Wednesday, December 4, 2019


The University of Florida's Center for Media Innovation and Research at the College of Journalism and Communications provides students and even faculty with a whole bunch of resources. The facilities there are 21st Century News Laboratory which opened in 2010 and the AHA! The Innovation CoLab which opened in 2012. The Innovation CoLab is primarily for public relations and advertising students, so I personally didn't spend much time there since I am a telecommunication major. I did however spend a lot of time in news laboratory. I've taken 3 classes at UF that focus on news reporting. I've taken Radio 1 and 2 along with TV 1. Radio 1 focused on primarily day-turn news stories where as Radio 2 focused on feature stories with not as much news value but they were longer and took more time. TV 1 focused on day-turn news stories as well that were quick. I also had projects in all of these classes that took more time and were longer. The CMIR also features some of the projects that have been done over the years in the college that you can look at.

A typical day in the life of a telecom student at UF is filled with constantly pitching stories. Much like reporting in the real world at UF they try to simulate an actual newsroom experience so you're expected to constantly pitch stories and report on them. At first I was quite bad at it since I had never done it before, however as time went on I became better and better. Eventually it just becomes second nature you know where to look for stories etc.

As a lot of you know I don't have a huge interest in news and hope to be a sports reporter. However, I've had the opportunity to cover some cool stuff over my time here.

This photo is from the time I covered Gator Giving Day a day where alumni and members of Gator Nation give money to their chosen school to help support their programs. It was very successful and the CJC came in first place for the most money received. 

This next photo is of Christopher "KontruL" Cantrell a pro NBA 2k player. I did a feature story on him about his life as a pro gamer and how he balances it while finishing college. 

This next photo is from a feature story I did on Anthony Richardson a local Gainesville football star who is committed to the Florida Gators. This is a photo of his high school football team Eastside practicing. 

As you can see I've done stories on a variety of subjects. So there really is something here for everyone. As I intend to graduate from UF this December I don't think I can express my gratitude for the CJC for preparing me for my career. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Tipping Point Review

The Tipping Point  by Malcolm Gladwell is a great book when it comes to understanding how something can become viral. The book isn't just about my profession of being a reporter. Its also not only about media, but everything in the world.

Gladwell talks about how a select group of people have the will and ability to spread information. Such as people who have enormous social networks or people who know a lot of information. To make it even more simple you can also describe them as salespeople. Salespeople need to be able to know the product they're selling inside and out as well as have good social skills.

In my profession I can see this part of the book helping me, because in a way a reporter is a salesman. Sure you aren't selling any product, however you must know inside and out what news you are reporting and you must be able to make it interesting enough that someone wants to read about it. You are selling your reporting.

Gladwell also talks about the fact that it's very easy to deliver information during a specific time that basically makes it irresistible for someone to consume. This is used everyday in a reporter's job. We are always taught to never present all of the information at the beginning. A reporter wants to make someone read, listen or watch till the end. The way you construct your report is how you successfully report information. It allows your audience to understand it and be interested in it.

The final thing I wanted to cover that Gladwell talks about is the power of context and your surroundings. If you want to be successful in the thing you've chosen you need to constantly be around that thing. For instance I want to be a sports writer so I should surround myself with other sports writers. This not only creates some friendly competition, but it allows me to be around people with the same dreams as me.

Overall, I think the book was excellent. I think it will really help me in the future as I prepare to graduate and go out into the real world. It allowed me to understand how things in the present day go viral. For instance President Trump's ability to make everything he does relevant. You can say well that's just because he's the President of the United States, but it's more than that. Regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum he has managed to receive more attention due to the way he does things.

Remembering former President Obama's presidency I can say that things did not seem as blown out of proportion all the time compared to President Trump. He has successfully been able to use his people as talked about early to spread information. He has also been able to use timing as a way to make it irresistible to not see it. He has also surrounded himself by people who support him and help him to succeed in what he's trying to do.

That is why his name is everywhere. Not just because he is the president, but because he has been able to use these things that Gladwell talks about in his book.

I think as a reporter I can do all these things to succeed, especially in sports. Sports is a constant news cycle. I have to be able to know everything about every sport. The players inside and out and be able to report the information. I need to have a network that can give me information others can't receive and I need to be able to surround myself with people who can push me to get to my dream job of being on the desk of a show like First Take. This book is just another step in helping me get there.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Classmates 2

Here are some more of my classmates blogs. They have some unique topics!
Abigail Salley talks about dog training.
Tiffany Rizzo talks about things students can do here in Gainesville.
Nicole Rogers talks about her meal plans and living a healthy lifestyle.

