Week 13 – storify

I accidentally posted this to my personal blog by mistake. It was originally posted here last week.

New Jersey housewife pleads not guilty to new fraud charges

On Wendesday, Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe pleaded not guilty to two new charges of federal fraud. The couple was indicted on 39 counts of fraud in July, bringing the total number of charges to 41. They will go to trial in mid 2014.

For more, visit Storify.com.



week 12 – FAQ for Reality Tea

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Reality Tea?

  • Reality Tea is a blog about reality TV. Whether it’s news on reality stars or reviews of reality shows, we cover it here.

What shows do you cover?

I never see anything about my favorite reality show! What gives?

  • We can’t cover everything but if you think we’re really missing something, email us and let us know.

I love the Real Housewives of New Jersey! Can you send me Teresa’s contact info? Or can you pass something along to her?

I don’t understand the above question.

  • You’re probably on the wrong blog then.

What about Kim Kardashian? Do you know her?

  • We don’t know her, either. In fact, we can’t get you in contact with any of the reality stars we report on. We’re just fans like you are.

Who is behind the blog?

  • Check out our about page for contributing writer bios.

How often are you updated?

  • Daily. So check back often!

Can I contribute?

  • We will post on the blog when we are looking for new contributors, but if you think you’ve got a brilliant idea email us. You could always contribute by commenting on individual posts. Just remember to review our comment policy before participating.


revised 12.05.13

week 12 – Frequently Asked Questions

For this week’s assignment, we are writing a FAQ for the publication or organization we chose for our week 7 assignment. Mine will be for reality blog Reality Tea.

But before I publish that, I wanted to share an FAQ my boss and I wrote regarding mail and package information for students living in on campus housing at the University of North Carolina. We did it in response to results from a survey we sent out to residential on campus students. Check it out here.

weeks 10 & 11 – online news story

A Cool Reality

In August 2012, seven new strangers began filming the 28th season of The Real World in Portland, Oregon. While arguments stemming from the only non human cast member, a visit to a zombie bootcamp and a snowboarding excursion with an Olympian were some of the unique activities the cast participated in, they also had the opportunity to do something that most of us in the real real world do daily: work a job.

Unlike seasons past where a job or assignment was mandatory for cast members to remain in the house, the 28th season allowed the cast to find their own work. This led the cast to two Portland food establishments: Cool Harry’s and Pizza Schmizzia.

While the majority of the cast chose the pizza shop as a way to spend their time, drink for free and make a little extra spending money, two cast members chose the frozen yogurt stand Cool Harry’s, located in one of Portland’s renowned food cart pods at SW 10th and Alder.

It would seem intuitive to think that being featured on one of the oldest and influential reality shows on TV would bring business but former owner of Cool Harry’s, Michael Ecker, had a different experience.

“At the time of filming, it helped bring customers who wanted to be in front of the camera. But, at the same time, I noticed it drove away customers,” Ecker said in an email to me. “I would call it a net zero at the time of filming.”

Ecker couldn’t comment on whether the stand’s popularity would grow after the show had aired because he closed the stand at the end of the summer of 2012, a plan that he had before the Real World came to town.

“I remember that my plan was that if the show made it so that Cool Harry’s was crazy popular, then I would keep it open. But nothing really happened – so I followed through with shutting it down and having someone sell bagels,” he said.

“Of course my shop was pretty boring – they weren’t having sex in the bathroom or anything,” he added, alluding to an incident that happened between cast members at Pizza Schmizzia, the other establishment featured on the show.

I contacted Pizza Schmizzia for their perspective but my emails and calls were not answered.

week 9 – live blogging

Tonight, I will be live blogging the 5th episode of this season’s Amazing Race. I really enjoyed live tweeting this year’s Big Brother finale, so I wanted to try a live blog to see how it feels. Let’s see how it goes!

I will post updates throughout the day previewing tonight’s episode. Then, beginning at 8pm eastern, I will begin the onslaught of updates as the episode airs.

