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Donica Mensing

Founding Member (since April 2008)
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I teach journalism at the Reynolds School of Journalism, University of Nevada, Reno. NewsTrust is a valuable community for anyone interested in sharing and analyzing credible journalism.

About Donica Help
Occupation: Professor, University of Nevada, Reno
Interests: environment,new media, journalism, media,ethics, travel
Expertise: journalism, media ethics
Affiliations: Society of Professional Journalists, Online News Association, Society of Environmental Journalists
Host  (Donica hosts these topics) Help
Topics: Immigration
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Last Visit: Mar 11, 2012 - 4:59 PM PDT
Last Edit: Sep 19, 2010 - 10:15 PM PDT

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Activity

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Donica posted and reviewed this story - Mar 8, 2011
Donica's Rating
3.4
See Full Review » (10 answers)
NT Rating: 3.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Mar 7, 2011
Donica reviewed this story - Oct 4, 2010
Donica's Rating
3.9
See Full Review » (10 answers)
NT Rating: 3.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Sep 28, 2010
Donica's Rating
4.6

This is a thought provoking piece that challenges conventional wisdom about the power of social media. Gladwell chooses his anecdotes and evidence carefully to build a persuasive case. Other anecdotes could tell different stories, which means his perspective might be completely wrong. But his level of detail, arguments and evidence are clearly worth considering carefully.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 4.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Sep 27, 2010
Donica's Rating
4.2

This article reviews the facts cited in the Republican's "Pledge to America" to identify which are based on evidence and which are exaggerations or dishonest statements. Holding politicians accountable for their statements is one way to help our political discourse align a little more closely with reality.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 4.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Sep 26, 2010
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Sep 25, 2010
Donica's Rating
3.6

While based on only one source, the article highlights an interesting academic study that might have gone unnoticed without attention in the popular press. The explanation of the study seems sound and thorough and the conclusion is thought provoking. However, it doesn't appear the author interviewed anyone, include the scientists who wrote the study, relying solely on the published articles.

The question at the end of the article suggests “communicators must attend to the cultural meaning as well as the scientific content of information.” Should journalists do the same? How?

See Full Review » (12 answers)
NT Rating: 3.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica reviewed this story - Sep 24, 2010
Donica's Rating
3.2

If we expect every journalistic story to be a complete package, this example falls far short. It raises more questions than it answers. On the other hand, if we accept a role for shorter journalistic posts to highlight information that deserves further attention and follow-up, then this story fulfills that function well. No doubt others have pointed out the poll numbers regarding public opinion and climate change. What we need, in addition to drawing attention to the numbers, is more thoughtful and analytical pieces exploring why.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 2.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Sep 24, 2010
Donica's Rating
3.8

This opinion piece highlights some of the difficult questions faced by journalists as they use new tools to tell stories. The author (long time San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein) provides a gripping case study to argue his point that instant narrative brings a force to story telling that differs from other forms.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Sep 24, 2010
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Sep 24, 2010
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Sep 22, 2010
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Sep 22, 2010
Donica's Rating
3.2

This story covers the DREAM Act primarily from the point of view of those who are most disappointed by the Senate's failure to pass the bill again. It localizes the story, quoting students, teachers and an interest group, providing a sense of the emotion felt by those who feel the loss most keenly. The reporter mentions Senator Ensign's opposition to the bill (in contrast to Senator Reid's sponsorship) but doesn't explain the reasons for his opposition.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 3.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Sep 22, 2010
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Sep 20, 2010
Donica's Rating
3.9

This is a timely editorial about an important issue. The author provides facts regarding the number of people potentially affected by the Dream Act and what they would need to do to become eligible for citizenship. The story includes the motivation for the act, the context of the election and who is supporting it. The counter-argument, that the bill constitutes a form of amnesty, is mentioned but then dismissed.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 3.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Sep 20, 2010
Donica commented on this topic – Sep. 20, 2010

Naomi — Here’s another intro about the process for becoming legal, from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services. One of our students, Nadeen Black, found this helpful video:

http://bit.ly/6EkgiE

Donica commented on this topic – Sep. 20, 2010

Naomi — Here’s one graphic I’ve found helpful that shows the process people have to go through to obtain legal status: http://www.dianahsieh.com/images/blog/immigration-764383.jpg

To try and address one aspect of this problem, the More »

Donica posted and reviewed this story - Sep 17, 2010
Donica's Rating
3.4

At one level, this is a routine journalistic story; one man killed and another wounded in Mexico by unknown assailants. In context however, it sheds light on the danger than journalists face in Mexico from forces who want to suppress information and awareness. Both men targeted in this shooting were 21 years old; one was a newspaper intern, the other a newspaper photographer. This story represents a small piece of a much larger story that deserves attention and response.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 3.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Sep 17, 2010
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Sep 14, 2010
Donica's Rating
4.5

