Make today your happy place

Stefan Vandenkooy summed up a thought I didn’t even know I had in the line, “cultivating a culture where coolness is defined by busy-ness and stress.”

With each passing semester I experience at university, I know this simple fact to be true. Think of the campus stars- the people professors know about, the people students talk about and want to be friends with, the people who seem to have a small connection to every organization on campus. These campus stars are the standouts on campus simply because they are busy. We may see them in passing. We may see them talking on the phone. We may even see them in a photo or two on Facebook. But when do they actually get to experience the environment around them that they pay so much to be apart of?

University is a culture of busy-ness because every day we are asked the questions: How are you preparing for your future? How are you getting to where you want to be? Do you have an internship? How many credits are you taking? How many references do you have on your resume?

Finals week only catalyzes these pressures. The pressure causes an unhealthy amount of stress on people because some do not know how to handle it well.

Finding the balance between the pressure of the future and enjoying the now is the real challenge. If we spend every waking moment stressed by tomorrow, we will look back and realize our future passed us by with our eyes consistently on the horizon and not on the today’s walking path. Our J2150 final project caused a lot of stress on me because of the daunting amount of weight it holds in my grade. However, I did only what I could do and that was to take each day’s criticisms and changes and apply them as they came.

Today is the day we need to actively make better and do the same thing tomorrow.

Today is happening now. Make today your happy place.

Where the sprinkles fall

My part of the final project was to create a website that is able to showcase our multimedia elements well and also to create a TV style video. Thinking about how to storyboard for the final project was difficult considering our topic, the Mizzou Interactive Theatre Troupe. The performance was easy to film but since it was in a classroom, the setting of each shot was almost exactly the same. I chose to focus the video on “the next steps” after watching the performance. Resources, advice, etc. should be readily available to students and professors if they so choose to continue learning about the discussion presented by the theatre troupe in class. The resource I chose to follow closely added color and life to the video with vibrant posters with strong messages, movement of people, and an overall well-decorated office space.

Sprinkles, a cupcake store located in places such as New York, California, and Chicago, IL, created a TV style video to celebrate its birthday. The cupcakes, the pink-painted walls, and the crazy kitchen all added elements to the video itself because they engaged the viewer. The viewer must be visually enticed to watched the video as well as have clear, audible audio to listen to.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_p6RaVc3eFVOlYx19pxvJg

If we are not as lucky to cover to a topic like Sprinkles, as a journalist, it is our job to make the subject look as enticing as possible in the video. Tight shots, behind-the-scenes footage the viewer would never usually see, and creative shots help create this effect for the viewer. It is important to actively seek out these necessary shots but not manipulate a scene for the video. A true piece on the subject should not manipulate the action being done in order to add detail to the video.

High Stakes and High Emotions: Concerned Student 1950 press conference

Reporting on the Concerned Student 1950 press conference was an experience to learn from. I have been fortunate enough to cover events before with emotions running high for all participants. While covering this press conference, I witness very unprofessional journalism and the after effects it can have. It is of the upmost importance to first show and respect space for your subjects when given boundaries. Concerned Student 1950 had made been rallying and working very hard to make a long awaited change in our campus’ leadership and when this finally happened, all they wanted was a time to reflect and be together under a non-pressure atmosphere. In order to assure this, the group was proactive and scheduled a live stream press conference at 1pm. However, the same star of the viral video shot by a Mizzou student, Tim Tai was both intrusive and disrespectful during both the circle on Carnahan quad and after the press conference.

In order to search for a different angle than my fellow students covering the conference for class, I had waited behind the stage exit for the group to walk off. I waited while members were interviewed and asked permission to use their photos and quotes. Journalists beside me interrupted other journalists’ interviews ruining both the camera shot and distracted the interviewee’s thoughts. It is something that takes time and experience to learn when it is appropriate to ask questions and where one should stand to get the angle they are searching for.

Although it is our job to get a story, it is also our job to be respectful. This is in the unwritten ethics of journalism. Citizens of this country do not trust media for this exact reason. The few that exhibit no care for their subjects and only for themselves and their salary are the ones that ruin the reputation for all. It is a sad truth and one that is inescapable. More than ever I believe the Cross-Cultural Journalism class required for journalism majors at Mizzou is priceless. We must learn to recognize our own privileges and learn how to understand where others are coming from. We must understand the context other’s views.

