Eliza Murphy

Multimedia Journalist

News from the Net

In this week’s latest “News from the Net” presentation for #JenClass, Cassandra Novy and I compiled this list of innovative aspects happening in the Social Media/Technology world:

1) http://help.hackshackers.com/

     — A place to ask questions about journalism and technology. Much like wikipedia, anyone is able to edit and expound upon previous posts. You can be rated on your question content and frequency on the site.

2) http://www.rollcall.com/issues/55_121/streettalk/45505-1.html

     — Twitter and Lobbying. How are lobbyists using Social Media to their advantage?

3) http://www.gsu.edu/41416.html

     — From Text to Ticker. A Georgia State University professor encourages texting during his class. Seem odd? Maybe not. A perfect tool for shy or international students that may not normally speak up in lecture. Text a question about course content =  Appears as news ticker scrolling across bottom of projector screen. 

4) http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/site/2931/

     —  Social media focused on oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A site aggregating all the latest information.

Hope you find this information as interesting as we did. It’s always beneficial to continue learning and growing along with the latest and greatest social media trends.



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Story Behind the Story

GERALD BOYD- Managing Editor, New York Times (& Mizzou J-School alum)

“He was a newsman’s newsman,” says Robin Stone, his wife.

On February 18, 2010, Stone visited the University of Missouri campus promoting her husband’s recently published book… Something he never had the opportunity to do.

You see, Boyd began writing his book, My Times in Black and White: Race and Power at The New York Times before getting sick. The book serves as a behind-the-scenes look into his side of an, at one time, very divided story. Boyd had a long and distinguished career until the Jayson Blair scandal. “Since he was the highest ranking African American in the newsroom, he was linked as aiding and abetting Jayson,” said his wife. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Going into great detail, Stone explains: He saw journalism as a way to right wrongs. He wanted to not only be a journalist, but good enough to work somewhere like the New York Times. Max Frankel called Gerald his ‘Jackie Robinson’ of The New York Times, aka The First. He was a newsman’s newsman. He smoked, drank, that was just the era he grew up in. 

However, ‘that era’ ended up lending a hand in his death. On November, 23, 2006, Boyd passed away from lung cancer at the young age of 56. He was not yet done writing his book. But this didn’t stop Stone, Boyd’s wife, from seeing the story’s potential. She knew how important it was to her husband to have his side of the story be told. So… like any good journalist… she took it upon herself to collect his notes, piece them together, and make some phone calls. –Determined to bring an end to his tale. 

“The book has been a success story.” – Robin Stone.

As she continued addressing the students about the triumphs and tribulations of her husband’s career, she urged several key themes about his work ethic to us “up and comers…” in the journalism world:

  • He would always strive to exceed even his own expectations. Often asking himself, “What can we give our readers that they cannot get anywhere else?”
  • Newsrooms are not superior, they are just honest. What hope is there for a future of a newsroom that is supposed to be superior? “We know newsrooms mirror society. We can find ignorance in the most intellectually enlightened environments.” 
  • Bring your whole self to the job. Bring all of your interests. If you’re a chocoholic, Bring It! 
  • Be proactive, not reactive.

But above all else…

“Bring all of yourself to the job, but DO NOT leave yourself there.”

I believe this is the one I struggle with most. At the end of the day, you must learn to leave your emotions in the newsroom. In this business we are often on the front lines of unpleasant, difficult, and emotionally taxing situations. It adds up quickly. It weighs you down. And it will eventually take its toll. Take everything in stride… After all, the show must go on



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Life is Like a Leaking Bottle of Chocolate Syrup.

Today it hit me. I keep waiting for some big “Ta Dah!” moment to smack me in the face as inspiration for my blog and I now realize that is just not going to happen. Rather, blog inspiration comes from the little things, the little mishaps, the little surprises. You catch my drift. And as for today… It all started with one small thing. 