This op-ed piece makes a constructive suggestion about how to improve immigration policies in a significant way. It draws on examples from other countries and makes a persuasive argument for change.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 4.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica reviewed this story - Sep 13, 2010
Donica's Rating
4.1

Many people have written about the possible closure of the journalism school at the University of Colorado, Boulder. This is the only article I've seen that challenges the rationale publicized by the dean and speaks directly to the possible dishonesty of claiming it represents an advancement for journalism education. It might...but the high likelihood of journalism becoming subsumed into a minor arm of an Information and Technology school seems equally, if not more likely. At the same time, the author doesn't acknowledge the very real need for reform of many journalism programs. That's a good topic for a follow-up story.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 4.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Sep 13, 2010
Donica reviewed this story - Sep 11, 2010
Donica's Rating
3.9
See Full Review » (10 answers)
NT Rating: 4.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica reviewed this story - Aug 2, 2010
Donica's Rating
3.7

This column challenges widely-accepted, but incorrect perceptions about immigration, so for that reason it represents an excellent example of journalism. Two points mar an otherwise strong column: the author veers off into a complaint about comments on newspaper sites; a related topic but two paragraphs doesn't address that issue in any depth and doesn't really help his over all argument. It would also be better if he stated the facts without his own editorial commentary: a "whopping" 1 million" for example, is hard to agree with when he doesn't state what percentage 1 million constitutes out of the overall number of illegal immigrants in the country.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 3.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica reviewed this story - Mar 7, 2010
Donica's Rating
4.4

The story documents an important trend on an issue of great importance. It sounds like the writer brought people together who are working on similar problems but didn't know each other --a good example of the connecting power of journalism.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 4.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Feb 28, 2010
Donica's Rating
2.4

This article appears to be a rewritten press release. It's unfortunate, since this is such an important topic and could be a much deeper and richer story.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 2.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Feb 25, 2010
Donica posted this story - Aug 30, 2009
Donica reviewed this story - Mar 22, 2009
Donica's Rating
3.1

This story is a summary of a new brief produced by the United Nations Environmental Programme. It is a single source story that describes the recommendations of the UN report. The report is interesting and a good contribution to thinking through priorities for an upcoming G20 meeting, so it is timely and informative. It just doesn't have the perspective and range of opinions and commentary about the report that would give more context.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 3.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica reviewed this story - Mar 15, 2009
Donica's Rating
3.6

This is an event driven story that also provides good background about the reasons that the newspaper industry finds itself in such difficulties. It infers that the Internet is a major cause for the failing business model and only mentions tangentially near the end of the article that the Hearst company took on a lot of debt just before the market started to fall. It appears that the troubles of newspapers are a "perfect storm" of technological change, demographic change, poor business decisions and the economic downturn. Others would also argue that the content of newspapers also led to a lessening of consumer/citizen interest in what was being published. This article doesn't delve as deeply into those arguments, but does ... More »

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica reviewed this story - Mar 15, 2009
Donica's Rating
4.7

Shirky summarizes many of the arguments that have been flying between bloggers, mainstream media, and Tweeters over the past few months (and longer). His analysis provides a broader context than most and helps reorient the conversation from "what is the Next Big Business Model" to a more productive "what might be" and "what can we try now" set of expectations.

See Full Review » (10 answers)
NT Rating: 4.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Nov 3, 2008
Donica's Rating
4.6

This endorsement of Obama from the Economist provides a compelling case from an international perspective while at the same time identifying potential dangers ahead. Well written and thoughtful.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 3.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Oct 31, 2008
Donica reviewed this story - Oct 30, 2008
Donica's Rating
3.2

An interesting roundup of political pundits who discuss Congressional races as well as the presidency; the content of the story doesn't answer the question in the headline.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 3.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Oct 21, 2008
Donica's Rating
4.6

This story explains the purpose of the coming international economic summit and some of the tradeoffs the participants will need to consider.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.1 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica reviewed this story - Oct 20, 2008
See Full Review » (0 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Oct 20, 2008
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Oct 18, 2008
Donica's Rating
4.0

The strength of this report is that it focuses on a difficult and contentious issue that takes a lot of scarce resources to do well. It provides statistics that would be difficult for an individual to find and visualize. The weaknesses are that it doesn't provide a clear or easily understood way to put all the facts in context; to do much beyond find the numbers that support our pre-conceived beliefs. The package itself is difficult to navigate and the stories aren't pulled together in a way that helps build a coherent view of the problem.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 4.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Donica posted and reviewed this story - Oct 18, 2008
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4.1 avg.
4.1 avg.
Activity
3.7 avg.
Experience
1.0 avg.
Ratings
4.3 avg.
Transparency
2.1 avg.
Validation
5.0 avg.

StatsHelp
Reviews
28
Answers
262
Comments
2
Ratings Received
17
Number of Raters
11
Ratings Given
0

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Ratings received by Donica (see all 17) Help

4 out of 5 rating - click to see review from Jon Mitchell | 09/28/2010


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