The April 22 Pennsylvania primary in Philadelphia

Oh, today is the much hyped Pennsylvania primary.

If you’re registered in Philadelphia and need to know where you’re voting, using the Committee of Seventy’s Citizen Access Center. Oh, and if you’re an Independent or Republican and feeling bummed out ’cause everyone is talking Obama/Hillary, fear not, in Philadelphia, there are also two ballot questions that mean a whole lot to some people. Want a real explanation of what to do?

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The complications of a student journalist

For the next month, at least, I am a student journalist.

I have been a proud staffer at The Temple News serving the community of Temple University in Philadelphia for four years. While I have reported for the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Business Journal and elsewhere, there are few places I’ve learned more than in Room 243, the newsroom of The Temple News, and otherwise in my functions as a student journalist.

There are so many complications to it all.

Particular to working at a big university in a big city, I am inevitably competing with professional journalists, without seeming reactionary or amateurish. Competing with the very people whom I hope will want to hire me. At a school like Temple a great deal of our coverage is high profile enough to merit attention from the faces that make Philadelphia the fourth largest media market in the country.

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You have been incorrectly honored

acceptingaward.jpgNo, I will not be inducted into the Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society next month.

Really, I wouldn’t even mention it if it wasn’t hilarious.

I received an email requesting I confirm that I would attend a ceremony for a select group of Temple University students to be brought into a group of honor. Had I applied for XAE? Had I heard of XAE? Well, no.

The vanity of the young.

Still, the end of the year, even in a university setting, comes with a flurry of awards, honors, acceptances and, for me, lots of rejection. So, I didn’t think twice about calling to confirm that I would come. The woman with whom I spoke seemed confused, couldn’t find my name, but assumed she didn’t have an updated list. She wrote my name down, my guest’s name, and wished me well. The next day I got an email again requesting I confirm my coming. Well, this only made me certain I was the man they wanted. Then I got another of the same request: confirm your coming! Wow, they really wanted me. So I emailed that woman, eager to humbly confirm my coming to this fine honor. She quickly responded to the contrary.

Please accept my deepest apologies for the invitations to the XAE induction ceremony that have been repeatedly sent to you. Your email address is only one letter off from the intended recipient. We have corrected the error and you will not be bothered with confusing emails like these again.”

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Chris Wink: what's in a name?

In today's climate, your name is your brand. Own it - or else become Mark.
In today's climate, your name is your brand. So own it - or become Mark.

The Internet is changing what it means to have a name.

I have already posted that this very blog that so begins the great push to lay claim to Web real estate, the most valuable of which lies on your name.

Your marketability, your presence, particularly as employers, friends and intimates increasingly go to Google or other search engines to better understand or know about us, will only become more dependent on your space online.

Chris Wink is original enough name that I cherish it, but I am hardly alone. Take a google search of my name and you see others, particularly, as previously posted, the founder of the Blue Man Group. But it goes deeper. Beyond confusion, you can become guilty by name association. Today, a friend forwarded me something, news from abroad that is accessible now as only a local paper was as recent as 15 years ago.

A namesake of mine arrested for a few thousands of dollars worth of vandalism. It’s a small enough a crime to warrant an employer to confuse his actions with my own.

A 17-year old youth has been arrested after about £5,000 damage was estimated that could have been caused in another school break-in.Police named Christopher Wink as having been charged with burglary at Bayside School between Sunday and Monday. “Entry was forcibly gained,” said a Police spokesman.

It is only another reminder that I need to make apparent who I am, branding my own name as I would any other product.

What jokes cross the editorial line?

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No one needs to remind a self-aware student journalist about the dangers of satire. Every April brings with it new stories of high school and college publications biting it hard after trying their hand at April Fool’s Day issues.

Most usually, the beef comes about with expectations. Young journalists try their best to be as professional as possible and then, infrequently, perhaps even just once a year, they bring out the cutting remarks and find themselves accused of libel or the sort.

So, at The Temple News, we tend to avoid such events. Still, our news blog, Broad & Cecil, remains a forum for plenty of sarcasm and editorializing. It was launched in September, having endured more than half a year without any controversy to note.

So far.

Last week, The Temple News reported on Frank Baldino, a university Board of Trustees member, whose company, Cephalon Inc., of which he is founder and CEO, is being accused of anti-competitive business practices and sued for allegedly making a deal with another pharmaceutical company delaying the production of a generic brand of his firm’s sleep-related drug Provigil.

