21 Days Until the End of the World

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                                     Aha! Lab                                           CMIR                             Integrated News Facility

As the semester comes to a close, I thought it would be nice to reflect on my time here at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. Weimer Hall has undergone a huge transformation since my sophomore year, starting with the Center for Media Innovation and Research and ending with the most recent addition, the Integrated News Facility. It’s strange to think that CMIR is now one of the old parts of the building! I still remember doing election coverage from there in 2010. I have been to many meetings in that room, as well as seen many guest speakers. That’s where I first met our Dean! There are Mac laptops in there for students to use, as well as a large projector screen. Teachers hold classes in there all the time. The room allows students another option to further their learning experience. They even did a podcast out of the 21st Century News Lab for a little while! The newest addition to CMIR is the Aha! lab on the third floor of Weimer. This was designed primarily for Advertising and Public Relations students, but students from all majors use it. There are four break out rooms, whiteboards, projectors, desks, and even a coffee machine! The college is changing rapidly to fit the students needs. This college has allowed me so many amazing opportunities, from working with ESPN to WUFT. I could not have asked for a better college experience. It saddens me that I will have to say goodbye come May, but it also makes me excited for the future. I am truly blessed, and Go Gators!

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21st Century News Lab


The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell

           One of the other assignments for this course was to read The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell, a reporter for The New Yorker. When I started reading this book, I gave it as much attention as I would an ordinary book. It was very interesting, because it was discussing something that occurs in every popular situation: the tipping point where an item or thought that only occurs in a small group of people suddenly explodes and is acknowledged by a whole heap of people. However, what piqued my interest even more was something that occurred to me when I returned home for the holiday break. My father noticed me reading the novel on the couch and immediately exclaimed “Ah, Malcolm Gladwell! He’s a Jamaican!” and then proceeded to bring me two other books Gladwell has written. My father is from Jamaica, which makes me half-Jamaican, as is Malcolm Gladwell. His mother, Joyce Gladwell, was born there, but married a British man, and Malcolm was born in England. I instantly felt more of a connection to him, which automatically raised my interest in the book.

            The Tipping Point is an excellent novel about something that truly exists but no one ever thinks about. I would have loved to know what Gladwell was thinking when he came up with the concept for this book. It is such a simple idea, yet complex at the same time. Gladwell breaks it down for the reader in three rules: the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, and the Power of Context. He then goes on to explain each rule in depth to really help the reader grasp the concept of the Tipping Point. 

            He starts with the Law of the Few, which basically explains that there are only a few people that can really cause something to tip: Mavens, Connectors, and Salesmen. Mavens, such as Mark Alpert, are people that pay attention to ever detail in life, and can tell you exactly where you should go/stay/eat for the best price/experience in any given place that they have traveled to. They know how to get the best deals, who to talk to, and how to get great service. They also share their information with others because they want to help that person have a better experience. Connectors, like Roger Horchow, are people who know a wide variety of people. They have many acquaintances. They are not like regular people, because regular people just want a core group of friends. Connectors talk to and are friendly with everyone. And finally, there are Salesmen like Tom Gau that instantly make you like them. Gau makes every single one of his clients feel right at home, and he also conveniently offers services to them that have to do with his business indirectly. He personalizes the experience of wealth management. These three types of people convince other people to go and try/buy/do new things, causing the new thing to tip and explode with popularity. This is a very astute observation, because, if you think about it, it is very true. Almost everything I buy is based off a recommendation from someone else. I also know who to ask for the best places to purchase things.

            Gladwell uses the children’s show Blues Clues and Sesame Street as examples of the Stickiness Factor, as well as advertising for the Columbia Record Club.  He explains that in order for something to be effective and explode into an epidemic, it must have a stickiness factor. It must stick with the client, and force them to pay attention. Sesame Street ran many, many tests with children to see what was effective and what wasn’t. Their experiments allowed them to perfect a show that taught children while they watched. Blues Clues copied this concept, but simplified the show to make children even more interested. I think both of these were great examples, but I like how Gladwell tied in experiences from the Columbia Record Club as well as a tetanus shot experiment to really prove that the Stickiness Factor is effective, and that “ideas have to be memorable and move us to action”.

            The last thing Gladwell says bring a situation to its Tipping Point is the Power of Context. Gladwell uses Bernie Goetz and the New York City subway shooting incident as an example here. Crime was extremely high in New York City, especially on the subway. Goetz was seen as sort of a hero by the public for standing up to four youths who were harassing him on the subway. Many of the patrons of the transit system felt like Goetz had taken the subway back for all the non-threatening people out there. The Broken Windows theory was instilled first in the New York City subway system and then in the NYPD, and it made a huge difference, proving that the context of a situation can cause something to tip. If you take away the small things in a criminal’s environment, the big things are likely to change rapidly. Gladwell spends the rest of the novel explaining case studies that prove his points. He explores the world of epidemics, and explains exactly what causes them. It is something that affects everyone, but no one ever thinks about its origins. Gladwell uses excellent prose with many examples that apply to most people to enforce his ideas, and it definitely sticks!

