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COLD FEET: Birds take to the ice as winter makes its appearance at Yellowstone National Park. / Photo by Nancy Williams

Today's word on journalism

Monday, November 5, 2007

On Objectivity:

"I still insist that 'objective journalism' is a contradiction in terms. But I want to draw a very hard line between the inevitable reality of 'subjective journalism' and the idea that any honestly subjective journalist might feel free to estimate a crowd at a rally for some candidates the journalist happens to like personally at 2,000 instead of 612 -- or to imply that a candidate the journalist views with gross contempt, personally, is a less effective campaigner than he actually is."

-- Hunter S. Thompson, from Fear & Loathing: CORRECTIONS, RETRACTIONS, APOLOGIES, COP-OUTS, ETC., a 1972 memo to Rolling Stone editor Jann S. Wenner, excerpted in the current (November 2007) issue of Harper’s Magazine (Thanks to alert WORDster Andy Merton)

Microsoft Word upgrade leaves some students frustrated

By Christy Jensen

October 29, 2007 | The students at Utah State University might have found themselves perplexed their first few times using Microsoft Office when they came back to school this fall.

Computers in the Merrill-Cazier Library, Taggart Student Center, Ag Science, Family Life and University Reserve Lab were updated with the latest version of Microsoft Office in an effort to keep students up to date with new technology. But the update hasn't been easy for many students who have found the new interface of Microsoft Word to be confusing and not user friendly.

John Call, an engineering student at USU, said "It [Microsoft Word] freaking sucks! It does all of the same things it used to, they've just moved everything around so now you're a beginner at something that you were proficient [at]. It's really frustrating. Why change something and make is worse? That's the real question."

Many students have echoed Call's opinion, saying the program is "user hostile," frustrating to use and not compatible with older versions of Word.

Steven Wagner, an art major, said "I can't pull up any of the documents I save on Word 2007 on my computer at home because I have an older version. I feel like the university is forcing us to upgrade our computers when not all of us have the money to do that."

Associate Vice President for Information Services Stacie Gomm said she had not heard any complaints about the new Microsoft Office program from the student body, or about about the sudden switch in programs.

Gomm said, "Any time you have a change you have an adjustment period. It's like when Word Perfect and Microsoft Word were both being used. People will have to adjust."

The information technology department informed the student body about the change at the end of the spring 2007 semester when bulletins about the switch of software went up on information technology Web site, which is the home page for all the labs that are controlled by the IT department.

Gomm said there are guides to using the new program in all computer labs, and the IT department can help any student learn the new program.

Students who are having trouble finding their saved documents should go to "save as" on the Word menu bar and select the version of Word they have on their home computers.


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