J2150U Blog #14- Flash!

Today, Kyle McConaghy gave a lecture about using lighting and how to change the effect a photo has. I thought it was very interesting and entertaining how he had the class on video and was showing us by using visual examples on how to change lighting in settings to get different effects. I never knew how to do any of that before! I really enjoyed lecture and thought it was very insightful especially since I want to improve my photography skills.

This summer, I am going to be doing a bit of photography work at my new internship. I’ve been selected by a Chicago fashion designer, Anna Hovet to be her PR and Marketing intern. I will be planning events and working on her publicity and helping her with events and getting her brand name out more. She asked during my interview if I have skills in web design and photography and being enrolled in this class, I said yes! I am thrilled to be accepted into this position and will definitely be using what I’ve learned this semester in class.

Although PR and Marketing is the emphasis I’ve chosen within strategic communication, I also want to gain more experience working at photography (I could surely stand to improve a lot!) and continue to write. I am going to be getting more experience next year as I continue to work for Her Campus Mizzou (online magazine on campus) and become the editor-in-chief campus correspondent next semester. I’m looking forward to working with the website and being able to design layouts and upload content. I think this will be very helpful to me in the future. I am also looking forward to delegating assignments and editing work.

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J2150U Blog #13

In lecture this week, Professor Rice showed us Pulitzer Prize winning photographs. I found the one by Massoud Hossaini to be the most meaningful and impacting. Dr. Rice talked about the meaning behind it and I don’t think I’d personally be able to ever capture a photo like this one. The photo is of a 12 year-0ld Afghan girl standing in the center of dead bodies after a suicide bomber’s attack. The way the photo captures her emotions is unbelievable. I respect Mr. Hossiani for being able to remain calm enough to capture such a dramatic event and keep his composure because I wouldn’t have been able to do so. Dr. Rice talked about how Mr. Hossiani was able to do so because he wanted to get the story out and show how people are affected by such attacks.

The next portion of lecture was led by Chicago Tribune previous writers. It was very interesting because I am from Chicago and read the Tribune every morning when I’m home. The two men gave an interesting presentation about demographics like we’ve been going over in class. I thought it was so interesting when they showed the clip about how they used images to map out and give a reader a virtual tour of the marathon in New York that went through all 5 boroughs. It felt like I was really running in it! I also really enjoyed the one they showed us to display the Earth’s population and how it’s changed over time in various countries. There was a simulation in which every country was a different glass and color and had colored water dripping in representing births and water slowly dripping out representing deaths. It was very cool to see how each country has changed over time through a visual demographic. I really liked these two examples because information was provided in an interesting and memorable way that was simple to understand.

I’ve been realizing more and more that boring and confusing information can be made simple through visual and virtual images. I think that this field will begin to increase more and more especially with more students going into strategic communications and with graphic design growing and increasing.

J2150U Blog #12-Law

This week’s lecture was about journalism and law. The speaker talked about the First Amendment and how it applies to journalism. I sometimes can get very carried away in my work and don’t even realize how laws and our government system play a part in journalism. I believe this is mostly because we have freedom of speech in our country which gives journalists a lot of leeway. 

The speaker talked about how anything public is fair game. This is certainly not the case in countries that have a dictatorship. I was reminded in this lecture about defamatory statements. I haven’t thought about those since last year as a freshman during J1100. I think it is important that journalists are reminded about the basic principles every once in awhile. As stated in the quiz, something is a defamatory statement if it, “tends to injure plaintiff in his trade, profession or community standing, or lowering him in the estimation of the community.” To me this basically in simple terms means that it’s defamatory if it isn’t true and hurts someone. I wouldn’t ever consider making up work, but that’s just me. I would feel guilty misleading my readers or audience and know that it would come back to bite me in the ass if I were to fabricate a story. A statement is defamatory based on the context and reasonable implications, not just literal language. This always brings me back to the former journalist, Jayson Blair who committed journalistic fraud for the New York Times.

Passover when it’s Passed Over- Mobile Assignment

The Jewish population in Columbia, Mo. isn’t vey large, but this is nothing new. This week is Passover in the Jewish religion. The majority of MU students went home for “Easter weekend” and were wishing everyone a Happy Easter, but there was little talk of a Happy Passover. The small Jewish population of students in Columbia did have an opportunity and still do to observe this holiday. The Jewish fraternity on campus, AEPI hosted a seder Friday evening where an orthodox rabbi came and led the service. Mizzou’s Hillel is also hosting Passover dinners with traditional Jewish food all week. Students who attend will be able to meet and mingle with other Jewish students and participate in leading the Jewish prayers for this holiday. MU student Taylor Werthauser said, “I came here from St. Paul, Minnesota which is frequently called St. Jewish, Minnesota due to the high population of Jewish residents. When I was a freshman last year I didn’t know what I would do, I thought I would starve and not be able to keep Passover but here at Hillel we have Passover friendly food stockpiled.” Werthauser was preparing matzah ball soup for tonight’s dinner at 7 p.m. She said Hillel has given her a sense of comfort and a family to belong to when away from home.