Check this post throughout the day and join me at 8pm for the show.

8:59pm – Next week, the teams are apparently in Austria. There will be an activity involving the Vienna Boys Choir.

8:56pm – Show’s over! Phew, that was hard. Scene’s from next week’s episode are coming up next.

8:56pm – Brandon and Adam arrive at the pit stop last and are eliminated from the race.

8:55pm – Jamal and Leo are 6th and Ally and Ashley finish 7th.

8:54pm – Jamal and Ashley find the donut before Brandon and Adam reach the activity.

8:53pm – Nicky and Kim are the 4th team to cross the finish line. Tim and Danny are right behind them at team 5.

8:53pm – Brandon and Leo have completed the pose challenge and are moving onto the roadblock.

8:52pm – Leo and Jamal have reached the roadblock and are searching for the rose donut.

8:47pm – Brandon and Adam are struggling to collect enough money to complete the pose challenge.

8:46pm – Ally and Ashley are at the roadblock. Ashley will do the challenge.

8:46pm – As winners, Tim and Marie won a trip to Hawaii.

8:45pm – Tim and Marie get there first by seconds.

8:45pm – Foot race to the pit stop between Jason and Amy, Tim and Marie, and Nicole and Travis.

8:44pm – Brandon and Adam arrive at the pose challenge just as Leo and Jamal are completing it.

8:44pm – Adam and Brandon just discovered they have been u-turned and return to the pose challenge.

8:43pm – Danny and Kim both complete the roadblock.

8:42pm – Leo and Jamal are now competing in the pose challenge.

8:42pm – Sopot Pier is the pit stop for this leg of the race. It’s the longest wooden pier in Europe.

8:41pm – Travis found the correct pastry and received the next clue. He directs Marie and Amy to the correct apartment.

8:40pm – Travis decides to follow Amy and Marie and Amy invites him to work with them.

8:39pm – Leo and Jamal have reached the u-turn and decide they have to u-turn Adam and Brandon.

8:39pm – Tim and Danny are at the roadblock.

8:37pm – Nicky and Kim and Travis and Nicole are at the roadblock. Kim and Travis are the ones competing for their team.

8:37pm – Leo and Jamal have finished, but they have a u-turn awaiting them.

8:36pm – Back at the polka challenge, Ally and Ashley have completed the task, leaving only Leo and Jamal and Adam and Brandon to complete the task.

8:36pm – Jason and Amy are also at the roadblock. Amy and Marie are completing the task and have decided to work together.

8:35pm – Tim and Marie arrive first at the next stop and find a roadblock. At a large apartment complex, they have to search for pastries at certain addresses.

8:34pm – Tim and Danny u-turn Leo and Jamal. Nicole and Travis decide not to u-turn anyone.

8:30pm – Tim and Danny reach the u-turn and are going to use it but we won’t find out who they chose until after the commercial break.

8:29pm – Nicky and Kim finally find the u-turn and decide against using the u-turn.

8:29pm – Leo and Jamal fail at the polka challenge.

8:28pm – Tim and Marie are at the u-turn and decide not to u-turn anyone.

8:28pm – Tim and Marie decide to use the express pass in order to avoid the u-turn.

8:27pm – Success for Tim and Danny!

8:27pm – Nicole and Travis complete the polka challenge, much to Tim and Danny’s chagrin. They are giving it another try.

8:26pm – Brandon and Adam decide to switch challenges again back to polka.

8:26pm – Nicky and Alex can’t find the u-turn box.

8:26pm – Jason and Amy arrive first decide to not u-turn anyone.

8:25pm – The Harbor Crain is the next stop where the teams have to look for the “foreman.” It’s the u-turn!

8:25pm – Nicole and Travis made their first try at polka and failed.

8:24pm – Tim and Danny with another failed attempt at the Polka. Jason and Amy make their first attempt and complete the challenge in one try.

