Hi. My name is Adam.

New blog: adambsullivan.com

Posted in Uncategorized by adambsullivan on May 11, 2010

I purchased a domain and am hosting my blog elsewhere. Check it out: adambsullivan.com


Vulgarity in political dissent: A legal and ethical analysis

Posted in Uncategorized by adambsullivan on April 29, 2010
View this document on Scribd

Hashtags: The best way to pawn your work off

Posted in Uncategorized by adambsullivan on March 26, 2010

I covered a Barack Obama’s visit to Iowa City today. (Here’s some of what I came up with.) While covering a presidential address, there are plenty of sources who want to talk to you and you don’t even have to take notes because the you have an embargoed copy of the speech already, but it’s still stressful: You don’t want to mess it up and there’s a lot going on.

Usually during event coverage, I tweet as much as possible, trying to fulfill my role as a public surrogate. It can be a stressful thing, especially when I’m trying to manage my personal twitter account as well as the couple profiles I manage for The Daily Iowan, all in addition to taking notes, shooting stills, shooting video, conducting interviews, reading the competition, updating the website, etc.

However, today was the first time I really grasped the power of twitter hashtags as an event coverage tool. I’ve used hashtags before to monitor trends and medium-term happenings, but not often for one-day events.

A couple days before the event, I started throwing around the #ObamainIC hashtag, trying to make it as social as possible (asking people what they thought of the event, whether they’d received tickets, etc). Luckily it caught on, peaking at more than 100 tweets per hour before, during, and after Obama’s speech.

Because audience members and people watching the speech at home were giving quotes and asking/answering questions, I didn’t have to do those things as much. I still threw up some tweets before the event, but not nearly as much as I would have if I hadn’t crowd-sourced the task to my networks.

Additionally, this presents an excellent counter-argument to those who say web stuff distracts journalists from their primary reporting and writing responsibilities. If you successful utilize your social networks to carry on the discussion, you’ll free yourself up to concentrate on collecting good interviews and developing interesting angles.

The danger of overworked journalists

Posted in Uncategorized by adambsullivan on March 17, 2010

Last week in Iowa City, I spoke with Sen. Chuck Grassley about health care reform. He tossed around a lot of numbers — for example, proposed legislation would grow government by $2.5 trillion, delegate more than 1,600 new authorities to the Department of Health and Humans Services, and would raid $52 billion from Social Security premiums. Sometimes he cited the Congressional Budget Office. Sometimes he just said the numbers.

Being a busy guy in the newsroom (in addition to reporting and writing a couple stories a week, I handle social media, do some multimedia, and work as an assistant news editor), I don’t have time to verify all of Grassley’s claims. Accordingly, I didn’t include the numbers in my story.

The reporter from my paper’s primary competitor — who I know writes as many as five articles a day — also didn’t have time to verify the numbers. But that didn’t stop him from including them.

Printing unverified numbers isn’t just a local problem, though. Iowa politician Tom Fiegen points out that even at the national level, reporters stretched thin by dwindling newsroom resources often go to press with facts and figures straight from politicians mouths.

On one hand, small newsroom staffs make us efficient and ensures journalists are working hard. On the other hand, it’s detrimental to public affairs reporting.

A recent study in Australia found that more than half of news articles stem from some kind of public relations material. That’s the product of reporters having to complete more tasks than they’ve traditionally done. One Australian newspaper editor said:

“It’s very difficult I think, given the way resources have drifted from journalism to public relations over the past 30 years, to break away as much as you really want to … I guess I’m implying, the number of people who go to communications school and go into PR over the years has increased and the number in journalism has shrunk even more dramatically.”

Especially in the health care debate, that leads to a misinformed and uninformed public. It’s hard enough to track political discourse; to have to dig through bullshit filtered to you by newspapers is too much for many citizens to do.

On the bright side, I’m sure there’s a fun “strategic communications” job waiting for me after graduation.

After classmates’ deaths, trauma management team steps in

Posted in Uncategorized by adambsullivan on November 7, 2008

Positives, negatives of flu vaccine

Posted in Uncategorized by adambsullivan on October 30, 2008
This is my video project for a multimedia class I’m taking.
University of Iowa Student Health officials hope to vaccinate around 4,000 students this year. Health experts said the flu vaccine is the most effective way to avoid influenza, a virus that kills around 20,000 Americans each year.

Hello world!

Posted in Uncategorized by adambsullivan on October 22, 2008

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

U.S. at health care turning point

Posted in Uncategorized by adambsullivan on October 21, 2008

Word of the day: Urolagnia

Posted in Uncategorized by adambsullivan on October 19, 2008

Urolagnia – a sexual fetish in which a participant seeks pleasure through being urinated on.


Iowa students travel to Omaha to meet Wall Street billionaire Warren Buffett

Posted in Uncategorized by adambsullivan on October 18, 2008