Wrapping The Semester Up

Wow wow wow. Senior year fall semester is over. How in the world did that happen so fast! I only have one semester left as a UF J-School student and I can already tell it’s going to be bittersweet.


I think this was the first semester it all soaked in for me. I truly believe I took full advantage of everything this amazing school has to offer.

 In my opinion, the UF Center for Media Innovation and Research is the reason why this program is so successful. It allows students to come to work at least once a week and the practical experience in the Innovation News Center is unlike anything else. Students direct, produce, report and anchor a live local 5:00 p.m. show everyday. It is so cool to look around the newsroom at my colleagues and know that we are all going to be successful in this industry.


The news world isn’t just TV and of course, the INC isn’t either. There is radio, web, TV and my favorite of all, sports. I have worked three semesters now with WRUF and ESPN Gainesville and I have loved every shift I’ve had. Choosing this route in school is so unlike many others at UF but what I love most about the news world is how every single day is different and unknown. We are assigned to a story the minute we step into the newsroom and no matter what, we get the story done by the time we leave.


The reps anchoring and reporting I have gained are so valuable and I am so thankful for the skills I have learned while taking classes. To finish this semester off I got to work on my first TV feature story and I was so excited when it aired earlier this week. Check it out here!

I cannot say enough about what all this journalism school offers. I know fully well that once I graduate, my experiences here will only benefit me and set me apart when looking for a job.



Click below to see what my classmates have done all semester! They’ve got some great topics to read about.




















The Tipping Point Review

The Tipping Point. One might think of it as the moment someone explodes about something they have been hiding in them. Or it could be the moment when you fill your coffee cup up just a little too much and you walk down a hallway in your house and some of the coffee spills out. When first going to read the book by Malcolm Gladwell, “The Tipping Point” I wondered how it would relate to a college class. Gladwell goes through the book giving examples of how small things can cause pretty large consequences. His idea of what the tipping point looks like is when an idea catches on and then spreads on. One way that the book explains Gladwell’s theories is in three different components. One is the Law of the Few, another is the Stickiness Factor and the last one is the Power of Context.

Three Theories

We’ll start with the Law of the Few. Gladwell explains that this law is basically best explained by this: An idea of something spreads because people in different kinds of groups have similar qualities. No matter what kind of person you are, quiet and reserved, outspoken and forward or have the ability to persuade others to do something, all three of those “types” of people can still agree on things. And when they do, Gladwell explains this is when trends will occur.

Next, we have the Stickiness Factor. Gladwell used the idea of Sesame Street and how it became successful because of one specific lightbulb idea. There are so many different angles and approaches you can take in this growing world of news and journalism. All it takes is one simple lightbulb moment for an idea to stick out to someone. And when we can do this multiple time for multiple people, our ideas will “stick” with people and therefore, spread.

Lastly, the rule of the Power of Context. This one was explained in the book by using the New York crime rate. It wasn’t until New York cleaned up subways and graffiti that the crime rate went down. This idea in my opinion is quite backwards but I can see how it did end up helping the city in the end. They changed the context and then there was success. So many things in this world are taken out of context but maybe if we can change that context, we’ll be able to be more successful in the end.

All in all, the Tipping Point was a very interesting read. At times, it was a little mind blowing seeing how Gladwell’s examples lined up with the ideas and theories he laid out. I have wondered in the age of social media how certain things get a trend. Is it because it’s funny? Is it because it’s just weird? Sometimes I feel like the ones that do stick are just completely random. By reading this book, it has made me wonder even more. Maybe Gladwell does have it somewhat right. I will for sure remember some the ideas in the book the next time I see a trend.

Blogs To Check Out

Alexis Pastore

Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 8.39.24 PM.png

Alexis is set to graduate as a Gator in May 2019. For now, she spends her days in the newsroom on campus delivering awesome stories. Pastore has a passion for helping others and it shows in the stories she covers for WUFT. Head over to her blog for real life talks and see what all the advice she gives! You can even read a big transition of hers this semester!

Gabriella Garza

Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 8.45.35 PM.png

Gabriella has big dreams. She will graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Telecommunications- News but she wants to do more than just be a news reporter. Garza is a constant breath of fresh air and she is always willing to help anyone out. One day we could see her directing a movie, writing a book or even starring in a musical.

Justin Ahlum

Justin can always make you laugh. Although I haven’t spent much time working with him, you can always see him eager to work everyday. He is a big fan of sports and even sports anchors for WUFT every few weeks. Justin’s blog is a little different than some of my other colleagues. He writes every week all things hip hop! Hop on over to his blog for more!

Meet My Peers!

