Two months later…

Wow! It doesn’t feel like school has already been out for two months. Maybe it’s because I’ve been so busy since then!

Only a short while after classes ended, I started up the infamous “Missourian” course.

(For those of you unfamiliar with the J School and the “Missouri Method,” the Journalism 4450 aka the Missourian course is a class, but more like an unpaid internship. In this class, you are a professional reporter for the Columbia Missourian. You are expected to pick up stories as well as pitch your own. For summer session, students are expected to average around 4 stories a week for the 6 week course.)

Well, I thought that my one true love in journalism was telling a story with pictures. But after the reporting class, my life may be changed.

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Twitter News Quiz 2… NYPD

In a previous news quiz, one of the questions was about NYPD and what group of people they had been secretly watching. Even out of their area, into New Jersey, NYPD was keeping a surveillance on Muslims. They went into businesses frequented by Muslims to eavesdrop, they took the license plate numbers of Muslims worshiping at mosques, and they monitored Muslim student organizations.

Here are the main articles I am using for this post. I’m listing them here for your convenience, although I linked them when I used them as well.

Huffington PostNJ.comUSA Today … Atlanta Journal-Constitution … Fox News

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The rise of technology

In this week’s lecture, we learned about new technologies that are influencing journalism. Some of them were things I’ve heard of, such as HTML5. Other new things included Gamification and Augmented Reality.

Now gamification is something I’m not sure I believe in, but augmented reality is awesome. Keith (the speaker) showed us an application called Aurasma. You can watch a video of this application at work here. As long as an image is designed for Aurasma, by hovering over the photo or advertisment with your iPhone or iPad, the application will pull up an additional video or broadcast or ad from that same photo. It’s pretty amazing. My first thoughts? Harry Potter in real life!

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Ethical photojournalism

Taking environmental or expressional portraits is a common element in picture stories– the absence of one is considered strange and a viewer will probably get a sense of incompleteness. The viewer has to be connected to the subject in order for the story to have much impact. Capturing the essence of the subject in his or her environment helps the audience understand who, what, and why the story is important or noteworthy.

This is where my understanding of journalistic portrait photography ends. I understand the importance of it, that a story must have one. However, exactly what constitutes a portrait is where my struggle begins.

Many times, you see a portrait like this:

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The Shock of Recognition, 3 out of 5 stars

For today’s blog, I am going to offer a personal critique of this multimedia piece, The Shock of Recognition. I am subscribed to New York Times’ tweets and when I read the tweet about this story I decided to give it a look. I first read the accompanying article, then the multimedia piece.

I am no expert on the good and bad of multimedia, so this opinion is completely based on my own feelings and taste.

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In the future

Today, Amy Simons gave us some new ideas about blogs. She encouraged us to make a blog outside of this one and talk about something we’re passionate about. Anything- cupcakes, Rangers, fitness. She showed us several other fun blogs, complete with creative colors, external links, and custom designs.

It got me thinking about this blog. Continue reading

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: