I had a hard time with the whole “twitter chat” thing. For someone that was refusing to jump on the Twitter boat, a mandatory active twitter account was a pretty big deal. For starters, I never even knew what I should tweet and who I could possibly tweet to. Then to make things worse, I couldn’t figure out what a twitter chat was. I am actually still not too sure what a twitter chat is…hmm. And naturally, every night someone brought up a Twitter chat from class, I was stuck at work…story of my life. Hopefully, through my extensive twitter searches, the #NoReservations chat was a real twitter chat.

The Season 8 premier of Anthony Bourdain’s series, No Reservations was April 9 at 9 PM.  According to Twitter, Anthony Bourdain (@NoReservations) was tweeting live during the show and there was a twitter chat that could be followed and tweeted using #NoReservations. While watching the episode and tweeting the Travel Channel and Anthony Bourdain begging them for jobs, I thought I would try to ask Anthony Bourdain how he got his job…considering that is my ultimate goal. Unfortunately, Bourdain never answered my question but I enjoyed talking about the show and Bourdain’s visit to Mozambique.

There were so many people tweeting Anthony Bourdain and #NoReservations I felt like I couldn’t keep up. It was difficult for me to pay attention to the show and monitor Twitter at the same time. I think it is going to take a lot for me to get used to the whole Twitter thing…and I can only hope that my attempt with #NoReservations was a really Twitter chat; otherwise, I am going to feel quite silly.



When I originally registered for the Principles of Public Relations course at USF, I was doing so just to make sure I took care of one of my selective requirements so I can graduate in May. As a Telecommunications/Broadcast News student in Mass Communications, I thought I had very little interest in the field of Public Relations. This course definitely opened up my mind a little bit and almost made me wish I had gone the PR route instead; however, I ultimately decided this class, and PR as a whole, will help me in Telecommunications. I think a knowledge base of Pubic Relation will be especially helpful to me if my dream of working with communication(s) all around the world comes true.

I was surprised at how quickly I became interested in the field of Public Relations. I think a large part had to do with the teacher, Alan Abitbol, who actually managed to not make coming to class a complete torture. I learned a lot about stuff that I didn’t know would even pertain to my career choice but I think without the class, it would have been a major setback in my career later on. As groups, we had to analyze different advertising campaigns and that really helped me gain a better understanding of all of the efforts put on to get a product or organization out there. If one day, somehow I manage to have my own television show on the Travel Channel (one can only hope), I have a better knowledge of effective ways to put my name and my show out there.

In the long run, I am grateful for the Mass Communications Department at USF for making their students take selective requirements outside of their sequence because otherwise, I don’t think I ever would have bothered with a Public Relations class. Hopefully one day, the knowledge base of PR will be as useful in my future as I am hoping.


The Ronald McDonald House is an organization that is very special to my family. My older cousin was involved in a tragic car accident while on a road trip with some friends; while she was in a coma for a long week, my aunt and uncle were fortunate enough to stay at a Ronald McDonald House. The ability to stay there allowed them to keep close enough to the hospital to be with my cousin but also enjoy a more comfortable sleep than a hospital-room chair. Unfortunately, my cousin never came out of the coma and she was declared brain dead but our family’s appreciation and gratitude for the Ronald McDonald House lived on. My mom and I were privileged enough to cook a meal for the people currently staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Tampa.

The people that work at the Ronald McDonald House were some of the most welcoming and genuine people I have encountered lately. They gave my mom and I a tour of the entire building and gave us a more detailed history and description than what we knew before. It is such an amazing thing that they do and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate place to volunteer and dedicate my time. They had everything we could have possibly needed in the kitchen. I, with the help of my mom, prepared a large garden salad, spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic cheese bread and chocolate brownies.

After everything was finished, the families started to come into the kitchen/dining area and prepare their plates. I was amazed at how grateful everyone was for such a simple meal. You could see the exhaustion and stress weighing on some of the families that were there…it breaks my heart when families must cope with having a sick child and there is nothing anyone can really do to make it go away. I felt like the meal that I prepared for them was a good opportunity for these families to get together and maybe forget about a sick child for an hour or so.

