Author Archives: eileendundee

Going against the Grain


Journalists have a duty to always be questioning and evaluating the government. However, sometimes mainstream journalists, like regular citizens,  find themselves turning a blind eye to their favorite candidate’s missteps and over-glorifying their victories. It takes a strong person to stand up to this type of bias because going against the crowd is never easy. When Mayhill Fowler broke presidential nominee Barack Obama’s quote about midwesterners she was meet by many of her liberal peers with accusations and even treats. 

Fowler, a supporter of Obama, found herself in an ordinary situation that many mainstream journalists face everyday, but she did something extraordinary. Instead of blindly following and dismissing her candidate’s speech, she called him out to the public. Because she was able to expose him on an independent platform people who were not at the speech were able to see it and eventually the mainstream media had to take notice. 

This type of journalism would have been impossible in the mainstream because the producers of those publications have specific interests and agendas that they only allow their reporters to cover. Anything that goes against their beliefs and values is hidden from the public and dismissed quickly. Fowler and other bloggers have the freedom to cover what they want and bring valuable information to the light. It took bravery and conviction for her to expose this glitch in her favorite candidate, but because she believed in truth over protecting Obama’s reputation American’s were able to see a side of him that until then was conveniently swept under the radar. 


Too Many to Count



This infographic from confirms my suspicions about how difficult it is to become a credible blogger. With 571 websites created and 347 blogs written every minute, how can one stand out from the pack of opinions and resources to become trustworthy and build a fan base? Not only that, but how do serious bloggers get access to public figures and information while other writers with the exact same title simply make up facts and cost the credibility of bloggers in general? 

This is why I find issue with allowing all internet writers the protection of journalists. Bloggers do not have editors and fact checkers to validate their information, and therefore should not always be taken seriously. Yes, some bloggers put in the time and effort to write in-depth stories about events and public officials, but even if they do get all their information right there is a slim chance that the topics of their stories will grant them the time for an interview, which I personally think is a necessity to any story. I understand that bloggers are credited with discovering many stories that the media has left unmentioned, but they also they have more room for error and uncertainty. 

I think the solution to this would be if every blogger who wished to have an accredited page to go through an online SPJ course. After they complete the journalism course, they would be allowed to post on their page that they are SPJ approved. This will promote ethical blogs, and will separate the pranksters from the actual citizen journalists. This would also help public figures decipher which bloggers are trustworthy and which ones might be in it for other reasons. In 

There is way too much information on the web to control content, and without an overarching set of standards I do not believe that blogging can progress past where it is today. Sure, some people look at blogs for their news, but when a breaking story happens, we turn to the corporate media like CNN and MSNBC to bring us the updates. A code of ethics that serious bloggers would adhere to would create a better environment for trust on all sides of writing a story. The sources would be more comfortable, the author would be protected, and the readers would know that they are getting accurate information. 

the thing about tonsillitis of the skin…


is that it really really stinks. quite frankly i would rank it at the top of the annoying list right next to itty bitty splinters and cold grilled cheese sammies.

i was feeling a bit run down, which would be normal seeing as i have slept as much as Uncle Martin in the great film My Favorite Martian.

Uncle Martin: Wake up, Tim. There’s a big day ahead of us.

Tim O’Hara: It’s still night time. You’ve been asleep for 30 seconds.

Uncle Martin: 30 seconds? I *was* tired!

… you get my point.

so, as i was saying, i was feeling a bit run down and i had a touch of a sore throat. thinking it was just allergies, i laid down around one for a short power nap… which happened to last 10 hours. you can call me rip van winkle.

upon my resurrection i had quite a shock. I HAD BUMPS. these little red spots covered my body from the tops of my legs to my back.

immediately did the logical thing, and  googled “sudden red little dots on skin”…the first result was HIV, the second chicken pox.

ive never had chicken pox, and as i havent injected myself with any dirty needles recently, i decided it had to be the later.  freaking out, i called and notified every one of my family and friends.


after sufficiently freaking myself and everyone around me out, i decided to take a shower and go to bed. I dreamed of aliens infecting me with their DNA and of ghosts visiting me and telling me i was next. honestly, i thought it was a sign of my emanate demise.

the next morning i called the medical clinic at exactly 830… their opening time. the dots had grown into a mass of leopard spots and now covered most of my body. luckily, i got the first appointment of the day. i think the receptionist took pity on me and my panicked plea of, “PLEASE HELP I HAVE SPOTS.” so, after rushing there, a nice little doctor took me into a room.

“you have tonsillitis of the skin” he said.

