Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Big Day On a Budget

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Six months ago, I started dating a boy in the Naval ROTC program here on campus. Before that, I was mostly clueless about military customs and traditions. Imagine my excitement when he asked me to my first military ball. I couldn’t wait to pick out my shoes, my jewelry, and most importantly, my dress. Now, six months later, this boy is my boyfriend. Although I’m still looking forward to the Navy balls to come, I have started to think about how much all of them are going to cost. How convenient would it be to have a website dedicated to dress exchanges?

Then I thought about all the dresses sitting in my closet. I have two homecoming dresses from my freshman and junior year of high school. I have one very expensive prom dress. And now, after the upcoming Navy ball, I will have two dresses that I can’t wear to future Navy balls. What a waste! Formal dresses are exorbitantly expensive, and we rarely wear them twice. It would be nice to get old dresses off of your hands and pay less for new ones.

If I had the resources, I would make a formal dress exchange website.

It would be called The Big Day, and it would primarily host dress exchanges. Anyone who registers with their PayPal account could buy, sell, or exchange dresses. The website would be split into sections by event: Wedding (with wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses), Prom, Homecoming, Military, and Work Formal. There would be a separate section for accessories: Jewelry, Shoes, and Purses. The site would function much like Etsy.com, where members can classify their items and “display” them in their own shop. Members would be able to buy and sell with confidence and know exactly what they are getting.

And the best part? Since the dresses would be used, the costs would be lessened.

A website like this would have appeal across a variety of age groups. This site would appeal to high school girls searching for the perfect prom dress, brides trying to save for their honeymoons, and professionals looking for a dress for a formal work event. Because of its wide appeal, it could probably generate a decent amount of advertising revenue. The site could even offer coupons for participating salons for hair styling, makeup, and mani/pedis. The more that I think about this idea, the more it strikes me as both a thrifty website and a revenue generator.

Maybe someday my dream will come to fruition. Until then, I’ll keep it in mind as I drive from dress shop to dress shop, looking for my next Navy ball dress.

And That’s the Way It Was

The days of Walter Cronkite and by-the-books journalism are long gone. Replacing them are outlets filling a 24-hour news hole with opinions and heresay, a growing sensationalism among even the most reputable sources, and rapidly evolving technology that is changing the way the news is delivered. Additionally, the job market in journalism has become dismal, which worries poor journalism majors like me. What’s wrong with the news is that even amidst so many changes that could potentially better journalism, readership and viewership have declined. It is much simpler to scroll through a Twitter feed to get the news than to consciously seek out information.

As a reader and viewer, I wish the news contained equal amounts of both domestic and foreign stories while still putting the most important news events first. American news coverage is notably different from coverage around the world in that it focuses heavily on domestic events and lets foreign news fall to the wayside. In a perfect world, American news organizations like ABC, NBC, and CNN would resemble the BBC. The BBC covers important domestic and worldwide events and holds itself to high ethical standards, which cuts down on mistakes and bias. In addition to being more balanced, I wish the news was simply happier. Almost everyone I know complains about how turning the news on at night is depressing because of how many sad stories lead broadcasts. If the news could somehow deliver a mix of happy and sad stories, I would be more willing to watch it.

If I ran a news organization, I would have my journalists and employees continually revisit the organization’s code of ethics so that the work produced would reflect our high standards. I would invest heavily in our multimedia and social media departments because the biggest growth in news and in revenue would come from those areas. In my news organization, I would try to balance revenue generation with good journalism. However, if I ever had to choose between making a profit and creating quality news, I would definitely choose the latter.

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