Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A plan for attack

I've settled on my feature - it's going to be what I brought up in the last post, which is a profile on a Towson student who's also a cosplayer. It should be easy for me since I'm also a cosplayer and I know the ins and outs of what goes on.

As far as how I'm going to attack this feature, my plan is relatively simple. It's just a matter of going out and getting it done. I plan on talking to my sources (the two I mentioned last post, Billy and Alex; I have yet to figure out who the third source will be) as soon as I can, taking photos as soon as I can and getting it done as soon as I can.

I just don't want to waste any time on what is a short feature (for me, anyway. I've written several longer features before). If I end up taking longer than a week on this, I'm going to be disappointed in myself.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Following the Formula

Baltimore Sun: Suburban Federal's short, sharp fall

This story definitely follows the Wall Street Journal Formula. The lead features a single person who was effected by Suburban Federal and moves into the main point of the story through the nut graph. With the use of quotes and general information, it gets the main point across and at the end it goes back to how the problem has hurt specific people.

Back to the beat: FEATURE STORY

For my feature story, I'll be writing a profile on a cosplayer who's a freshman at Towson. His name's Billy Saccardi and though he's fresh to the cosplay scene, he's already made his mark.
This fits my beat because cosplay - short for "costume play," where people dress up as their favorite characters - is a big part of the convention scene.

Sources I'll be using for the story will be Billy, of course, as well as Alex Li - also a cosplayer, but he was a cosplay judge at Towson's own Tigercon and saw Billy's craftsmanship up-close. I'm not sure who I'm going to use for the third source yet, but I'm working on it.

The photo should be fun since I'll hopefully be able to get a shot of him in one of his costumes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

One crowded convention

Approximately 6,000 people flooded the Hyatt Regency Crystal City from Feb. 13-15 for the area's annual Japanese animation convention, Katsucon.

Celebrating its 15th year running, the convention returned to the Hyatt after its lease with the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C. expired. According to staff, the convention had to scramble to get into a different location and settled on returning to Crystal City - the event was held there in 2004. Katsucon has grown considerably in size since then, and because of that they had to put a 6,000-person cap on the event.

Some convention attendees complained about the decision to return to Crystal City.

"I can't believe they would move it back here. There's not enough room to hold a convention with this many people," Katsucon attendee Jennifer Sampson said. "I'll come back next year, but only because it won't be here again."

Monday, February 9, 2009

'Axis Powers' defeated? Not yet

Original stories:
Korean protests call for 'Hetalia' anime cancellation
Japan's Kids Station cancels its 'Hetalia' anime run
'Hetalia' anime seen by 200,000 on Web, 60,000 on phones

To summarize:

"Axis Powers Hetalia" is originally a series of Web comic shorts by Hidekaz Himaruya. The series is essentially a cynical political satire of the world at large taking place during World War I and World War II. The various countries involved are represented by human characters that are stereotypes of their nation - for example, America wears a leather jacket, eats cheeseburgers constantly and likes to stick his nose in everyone else's business.

Towards the end of 2008, it was announced by Studio DEEN and KIDS STATION that a series of five-minute animated shorts based off of the Web comic would begin airing in January 2009. This sparked protest from Korean citizens, who began petitioning to stop the show due to the portrayal of their country. They eventually succeeded in their cause and on January 14 the show was canceled.

However, the station decided that the show would still be distributed online and through mobile phone services. The demand for the show overloaded the servers involved and the website involved,, had to temporarily shut down.

These three stories from Anime News Network cover the story pretty well overall. It was a big developing story and the updates they provided within the stories, as well as the additional stories themselves, help to tell the audience what happened.

Despite this, I think they could have done more. The stance the Korean protesters took wasn't explained very well and I think that could have been improved a lot. Fact is, Korea and Japan haven't exactly been the best of friends... ever. If more research was done into the tension between those two nations and the protest could have been explained more, I think it would have made the articles a lot better. Simply saying "Korea doesn't like it so they're protesting" doesn't do enough.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The nerdiest beat you'll ever see

My beat can be summed up pretty much in one word: nerd.

Seeing as I am one myself (it's a severe case) and I know about the culture surrounding it, I figured it'd be the best beat I could do that wasn't baseball. Topics that will be discussed and covered will include anime, cosplay, video games, model building and more. This will give me a nice wide range of things to cover. The big event I'll actually be reporting on will be Katsucon, an anime convention in D.C. taking place Valentine's Day weekend.

Now I know what you're thinking.
"Oh jeez... anime. She must be one of those couch kids." or "Man, this girl must not get out at all, she must spend all of her time watching Japanese cartoons and playing video games."
No, I'm not a couch kid. Yes, I have a life. I also have a nice set of social skills.

To wrap things up, here's a photo of a model kit I constructed last semester:

The exact model is MS-14S Char Aznable Custom Gelgoog
I've made about a half-dozen of these kits. They take about three hours to build but they're nice to have around to build on a rainy day.

Next post: "Axis Powers Hetalia" anime canceled before it even airs.