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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Website changes had writer praying about more newsworthy stories

Web site changes had writer praying about more newsworthy articles

In my two years working for the Examiner, this was the first time of my having to invent a way to put a religious twist on the articles written there. Because of the changes made to the site, even the headlines had to have been unique. If my article didn’t fit one of five topics in the Religious and Spirituality section, it was declined. My prayer was to publish more newsworthy stories in spite of the recent changes to the site. Scripture like 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and Ephesians 1:16 came to mind.

Most of the time, things like article reviews, headlines, lists, videos, and sideshows where checked for duplication site wide. If there were any duplications, the error message would’ve asked for changes. Article images and sideshow images weren’t affected, but the title would’ve needed to be updated.

While a lot  about the Bible, Catholicism, and Christianity were known by me, other religions like Islam, Judaism, and Mormons were not. Switching from the Methodist faith to Baptist put me under the Protestant heading. The my prayer was making my articles more newsworthy so they could’ve been promoted on the site. That way, writing about Western Religions or Religious News would’ve been easier.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV) said:
17 Pray without ceasing.

Ephesians 1:16 (KJV) said:
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

This year, only one of my articles was considered newsworthy but wasn‘t marked, Web site looked promising despite no local service. While the Examiner accepted my piece, they told me not to write another headline like that again. It was easier using the original article format then the one used for lists because one had to have pictures showing at least three steps in the recipe How-to make a Spinach Mushroom and Onion Pizza.

When writing my article, the Examiner suggested that browsers Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox for best publishing results. Using both of these browsers caused problems for me. They both got hung up or crashed. This was particularly unnerving when my work got zapped because it wasn’t saved in draft. Everything had to have been redone text, hyperlinks, and pictures were re-entered on the site. This made me doubly angry when my work wasn’t saved on my computer, which caused my late evenings rewriting everything.

It  took me a while publishing my first sideshow because the writer now needed five pictures instead of one to three. Some of the images from the internet were not big enough. Others, like those from my Samsung Galaxy S III, were several sizes too big. While those taken from my laptop webcam fit perfectly, trying to crop them using computer software, was difficult. Using a video was a disaster because the whole piece was declined when it didn’t compliment the story  written on weather.

Writing articles on my church activities required permission from the pastor. The hold up was my getting the apartment presentable for company. There were only two times this house got a major cleaning in the last six years. Once was after coming forward to join the church in February 2007. In two-and-a-half days, with time to spare, my house went from unorganized to immaculate. Three days before visiting my uncle in Palm Coast, Florida, in May 2007, the same thing was done. My mother told me when she came to put the mail on the coffee table, she had to step back to make sure she was in the right apartment being so shocked on how clean it was.

In spite of the Examiner’s new rules and formats on publishing articles, it was my prayer to publish more newsworthy stories. While my knowing a lot about the Bible and Christianity helped in writing some of my articles, topics like Islam, Judaism, and Mormonism were not known. They could’ve been studied and added to Religious News or Western Religions to make my articles more newsworthy instead of basic human interest.

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