Going into Experiment 3, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. I felt really great about my open letter last time around, and I wasn’t sure how to follow that up with a new idea. My original plans were to write a photo essay about certain works by Manuel Alvarez Bravo (he is the photographer of the image I analyzed in my origin piece). After researching that a bit, I had difficulty articulating my thoughts about each photograph and how they related to one another. I could not think of a way to move forward after that. Well, at least until I saw Julie’s comments during my workshop. She suggested figuring out my explicit audience for the open letter and writing an article based on what that person/organization was doing (or failing to do) about the current state of mental illness on the Michigan campus. I thought about doing a news report, but that seemed too broad for me. So I decided to do the next best thing, one that is directly tied into University of Michigan’s lifestyle: the Daily article.
Now, I’m not a writer for the Daily, so I am unfamiliar with how they do things over there. So, instead of researching typical conventions of the Daily article (not even sure that exists), I decided to read a few political pieces of the Daily to see how student writers would go about tackling those sorts of issues. The first thing I noticed was the episodic framing of each article. The authors usually insisted on basing the article around a personal anecdote or story of a student or faculty member. I’m not sure how I would go about talking to faculty members if this were my final project, but let’s take things one step at a time. Next, there was a consistent theme of policy focus. Each article not only referenced specific policies that the University has instated, but also discusses how faculty and staff fail to adhere to these policies/ what would be done differently if the policy was followed correctly.
Those are the main conventions I noticed in the articles I read. If anyone actually works for the Daily (or knows someone who does), let me know. I’d love to hear their experiences! Also, I’m pretty tired right now, so please enjoy this picture of some puppies!