I believe I met my goal of bringing human interest to a construction story by finding a someone to interview who had a unique story to tell-but also one that others could find relatable. I met my goal of incorporating many different shots in my video and I took so many photos and videos that I could not use a good portion of them.

By making this video, I got more practice using my filming and editing skills. I learned that I can now produce videos more quickly and with more ease, as I now have a basic handle on what I am doing! If I had a chance to do this project again, I would probably take shorter shots while filming the interview so the segments do not drag on as long because I feel that one of the interview scenes in my video is a little lengthy.

While lounging at home after my first quarter of college (December 2008), I was first officially introduced to Twitter. My family was hanging out in the kitchen one night after dinner and my dad kept raving about Twitter. I had briefly heard the word mentioned a few times before but knew little of what it meant. “It’s the next big thing!” my dad claimed repeatedly. I asked him what it was and he explained that people could tweet where they were and what they were doing at any time to let their friends and followers know. I was genuinely confused; I told him that’s what Facebook status updates were for. How could a site like Facebook, but with fewer features be the next big thing? It sounded like a cheap copy to me.

My dad insisted that I make one, even though I told him there was no point since none of my friends had a Twitter account. Mostly just to spite him and show him how pointless the site was, I created a Twitter account. I wrote in my Twitter bio that my dad forced me to make an account because “it was the next big thing” and that I didn’t believe him. After that I pretty much just forgot about Twitter and my account stood inactive. Sure I heard more and more about Twitter as time went on, but I never had the urge to commit myself to the site.

Twitter Profile

Over a year later in my spring quarter of college, I found out I was required to sign up on Twitter and actively tweet for my digital journalism course. I had to laugh when I remembered the circumstances I made my account under, especially since I realized once again my dad was right (after all, he was the one who kept urging me to join Facebook). In April of 2010 I updated my profile and was ready to give Twitter a chance, this time for real.

First of all, I learned that Twitter was more than just a bunch of status updates. I quickly discovered how to link to stories, websites and photos, and to shorten the links to allow more character space on my tweets by using sites like bit.ly. I made different lists, such as fashion and class-related, to make browsing through my Twitter easier. There is a lot of language and styling specific to Twitter and I began to pick up on how to use the lingo. For instance, the at symbol and number symbol have different functions on Twitter than other places online and I discovered how to correctly use them. The “@” is used to directly link another Twitter account to a tweet and “#” (which I found out is called a hash tag) is used to tweet about a topic to others who are interested in or following the topic. #FF (Friday Follow) and RT (Re-Tweet) now actually mean something to me and I frequently utilize them in my tweets.

I believe Twitter is a wonderful tool for journalists and it will only become a more prominent and useful outlet in the future. Twitter has the ability to publicize a lot of information immediately, which is perfect for breaking news. The ability to link to other web content allows for more in depth journalism to continue on certain topics. Twitter can also highlight the most important or interesting aspects of stories to get more people interested in a topic. Freelance or independent journalists can really use Twitter to their advantage to get a large following and increase their popularity in the media world. Most major news organizations (for example: CNN, The New York Times, etc) have already jumped on the bandwagon and made a Twitter account. The way I see it, their addition of Twitter only has added benefits, such as increasing the organization’s following, both on Twitter and in the “real world”.

For citizens, Twitter can be used to get important, and not-so-important information from many sources in one place. I enjoy using Twitter to get information on more trivial things like finding out what my favorite celebrities and bands are up to, but then I also get a healthy dose of what’s going on in the word and stay updated on current events from prominent new sources. Since I am not an avid reader of news, Twitter makes it easier for me to keep an eye on world events. Whatever reason citizens are using Twitter will only continue to grow as more and more people begin to tweet.

My last 5 journalism related twitter accounts to follow for class purposes:

@ezraklein– Ezra Klein: “Blogger for the Washington Post, columnist for Newsweek. Eater of food. Hater of filibuster. Lover of charts.”

@bobsacha– Bob Sacha: “multimedia producer, photographer, film maker, digital immigrant,”

@chadastevens– Chad A Stevens: “filmmaker and teacher living in the documentary world” at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

@marcusod– Marcus O’Donnell: “journalism academic @ Uni Wollongong interests: convergence, lit jour, myth&media, storytelling, art & image” (from Australia!)

@TonyaMosley– Tonya Mosley: “Television Reporter, KING 5 News”

This week I chose to follow twitter accounts (relating to journalism and twitter) that had previously been #FF of my fellow COM 466 class mates!

@abcdude– John Berman “Correspondent, ABC News. Red Sox fan. Cosmic Power Broker. Nerf expert.”

@kingsthings– Larry King “CNN’s Larry King Live Celebrating 25 years!”

@TheMachineRaps– James Shahan “California MC/hip-hop artist. URB Magazine writer. Love meeting new people- talk to me!”

@Caroline_Hagood – Caroline Hagood “Writer of poetry & articles on film, books & culture; lover of words & pictures; fan of the weird; blogger at Huffington Post, Bookslut & FilmCatcher.”

