Psychiatry, by definition, is the branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. A mental disorder is more difficult to define. It can include anything from schizophrenia to ADHD, and the way to treat each particular disorder varies. What doesn't vary is the goal of the psychiatrist, which should be to improve the quality of life of their ailing patients. 

Officially, the mission statement of the Milwaukee Psychiatric Physicians states that they aim to provide the "highest quality of mental health care to our patients."

The organization's vision statement deepens the MPP mission:

Milwaukee Psychiatric Physicians will strive to be an independent private outpatient practice that provides diverse clinical services and increasing accessibility to its patients over time.  The group will maintain a high quality of care in an environment of clinical collegiality, yet function collectively in a quest for continued improved financial viability.  The practice will use cost effective information technology to provide clinicians, staff and patients efficiency and convenience.

Another organization that provides mental health care in Milwaukee county is Aurora Behavioral Health Services, based in Wauwatosa. According to their site:

We offer complete mental health treatment options, provided by highly trained professionals in a caring, confidential manner to meet individual and family needs.

Regardless of how effective the care the organizations provide, it seems that the goal of both is to care for their patients. That is what the mission of such organizations should ultimately be. 

I can personally attest to the strength of one of the two organizations above. Last year, I received counseling from Aurora Behavioral Health Services, and never once felt that they did not have my best interest in mind. It will be interesting for me to see what the psychiatrist says is the biggest weakness of Milwaukee psychiatry, since from my experience, I couldn't identify one.

A screenshot of the live blog on, contributed to by members of both the sports and elections class.
This weekend, I was bombarded by emails and Facebook notifications from my journalism professor, Herbert Lowe, about what my sports journalism class will be doing to cover the 2012 election. 

Now that sentence brings up questions in and of itself. Why is my sports journalism class covering elections? Well, the easiest way to explain that is that Professor Lowe also teaches an elections class with only five people in it. Since both the elections class and my sports class are on Tuesday, he probably thought we in sports class would enjoy the day off to do some live coverage of the election.

So instead of going to sports class today, we have to spend a minimum of 75 minutes at a nearby polling place interviewing voters and posting about our interactions into a live chat. For a sports journalism class. How many sports journalists do you know writing about the election today? To me, it signals that my professor doesn't feel that sports journalism is as important as covering elections. Which is a fine and honorable opinion to have, unless you are teaching a sports journalism class.

My real gripe with this whole situation is that the live chat the 15 members of elections and sports class will contribute to all day was located on, Professor Lowe's personal blog.

Professor Lowe is always encouraging us to tweet and post on our blogs in order to increase the relevance of our personal "brand." However, this assignment directly promotes his own personal brand. Sure, our names will be on the tweets and posts we send out throughout the day, but the traffic will all go to his personal blog, and not to ours. His name will be in every tweet as well, as #loweclass is required for all election day tweets.

However, I will say that I did somewhat enjoy what we did. My classmate, Chris Chavez, and I were able to engage with a few random voters and a few that we knew about why they voted, and even who they voted for. I found that the former was a far more effective question than the later. 

For the hour and a half-ish that we were at Centennial Hall on 8th and Wisconsin, roughly 100 people came in and out of the polling place. All range of people went through those doors. People of all ages and races were registered to vote at this particular location. I also got the opportunity to interview one of my good friends and my former residence hall director as a result.

It was cold, and we had to stand outside, and that was mostly awful, but we went inside occasionally to warm up. We didn't have any great chances to take pictures for the live blog, since we weren't inside. The people who we talked to painted us a decent enough image of the experience however. 

I'm not saying I didn't like the experience, but I wish it had been more in context of our class and on our own blogs.

From, the chief of Brookfield police shows the media a photo of the shooter, Radcliffe Haughton.
Yesterday morning, I woke up, turned on CBS and started watching football. During the first or second commercial break, the CBS 58 news team broke in with the news that a man had shot up a spa in the Brookfield Mall, which is just 15 minutes from Marquette's campus.

Obviously, I was shocked, concerned, and saddened all at the same time. I was shocked that a man would choose to open fire in an outlet mall salon of all places. I was concerned that I was sitting in my dorm room just fifteen minutes away and had to go to a major public event (Marquette's volleyball game against Louisville) with the shooter still on the loose. I was saddened by the fate of the victims, especially as it was revealed later on that three women died.

The latest story CBS News released dealt with the confirmation that one of the people killed by Radcliffe Haughton's spree was in fact his ex-wife. The shooting apparently came after Haughton and his wife Zina had divorced and Zina had filed a restraining order against him.

The article had a link to a CBS 58 article which talked about a 2011 standoff between Haughton and police during a domestic dispute. The quote about the article from the CBS News story is almost comical out of context. "CBS Affiliate WDJT reports that a just-released criminal complaint details a stand-off that Radcliffe Haughton had with police in January 2011. The complaint said his wife called police after he started throwing her clothes outside and poured tomato juice on her car."

