Tag Archives: journalism

Finality.

My final project for Multimedia Storytelling, a look at how the recession is affecting college Army ROTC enlistment. Enjoy!

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of visual interest

41All right, I’ve finally done it. I have a new page just for my photography. I knew I’d get to it eventually.

Just click the link at the top of the page or the picture here to follow him to the new page. And enjoy. I’ll try to keep it updated…

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A time for silence

Steering throughWe’ve been working this semester on video and adding audio to our photos, but we were assigned a silent, black and white photostory over the break. I was so excited to get back to just pictures!

Now that I know that unique element audio adds, however, I go through the story and see all the photos and think, “Ooh, if I had some natural sound here…” Bummer.

But, I still love the photos. Check it out here!

And…I’ll be posting some of the pictures I didn’t end up using for the photostory soon.

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Uncertainty?

The findings in the State of the News Media 2009 Report are sobering, to say the least.

I knew the numbers were bad, I’ve been hearing it in every journalism class I take and reading it in print and online. But a look at the actual numbers says things are worse than I thought. One out of every five journalists gone? That would be two, possibly three people from our class alone.

I see much of the problem the media face coming from public attitudes toward them. If only 8 percent of Americans have “a great deal of confidence” in the news media, why would we expect the other 92 percent to pay any attention to us? Why wouldn’t we expect that the only way the 18 percent who have “no confidence at all” would read or listen to our news would be for free, if that?

I think this ties to the increase the report found in the power of individual journalists. An audience that has found the media as a whole untrustworthy turned to individual journalists they felt they could trust or with whom they shared a bias. I really think this is where media are headed: key players, not key teams.

The failure of the media to adapt early on to the web and to be the industry that set the model and pace for others is an integral part of the current crisis. The game of catch-up and the struggle to turn our current work to on-demand has only fueled the fire of negative public feelings in the media because we provide inaccurate or biased information. I think the catch-up needs to end and real evolution of how we present the news will have to happen soon.

People tend to paint journalism and newspapers as one entity, but the truth is, newspapers are only one part of journalism. They are, in fact, a shrinking piece of a growing whole.

And while several parts of journalism are shrinking, two facets, online and cable, are growing. Just looking at online journalism, I believe there are a multitude of possibilities, especially for a young journalist, trained for the web and ready to work individually, who recognizes the problems and failures of the current and past news media.

I think this only provides more opportunities to young journalists, and I actually look forward to creating and working in a role that maybe hasn’t been filled by any journalist before.

I highly recommend reading this article about the reality of newspapers and online journalism.

In other news, I spent Spring Break this year in (and getting to) Seattle. Here’s beautiful Seattle by ferry at night.

[bokeh] Seattle by Night

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Progress to date

Here is my work to date that hasn’t already been linked to on my blog.

Tim Best works on a sculpture for an upcoming show

My second soundslides assignment went well, I got it completed much more quickly than the first one. I feel like I was able to get a pretty good interview, but I had some trouble with the natural sound for this piece. It was pretty quiet when I went to see Tim Best at the workroom, and his sculpture was actually pretty far along. He was just waiting for some fabric to come in, so his sculpture was on hold and he didn’t need to use any of the machines.

That also meant that there wasn’t very much for me to photograph. I ended up with a lot of very similar pictures. But, the editing process went much faster this time, which was probably the most important part for me.

Partner Edit

This is my first assignment with video. My partner, Abigail Thatcher, shot this footage of the girl studying, then I had to edit it into a story. So. If you can’t tell, here’s the plot: Girl is writing, girl forgets what comes next, checks her notes, sees what she’s missing, goes back to writing. Not the most interesting story, I guess, but I think you can tell that’s what happens in the movie.

This editing was easier for me than the previous audio. I played around with the speed and reverse, and I think it turned out pretty well.

Stencil Artist

This is a story I did on a fellow UNT student who makes and spray paints stencils.I thought it was pretty cool I’ve never seen such intricate stencils. When I got there, I realized there was a whole new (crazy) development to his story. Watch it, it’s pretty interesting.