I believe that it is more important to exhibit a high standard of character as a person rather than present a good story at the cost of the trust of the public.

Diversity on Campus: Concerned Student 1950 news press conference

Colleen Sloyan, J2150U Student Writer

On Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, UM System President Tim Wolfe resigned during a UM Board of Curators meeting this morning. Following this announcement made at 10 a.m., MU students and faculty linked arms to form a circle around Concerned Student 1950 on Carnahan quad to protect them from the media. Journalism student Mariah Brannon spoke of the crowd that gathered and said “Let them enjoy today.” She described the scene as media with cameras trying to push through the circle to get a close shot of Jonathan Butler.

Concerned Student 1950 members shield graduate student Jonathan Butler from the pressing media following the end of the news press conference in traditions plaza in Columbia, Mo. on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Jonathan Butler had been on a hunger strike for eight days until Monday, Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. when UM System President Tim Wolfe announced his resignation.
Concerned Student 1950 members shield graduate student Jonathan Butler from the pressing media following the end of the news press conference in traditions plaza in Columbia, Mo. on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Jonathan Butler had been on a hunger strike for eight days until Monday, Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. when UM System President Tim Wolfe announced his resignation.

Concerned Student 1950 held a news press conference in traditions plaza at 1 p.m. The turnout to the press conference was more than just media. Faculty cancelled classes and students of all races stood to witness history at MU. The crowd displayed tears listening to black student experiences and held up signs of support.

The crowd raises their right hand in solidarity to support and continue to support change on MU's campus at traditions plaza in Columbia, Mo. on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Bystanders joined Concerned Student 1950 members on stage in traditions plaza for the last few messages of the news press conference.
The crowd raises their right hand in solidarity to support and continue to support change on MU’s campus at traditions plaza in Columbia, Mo. on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Bystanders joined Concerned Student 1950 members on stage in traditions plaza for the last few messages of the news press conference.

MU senior Frances Silney-Bah held a sign that read, “They think it’s a game. They think it’s a joke. No justice, no peace!” Silney-Bah voiced, “This is just one step. We are not done yet.” Frances feels Wolfe’s resignation is on the way to justice but justice has not yet been served.

Senior Frances Silney-Bah holds a hand-made sign at the Concerned Student 1950 press conference on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 in Columbia, Mo. Attendees shouted chants out loud guided by members of Concerned Student 1950 for all of campus to hear.
Senior Frances Silney-Bah holds a hand-made sign at the Concerned Student 1950 press conference on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 in Columbia, Mo. Attendees shouted chants out loud guided by members of Concerned Student 1950 for all of campus to hear.
Graduate student Reuben Faloughi and member of Concerned Student 1950 maintains a low voice volume while scolding an eager journalism student for invading and intruding upon the group's boundaries during the press conference repeatedly on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 in Columbia, Mo. The student said that it was his job to do that and Faloughi answered him saying, "The next time you try to be intrusive, have some empathy. 'It's my job' is unacceptable."
Graduate student Reuben Faloughi and member of Concerned Student 1950 maintains a low voice volume while scolding an eager journalism student for invading and intruding upon the group’s boundaries during the press conference repeatedly on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 in Columbia, Mo. The student said that it was his job to do that and Faloughi answered him saying, “The next time you try to be intrusive, have some empathy. ‘It’s my job’ is unacceptable.”
An unnamed MU student raises her right hand to show support to marginalized groups on MU's campus on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 in Columbia, Mo. Students of all races were present to celebrate this moment in history for #BoycottMU and #ConcernedStudent1950.
An unnamed Caucasian MU student raises her right hand to show support to marginalized groups on MU’s campus on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 in Columbia, Mo. Students of all races were present to celebrate this moment in history for #BoycottMU and #ConcernedStudent1950.
A reporter and camera man from a news outlet turn toward each other for support after the reporter asks hurried members of Concerned Student 1950, "Why won't you talk to the media?," on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 in Columbia, Mo on the corner of Missouri and Conley Ave. Media representatives pushed forward after the news conference ended to be the first to capture interviews with Concerned Student 1950 members.
A reporter and camera man from a news outlet turn toward each other for support after the reporter asks hurried members of Concerned Student 1950, “Why won’t you talk to the media?,” on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 in Columbia, Mo on the corner of Missouri and Conley Ave. Media representatives pushed forward after the news conference ended to be the first to capture interviews with Concerned Student 1950 members despite numerous requests from the group for privacy to reflect on Monday’s events.

Mobile Journalism

Almost every American today carries their cell phone with them where ever they go. When you attend an event and look away from the center stage, the audience is most likely taking pictures on their cell phones and adding photos to their Snapchat stories. As some may say, if you didn’t take a picture, did you even go? It’s an unfortunate quality of our generation that we do not now how to enjoy the moment we’re in. We are so concerned that if we do not share the moment with our social media friends, there is no beauty to the moment. The moment gains importance the more likes we get on the internet. But, here is the funny thing. How many friends on social media are actually our friends? A handful probably if we’re lucky. A thousand + friends is highly unlikely in real life.

With the popularity of capturing photos on our mobile devices growing, it is hard to separate that from mobile journalism. Our lecture on Monday in J2150 taught me that good mobile journalism is different than anyone just taking photos on their phones. There are kits that allow us to capture high quality audio while capturing video on apps that allow editing right on your cell phone or iPad as well. Everyone maybe be a “photographer,” but not everyone is a journalist.

FET_003-1Mobile journalism is something to consider as a possible job in the future. As I approach my junior year with each passing day, I wonder what job in journalism I may have. My interest area may be Broadcast or even advertising, but that does not always secure a job in that field. We have to be trained in every area: writing, video, audio, even strategic communication. I look forward to seeing what mobile journalism has in store for its future.

concert_phones

http://http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/03/cell-phone-etiquette_n_5367558.html

Women in Media: Missouri Honor Medal Panel

The women on the panel talked about journalism very plainly and frank. Journalism is hard. You burn out easily because you do not have a schedule. It consists of late hours and it can start and stop at any time. However, they corrected the misconception that women burn out more easily than men. Men burn out from journalism just as often as women.unnamed

The numbers of women in journalism in the newsroom are plentiful. The disconnect between the numbers of women and men is the number of women in management. The woman, I believe named Meredith, from CNN digital said, “The suits don’t know the journalism. It’s good to bring the suits close to you when you can.” She emphasized that you need those people to understand what exactly your team does in order for them to invest in you. There will always be a line between the newsroom and the business side but there can also be a conversation. Merill Perlman, a distinguished editor, said that it is harder to hate someone you know. Get to know the suits so they are less likely to pull money from your team.

Barbara Ehrenreich, the oldest woman on the panel, is an author of 21 books. She answered questions with such frank and straightforward responses that she had me cracking up. Barbara told a story about the time she went to dinner with the suits to help build the bridge between the two sides. The billionaire asked her where she thought of all of her ideas. She responded, “in a supermarket.” Barbara explained with an edge that she didn’t pull of the tablecloth of the table but this is what she has to face.

Barbara went on later to answer a question from the audience. The question asked was, “What is one thing you wish you would have known going into the newsroom when you were young?” Barbara wished she knew to be more personable. It is not okay to zone out during lunch with an editor. They are important and it is important to listen to what they say even if it does not directly apply to the work you are doing. “You can not show contempt with what they are interested in.”

The last take away from the panel was about the essence of journalism. Journalism’s essence is mean and skeptical. Trust your anger and rejection. Trust your value. Don’t be too nice.

Who Said That?!

Interviewing is an unsure process. It takes time and practice to execute an interview well. Some folks think that interviewing is as simple as asking a few questions and getting one or two video shots of the action. I can tell you first hand that this is not the case.

Interview subjects come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are finicky and with not stay still, some will not answer your questions, and some give you one-word answers. As the interviewer, it is part of our job to make the interviewee comfortable talking to us especially when field reporting. Field reporting calls for strangers being your interview subjects and it may or may not go well. As a journalist, you must not take rejection from subjects who do not wish to be interviewed personally, or get thrown by a change in the action at an event. The video below exemplifies interviews that did not go as planned I’m sure.