8:22pm – Nicky and Alex have gone from worst to first. The next clue says they must wear their costumes for the rest of this leg.

8:22pm – Brandon and Adam decide to switch challenges after seeing Nicky and Kim compete. They are now posing as statues for cash.

8:21pm – Tim and Danny are making an attempt at the Polka challenge.

8:21pm – The three lost teams are finding their way.

8:17pm – Leo and Jamal, Tim and Marie, and Ally and Ashley are lost.

8:17pm – Brandon and Adam chose Polka.

8:16pm – Nicky and Kim chose the pose challenge.

8:14- Tim and Danny are fighting over who will have to wear the female costume in the polka challenge.

8:13pm – Dating couple Jason and Amy and Nicole and Travis chose polka.

8:12pm – Brandon and Adam just tried to get directions from a different team’s cabbie but to no avail.

8:12pm – Detour is pose or polka. Pose involved mimicking a statue for money. polka involves learning a polka routine. Friends Tim and Danny chose Polka.

8:11pm – Tim and Marie, NHL ice crew members Ally and Ashley, and the cousins Leo and Jamal are lost.

8:10pm – First team had arrived at Solidarity Square and are now on their way to the Golden Gate.

8:09pm- All teams are now in Poland. Even playing field. They’re on their way to Solidarity Square. All the teams are aware of the u-turn.

8:07pm – The exchange of the express pass happened secretly on the boat.

8:07 pm – Non-elimination leg, as I guessed.

8:07pm – The first teams just discovered the boat will not leave until tonight, allowing other teams to catch up.

8:06pm – teams will travel by boat and plane to Gdansk.

8:05pm – Episode starts with Brandon and Adam beginning the next leg of the race.

8:03pm – Commercial break. Seems like Tim made the decision to exchange the express pass for the directions and Marie is not happy. We’ll see how this pans out over this next leg of the race.

8:01pm – Nicole and Travis gave Tim and Marie directions to the pit stop in exchange for the express pass.

8:00pm – Show time! Host Phil Keoghan is giving the voice over recap.

7:57pm – In Poland, the teams will compete in a polka inspired challenge. Hopefully it involves the bridal dance, a tradition my Pennsylvania upbringing has raised me to appreciate.

7:30pm – Will tonight be a non-elimination leg? As of last episode, baseball wives NIcky and Kim are in last place.

7:25pm – If Tim and Marie do not give the express pass to Nicole and Travis, they will have to give it up by the end of tonight’s leg.

6:30pm – Last week’s episode ended with a cliff hanger. Married ER doctors Nicole and Travis tried to leverage their knowledge of where the pit stop for this leg of the race is in order to get the second express pass from exes Tim and Marie. We will find out if it worked tonight.

4:30pm – Three and a half hours until this week’s episode of the Amazing Race. The teams are continuing on from Norway to Gdansk, Poland where a double u-turn awaits them.

2:40pm – On last week’s episode, friends Adam and Brandon won the leg and were given $5,000 each. They were also told the race would continue immediately with no break and were handed the next clue.

1:20pm – Here’s an article on how the midnight sun affects circadian rhythm and how to manage it.

1:15pm – Last week, the teams traveled to the fishing town of Svolvær, Norway. Despite working on tasks throughout the night, the sun never really set due to the town’s proximity to the North Pole.

Week 8 – Digital press release

Disclaimer: this is a fictional press release. I do not currently contribute to Reality Tea, nor is this the direction their blog is or planning on taking in the future. Though if they were to decide it’s the direction they’d like to take, I’d be thrilled. Call me!

Reality Tea to begin covering the Amazing Race

The CBS reality competition will be added to the blog’s roster of shows that includes Big Brother, the Real Housewives franchises, Keeping up with the Kardashians, The Bachelor

Beginning Monday, October 14, 2013, race over to Reality Tea for recaps and coverage of CBS’s the Amazing Race.