Classmates 1

Hi everyone this week I wanted to show some of my classmates work and their blogs:
Reilly Arundell talks about how she balances health and school.
Zach Donofrio talks about how his current job will help his future job.
Simona Rivero talks about how it's important to maintain your health while in school.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

About Me

Hi my name is Zachary Van Etten and I'm a Telecommunication major at the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. I am a fifth year senior with the intention of graduating in December 2019. I don't know what I'm going to do yet when I graduate. I have various interests in everything from being a public relations guy for a professional sports team to being a sports writer. My dream job would be a TV personality on a show like Undisputed or First Take.

I played sports all the way through my senior year of high school. Football is my favorite sport and the primary sport I focused on all of high school. Unfortunately I was never good enough to play in college, but I still enjoy watching the Florida Gators play. I do watch most sports especially team sports. My teams are quite peculiar across all sports since I like each team for different reasons. I am a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Yankees, Miami Heat, Nashville Predators, and Florida Gators.

The Bengals and Gators was primarily due to the fact that I love the way their uniform looks. The Yankees and Predators because I am originally from New York and my family currently lives in Tennessee and we got into hockey once the Predators became good. The Heat because Dwayne Wade is my favorite player of all time. I also have fond memories of watching basketball with my grandfather, and he always like the Heat.

From a news perspective which is what I've primarily learned about while being here at UF I've taken a liking to news stories that involve sports. For instance I did this video on Heat Illnesses last semester.

However, I also do lots of general sports writing on this blog like this story about LSU beating Florida.

If you would like to take a look at some my other achievements and skills feel free to look at my resume.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Zachary Van Etten Resume

Zachary Van Etten
1585 Red Oak Lane, Brentwood, TN, 37027
Work History
·         Reporter
WUFT News, Gainesville, FL- Gather news and news sources to report them through radio, TV, print, and social media.
·         Delivery Driver
Dominoes Pizza, Gainesville, FL - Deliver food to customers & completed payment transactions.
·         Grocery Clerk
Kroger, Franklin, TN- Assisted customers in check out and deli services. Stocked shelves when necessary.
·         Sales Assistant
Best Buy, Franklin, TN and Johnson City, TN- Executed floor sales to customers in the computer department
·         Cashier
Wendy’s, Franklin, TN- Completed sales to customers for food purchases
·         Computer set up, Microsoft products (excel, word, powerpoint), Quickbooks, Adobe programs Premiere and Audition
·         Punctual and Reliable
Awards or Honors
·         Dean’s List at East Tennessee State University, Fall 2015.
·         University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. August 2017-Present
Anticipated graduation: December 2019 – Bachelor’s School of Communication & Journalism
 East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.  August 2015-May 2017

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Gators Offense Shows Out. The Defense Doesn't.

Florida suffered it's first loss of the season to LSU Saturday night. However, their are many positive takeaways for the Gators. Trask threw for 3 touchdowns in one of the most hostile environments in all of college football...Death Valley. The Gators offense has looked the best it has all season. Trask looked calm and confident as he tore up the LSU defense.

However, the Gators defense was the let down. All week we heard that the battle would be LSU's offense vs. the Gators defense. The first drive looked promising as the Gators stopped LSU for the first time as LSU had scored on every opening drive so far that season. However with the loss of Jonathan Greenard and Jabari Zuniga in the game the Gators began to struggle. The Gators were so scared of the deep attack threat they were dropping several back in coverage as Joe Burrow had a field day throwing into the middle of the wide open field. These short passes quickly drove LSU down the field. Which in return opened up the run game which looked fantastic for LSU all night.

At the end of the night LSU's defense was able to get the final push and shut down the Gator's offense. The Gators had the ball a lot more then LSU's offense. The strategy of tiring out LSU's defense did not seem to work as it had against Auburn and therefore the running game could never get off the ground. A lot of questions remain to be answered for this Gator team as they've had weeks with great offense and weeks with great defense but haven't seemed to put it completely together.

For more information on this game check out this CBS Sports Article.

Also check out my other article about this game: LSU Defeats Florida for the Gators First Loss of the Season.