Just as I had finally gathered up all my special school supplies, macbook/charger/notebooks/pen/highlighter/planner/old planner to convert into new planner, and so on and so forth, I was ready to conquer the ever-so-tedious and annoyingly epic “TO DO” list. It is, unfortunately, one of those things that forever looms over my head like a dark cloud of all things evil. I know you know the feeling. If you’re a soon-to-be graduate of The University of Missouri School of Journalism broadcast sequence, yep, I know you know the feeling. But ok, back to the topic at hand. THE LEAKING BOTTLE OF CHOCOLATE SYRUP. I had gathered up all my school supplies, lugged them all downstairs, plopped them all on the kitchen table… and was ready to conquer the world. But first– DIET COKE. (duh.) The only missing ingredient. So here I go, all chipper and confident towards the fridge, where low and behold, I open the door… glance down to my diet coke shelf, and there it is: The gooey, sticky, icky, oozing, annoying, disgusting, gushing, leaking, flowing mass of THE LEAKING BOTTLE OF CHOCOLATE SYRUP. Such a damper on my day. Such an obsolete, insignificant minor detail in my day, yet enough to send me over the edge enough to sit down and actually blog about it. It’s the little things like this damper on my day that just throw me for a loop. I was so ready to go. So set on accomplishing at least a few of the things on my ever-so-tedious “TO-DO” list. And now? Now I just had the joy of cleaning up someone else’s mess. I was in no way responsible for that mess, yet here I am, stuck cleaning it. — All of that being said, I will now make my analogy:


You have so many things on your plate, so much to remember, so many minor details you must constantly think about with no room for error, and yet– one other person makes a mistake, one other person doesn’t do their job correctly, one tiny aspect that has been overlooked, and it’s all over. Your stuck cleaning up the mess. Might as well stock up on those paper towels, folks, because newscasts get messy. No one enjoys sloppiness. Especially not me. I love all things clean and concise. However, THE LEAKING BOTTLE OF CHOCOLATE SYRUP certainly ain’t one of ‘em. The one mistake, or droplet of chocolate syrup, may have made absolutely no difference to your viewers, but to you, who has been slaving away on it for hours upon hours that day, carefully crafting it into your perfect little baby, IT MEANS THE WORLD. 

I’ve really got to get better about letting the leaking chocolate syrup go. Not to say I’ll ever come to terms with nasty chocolate sticky syrup smearing all over my newscast, but I really do need to learn how to just grab my paper towels and wipe it up, LIKE A CHAMP. Walking away from the mess is key. Wash your hands. Leave the gooey, stickiness in the sink. Let it go. I’ll be working on this as the weeks and my newscasts progress. And y’all– If you see me freaking out about the chocolate syrup, stop me in my tracks, look me in the eye, and tell me to shut up and grab the paper towels.


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Ridin’ the Gravy Train.

Ridin‘ the Gravy Train.

Pink Floyd – Have A Cigar

Come in here, dear boy, have a cigar.

You’re gonna go far, fly high,

You’re never gonna die, you’re gonna make it if you try;

they’re gonna love you.

Well I’ve always had a deep respect, and I mean that most sincerely.

The band is just fantastic, that is really what I think.

Oh by the way, which one’s Pink?

And did we tell you the name of the game, boy

We call it Riding the Gravy Train.

We’re just knocked out.

We heard about the sell out.

You gotta get an album out,

You owe it to the people. We’re so happy we can hardly count.

Everybody else is just green, have you seen the chart?

It’s a helluva start, it could be made into a monster

If we all pull together as a team.

And did we tell you the name of the game, boy

We call it Riding the Gravy Train.




This is probably the biggest issue I’ve encountered since my days of producing. “Riding the video Gravy Train…” is a bit more complicated than the infamous Pink Floyd let on. It entails looking at the BIGGER PICTURE. Completely soaking in every aspect of the newscast, one detail at a time, locking them together like a fully-loaded pistol. The audience deserves a newscast that delivers the news to them fast, and the only way to keep their attention is delivering it to them like sharp bullets. New. Hard. Fast. They can’t expect what’s coming their way. It didn’t used to be this way. But with the changing, evolving, ever-present growth of online journalism, one must adapt to the media metamorphosis. 

“Riding the video gravy train” is a term producers refer to as something we use for describing our newscast rundown, when national and local stories flow together in one swift glide, with plenty of compelling video and fewer readers and anchor lead-ins. Producers enjoy the creativity. Audiences enjoy the flow. I would like to think that all together, it works for most people. And for me, it makes a great a connection to one of my favorite artists. The lyrics will tell you: By producers “Riding the Gravy Train,” “You’re gonna go far… You’re gonna fly high.”

*News consultant, Nancy Velenta, introduced the phrase “video gravy train” to KOMU 8 as a way to sum up the way producers should showcase as much great video as possible, especially in the late newscast when audiences are headed to bed.

