NewsTrack Review 3: ‘New “Harry Potter” Book, Script of Upcoming Play, Gets Summer Release Date’

As a huge Harry Potter fan myself, I was as interested to write about this article as I was to read it! The article is a light, fluff-piece on the huge pScreen Shot 2016-02-10 at 5.36.12 PMop culture phenomenon that is Harry Potter. To readers’ delight, it also included some fun multimedia aspects that made the article easy and fun to read through. The first element after the lead is an interview with the wonderful J.K. Rowling talking about the what more is to come from Harry Potter. This is followed by a series of tweets between Rowling and her fans. But, the most interesting and unique multimedia element I found in this article that made me initially want to review it, was the J.K. Rowling Timeline interactive infographic at the conclusion of the article (below). The graphic takes you through Rowling’s personal life, including her family members, marriages, and children along with when she wrote Harry Potter and signed to publishing houses in chronological order. As a huge Rowling buff, I was delighted to gain some more knowledge on the author that penned my favorite fiction books! Such a creative graphic that really enriched the entire article.

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Event Story: Sargent Choice Test Kitchen

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of visiting Professor Karen Jacobs’ quaint Stuvi2 apartment while she hosted her weekly ‘Sargent Choice Test Kitchen’. Professor Jacobs teaches Occupational Therapy in the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences  at BU. Essentially, the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen is a weekly group cooking activity for all who come to lend a hand. Professor Jacobs receives recipes from the dietitians down at Sargent College and tests them out in the comfort of her own home. One of its main objectives is to teach students how to lead a healthy lifestyle on a college-student budget with healthy and affordable recipes. But, the experience goes way beyond just learning how to cook.

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Professor Karen Jacobs reviews the night’s recipe with attendees.
Professor Jacobs started the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen (‘SCTK’) 6 years ago when she moved into Student Village 2 and had access to a full kitchen in her apartment. “As a professor you don’t really get to see students outside the classroom, so it’s fun,” she told me, “I wanted to work on healthy behaviors, and I wanted to do healthy eating.”

As people started to arrive, they came bearing gifts and hugs for Professor Jacobs. Many of the attendees were regulars, coming each week SCTK meets, grad and undergrad students alike. Jasper Zhao, Questrom ’16 grad, has been coming to the Test Kitchen since he came to BU from China in 2014. “I was looking for places to make new friends and learn more about American culture,” Jasper said, “it’s like my family away from China…Karen [Jacobs] is like my mom.” Even some new comers, like myself and a few other first-timers, felt right at home in the friendly and welcoming atmosphere Professor Jacobs provided.

In between the hustle and bustle of chatter and cooking, I was able to grab a few words from Annette Ayzichek, CAS ’17, about her time at Sargent Choice Test Kitchen over the past few years.


About a half-hour after I arrived, students started to pour into Jacobs’ apartment and help themselves to a cup of tea and some friendly conversation. Everyone donated a helping hand where they co2016-01-27 20.49.44uld, whether it was chopping up cauliflower, dicing onions, or blending spices together for what would eventually become a delicious serving of cauliflower rice.

Graduate students of the Boston University Medical School, Tamara Barboza and Yashar Rahimpour, cut up cauliflower together at the kitchen table while enjoying Professor Jacobs’ twenty-third story view of downtown Boston and the Charles River. “We’ve been coming since last semester,” Barboza shared.

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Yashar Rahimpour (Left) and Tamara Barboza (Right) embrace their inner chefs.
The two said their favorite aspect about coming back each week is the homey atmosphere and meeting new people while getting a break from school and studying.

As more students arrived, you could hear the laughter and smell the asian-stir-fry-style cauliflower rice from all the way down the hall. Professor Jacobs provides a home-like atmosphere for students far away from home, whether that may be as close as Brookline or as far as China. She gives them a space to learn more about healthy living and meet dozens of new faces around the BU campus. I can’t wait to return to her kitchen so I can lend a hand in making a delicious meal while making some new friends, and seeing some familiar faces.

Professor Jacobs hosts the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen every week in her Stuvi2 home, located in apartment 2302 at 33 Harry Agganis Way. For more information to attend, you can check the Boston University Events Calendar or contact Karen Jacobs at


NewsTrack Review 2: ‘House Panel Accuses Officials of Covering Up Flint Water Crisis’

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 9.48.06 PMNBC online news made great use of video clips in their article on the Flint water crisis. The website included three separate clips of valuable commentary on the issue, two direct on-camera quotes from the mayor of Flint and the Governor of Michigan. The best part about the clips was that the written article did not directly regurgitate the information said in the video, which allows readers and watchers to get more information out of the article.

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Another great aspect of multimedia in this article was the use of this graphic. Instead of comparing Flint’s water lead levels against 3 other areas, they decided to compare it to the ’cause for concern’ lead levels and the EPA’s high-risk level. This allow’s for readers to see how truly shocking Flint’s water lead levels when shown against emotionally attention-grabbing graph labels like ’cause for concern’. Overall, this article uses multimedia characteristic to present information more clearly and engaging.


NewsTrack Review 1: MY NEWSTRACK – NBC NEWS

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For my Newstrack, I have chosen to comment on the multimedia elements of NBC is my typically my main source for all political, national, international, and investigative news. I also personally feel that NBC is the most neutral and trustworthy major news source today.

The overall structure and organization of the NBC news website homepage is clear and organized. It clearly separates its top stories from its latest and trending stories while it simultaneously presents them at the forefront of the site for easy accessibility. The site strategically positions the thumbnail images of stories away from clickable links to stories without homepage images to avoid clutter. The website also provides a simple category bar at the top of the page for users to navigate the site quickly and choose the type of news they want to watch or read about.