Blog Post #6: The light at the end of the tunnel

I think the three class skills the I feel most confident in are interviewing, video gathering, and video editing. I have always been a very curious person so asking questions has always been second nature to me. My topic throughout this course was veterans which can be a very emotional subject for some people. From the start, I always tried to be as sensitive and respectful as I possibly could be during interviews. It was because of this approach that after interviewing the President of Honor Flight, she invited me to an event and asked multiple veterans who had gone on the most recent flight to speak to me for my story. After using the same approach while interviewing them, every veteran that I interviewed thanked me afterward for being so respectful. When it comes to video gathering and editing, my confidence comes from the fact that I have been working with video in professional newsrooms for the past three years of my life. At a previous tv station that I worked at, I served as a multimedia journalist which meant that I was solely responsible for shooting, producing, and editing my own stories. I believe that this came across in my selection of b-roll in my TV-style and short video. The b-roll that I chose complemented the story that my interview subjects and I were telling. In the short video, I interviewed the director of the Museum of Missouri Military History Charles Machon. As he described the different exhibits and objects on display, I matched up video of those exact things. For example, when Charles talked about the full-size helicopter they have on display, I cut to a sequence of shots of the helicopter. Likewise, with my TV-Style piece, I was able to get b-roll for the story that matched with the story. I think that it is because of how comfortable I am working with video that I was able to so effectively use video to enhance the stories that I told.

As confident as I am in my interviewing and video skills, I think there are also some areas that I can improve upon. Chief among them would be my writing skills, photo editing, and audio editing. It was these three things that gave me the most trouble throughout the course mostly because I have not had as much experience in these areas. One of the hardest things was writing tight and trimming my stories down to fit within the time parameters for each project. I think that the only way that I am going to become a better writer is by continuing to practice more and doing more stories and seeing my professors for more help. In terms of photo and audio editing, the best thing that I can do is to practice as well. I could check equipment out from the Journalism School on my free time and use things in my everyday life such as my friends to become more proficient. Whether it is taking photos of them or recording audio at events that I attend. I have gotten significantly better with all three of these during this course and have built a solid foundation with them. Going forward, it will just be a matter of building on that foundation to become more comfortable with all the different mediums. And I believe that the more comfortable I am, the better journalist I will be.

Blog Post #4: Is a source biased?

For this blog, I chose to discuss a New York Times article entitled “Trump Picks Christopher Wray to Be F.B.I. Director” by Glenn Thrush and Julie Hirschfeld Davis, published on June 7, 2017. Aside from a tweet from President Trump and a statement from the White House, the only other source that was used in this article was Alice Fisher, a former Assistant Attorney General. It seems to me that the point of putting Fisher in the article was to support his qualifications for the position. I think a source like that is necessary, I do not, however, think she is the best choice. In the story, Thrush and Davis write that she took over the position of chief of the criminal division of the Justice Department after Wray. The reporters would have been better off finding someone who worked alongside Wray at the Justice Department. It does not necessarily matter who it is, so long as they worked alongside him, they will come across as more credible vouching for Wray’s character than Fisher does.
While hard to get, Chris Christie would have been a great person to talk to about Chris Wray. The two have known each other since they both worked at the Justice Department and Wray recently represent Christie in hearings regarding New Jersey’s infamous “bridge-gate” incident. Given their long history, I think that Christie would give very commentary reviews about Wray. I would have also liked to see some type of reaction to the announcement from workers at the FBI or Justice Department since they are most affected by it. I feel like someone from either of those departments would give an honest assessment of Wray and if they feel that he is the right fit to lead the FBI.

New York Times Article

Blog Post #2: What’s in a source?

For this blog, I chose to discuss a New York Times article entitled “Alabama Inmate, 75, Hopes to Dodge Death for an Eighth Time” by reporter Alan Blinder, published on May 24, 2017. Given how controversial a topic capital punishment is, it is important to have people on both sides of the issue. Blinder does a nice job balances out voices in the story while also identifying stakeholders within the story. The biggest of which is Tommy Arthur, the 75-year-old man at the center of the Article. Blinder spoke with Arthur from prison. Being able to interview Arthur allows the reporter to put a human face on this story and creates an emotional tug for the readers. This allows readers to relate to and feel for Arthur which in turn makes it a more compelling story. While was undoubtedly knowledgeable about his own case, Blinder also spoke with his lawyer Suhana Han to get an update on exactly where the case stands. I think Blinder chose to have Han talk about the specifics of the legal situation because it comes across as more credible from a lawyer. Blinder also included some quotes from Robert Dunham, Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center to develop a background on the case and establish why it is so controversial. I find Dunham very reliable in large part because I would expect someone in his position to be neutral and that is exactly how his quotes came across. As chief deputy attorney general, Clay Crenshaw represents the voice in favor of capital punishment. I find his perspective reliable because he used to be in charge of the capital litigation division. Blinder found his sources by identifying people who had a stake in the outcome of the execution.

LINK TO ARTICLE

Blog Post #1: A picture is worth a thousand words

Construction workers scramble to finish the newest addition to Brookside Downtown in Columbia, Missouri on May 18, 2017. The new complex is located on the corner of Sixth and Elm Street. The new location which has been under construction since last fall is scheduled to open for this upcoming school year.

Wide Blog1
WIDE: Workers use a cherry picker to do exterior work on the some of the higher floors of the new apartment building on May 18, 2017.
Blog 1 Medium Photo
MEDIUM: Workers load pieces of lumber on to a crane to be transported to the higher floors.
TIGHT BLOG 1 PICTURE
TIGHT: A worker digs a hole for plumbing on the sidewalk in front of the new apartment complex on May 18, 2017.
Very Tight Blog 1 File
VERY TIGHT: The new Brookside location will be located on the corner of South Sixth Street and Elm Street.