Cooking this meal was one of the best evenings of my life. I have never felt so good about doing something so simple. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be volunteering at Ronald McDonald House again. I can’t wait until I go back again. The Ronald McDonald House is an amazing organization and I wouldn’t have rather volunteered or donated any of my time anywhere else.



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            Rick Steves has written dozens of Europe guidebooks; he stars in his own PBS travel show, Rick Steves’ Europe; he hosts a syndicated radio show and he is the only American travel writer adored by Europeans. Steves often appears on television and radio talk shows and online travel chats as a leading authority on independent European travel.

        Rick Steves’ Europe’s mission is to “inspire, inform and equip Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable and culturally broadening. We value travel as a powerful way to better understand and contribute to the world in which we live. We strive to keep our own travel style, our world outlook and our business practices consistent with these values.”

                     Steves began backpacking through Europe ever summer as an undergraduate at the University of Washington. After a couple years, he created a one-man company guiding minibus tours. Steves published his first guidebook in 1980. Decades later, Steves employs 80 different people and has spent more than a quarter of his life living out of a suitcase.

                   The attraction to Europe is the cultural diversity, the continent complexity, and the pride of the people. “After a generation of exploring Europe, I find that it is as vital as ever,” Steves said. “Wales is starting its first daily newspaper in Welsh, which is great. The big changes have been in efficiency and in affluence.”

                    To those considering a career in travel writing, Steve suggests that one should, “travel a lot. Maintain a focus. Take notes carefully in the field. Share your information generously — almost as a publicity stunt. If it’s any good, people with an ongoing need or appetite for good travel information will come back for more. Gradually you can build up an income.”

                Steves wishes he was a better observer of people and cultures and economies and societies. That’s one thing he said he remains humble about. He is a distinguished guidebook writer. He can find a good hotel and restaurant and he can present the information so it’s helpful for his viewers/travelers.

                  “My lucky situation is that I think more people read my material than the greatest travel literature writers because I have a practical rack to hang my information on,” Steves said.

                  The biggest reward being a traveling writer? Steves revealed that it is developing a network of good friends in the most fascinating corners of Europe. Seeing how, as a teacher, he can help people enjoy the magic/challenge/experience of travel as he has. Steves interacts with the most beautiful people and visits the most beautiful places in Europe. He documents his European experiences meticulously to help facilitate traveling for his viewers.

            “You want to sit down and get out your notepad and collect all these thoughts and weave them into something coherent so people can vicariously be there through you and gain the same sort of empathy for peoples’ struggles,” Steves expressed “That’s something I’m working on.”

Rick Steves’ Blog



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 Andrew Zimmern, a James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, food writer and teacher. He is considered one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world. After starring in nearly forty episodes all over the world, Zimmern has created a name for himself as an international journalist/public figure via bizarre foods.

         “As the co-creator, contributing producer and host of the Travel Channel’s hit series, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World, he travels the world, exploring the food in its own terroir, wherever it’s found. From restaurants to jungle markets, it’s all about discovering the authentic experience.”

            The concept of Bizarre Foods involves Zimmern traveling the world to discover and reveal the strangest of delicacies. He travels to different countries and eats everything. Zimmern samples different foods in their own native regions, wherever that may be.

            “Zimmern is up for anything. He knows the most interesting food is found closest to the source. So whether he’s chasing down large water rodents in the Louisiana bayou, fishing for piranha on the Amazon or flushing out cave bats in Malaysia, you can be sure the guy with the iron stomach will dish up the unimaginable.”

            “The fact that I’ve had 60 or 70 types of animal penises and testicles in my mouth at one time is a huge amusement to many people,” said Zimmern of his bizarre foods. “To me, I’m just curious, I’m just hoping one day to find one that’s actually good.”

            Introducing a characteristic of dining out that will compel his viewers to think twice before they order off the menu, and exercising his knowledge of all things edible, Andrew Zimmern is establishing his hunt to find the world’s most bizarre foods.

            Zimmern began his culinary career at 14 but his dream of success in the culinary business was put on pause due to Zimmern’s drug habits. He received treatment in Minnesota and has been sober since 1982. Zimmern redeemed himself and opted to stay in Minnesota and developed into a recognized food writer and radio personality.