The best field reporters are the ones who can make conversation with almost anyone. You may receive answers you did not expect and you have to adapt your questions to their responses. However, before covering events, I’ve learned that research is your best friend. You can never have too much background information on a subject or the event because it gives you a starting point. You can storyboard in your head and think about the different shots you need to get in order to successfully cover a specific angle on the story.

Working on my STRIPES TV style video, I was more prepared than I have been for any other project this semester. I sat down and drafted what I wanted the video to look like. I was able to visually draft a way around the confidentiality policy between STRIPES and their riders. I requested access to the STRIPES office two hours before operation hours on the weekend. This way, I could capture the setup of the cars, the members signing in, and the director on call’s tasks before hand. If I had not done research on the STRIPES operation and planned on showing up at normal operating hours, I would have only capture maybe one or two shots instead of multiple.

The Human Condition: Video Elements

A great movie portrays all elements of the human condition. It displays love, hate, sadness, despair, hope, and everything in between. When watching the short documentary film A Thousand More it was clear all parts necessary to display the human condition were there.

Brian Storm and his staff of photographers and post-production editors knew they had to be careful not to focus on disease. Disease is usually accompanied with only sadness and hardship but in order to make the film about Philly the boy, not the boy with SMA, they had to show laughter and tender intimate moments. In these moments, the audience forgot that Philly was in a wheelchair. They forgot that he may never have another birthday after the next surgery. They saw a boy filled with dreams to become a garbage man, and a construction worker like his dad.

You draw the audience into the story visually showing the reaction of the main characters when an action is happening. It is important to set up before the action happens in order to get close-ups, the actual action, and the reactions of the crowd.

Below Julian Treasure talks on how we can speak so that people will listen. This is essential to journalists with a message.

Broadcasting and things….

This week in class we practiced filming on a video recorder as well as capturing audio on a mic. I am particularly excited about this because of my experience at MUTV E23. Last year joining MUTV, I had no idea what a package was, what the rule of thirds was or what B-roll was. After making mistake after mistake in 2014, 2015 is my broadcasting year. I will finally be able to tell if this is something I can pursue as my career or just a hobby.

In J2150 lab, I am not self-taught anymore but actually learning the language and process behind production. This is excited because I can transfer what I learn here over to teaching my staff at E23. Getting action shots about the topic is important to play over audio as it can help illustrate the story. Setting up a rule of thirds shot helps the viewer not get bored with the shot.

Straight cuts are how are brain usually processes information. Sure, fancy transitions may seem cool when you first learn how to use Final Cut Pro but they take up too much time and create a third image between two pictures. Switching over to Premiere is a little daunting seeing as how I’ve only had editing experience with Final Cut Pro but the J-school has definitely taught me to roll with the punches. Here goes!

-C

Touched By a Story: Audio and Video

Music videos have always been a cherished pastime of mine. I used to spend hours following wherever YouTube took me between Christmas tunes to pranks gone wrong. The music and lyrics produced by musicians and lyricists can stand alone if they are strong enough. However, adding a visual element to such can deliver even deeper meaning to a song. Lyrics can sometimes be a metaphor or poem-type word that listeners may not understand even after the 100+ time the song has played. However, immediately following a music video, viewers can match up mentally the lyrics and melody of the music with video elements to reach the underlying message of the artist.

I call these musicians artists when a music video is produced well. I am not talking about the young celebrity who decided to capitalize on her popularity and produce a mind-numbing record followed by a music video featuring her dancing on top of a car with back-up dancers. Art is what results when a musician and cinematographer  collaborate on a project.

One short, four-minute music video can have a greater impact than an entire album or video alone. A good music video incorporates the ambient sounds and natural sounds that the action in the video calls for, as well as playing the song on top of it.

One example below is “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran. The video features home movies of Ed as a child. The sounds of him crying and clanking dishes together are kept and make the video appear more natural.

Lady Gaga’s recent release of “Til It Happens To You” is not only art but a movement. It calls out to sexual assault victims to let them know they are not alone. Many millennials are aware that sexual assault is a major issue on college campuses nationwide but never have to face it head on. Furthermore, when presented with a victim of sexual assault, many are clueless as to how to help. The It’s On Us campaign calls out to each of us to be apart of preventing sexual assault, not just being there for the aftermath.