This editing took a long time, because my audio was a lot softer than I realized, and I had to edit around a lot of stuff with music in the background. When I exported it, the video, which had been a little dark, became a little too light. I’m looking into a way to fix that, but I haven’t found anything yet.

Flash Template

Say hello to my first attempt at Flash. It is missing a video on the first button, we can’t figure out what happened there. It works in Flash and testing it and just pulling it up, but it won’t work on the internet. Flash was a little confusing, but I think it would be a lot of fun to work in once I’ve played around in it a bit.

I still need to work on gathering my audio, I’ve had problems with that every single assignment so far. I feel like I’ve gotten pretty well acquainted with Final Cut and Soundslides, though. Now I just need some time to play around with Flash.

The skills I have learned (and am still working on) will help me get a job in the future, hopefully pretty soon after I graduate. Especially in journalism, technology and multimedia are becoming more pervasive and necessary. I doubt I’d be able to get a job in journalism after I graduate if I didn’t know these programs and have these skills.

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What’s a blog to do?

James C. Foust’s textbook, Online Journalism, lists six ways blogs can join in journalistic discourse.

Blogs can provide commentary of other news coverage or events. They can filter and edit, guiding readers to certain news story. Blogs can also provide grassroots reporting, covering stories and news events firsthand. My blog serves all three of these functions.

Blogs can also fact-check information previously in the blog or in other media and provide annotative reporting to supplement another news story and open-source reporting and peer review.

I filter and edit every week, I believe, so I’m going to keep that up this week. Check out this article, by the AP, about the response NBC got when they asked viewers for good, upbeat stories.  This is an interesting article, and I think brings up a good point. Yes, we are in the middle of some very depressing, critical times in the world. But, those things don’t consume all of our thoughts, and they aren’t all we want to hear about. People can be positive, so why not the news?

I’m going to use one of the functions I haven’t yet used, also. Fact-checking. And I’m going to start with my own blog. I realized, after critiquing the NPR‘s blog “Picture Show,” that I was incorrect about how often they update the blog. It is not every day, or even every week day. Rather, it skips around and sometimes is updated every day for several days in a row, and sometimes isn’t updated for several days.

The textbook has an accompanying Web site with some great content.

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The Chron.com v. The LA Times

The Houston Chronicle and the LA Times are about to go head to head.

The Nieman Journalism Lab recently compiled a list of the Top 15  newspaper Web sites according to the number of unique monthly visitors. From the bottom five I chose the Chronicle, because I lived there for so long, and, because the Chronicle is a city paper, I chose the LA Times from the top five to compare it with.

The LA Times’ front page is much cleaner than the Chronicle’s. Chron.com looks very busy, cluttered and even a little intimidating. The Times utlitized more pictures on the front page and spaced out separate items. The Chronicle has a lot of little pictures on their home page, adding to the cluttered look, and bunches a lot of the links for their stories together. The Times was much more pleasing to look at.

Chronicle: 0, Times: 1

I really like that the Chronicle has all their links at the top of the page. If I know what I’m looking for, I can get there without scrolling. The Times put their links to different sections on the side, descending down the page. This isn’t a huge inconvenience (just a minor one), but it does take longer to get around this way. As far as ease of use goes, the Chronicle has a slight edge.

Chronicle: 1, Times: 1

Both the Times and the Chronicle told you in the link, before the jump to a story, whether there were pictures or a video to go along with it. That was nice. In addition, the Chronicle has an entire section on their home page dedicated to videos, photos and readers’ photos – one place where I can get it all. Terribly convenient. The Times had links on the side of the home page, one for video and one for photography. Also, very convenient.

I’m going to have to call this one a tie.

As far as quality of multimedia, both Web sites have good video and photos, but I wasn’t able to find soundslides or anything beyond very basic videos at either site. I think that the Times did, overall, have slightly better photography. So. The Times takes this one.

Chronicle: 1, Times: 2

So, overall, I feel the Times has a better Web site and makes better use of multimedia than the Chronicle. But just a little better.

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