@ckanal – Craig Kanalley “Traffic & Trends Editor for The Huffington Post. Into tech/journalism, social media, hockey & genealogy.”

Check out my final video story for COM 466, “A Dancer’s Fall From Grace.” See how it evolved from the first cut!

My (first ever!) video story is about a former competitive dancer and UW student named McKenna. McKenna no longer dances competitively, but takes UW dance classes and has taken a new turn in her dance life. She choreographs hip-hop dance routines for fraternity philanthropy competitions, teaches them to girls in her sorority and then performs them. McKenna calls her experience “a dancer’s fall from grace” when in reality her path in the dance world has just taken a different turn.

Editing the first draft of my video story

As this is my first video story (ever!) my main goal was to learn how to use the iMovie software to download video footage, photos and audio. I wanted to be able to incorporate different types of shots, transitions, captions, sound, etc. I also wanted a video that came together as a story instead of just a collage or jumble of different shots. My biggest reporting challenge was that I was unable to attend any of McKenna’s dance classes, which I originally thought was going to be the main part of my story, but it ended up working out since my story took on a new angle.

I believe I definitely succeeded in my goals as I learned how to utilize all above-mentioned aspects of iMovie (uploading video, stills and audio, using titles and transitions, etc.). I even learned how to do other things on iMovie that I had not originally anticipated, such as changing the coloring and lighting in shots as well as cropping shots. I met my goal of telling cohesive story as well.

If I had a chance to redo this project I would probably have selected a different location for McKenna to dance in (as opposed to the formal living room in the first few shots) although I am not exactly sure where I would have put her. I would have taken more shots from different angles while interviewing her and chose a brighter interview location. Additionally, I would have made sure to take stills before and after taking video (just in case!).

Five reporting tips from Chapter 9: Trolls, Spin, and the Boundaries of Trust

  1. Avoid anonymity! Always sign your name alongside your work. “Credibility stems not just from smart arguments; it also comes froma willingness to stand behind those arguments when a compelling reason to stay anonymous is absent.”
  2. Don’t feed the troll! What’s a troll?? I had no idea either. As defined by Ward Cunningham’s Wiki: “A troll is deliberately crafted to provoke others with the intention of wasting their time and energy. A troll is a time theif…Trolls can be identified by their disengagement from a conversation or argument. They do not believe what they say, but merely say it for effect.” The best thing to do when you have someone trolling your work online is to ignore it. That way the troll won’t waste your time and eventually give up trolling.
  3. Look out for spin! This was a term I recognized but in case you are unfamiliar with it, Wikipedia defines it as: “putting events or other facts, especially of those with political or legal significance, into contexts favoring oneself or one’s client or cause, at least in comparison to opponents.” Make sure to avoid directly advertising for your interviewee and include other opinions in your work.
  4. Use credible sources! If you find an interesting story or quote from an anonymous source, you should always check the information with a credible human source or document.
  5. Be careful for cutting and pasting! Make sure you get the main gist of the information if you choose to cut and paste from a source (try not to take out one viewpoint without mentioning the other) and always attribute your source. It is best to link to the entire article or source as opposed to cutting and pasting segments.

Who I’m following (related to technology, media and journalism) this week:

@TravelingAnna–  Annemarie Dooling “Brooklyn native travel blogger; Friend of bourbon; Former magazine editor turned digital producer; Eternal searcher.”

@skidder– Scott Kidder “director of editorial operations at gawker media, business guy at the hype machine, drinker of iced tea.”

@JustJon– Jon “Coder, Modder, Gamer, Blogger, Lego Builder, RonFez.Net Webmaster”

@palafo– Patrick LaForge “An editor at The New York Times. I post what I’m reading. Links and retweets of non-NYT content are not endorsements. Caveat lector.”

@hamsandwich– Dave Surgan “herosquad.tumblr.com Music. Social Strategy. Photography.”

Strike A Different Bargain With Online Video from Mark Briggs’ Journalism 2.0 brings up an interesting view on how video production is changing on online news sites. News sites are much more open to publishing lower quality videos (for example video taken from cell phones) than they would have been even a couple years ago.

Word cloud of the article

Briggs compares video productions from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, both well-known and respectable news sources. The videos produced by the technology columnists are the focus of his comparison. The New York Times produces a high-quality and professional video that also appears on cable television while The Wall Street Journal is produced by only one man who uses a web cam to create the video. Briggs states that both types of video are acceptable in today’s media environment.

For my video story I plan to interview the dancer McKenna Dean as a “day in the life of a dancer” type piece. I will hopefully be able to film at one of her dance classes if I can get permission from the instructor. Otherwise I will have her dance outside of her classroom or studio setting. I want to get extreme close up actions shots of her feet or other body parts while dancing, close up shots of her face during the interview, medium shots of her dancing and scene setting shots if I am able to attend her class, otherwise I will get a scene setting shot at where ever else I film her dancing.

*Addition in class:
Possible title idea- A day of dance
Possible lede- McKenna Dean isn’t motivated by UW credit, she’s motivated by her love for dance.