Andrew Zimmern is also the international spokesman for Travel Leaders and Elite Destination Homes.

Andrew Zimmern’s blog


          International journalism is typically classified as any form of journalism that involves foreign journalists, that takes place internationally, or that deals with international affairs. The International Journalism Committee strives to protect and expand international journalism and promote the unrestrained practice of journalism in all countries. The committee finds methods to bring foreign journalists to the United States and send American journalists overseas for fellowships, conferences, and other educational purposes.

            The Society of Professional Journalists has several of the fellowships available to American journalists. There is a fellowship offered on almost every continent. The International Center for Journalists offers a fellowship that gives journalists the job of tracking the details of an individual, detailed story. Implicating a worldwide concern of international importance, the journalists will have to investigate the facts on the chosen issues using different journalism techniques.

            With the ambition to improve human condition via advanced journalism, the International Center for Journalists supports several fellowships available for American journalists and international journalists. Some international fellowships and journalism assignments, however, are not as safe and fascinating as most people imagine.

              Robert Leger wrote, in A Dangerous Job, about the journalists’ responsibilities in the fight for freedom and the serious risks involved. Unfortunately, the loss of a journalist is not unusual. “In recent years, more than three dozen reporters were killed while doing their jobs. They asked questions, looked at records and reported what they found. The journalists didn’t put on a uniform or carry a weapon, but they, too, were fighting for freedom.”

         A handful of countries, including Lebanon, require the purchase of special insurance before getting accredited as a journalist. Most freelancers going into conflict situations cross their fingers and hope for the best. “A lightly saner alternative — the sanest, of course, would be to stay out of places where you’re likely to get killed or wounded — is to buy emergency medical evacuation and repatriation insurance. It can be hard to find an insurance company that looks kindly on people going into war zones, but they do exist. Aid organizations, for example, are frequent customers, as are missionaries.”

Although the opportunities and possibilities are vast, there are risks involved.


             Although individual countries may have their own specialized code of ethics for their journalists, there is a common agreement when it comes to international journalism ethics.

               The International Federation of Journalists’ established a Declaration of Principles on the Conduct of Journalists. This international declaration is proclaimed a standard of professional behavior for journalists engaged in gathering,    transmitting, disseminating and commenting on news and information in describing events.

             The International Principles of Professional Ethics in Journalism were also prepared as an international common  ground and as a source of inspiration for national and regional codes of ethics. This set of principles is intended to be promoted separately by each professional organization through methods most suitable to its members. Many of the principles are common among other journalism codes of ethics.

                 According to the International Principles of Professional Ethics in Journalism, “a true journalist stands for the universal values of humanism, above all peace, democracy, human rights, social progress and national liberation, while respecting the distinctive character, value and dignity of each culture, as well as the right of each people freely to choose and develop its political, social, economic and cultural systems. It belongs to the ethics of the profession that the journalist be aware of relevant provisions contained in international conventions, declarations and resolutions.”

              Journalists also have an individual responsibility to promote the development of democratization of international relations in the field of information, in particular by protecting and encouraging peaceful and friendly relationships among nations and people.

                 If the Principles of Professional Ethics in Journalism are applied, journalists have the ability to “help eliminate ignorance and misunderstanding among peoples, make nationals of a country sensitive to the needs and desires of others, ensure respect for the rights and dignity of all nations, all peoples and all individuals without distinction of race, sex, language, nationality, religion or philosophical conviction.”

                The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics does not deal with international relations. The main focus for SPJ is that journalists seek truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently and be accountable. These aspects are common among international codes of ethics as well.

            The concept of global journalism ethics is being developed and proposed. This code of ethics aims at developing a complete collection of principles and standards for the practice of journalism in an era of global media.

         “News reports, via satellite or the Internet, reach people around the world and influence the actions of governments, militaries, humanitarian agencies and warring ethnic groups. A responsible global ethic is needed in a world where news media bring together a plurality of different religions, traditions and ethnic groups.”

                According to the global journalism ethics’ theory, the international journalist’s main allegiance should be to the informational needs of world citizens. Journalists should refuse to classify themselves as attached predominantly to groups, regions or countries.

                International journalism ethics are critical in today’s media.

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