45 Days Until the End of the World

Round 2 of Favorite Blogs…here we go! Katerina Sardi does a great job on her blog The TV Devotee. She is also a telecom student, and I love that she focuses on her favorite TV shows. I especially love the picture she shared from Entertainment Weekly (one of my all time favorite magazines) and her Halloween post. Modern Family is one of my favorite TV shows, so I am so glad she used Gloria’s alien costume as the picture. Shelby Vest also has a very interesting blogs about random acts of kindness. These make a person’s day very easily. My favorite random act that she posted was the one about donating clothes to Goodwill. I always try to do this once a year, and it makes keeping your closet organized so much easier. And the final blog that caught my eye was Bailey Myers, who writes about politics and being an informed voter. I especially liked her post about the Presidential Debate. This is very helpful to keep people informed, and it makes it easier for citizens who want to just go to one website for their information. I also loved the Time Magazine cover she used as her picture.

47 Days Until the End of the World

Part of this class also includes talking about some of my favorite blogs that come from my classmates. The first one I like comes from Tondrea Haddly. Her blog is all about fashion, and I absolutely love shopping and clothes (who doesn’t??)! A post that really stuck out to me is the one about Winter Wear. I’m from the same latitude as Miami, so our winters are very mild (I consider Gainesville “Up North”!). This post offers me other options for the mild climate. While looking over Madison Conner‘s  blog, I stumbled across this post about BCS Rankings. Being a sports girl, this one immediately caught my eye. However, when I saw that it was about the Gators being second in the BCS standings, it made me a little sad for when we were undefeated. However, I still love my Gators! Finally, I discovered Hannah Schrader‘s blog. Two things that I instantly loved about this blog: 1) the name (Hannah is getting married, and the title is the name of a Hairspray song, one of my favorite musicals!) and 2) the theme…I happen to have the same one! I loved watching this story that Hannah did during her internship this summer. While rape is always a terrible situation, Hannah did a good job telling the story. That’s all from my classmates, but check back again tomorrow for another set of reviews!

53 Days Until the End of the World

A Little More About Me

I grew up in Naples, Fl and when I graduated I decided to attend the University of Florida. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in until I got to orientation and found Telecommunications on the list of majors. I instantly fell in love with it, and I am so happy that I found a major I love! My Junior year is when my passion for sports really started to shine through. It was reinforced during my senior year after working extensively with ESPN and ESPNU. ESPNU offers opportunities through Campus Connection, as well as their new show UNITE. I currently anchor the sports segment on the 5 o’clock show on the local PBS station, I cover men’s basketball, and I and in charge of UF Campus Connection (which means I get to do cool things like cover College GameDay!). I also am heavily involved with the College of Journalism and Communications. For more, check out my resume here!

My Resume





University of Florida, Gainesville, FL                                              2009-Present

Major: Telecommunications-News

Minor: Spanish

Honors Program, Dean’s List



WUFT-TV                                                                                             Fall 2011-Present

University of Florida Television News Station

Reporter, Sports Anchor/Associate Producer

Pitch story ideas; conduct interviews; shoot video, press conferences, and player availability; edit video; write scripts; and perform live broadcast

GatorVision                                                                                        Spring 2012-Present

Sports Production Class


I shot games, practices, and interviews for a show on Florida lacrosse as well as produced part of the last show. I also work utility at the football games.

ESPN                                                                                                    Summer 2012


I interned with the Production Coordinators, helping facilitate live events.

College Football Awards                                                                     December 7-8, 2011

Social Media

Took behind the scenes pictures and video while tweeting from the CFAs in Orlando


Campus Connection                                                                           October 23,2011


Sideline Reporter

I shot standups, wrote a script, and had a package air on ESPN U.


WBBH                                                                                                  June-July 2011

NBC-2 in Ft. Myers, FL


Shadow reporters, practice shooting standups and writing packages, practice editing


WLUF                                                                                                  February 4, 2011

University of Florida Television Station

Associate Producer-Gainesville High School vs. Eastside High School Basketball Game

Live Radio Broadcast, Recorded TV Broadcast, Aired on ESPN Top Ten Plays



Journalism and Communications College Council                              President

Journalism and Communications Ambassadors                                 College Liaison

Radio Television Digital News Association                                        Membership Chair

National Broadcasting Society                                                          Fundraising Chair

Student Honors Organization


facebook.com/smj499   twitter.com/stephjones499      youtube.com/stephjones0802


I am proficient in Final Cut Pro, Avid, and ENPS. I can also operate cameras, teleprompter, and stage manage.

64 Days Until the End of the World

Florida Georgia is coming up this weekend, and I am so excited! The annual rivalry between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia is one of my favorite events of the Fall. Everyone gathers in downtown Jacksonville to split the stadium right down the middle and to cheer for their favorite team. This game takes me back to the Tennessee game  last year when I was with my roommates and my mom. This year, my roommates and I are going with my little brother. Nothing gets me excited for the weekend like Florida Football!

71 Days Until the End of the World

As I talked about in an earlier blog post, I want to be a sports reporter. This week I got to do a cool story on the UF marching band and what it takes to be a member of the Pride of the Sunshine. The story was shared on ESPNU’s YouTube page. I talked to 5th year Snare Drum Jason Silbiger on what it’s like to travel with the team to away games. This past summer, the band had the opportunity to travel to London for the Summer Olympics. Being a member of the Gator Band is a full time job. For more information, check out the Gator Band on Facebook!

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