I mean really? Tomato juice? This guy seems like one of the funny nut-jobs, not somebody who would go and shoot up a spa. CBS News had other coverage of the shooting, perhaps yesterday's most compelling national news story. That included a video from the CBS Evening News which essentially was a straight hard news report on the proceedings. They also pushed a bunch of AP stories about the shooting to their website in order to have a wider breadth of content.

For me personally, this situation reminded me of this summer, when a Seattle man shot up a coffee shop ten minutes from my house in the U-District, which is generally considered one of the safer yet extremely urban areas of the city. It was terrifying knowing that a man who had essentially destroyed my peace of mind was loose and could potentially kill more people (he did kill another person while stealing her car later in the day). 

Both situations display senseless tragedies that could be prevented by some sort of mental health intervention and/or gun regulations. Murder is a part of l

For decades, Americans have crowded around the TV on Sunday nights to watch our nation's most popular news magazine, "60 Minutes," tell compelling stories that range from the most serious to the most enjoyable of topics. With that in mind, it makes tons of sense that would use their most popular news program to tell stories on their website on Sunday nights. 

Naturally, the front page of CBS News advertised a story from the night's "60 Minutes" on the civil war in Syria. The link gives visitors the option to watch the TV spot and to read the transcript of the video as a news story. 

Additionally, CBS advertised another "60 Minutes" story from Sunday night about the success of James Bond on a global scale. The link leads visitors to a similar page as with the Syria story, with a transcript and option to watch the spot. This particular story also had a cool video feature of how the journalist who put the package together, Anderson Cooper, got to be James Bond for a day.

This kind of convergence is really good for websites nowadays. Linking up television content with online, and allowing the online half to expand on the TV half with more information is an extremely viable media tool in the changing media scene in today's world. 

CBS News can be hit or miss as far as attractive content is concerned, but at least for one night a week, they seem to have the interest of viewers and 
As I went in to decide what my favorite part of my beat website was, I did a double take. CBS News had completely changed their home page! The background, formerly dark, was now stark white. I was very confused.

So, as a result, it suddenly became very difficult for me to evaluate what part of CBS News was my favorite. 

However, one thing that remained the same about CBS is its awesome pictures. As I scroll down the website, a number of compelling photographs catch my eye. Here are a few examples:
This picture linked to an article about taxes rising sharply very soon. CBS News smartly used a graph as their picture to draw in numbers oriented readers who would probably find this story more compelling.
This picture links to a gallery of photos of Alexandra Kogut, an 18 year old college student in New York who was found beaten to death in her dorm room. The gallery also shows pictures of the suspect in custody. Assumably, the photos were pulled off of the girls' Facebook page.
This picture pisses me off. First of all, Europe shouldn't have won the Ryder Cup. I devoted most of my weekend to watching the tournament that absolutely broke my heart in the end. But this compelling picture of Jose Maria Olazabal kissing Lee Westwood brings in even non-sports fans would notice and possibly click on. It also depicts a man kissing another man, which could evoke some controversy and is a bold decision.

Overall, the photos on CBS News make it a top end news site. In an era of short attention spans, the quality of the photography on CBS turn viewers into readers.
The front page of The website won an Edward R. Murrow award in 2012, their second year in operation.
It's a bit crazy to think that a successful, award-winning, and highly funded news organization runs out of my communication building. 

However, the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, which operates from the fourth floor of Johnston Hall, home to the Diederich College of Communication, received an Edward R. Murrow award in 2012, and was awarded copius grant money as a result. According to the NNS website, the Murrow award is awarded to those who "demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Edward R. Murrow made a standard for the broadcast news profession."

This is a great story that we read and watched during editor-in-chief Sharon McGowan's presentation in 1550 last Wednesday. It tells the story of a group of young mothers banding together to create fun activities for kids in their communities. 

The award specifically came in the Online News Operation - Non-Broadcast Affiliated Website category. That sounds very complicated and specific, but it still amounts to some serious national recognition for a sort of fledgling organization associated with Marquette.

Oh, and did I mention I get to write for it? That's my favorite part of this whole thing. MNNS is a legit, award-winning news organization, and I get to produce a multimedia story for them. 

I admittedly know almost nothing about the local Milwaukee community outside of sports. Unfortunately, my general radius of life my first year and a month at Marquette has confined me mostly to campus. This opportunity with MNNS is great because I'll have a chance to expand my knowledge and step out of my comfort zone. I'll also get to produce a piece of quality reporting. I'll have a wonderful opportunity to learn and progress in my chosen profession because of my opportunity with them. I can't wait to get started.
An awesome picture of a huge dog from the "Latest Guinness world records" gallery headlines the News in Pictures section.'s reliance on pictures is apparent even to the casual visitor. Pictures cover the website up and down and always somehow factor into articles. The pictures draw the eyes in and attract those who wouldn't have interest in words that essentially conveyed the same message.

