Monthly Archives: July 2011

Workin’ Hard

I had the opportunity to get up in one of the city's lift trucks to film Ankeny's "All City Play Day."

Tough to believe summer’s coming to an end this fast. I know I’ve had an experience this summer and I know quite a few of my friends have in their jobs and internships as well. So what’s my internship with the City of Ankeny’s public relations department been all about?

Throughout the summer, I’ve improved my skills as a writer. Coming from a year of, for the most part, strict news writing, it’s been interesting refocusing to write press releases. Discipline wise, I’ve found that press release writing and news writing are like cousins. They’re similar but you can’t approach them the same way. Through news writing, I learned how to discern important points to bring out in a story. Writing press releases has focused my writing and my ability to focus a message towards a very particular audience.

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Giving voice to the extreme

The media’s been abuzz over numerous Republican presidential candidates’ refusal to sign the Family Leader’s Marriage Vow, which advocates for elected officials to remain faithful to their spouses, oppose gay marriage rights and fight for lean government economic policies, among other key issues central to the Christian-conservative movement.

The articles I’ve read on the issue have been well researched and well sourced, such as Jennifer Jacobs’ Des Moines Register report, which gave a voice to Family Leader supporters, Republicans who disagree with his pledge and Democrats (who really disagree with the pledge). However, I question whether the amount of coverage the issue has received is proportionate to its true importance.

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The Grand Theatre: Volume Two!

Although I hadn’t even entered grade school at the time the Old 97s were releasing what is widely considered to be their greatest music in the 90’s, since I became aware of the band in 2008, I’ve visited and revisited their catalog and followed their career through, as of yesterday, three records (Blame it on Gravity, The Grand Theatre: Volume One and now The Grand Theatre: Volume Two). So, it was with great excitement that I rushed to the store yesterday to pick up my copy of the new album. It hasn’t quit playing in the iTunes library since.

Regardless of what reviews have said about the band not being able to revitalize their early “cowpunk” energy (see the Paste review), what strikes me about each new release, TGT: Volume Two included, is the variety of material and fresh perspective each manages to bring. There’s a very present effort on the part of the band to experiment with new tones, lyric explorations and even genres, as on bassist Murry Hammond’s sea-chanty themed, “White Port.”

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