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Broadcasted Break-Ups

Rolling Stone recently came out with an article emphasizing several TV couples whose relationships had ended because their lives were broadcasted on reality TV. I’m not sure I buy into that being the only reason their relationships ended…maybe it’s because showbiz relationships often fail. More often than not, unfortunately. I can’t speak from personal experience but I’d assume that the only thing they have the most in common is being represented in the limelight, and being able to do it together is easier on the couple. I think it’s nonsense. If you’re not secure enough to be in a relationship that can handle television, you’re not secure enough to be in that relationship at all. Here a link to the actual article: 

I told you previously that I’ve completed my first reporting shift! Now that I’ve actually downloaded the right program to be able to view them on my computer I am able to post the link right here. Enjoy!

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Travis’s Tragedy…

Back in September 2008, Travis Barker of the popular band, Blink-182, was involved in a tragic and fatal plane crash. This happened during the first semester of my Junior year when my broadcast class was Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8am…therefore, I had the Today Show on as I do every morning getting ready for class. Usually I just listen to the news as background noise while I’m getting ready and learn what’s going on in the world, but this day was different.

Travis Barker had been performing  in my hometown, Columbia, South Carolina, in a very popular downtown area called 5 Points. To those of you familiar with Mizzou, 5 Points would be the equivalent of condensing “The District” into a smaller section and having all five major streets come together at a point with a big, beautiful fountain marking their convergence. Right behind where my Mom and I are standing in this picture is where their stage was set up to play for a full crowd. 
Anyway, Barker had been performing a show along with the popular Gavin DeGraw and was boarding his flight from the Columbia Metropolitan Airport to make his way home after the performance. The flight had not even made it off the runway before crashing. The actual cause of the crash remains unknown, but it is believed the tire blew as they were attempting take-off. Sadly, four people died on the flight, leaving only Barker and close friend, Adam Goldstein (DJ AM) as survivors. Below is a link to MTV’s coverage of the event:
Granted Columbia, South Carolina’s airport is larger than Columbia, Missouri’s “International” airport, however it is still very unusual for such high profile people to be traveling in and out of it, let alone being involved in such a tragic accident. The second I heard the news that morning I contacted friends of mine that worked at my station (WIS) to see if they knew any more information. Reporters from WIS were going live throughout the day from the scene for nationwide coverage. I’ll admit, it was entertaining to see these people I had worked with streaming live for CNN and MSNBC, although I would have obviously hoped for it to be under different circumstances. Here is a link to the story from WIS News 10:
I believe Barker has made a full recovery since this awful occurrence. 

I am happy to say I have completed my first KOMU reporting shift! It was a nice, easy story to be broken into the new workings of the cameras and editing equipment. Central Dairy is a locally owned business that has stocked Wal-Mart’s shelves with their products since Wal-Mart opened their doors. Now however, Wal-Mart has made the decision to remove Central Dairy’s ice cream line from their stores claiming the local product does not stack up against its national competitors. Central Dairy shoppers are upset about this decision and hope it does not last long. I got to visit the adorable ice cream parlor, established in 1933, in downtown Jefferson City. Everyone was very friendly and willing to talk to me about their favorite ice cream. Many shoppers believe Wal-Mart’s decision to put a freeze on the product was not in their best interest. 

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I’m Officially Famous!

My friend, George, called me a few weeks back asking me for the contact information for the NBC station I interned for this past summer. He said his parent’s had an interesting story they thought would be newsworthy…so of course, I gladly put him in touch with the right people and hoped for the best. I never really heard any more from him about the whole issue and had sort of forgotten about it until I received an interesting wall post on facebook a few days back.

Here is a pic, taken Thanksgiving Break 2007, of George and me:

A photographer for the station, WIS News 10 in Columbia, SC, had written to tell me he had covered a story earlier that day about a puppy that was named after me. I was a bit confused but humored at the same time and wrote him back explaining that that puppy must have been the coolest pup on the face of the earth if its name was Eliza! However, he explained later that there was more to the story than what I had originally thought. He literally had covered a story on a puppy who’s family had named their dog after me personally, Eliza Murphy! 

George Rushe has been a good friend of mine since middle school. He has a lovely, sweet little family. George’s parents had apparently seen a special on Oprah asking people to apply for adopting rescued puppies from a puppy mill in Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Rushe didn’t think twice before applying and out of thousands of contestants were chosen to take home not one, but two of the poor little puppies! 