CBS even has their own picture gallery section near the top of the page, as shown above. The Latest Guinness world records gallery and the 2012 Emmy parties gallery are two of the featured Monday galleries. This section mostly covers soft news, although sometimes hard news is included, like on 9/11. 

Aside from the picture galleries, every section down the main page of the site has its own picture attached to the lead story. Moreover, the links to CBS News Broadcasts down the right side of the page each have pictures attached to them that summarize the main points of each video. The lead story right now is about Bill Clinton.

Every story needs a picture on CBS News. They try and utilize all of the media that they can in a changing world of journalism, and pictures are at the heart of what they do.

Audio, however, takes a backseat on The only audio link present on the front page of the website is a play button towards the bottom right of the page that connects to a broadcast of the most updated version of CBS Radio News. The broadcast is updated every hour.

While pictures drive forward, they spend more time on that and video than they do with any sort of audio. They clearly feel that visuals drive reader's interest more than sound
Peyton Manning and Robert Griffin III both starred on Sunday, leading their teams to victories and A's from CBS
With all the anticipation and excitement leading up to the first Sunday of the NFL season, the day itself can overwhelm the writers and bloggers assigned to cover it. covered the madness in a number of ways, but one of the tricks they used to make their analysis reader friendly was a grading system for all of the teams that played so far in week one. senior blogger Will Brinson made a table of all the teams that played and paired them up with their opponents. I actually didn't like the way he organized it, as I would have preferred a listing of the teams with the best grades on down. He started with the Sunday night game and ended with the Wednesday night game, so he sort of listed the games in reverse order to when they took place, even though he strayed from that in the middle of the article.

Nine of the 14 victors received grades in the A's (A- to A+). The highest grade went to the Redskins, who received an A+ behind a huge road win over New Orleans led by rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. Other significant A's went to the San Francisco 49ers, who knocked off the Packers in Lambeau to kick off their 2012 campaign, and the New York Jets, who obliterated the Buffalo Bills in a statement game for controversial quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Three teams received failing grades from Brinson. The Cleveland Browns, who lost a tight game to the Eagles, got an F because Brandon Weeden struggled, throwing four picks, and because they lost a game in which their opponents probably played their worst possible offense game. The Bills flunked out Sunday after they were drubbed by the Jets and lost their starting running back Fred Jackson for the next month with a knee injury. The final F went to the Carolina Panthers, who lost to a previously hapless Buccaneers team and only rushed for ten yards, even though they have the best dual threat quarterback in football in Cam Newton. 

My hometown Seahawks drew a C- from Brinson, after they fell short against division rival Arizona on the road, 20-16. I think that Brinson evaluated the Hawks perfectly, because while they lost a game they should have won, rookie quarterback Russell Wilson looked pretty good and the defense played well from the second quarter on. 

Brinson and CBS Sports did a great job of utilizing a reader-friendly way to convey analysis. His grading explanations could have had more relevant information and he could have ordered the teams another way, but overall, Brinson wrote well and graded appropriately.

Tuesday night's front page of
As a member of the "will" generation, I get my news the fastest way possible: from Twitter. So usually the only way I end up on a site like is after I googled information about a trend I saw on my feed.

For example, when actor Michael Clarke Duncan died on Monday, I found out because "RIP Michael Clarke Duncan" was on my trends list on Twitter. I then googled him to confirm his death and to read up on the details. One place I landed was here, an article on CBS about Hollywood's reaction to the actors death.

From my first impression however, it seems to me CBS News strives to be more than just a hit on a google search.

The website is littered with pictures and headlines about the most "important" news of the day. The top of the page contains a ticker of top stories that you can click back and forth to see pictures of. For example, Julian Castro is on the front page in the screen shot, but one click of the right arrow and Michelle Obama comes up.

To the right of the ticker is a list of headlines. Some are serious, like this one about the record gay presence at the Democractic National Convention, and some are silly, like this video of a moose attacking a Vermont man.

After the top of the front page, the site scrolls way down to reveal a cornucopia of other stories sorted under categories like "entertainment," "politics," and "moneywatch." As you continue to scroll down the page, the diversity of the news offered by CBS continues to deepen. It's interesting to note that the very bottom of the headlines is the "opinion and analysis" section. Clearly, people come to this site for facts about the news and not editorial commentary.

Overall, CBS News does a solid job of covering major news stories nationwide and worldwide. It fills the role of interent extension of a television news network excellently.

Here's a link to Kal Penn ragging on Clint Eastwood at the DNC tonight that was on CBS News. Funny stuff.


    Patrick Leary is a Seattlite studying journalism at Marquette University in Milwaukee. He writes the volleyball beat for the Marquette Tribune and loves the Seattle Mariners.


    November 2012
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