Eeny Meeny Miny Mo…

For my semester long 2150 project, I am torn between two ideas. My first idea is to cover a local animal sanctuary, called . With tigers, lions, llamas, and various farm animals, the sanctuary would offer rich visuals and possibly attractive audios.
My roommate had to volunteer there for a class last semester. I think I will have plenty of sources, from the owners and caretakers to the volunteers. Neighbors and veterinarians would be other additional sources. I have not yet begun contacting the sanctuary or possible sources as of yet, but it is a project for the near future.
My personal connection to this story is not a deep one– I just really love animals. I heard my roommate talking about this place and I am just very curious about it. How did the Dales- the married couple who started the sanctuary are both named Dale- choose Mid-Missouri to start a sanctuary? Where do these animals come from? I also want to know if the incident in Ohio has changed the way they operate their sanctuary.
My second idea is a story about multiculturalism at Hickman High School in Columbia. I come from a small town, where the racial distribution is probably  99% white. However, I am fascinated by other cultures and how they all weave into one society, especially in a contained area like Hickman. I want to know how culture, identity, and acceptance all tie together. As the culturally-undeveloped baby journalist that I am, I think this would not only be a good story but would really bring true learning and development for me.
This seems like the obvious choice here, right? But this story, I think, will definitely bring about so many more challenges. First of all, it’s getting permission. Once again, I have not begun contacting sources yet.
The subject itself is also very broad. I will need to find something within the topic to focus on. I’m thinking about trying to find a teacher connected to the story, or maybe the principal.
It’s a difficult choice- a story with fewer obstacles about something I love? Or the story with roadblocks that will really test me?

The serious and the silly

In J2150 lecture this Tuesday, we watched A Thousand More, a multimedia piece about a nine year old boy with a life-altering condition. As a journalist, and especially a photojournalist, this story displays one of the kinds of topics I will have to cover– human interest. Many human interest stories are about suffering, or working through a difficult time, like this piece was.

A Thousand More could not have been as touching and successful as it was without Philly, the subject. Often a journalist might have a good idea for a story… but the story itself will fall flat due to the subject. Some people can never be comfortable being photographed, video graphed, and interviewed constantly. They may also dislike the idea of a journalist seeing into their private life and be unwilling to open up. However, Philly was a goldmine for the journalist. He was open, funny, and most of all, captivating. Because of his attitude, the audience was not feeling sorry for him the entire time but enjoying his bright and happy personality. The interviews with the parents were a necessity as well; Philly’s happiness often made me forget how his condition affected his life. His parents brought my thoughts back to the seriousness of the situation.

I would not change much about the video. I think I would have enjoyed seeing more about his relationships with his friends and how his friends have to deal with his condition. Do they think about it? How does it make them feel? I think talking to some other people outside of the family could have shed more light on Philly’s affect on the world. The other thing I didn’t quite agree with was the use of photography. The journalist inserted a handful of photos throughout the piece, but I found them to be out of place. There either needed to be more photos or none at all.

Many multimedia pieces orbit around serious, touching, or dramatic stories. Stories like Philly’s attract attention and audiences. However, not all multimedia has to be so serious! Once in a while, I come across fun and light-hearted. Here’s a piece I came across a while ago and fell in love with! It’s fun, fast paced, and frivolous. There’s no photography but I still love it:

The Role of the Photographer.

This photo evokes an emotion, an instant reaction, and immediate meditation. Kevin Carder took this picture during the Sudan famine in 1994. The conditions that he saw there eventually lead to his suicide.

Cartier-Bresson said it right! No matter what a person is doing– walking down the street, facebooking, or reading a magazine, when a photograph gets into their field of vision, it’s an instinct to look at it. The second someone looks at a photo, they will have a reaction. If someone is looking through a newspaper, usually stories with a photo will get the most attention.They might think, “hey, that’s a nice car,” if they see an ad in their magazine. A photo of their friend’s cute dress on Facebook might make them “like” the picture. Some pictures might be seen and ignored. But sometimes, a photo will be more than these basic reactions. Sometimes, a photo can make you feel something deeper inside. A photo that evokes a true emotion, be it happiness, anger, or depression are the photos that will be remembered, if only for a little while.

It’s hard for me to separate my role as a viewer and as a photographer. Because I am so immersed in the world as a photographer, I can’t look at a photo as a viewer might. When I see one of those emotion-evoking photos, I stop and ask myself, what is this photo trying to tell me? What is the story? Why should I feel this emotion? And as a photographer, I know that my photos should be conveying these same ideas to the viewer. That is my responsibility and my obligation to the world: To tell a story with just one or multiple images.  There are stories all around me. Without photographs, however, those stories may never be noticed.

And we’re off: J2150

Wow, after J2100 News Writing last semester, I thought I could take a deep breath. Doesn’t look like it though! This semester, I’ll be taking J2150 Multimedia Journalism and J2000 Cross-Cultural Journalism at the same time… which, in the words of my J2000 professor: “Your semester is going to suck!” Great! Just what I wanted to hear on my first day of class.

Actually, J2150 should be pretty fun. Because Multimedia and especially photography is really what I want to do with my life! I am hoping to graduate with an emphasis in Photojournalism. Photography is my passion… and my Nikon D7000 is my baby! I have loved photography for so long, I can’t remember when I started. And when I realized I could make a life out of it, I knew that journalism was for me.