The Amazing Race pits teams of two against each other in a race around the world. Along the way, racers must complete challenges related to the culture or country they’re in. The object of each race leg is to not finish last. The first team to cross the final finish line wins the $1 million grand prize.

This season features contestants from various walks of life. Two teams have been eliminated so far. The remaining teams are:

  • Ally and Ashley – LA Kings Ice Crew girls
  • Brandon and Adam – childhood friends
  • Chester and Efraim – former NFL teammates
  • Jason and Amy – dating
  • Leo and Jamal – cousins
  • Nicky and Kim – baseball wives
  • Tim and Danny – best friends
  • Tim and Marie – exes
  • Travis and Nicole – married
  • In episode one, the teams have traveled from Los Angeles, California to Iquique, Chile where they had to paraglide and then search via boat for fish in Iquique’s harbor.

    Exes Tim and Marie finished first and won two express passes, which allows the holder to skip to the end of any leg of the race. One of the two passes must be given away to another team before the end of the fifth leg of the competition.

    Father and daughter team Hoskote and Naina finished last and were elminated.

    In episode two, teams road bikes across the Tarapaca Salt Flat and had to complete one of two activities: brine water in order to float and be given the next clue or mine salt to find the clue themselves.

    From there, teams rode a bus 1,000 miles to Santiago, Chile. There, one team member had to complete a shoe-shining activity before finishing this second leg of the race.

    Performing artists Rowan and Shanewere the last team to arrive at the pit stop and were thus eliminated from the race.

    Episode three takes the remaining teams to Lisbon, Portugal. For a photographic preview of tonight’s episode courtesy of host Phil Keoghan check out EW.com.

    The CBS show airs Sunday nights at 8pm eastern, 7pm central.

    For more information on the Amazing Race, visit CBS.com.

    In addition to the Amazing Race, check out Reality Teaeveryday for the latest reality TV previews, recaps and news.

    For more information, please contact Jenny McDaniel at jenmcdan@gmail.com.

    week 7 – Reality Tea

    Reality Tea is a blog specializing in Reality TV news, photos and show summaries.

    Audience profile: The audience of Reality tea is people who are interested in the reality shows or people it covers. I personally discovered the blog several years ago while doing research on a reality tv personality that I wanted to write about in my personal blog. It doesn’t cover all reality shows (a feat that would probably be impossible) but rather focuses on highly rated shows and stars of shows popular today with an emphasis on the documentary style of reality tv.

    Purpose of publication: The purpose behind Reality Tea is to recap episodes already aired and provide news on reality TV personalities including photos, news from other sites and social media updates. It does not tend to focus on spoilers of shows before they air. It is an entertainment site.

    Frequency of publication: Reality Tea updates multiple times daily. Recaps are typically posted the day after a show airs. Breaking news is posted as it is learned.

    Competition: Wet Paint, Radar Online, E! Online, TMZ

    Style issues: There is no formal published style guide for Reality Tea. The blog follows certain. It appears that they do not have a formal style guide for things like TV shows. Usually, they are listed in bold face, sometimes they are italicized. They do not appear to follow a already established style (AP, etc.).

    Information challenges: The challenges Reality Tea faces lie in providing a different perspective on information that already exists on the web. They need to find a way to make the reader want to go to their site rather than another to get the type of information Reality Tea provides.

    My response to the challenges: What will help Realty Tea set apart from competitors is a more consistent style in posts as well as more consistent and appropriate grammar. Humor is also important in making Reality Tea stand out from other recap sites. Rather than just be straightforward recaps, having a distinct personality creates a space for readers to want to come back to.

    Content I would create for Reality Tea: I would like to contribute to Reality Tea by adding to their recap repertoire. While they provide news on a lot of different reality shows, they do not recap all that they cover. For example, they list the Amazing Race as a topic they cover but they have not recapped or updated on the show since 2012. I could provide content on that show.