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Blog post #1

I chose to read and discuss “#1 Party School” by This American Life. This article does a great job of painting a story for its audience. It mainly stuck out to me because I thought the style of the article was very interesting; the separate audio quotes were very engaging and super fascinating. They also included many different interview clips, video audios, catchy music and more. The article was also relatable as I live in a college town, and both Penn State and UW-Madison are seen as party schools.

The start of the audio does a great job hooking the listener. They interview a woman, who lives in a neighborhood in Penn State, as she explains all of the chaos that she sees, especially during the weekends. After the introduction, they also address issues like underage drinking and partying. The college party scene is one that any college student has the ability to speak on. The podcast also addresses how many adults encourage this behavior, especially when their kids get to college. 

The story then continues to peak my interest as they continue to address different issues that occur on campus due to drinking and partying. This includes underage drinking, rape and even the deaths of many drunk students. They flow throughout the article, discussing problem to problem, and how the issues are growing increasingly worse. It keeps the listener engaged because they want to know how this can be changed. They end on the topic of students who have died from drinking, one of which died the September of the same school year that the article was released. This further proved that this is an ongoing, current issue.

Something that I find very interesting that the authors of the article do is they make sure to get information from both sides of the argument; the argument being drinking on college campuses and how this impacts the overall community. They interview families who live in the area, students who go out, students who do not go out, police officers, alumni and administration of Penn State. This creates a very layered story full of angles that the listener is able to use as background information to better their understanding.

The speakers then address the many calls to action that have been brought up by those at the university. The school has worked so hard to curb the drinking issues that are taking place on campus and it has not done what they have wished it to do. One thing includes Alcohol.edu, which is something that is also used by UW-Madison’s campus. While they have tried every method, they have been unsuccessful in curbing a lot of these problems. This call to action is something that is important in many news stories.

Overall, this article was very engaging for me. There is nothing that I would have done differently. In fact, this article has inspired me as they do so many great things and I want to try some of these methods in the future. They really put themselves into the thick of the story and tried hard to immerse themselves in Penn State’s culture to see how it affects those in the community. 

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