. The comment thread underneath the story is a place where the journalist can interact with his or her audience.

On top of being able to comment on stories and blog posts, ABC News also always has a poll on its homepage. Today’s poll is a public opinion poll that asks how people are planning to celebrate Earth Day this year. The poll has currently been answered by nearly 3,000 people. The majority of people answered that they are going to recycle old materials and turn off unnecessary lights. A poll like this will give ABC News a pretty good idea of what its audience is thinking.

It is important for any news organization to understand its audience no matter how big or small. ABC News has a very large audience, but I think it could a much better job with the interactive element of online journalism. Although polls and comment threads can be good, I don’t find either of these methods as effective as say a live blog or even a quiz. There are plenty of other ways for ABC News to share information with its audience.

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Don’t hate on Bobby V

Courtesy Nick Step

Bobby Valentine takes a lot of criticism for a man who loves his job and wants to win badly. Yes, his methods may not be the norm among big league managers. Yes, he should learn to keep his mouth shut at times, but come on, give the guy a chance!

It’s not Bobby Valentine’s fault that the Red Sox had one of the most historic collapses in baseball history last season. It’s not his fault that players drank beer and ate fried chicken in the clubhouse. Most importantly, it’s not his fault that the Red Sox may have the worst bullpen in all of baseball.

A manager can only do so much with the players that he’s given. Bobby Valentine, now at the helm of one of the most storied franchise in all of sports, is expected to win in a city that demands it. The Red Sox play in the most difficult division in all of baseball, hands down. Unfortunately for Valentine, there is only so much he can do with a team that is mediocre and already overcome by injuries.

There are many in the game of baseball who would not touch the Boston Red Sox managerial position with a 10-foot pole. Bobby Valentine wanted it. He understood the situation he was coming into, and he knew it wouldn’t be easy. Baseball managers receive all the blame when things are going poorly and hardly any credit at all when things are going well. Valentine threw himself into a shark tank when he accepted the job, and Red Sox fans aren’t helping.

Yes, he may have made a mistake by calling out Kevin Youkilis a few days ago. But hey, that’s what you get with Bobby Valentine as your manager. His comments should be the last thing that Youk’s thinking about anyway, considering he’s batting .176 and hasn’t been able to stay healthy for a full season in three years.

The situation with Kevin Youkilis is beside the point though. The Red Sox don’t have a bullpen this season, and Bobby Valentine can’t do anything about. He can only do so much with the mediocre team that he was given. So to those Red Sox fans who don’t like him and feel the need to boo him every time he steps out of the dugout, shame on you. Give the guy a chance. He deserves at least that.

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Sox in 60: First Episode!

Hey guys, I have decided to start a new video series for my blog called Sox in 60. In these episodes I will discuss the latest Red Sox news in approximately one minute. Enjoy!

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