In today’s print edition, there will be a follow up. While the story was being passed around, some staffers got to embellishing the situation. The result was a brief 20 second clip, lampooning Baldino with a mock cut-out and cartoon voice impersonation.

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Why I am everywhere online and you should be, too

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Understand, I take relish in few things as much as I do in being an old head, knowing little about technology, what is new and fresh.

The trouble is that I am modestly pursuing a career in media. I graduate from Temple University in less than three months, with no job, little direction, and few goals. My chances for success just got smaller.

So, it was in early December 2007, with my fears and worries just beginning to rumble, that I launched this Web site. It was, as I first described it, a modest foot print in what, I assumed, would someday require a great deal more structure. The world’s dependent on the Internet is not lessening. This is the best, most effective way to market oneself.

I wasn’t going to blog. I promised myself I wasn’t going to blog. But then, there wasn’t much chance I could keep steady readership to develop a community (hello!) but also to increase my searchability on Google, (currently tops for “christopher wink” and second for “chris wink“) -It doesn’t help that someone of quasi-fame shares my name, as Chris Wink is the founder of the Blue Man Group.

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Should you post an alleged rapist's photo?

The Temple News, the college newspaper for which I work, is certainly one of the better student newspapers in theunknown-person.gif country. Because of it, or perhaps in spite of it, we get criticized.

Last week, we reported on the alleged rape of two women by a student leader, with lots of friends in our university’s student government.The accused is indefinitely suspended from school and is awaiting a preliminary hearing, though there are rumors the charges might be dropped.

He has not been convicted, just accused, arrested and formally charged.We published his name, his photograph and the block on which he lives, all per usual protocol of dealing with accused sex offenders, all information given to us by the city’s special victims unit.

Yet, we’ve been overcome by letters, emails, phone calls and online comments from his friends, other student leaders and more, all criticizing our tactics. Below, I’ve included an editorial we will run in Tuesday’s edition of our paper. Read it if you’d like to hear more of our perspective, but what do you think?

How much should newspapers publish? All we know? Do we have a responsibility to our readers or to the presently innocent? Read on, or comment now.

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Junior Year Abroad: an online-only NBC pilot travel podcast

UPDATE Feb. 12, 2011: All my NBCU JYA writing, video and photo work has been transferred to subdomain japan.christopherwink.com.

I sent in a two minute video to NBC’s Manhattan headquarters in June 2006. It was an altogether last minute decision. I saw the promotion of the pilot season of an NBC show called ‘Junior Year Abroad’ in an email that came from the communications department of Temple University. I decided there wasn’t anything to be lost.

Not a month later I heard back. After a brief interview and legal semantics, I was offered a spot on the show. I was driven to New York City for an introduction and training, given several hundred dollars worth of equipment and had my semester studying in Japan essentially paid for by a corporation. During my five month stay, I filmed 10 hours video, took more than 1,300 photographs and wrote nearly 60,000 words on my experience in Asia. It offered me a world of knowledge, the only cost being a more passionate desire to see and explore more while I was abroad.

Ten, in all, young college students from across the country, traveling to different parts of the world were selected, as seen above, the only time we met.

The NBC crew used my footage to produce five show-specific pieces, which you can see below, in addition to another seven podcasted videos while I was living in Tokyo, which you can see here.

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An unannounced welcome

This is a placeholder. A beginning of profound visions, to be sure. No one who gives it any thought doubts that the internet is the home of the next great real estate boom. Westward expansion damn near into the 20th Century left land in the United States cheap enough that it was devalued to the point many who could decided not to pursue its acquisition.

Today, I purchased the ChristopherWink.com domain name for $10.19. Cheap enough that internet space couldn’t be valuable. Yet, still people sit on domain names. I hear there isn’t a three-letter combination .com website that isn’t already purchased.

What I am suggesting is that I don’t know what I want to do with this website. I have tried before and found it self-indulgent. To be true, paying for an address with my own name still seems it, but I press on because I can’t help but think the inevitable progression of things will force everyone to need a home online. This is mine. Waiting for things to put in the attic… and living room… and kitchen

So, I plan on tinkering and learning and making the best looking “Seat Reserved” sign I can. I am particularly unsure of this whole weblog thing. I don’t have the time, interest or belief that anyone cares enough to warrant me updating daily on my life or even what happens around me. I might chronicle the important events of my life, expecting this to, someday, be a means to communicate with those who time won’t allow me to in person.

For now, I see this as the wordiest resume or largest business card I could ever give to potential employers. I will treat it as such. Check back, maybe that won’t be as lame as it seems.