“No,” i replied, “thats in your throat” thinking to myself *what kind of drugs is this fella taking?*

well, as it turns out, it is a real thing. you can go and google it. after taking the antibiotics and sleeping through most of Tuesday night, i have healed significantly.Image

so, moral of the story: DO NOT GOOGLE YOUR DISEASES. you will be grossed out, and you will send your loved ones into a panic attack.

ill keep you posted on how im doing… until then, maybe you can contract some really cool scientific monstrosity. i have to admit though… being infected with alien DNA didnt seem so horrible when i really thought about it.

peace up, a town down,


International Colour Day -Melbourne (for my journalism class.. oo la la)


International Colour Day is celebrated around the world on the 21st of March. Eileen Oaks attended the first annual celebration in Melbourne to understand the exact purpose of this festival.

Color Booth

On March 21st around the world millions of individuals joined together in activities and discussions aimed at celebrating the importance of colour in everyday lives. International Colour Day is observed in over 30 countries every year but this year marks an especially important day for Australian colour enthusiasts.

The Victorian Division of the Colour Society hosted International Colour Day on behalf of all Colour Society members in Australia for the first time in history. Federation Square in Melbourne came alive as individuals from all around Australia flocked to the city’s center to celebrate the wonders of colour along with the rest of the world.

The Colour Society of Australia held this event to raise colour awareness and appreciation. By putting together a colourful day for all visitors to experience, they hoped to help people find the power of colour in their everyday lives. Art exhibitions, architectural projects, fashion shows, scientific events and contests on colour and light designs, play a key role in colour day activities.

Individuals from all different colour mediums as well as curious pedestrians visited the square to celebrate the positive affects of colour and its applications in science, industry, the visual arts and education.

Kathy Morris, an Australian interior designer, explains how colour is often overlooked but “…the importance of colour in our lives cannot be exaggerated. It affects our health and wellbeing as much as anything else in the world…probably even more than anything else.”

Members of the Australian Colour Society come from a wide array of backgrounds: from nail polish developers, to designers, to marketing professionals and even scientists working with colour therapy.

“We are passionate about colour. Hosting the fist International Colour Day in Australia allows us to share our passion with others. I hope people leave with a new appreciation for colour,” says Morris.

International Colour Day was founded by the Portuguese Colour Association in 2009. March 21st of every year was agreed upon to become the date of this celebration becuase it is the fall equinox,. This is the only time each year when the night and day are equally long. This was deemed an appropriate day due to the vast correlations between light and color.

For more information, or to join the Australian Colour Society visit

Eileen Oaks is a second year Journalism and International relations student studying abroad in Melbourne at La Trobe University. Originally from Indiana and mainly studying at Ithaca College, she apologizes for her accent and how she says, “Melbourne”. You can follow her on twitter @eileenoverrails.

@eileenoverrails checks out the International Colour Festival held in Melbourne.

What does color mean to you? Does it play an important role in your life? @eileenoverrails looks for answers at the International Color Festival in Melbourne

@eileenoverrails is overwhelmed with how much colour really means to these individuals. Amazing how its overlooked so often.

i am actually taking classes…


finally. after three weeks of beaching, making friends, and exploring all that melbourne has to offer, la trobe university has finally commenced classes. not that i shall cease to have the time of my life… but now ill actually have a purpose to be here. imagine that. 

this semester ill be continuing my dead-end major in broadcast journalism and international relations. because two useless degrees are better than one.  

anyway, my classes so far have been wonderful. i am taking multimedia journalism, press and society and australian international relations. i like these classes. i can do them confidently and they shall help me with my future of as a college town bar tender… thats not all though, folks. 

my advisor recommended that i also take an art class. i like art well enough, and ignorantly i agreed to fill out my schedule to her liking. 

you know what she picked? *drumroll please* ANDY WARHOL’S AMERICA. if you have ever heard my ramblings on modern art, im sure you will find this absolutely hysterical. i am now enrolled in a class which is trying to prove that pop-art is a valid form of expression and that warhol wasnt just a crackhead hipster with an addiction to fame. Cool. 

already i feel like the subject is eating my brain slowly. in the first class we learned about how the great depression happened to america in the 1930s and that the second world war was rough. thank you australian lady. pull this car over. ill teach the history aspect from here. at least i might get an a. or maybe expand my horizons? who knows? maybe ill learn to even accept modern art. *insert smirk*. ahh hell no. 

i dont mean to complain though. this year will certainly be full of new perspectives and adventures. australian international relations is the class i most look forward to because, lets be honest, ill probably end up being the US ambassador to Australia eventually. how perfect would that be? 

anyway. I’m off to the campus bar for a theme night. the adventure never ends!

sleep tight, and have lovely dreams.