Brave and Reckless’Advice for New WordPress Bloggers– Part 1

Brave and Reckless

It wasn’t so long ago that I was a brand new blogger at WordPress. I started my blog at the beginning of October with no real goals in mind other than making one particular piece of writing publicly available for sharing. I chose WordPress because we use it at work and several friends spoke highly of the community.  It wasn’t until I saw my first piece of original writing on my blog that I started thinking what next?

I knew nothing about blogging. But I did know that all communities have their own unique culture and through a combination of trial and error, generous mentors and reading several really good guides to WordPress, I found my footing here. This past weekend I hit 500 followers.  I remain just as flattered today that someone has read and responded to my writing as I did the first time.

Recently I have had numerous…

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French Quarter Festival

On April 6-9th the Big Easy hosted its famous French Quarter Festival. The FQF stands as one of the largest free annual music festival in United States, with an attendance of over 700,000 in 2014. FQF similar to other festivals here in New Orleans, allows people to indulge in good music, food and tons of alcohol. However this was not always its purpose, the festival initially began to celebrate the end of 14 week of construction to fix the roads in the French Quarters.

The first FQF took place April 1984 with only several hundred people in attendance and only lasted for three days. Since then things have changed a lot but some traditions have remained. For instance, at the first FQF there was a battle of the bands which still continues til this day.

For FQF the common street performers bring their best material to seduce tourist and city locals to empty their pockets. From the infamous tap dancers to the robot man on the corner across from Cafè Du Monde you will see it all at FQF.

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Budget lines + codes

This blog post is beneficial to aspiring journalist or writers in general.

About reporting

A couple of you suggested I post on the blog the codes that go on budget lines.

First, here’s a sample budget line from this weekend:

EDITED, BUT NEEDS AC CVB-OCA: City Manager Mike Matthes has backed off his idea to merge the Office of Cultural Affairs with the Convention and Visitors Bureau, but he still wants to move them into the same building so that they can work more closely together. This is another budget-related proposal. We’ll try to explain to people how these offices might work together to promote their respective causes.
(T) Carlota Cortes (Swafford or ACE)

“CVB-OCA” is the slug (unfortunately, it’s two acronyms so it’s not quickly descriptive — we use very few acronyms in stories in the Missourian but for brevity’s sake they were used in this budget line). Notice how the slug is bold and followed by a colon.

Here are the codes…

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A Day in the Park

Welcome back Chatters!
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              Beautiful stories have the ability to blossom out in the most unexpected way, similar to the rose that grew from concrete.

             The other day, I was able to create a complete story from a few minutes in City Park. There I met a two-year-old boy by the name of Owen and his Grandmother. I was able to capture this story solely using photography. Click here to view the video.

Seven Steps to Storytelling

Storytelling through Photography

Interview with Dre Pic

Hello Chatters,

         Shortly after interviewing with two student photojournalist, I was inspired to interview a street photography/ fashion mogul that goes by the name of Artez L. Irvin. With over 29,000 followers on Instagram and over 7,000 followers on Twitter, Irvin has gained a strong following. Not only has his photography been the source of his fame, but he has also set a social trend with his style. So far Irvin has worked with Korto Momolu, America’s Next Top Model, BravoTV Reality personalities and Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. Over the years, Irvin has taken everything from celebrity, fashion and dance photo shoots while being able to express his creativity through his art.

How do you use photographs to tell a compelling story?

“Honestly, when I’m shooting I try to never think too deep on creating a particular image, I just keep snapping and allow the vibes to flow naturally.”

What inspires you to be a photographer?

“I always wanted to try different things growing up as a kid but, art and photography stood out to me the most. Being able to capture the moment for people and create memories for ever keeps me going with this craft.”

Is photography a dying or growing art form of storytelling?

“It has its ups and downs, some people just want to take photographs because it’s the newest coolest thing to do, but for the people that are passionate about it their stories never end…. It’s addicting, if you love it.”

How has multimedia platforms hindered or enhanced you field of work?

“Having more access to spread your work is a blessing these days. I believe it helps for sure. Now anyone can see your work and that type of exposure is always a plus.”

Contact Information:

Instagram: @Drepic

Twitter: @Artez_Epic

Website/ Blog:

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The Banter Blog

3…2…1… AND WE LIVE!

Yesterday my classmates and I covered one of Xavier’s Black History Month guest speakers. Writer and civil rights activist Shaun King came and spoke to our school about the importance of history as well as the problems we are facing in the Black community today.

screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-9-56-59-pm Ronald and I organizing everyone’s assignments.

For covering events such as these, there are many moving parts that often go unnoticed. What I, along side my partner Ronald, chose to do is tell the untold story of what an average day of a Mass Comm student looks like. We got the behind the scenes look at what it took for our classmates to prepare to cover such an event. Watch the behind the scenes here.

The premise of this project was not only to cover the event but write about Shaun King and some topics that the revolve around…

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“HBCU’s are relevant, because we’re relevant.”

      From their humble beginnings, Historically  Black College and Universities (HBCU) have evolved developing a unique culture for learning in comparison to Predominately White Institutions (PWI). Along with organizations promoting Civil Rights HBCUs have conceived countless organizations that give students the opportunity to enhance their community while bonding with their fellow classmates. Although some Black Greek Letter Organizations were not founded on the campus of a HBCU, they are a major aspect in promoting black excellence.

      “You meet people you never thought existed and form a brotherhood or sisterhood that last for a lifetime,” said Sarah Hale, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and biology pre-med major at Xavier University of Louisiana.


       These institutions have not only created a safe haven for African-Americans during a time where racial discrimination was at an all-time high, HBCUs have established an environment where young black students are allowed to freely voice their opinions. The unique culture developed by HBCU has touched the students that attend.

      “A HBCU is a family away from home. There is nothing better than being empowered to continue the legacies of those that came before you and having supporters to watch you take the path to where you want to go,” said Dasia James, an international business major at Howard University.

        James, like many other HBCU students, prides herself for following the footsteps of her ancestors. James makes it her duty to improve her intellectual capacity despite the adversities she may face.


     “Going to a HBCU allows a student to put things into a different perspective, and having a unique experience will open the doors to endless opportunity with the many keys to success,”  James said.

     Education is the key to success, but for many years African-Americans and other minorities were not granted this key. Now with the help of Congress and other elected officials, there are endless initiatives these institutions that will always be a part of the nation’s history for the foreseeable future.

     “For more than a century, HBCU’s have been at the forefront of preparing the next generation of African-American leaders,” said Joyce Beatty, U.S. Congresswoman, and a proud alumna of a HBCU.


Black Colleges Matter

What you need to know about HBCUs