Long story short… the precious little girl puppy is named after me because the Rushe’s associate the state of Missouri with me since I am the only Mizzou girl they know. They were also so grateful for me putting them in touch with the news station to get their amazing story on air, therefore, they decided “Eliza” would be the best fit for the family’s new addition.  I am obviously so flattered by all of this and wanted to share the video with y’all :)

So there ya have it! It’s kind of a weird thought to know if that pup ends up doing something naughty they’ll be yelling my name…haha. Just food for thought. I’ll be sure to ask George if she’s behaving like a nice little lady. 
I have found a nifty new website that has been helping me come up with some intriguing story ideas. I haven’t been able to use any of them yet because they are involving events happening in the near future but hopefully I’ll be earning some of those lovely little “Shoney’s Factor” points. I don’t want to reveal my source just yet because I still have a few ideas up my sleeve. You know me…always thinkin’! 

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I’m a Mac Girl.

Microsoft has launched a new ad campaign directly aimed at combatting Macs popular commercial line. Macs’ witty advertising has dominated the market for years and Microsoft has now finally come up with a new scheme that is apparently hitting home with many computer users. Microsoft’s ads stress an obvious point…Macs cost more than Windows PCs. This idea is emphasized in the following article:

Macs have often been regarded as the sexy, savvy computer for a younger, hipper generation. However, Microsoft’s new commercials are playing up the price factor during a time when many people are looking to save in this rough economy. In the commercials, random shoppers seeking to buy new computers are given $1000, cash in hand, to spend however they choose. The catch? If they spend less than the $1000 given to them on their new purchase they get to keep the leftover money completely for themselves. I’ll admit, this would be tempting for anyone. But as for me, I am guilty as charged of being one of the younger, hipper members of the Mac family who loves her sexy, savvy MacBook Pro. It hasn’t failed me yet and I’m proud to say once I’ve gone Mac, I don’t plan on going back. 

For my VO Patrol I covered an adorable Tennessee couple who has performed folklore all over the world. They were stopping through Columbia, MO on their way from St. Louis to Kansas City and played a free show at the local downtown library. It was my first experience with the different type of cameras but I’m proud to say it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be. The lighting was a bit tricky because the librarian dimmed the lights on me and wouldn’t allow me to get any closer than the back row because she didn’t want to disturb the audience members. I appreciate her concern and respect for the attendees but I would have liked to get many more creative shots. Oh well. It worked out and I was happy to have been able to cover an upbeat event for my first shift. 

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This photo of Justin Safford, two of my best friends (Kelli and Cassie), Matt Lawrence and me was taken before Missouri’s basketball team was anything to rave about. Who would’ve known we were going to get so good this basketball season?? I’m definitely not complaining, just am a little shocked at the vast improvement we managed to pull off recently. I happen to be a pretty big fan of basketball, therefore this season has proven to be quite exciting as I cheer on my tigers. I am pleased to say I am not a “fair-weather” fan, as I have supported my boys since day one. I am good friends with several of the players and managers which makes this new success even more fun to follow. 
Since I’ve known them prior to their amazing season, I can vouch for these boys in that they are genuine, down-to-earth and truly enjoy the game for the game…rather than other petty factors often influencing athletes these days. Although close with the teammates, I know little about their personal family lives since we’ve only just met in college. Therefore, it is very refreshing to read articles like the one below providing background to where these boys come from and why the game means so much to them. 
Prior to reading this article, I had no idea about Matt’s sister’s autism or that his mother was a member of Delta Gamma. As an active member of Delta Gamma myself, I’ll make it a point to ask him why he’s never mentioned this to me before. More than anything, I was touched by this article’s sincerity. It’s always nice to read positive aspects about players and have proof that good things really do happen to good people. 

I have not yet started my shifts at the station but look forward to tackling them soon. Meanwhile, I’ve been keeping extremely busy researching potential internships in New York this summer. I am participating in Missouri’s New York Internship Program and could not be more excited to earn class credit doing what I love in the nation’s top media market. I have written more cover letters than I care to mention because I want them to obviously leave a good impression. I’ll be updating soon with my progress.

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U2 Visits the University!

U2 visited Fordham University on March 6 and successfully rocked the house! My best friend attends Fordham as did my father. They were both pretty excited about the occasion. My friend, Erin, says classes were cancelled since they knew no professor could compete with Bono in entertainment value. Good Morning America covered the event. I am so jealous I wasn’t there to witness the show in person. Below is a link of the coverage from the days craziness:

As of now, I have been cleared for KOMU…and passed my edit test! I wasn’t too terribly worried about that factor, but it definitely is nice to have one less thing to worry about. I’ll be emailing Stacey soon to request my VO Patrol and Reporting Shifts, just want to enjoy the rest and relaxation of Spring Break while I can. 

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