Courtney Mims

Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 8.28.33 PM.png

A senior at the University of Florida majoring in Telecommunications-News. Mims found her love for sports at a super early age. She has always wanted to be a sports reporter and is always willing to have any sports convo with you! She is graduating in December 2018 and can’t wait to pave her way through the sports world. Courtney works for ESPN Gainesville and spends her nights and weekends filming Gator sports.

Kate Venezio

Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 8.28.20 PM.png

Another senior at the University of Florida and she also is graduating in December 2018. Venezio has been both the Gator softball and volleyball beat reporter over the last two years. Every Tuesday you can catch her live on First at Five delivering sport news to North Central Florida residents. Venezio loves sports but is open to entertainment broadcasting as well.

Tyla Martin

Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 8.31.04 PM.png

Tyla is a senior at the University of Florida and she plans to graduate in May 2019. She is on the News Program track but has a passion for entertainment news. When Martin first got to UF she was actually a swimmer on the Gators Swimming and Diving Team. Along with being a Gator and spending countless hours in the newsroom, she also loves visiting unique restaurants. She even has an instagram with her friend all about trendy foods!



Bio Time!

If you’ve been to my blog before, you might already know that I am a senior Telecommunications student at The University of Florida. I go by my last name, “Cheney” here in Gainesville and I really love sports.

More specifically, I am a senior on the gymnastics team here at UF and I am on the News track in the Telecommunications major. I have been a gymnast for 16 years and once April of 2019 rolls around, I will no longer be able to label myself as a gymnast. Just typing out that sentence made me sad! It’s crazy that most athletes can continue on with their sport past college, but gymnastics unfortunately is just not one of those. Anyways, enough of the sad stuff!

Along with doing my sport, I have found a huge passion in the sports media world. I get every ESPN notification on my iPhone and Apple watch and I absolutely love being able to report on various kinds of sports. Here at UF we have the opportunity to use and learn in a newsroom right on campus. It is called the Innovation News Center or “INC” for short. I spend four out of five days of the school week in there. My favorite day of the week is Tuesday’s because I get to be the sports anchor and producer for the 5:00 live local news show called, “First at Five.” The show is live every single day from studios in the basement of the INC. I have covered pretty much every Florida Gator sport, local high school sport and have even gotten the opportunity to cover professional and other SEC sports.

I am looking forward to making a career that can involve both my experience in gymnastics and my passion for the media world!

City Rivalry Game

High school regular season football is wrapping up this weekend. The Gainesville High School Hurricanes and the Eastside Rams will end their regular season with a big crosstown rivalry matchup Thursday night at Citizens Field.

Eastside Rams

The Rams are coming off a big second half win last week over Santa Fe High School. Eastside went into halftime down 7-6 and ended up forcing turnovers and making plays to pull off a 32-14 win. Head Coach Ced Daniels said he was proud of the way his team bounced back.

The Rams are 7-2 this season and they’ve consistently put up high scores. Six of their seven wins had final scores over 41 and most notably, their 64-0 blowout win against Central High School. Part of the reason for Eastside’s big wins could be starting quarterback, Anthony Richardson. He has 2,234 total yards this season and he’s thrown 15 touchdowns so far. Richardson is a Junior and the three-star recruit has already verbally committed to The University of Florida for the 2020 season.

Another note about Eastside are their turnovers. Daniels said one of the teams’ goals this season is to break the school’s turnover record. The Rams are already approaching 30 this season. Although this is a big rivalry matchup and their last regular season game, the Rams will get the chance to just relax and play the game. With the new point system for high school playoffs, whether Eastside wins or loses, they already have enough points to qualify them to a playoff game. Daniels says the pressure is now off his team.

Gainesville Hurricanes

On the other side of the field, Gainesville is sitting at a 6-3 record this season. They had two losses back to back not too long ago against Buchholz and Vanguard, but the Hurricanes did bounce back and get two huge wins. A 70-6 win at home against Leesburg and a 63-17 win at South Lake. In the 2017 season, Gainesville came out on top against Eastside, 35-14. If they want to do that again, head coach Patrick Miller said his team needs to follow its game plan.

This game is senior night for Gainesville and it looks like it could be a quarterback battle.

Senior quarterback, Luke Matthews has similar stats to Eastside’s Richardson. Matthews has 2,288 passing yards this season and has 17 touchdowns- just two more than Richardson. The main difference between the two is, Matthews has nine interceptions on the season and Richardson only has three. With Eastside’s ability to force turnovers, the Hurricanes are going to have to protect their ball well.

Game Info

It really could go either way for this big city rivalry game. Since the schools are just down the road from each other, both coaches of course also know each other.

“He knows me and I know him,” said Daniels. “It’s going to be the last man with the marker-hopefully.”

Kickoff for Thursday’s game is set for 7:30 p.m. at Citizens Field.

Amanda Cheney  is a senior at The University of Florida, majoring in Telecommunications- News.