Beat Note: Technology


I chose to cover technology because it is an integral part of our everyday life as human beings. Technology has vastly improved our standard of living and will continue to do so with new innovations emerging every minute—even as I type this very sentence on a portable computer a.k.a. laptop. Essentially any task one can think of from communication to cooking has been made simpler and more efficient through various technological improvements and the endless tinkering and testing of brilliant minds, both past and present.

One can find technology around every corner and say with confidence that it truly is impossible to find someone whose life has not been affected in a positive way due to the splendors of modern-day technology. Our daily needs are met with ease thanks to inventions that are most often taken for granted. Scientists and innovators’ endless pursuit of knowledge and improvement is just a part of what makes technology such a galvanizing topic.

Human life in general has long been judged by technological contributions both minuscule and monumental. Cavemen inventing new ways and tools to hunt efficiently involved technology just as much as radio, television, and the future of flying automobiles. Technology is such a fun topic because it can deal with such a broad array of topics including health, education, and well…time travel. Seeing how far we’ve come already, its almost frightening to sit and think about what the future of technology holds in store for us.

While the scope of a beat such as technology is one with practically no limits, I am particularly interested in topics surrounding various forms of social media and digital communication and technological advancements in the world of sports, computers, and video games among other things. I will look to explore issues, concerns, and announcements of new technology in and around Pullman as well as attempts at putting a local spin on technology stories both nationally and globally.

Because this is Pullman and the only thing more prevalent than short shorts, booze, and bro tanks is wheat fields, I feel it would be both appropriate and interesting to pay close attention to technological findings in agriculture and their impact on the area.

Seeing as though WSU is world-renowned for its veterinary school and I care deeply for the well-being of animals, I would love to take a look at technology in the field of animal sciences as well.

Story Ideas:
1. Social Media: Advantages & Disadvantages on College Students?

2. Animal Science: What is the College of Veterinary Medicine doing to improve quality of life for animals?

3. What advancements have the small farming communities outside of Pullman made in agriculture?

Existing Stories:

NSF grant: WSU shares ‘smart home’ technology with the world

Pretty creepy but this “smart home in a box” technology monitors your daily movements and patterns to recognize your usual routine around the house. It can remind you to complete tasks and probably conspire against you while you’re not around. Does it watch you while you sleep?

Model for safety: Ultrafast boat can fly over water, land
WSU researchers have developed models of a power augmented ram vehicle (PARV, a hydroplane/sea plane hybrid that travels just above the surface of water, trapping air underneath it. Their hope is to use it in rescue operations.

WSU research providing solutions: Anaerobic digestion transforms manure into income generator

WSU researchers are utilizing manure to create bio-fertilizers and other economic efficiencies through anaerobic digestion.

Possible Sources:

1. Phillip Cable
Information Technology Specialist: Marketing, News & Edu. Comm.

2. Charlie Powell
Communications Coordinator for the College of Veterinary Medicine

3. Jennifer Steffen
Assistant Director of Systems & Operations/Enrollment Info Technology at Lighty Student Services


Jason Stookey: Information Systems Coordinator in the CUB


Possible Beats

Local Sports:

I’d try to narrow down the scope of this focus but WSU’s new scoreboard (along with the other ongoing major football program projects) would be a good sports issue to explore that is relevant and interesting to many people in this geographic area.


College Health:

This is another focus area that I would need to narrow down further. With that said, I feel like covering stories relating to health issues affecting college students would be interesting and think that people/sources in the know would not be too difficult to come by. This article describes our university’s efforts to combat alcoholism and binge drinking on campus and I think its about time somebody takes a stand.