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J2150U Blog #11- Write Around

This week’s lecture was given by Rick. At first, my thoughts about him were questionable because of the way he reacted in our classroom to a student’s video project about Adderall abuse. Although I don’t agree with the way he voiced his opinion about my fellow classmate, I did enjoy his lecture and thought he did an excellent job. I am certainly going to use what we learned in lecture when writing the news story for the final project.

I really liked his opening quote he used in his presentation, “I write to discover what it is I didn’t know I knew” (Donald M. Murray). Rick also went into great detail about how writing creates relationships between images and information. I really liked how he describe metaphores as being a tool that transfers something from the familiar to the unfamiliar as a way of sense making. I frequently use metaphors in my writing and think that is a great way to describe why journalists use it.

Rick told us that it is crucial to write a mission well in the beginning because that becomes the root of your story and you can refer back to it to guide your reporting and sourcing decisions along the way. I liked the exercise he had us do which was during class to write a story about a time you got bitten. I wrote about the time my 8 year old camper Owen bit me because I was trying to force him to cooperate during swim lessons. As I was writing my story, I looked around and everyone else was deep in thought. A simple sentence like the one Rick gave us allowed everyone to create a whole story out of it. It was as simple as that for a mission statement. He told us when working as a group, it is important that all mission statements represent all group members’ thinking. I never really thought about it like that before.

When Rick began discussing challenges that arise, he said that groups should brainstorm what we do know and what we don’t know. He said it is best to take inventory and share your personal knowledge bases and blind spots to see what needs to be covered and what is already common and basic knowledge. I believe these organization tools can help my group and I in organizing our final project and for me to bring with me to other group projects in the future.

Rick’s third point was the question list. Why does it matter or why should we care? He said the best way to answer these questions is to freewrite about the subject impact for you and then about the impact in the wider world. This was helpful for me to think about because usually I don’t know how to answer this question other than, “It’s a project that you assigned.”

I also found his closing idea to be very interesting:

The stakes are higher because you’re doing this as a public service, to help the public understand what matters in the world and why they should care and engage. 

I really liked Rick’s presentation and will certainly refer to his powerpoint in the future even beyond this semester’s final project.

J2150U Blog #10

I found the lecture this week to be informative rather than inspiring. The best advice I think I’ll use and remember is:

-when creating  a video, never end on a soundbite because it appears lazy

-silence can sometimes be the best and most effective ambient sound there is

-stories should always have a beginning, middle, and end

-“how well do they write?” is what news rooms ask and want to find out

The first two statements I thought about when I finished making my video. I now want to edit it further and keep this in mind and continue to work on this piece for my portfolio. I also noticed in the movie The Hunger Games there was amazing ambient sound and the filming was done extremely well. You can even see it in this trailer: Maybe I noticed this because I am in a multimedia journalism class but maybe it was because there were only seats left in the very first row. A large portion of the movie was filmed in a forest and there was great ambient sound and I realized that there were never moments when it was too overpowering. Whoever was filming this clip knew when it was appropriate for the tone to include ambient sound and how loud to make it.

I never used to pick up on any of these details until this class! I even find myself during movies learning new techniques that I can try and apply to my own work.

J2150U Blog #9-ONA Coding and Candidates Presentation Recap

I would like to start out this post with a disclaimer: I’m not a very political savy journalist… at all. I should probably keep my eyes and ears open more especially since I am a journalist. I realize this now. I am going to make an effort to be better in tune with news and politics. It probably would have made it easier  for me to interact with the speakers.

The presentation began with asking the audience (students) questions about our morals and what we would do in different scenarios. After thinking about the answers to some of their questions that I would give and what I would or wouldn’t consider worthy of publishing; I found that I have fairly high moral standards when it comes to politics.

The speakers stated political journalism has taken off because it has the ability to copy and share information so fast because the digital age has sped up journalism. With this being the case, it is more common now for ethical standards to drop. I have determined that in order to decide if something should be published or not, it completely depends on how the information has been manipulated. I believe that context should always be provided and something shouldn’t be published if there isn’t enough of it for a reader to understand why it is relevant.

One of the speakers said that their company did link a video to their blog about a politician who had been drinking a margarita and had said something that could have been construed as inappropriate but wasn’t necessarily meant to be. The speaker said that some of the people on his team approved of publishing it to their company blog while others thought it was embarrassing and disgraceful. Personally, I wouldn’t have published it. There weren’t other situations in which the politician expressed heavy drinking and the politician’s background wasn’t relevant to the scenario. 

Next, students in the audience began to have a heated discussion about where their morals stand. I believe my views in this situation are similar to another student, Alex’s. He brought up how journalism only goes so far and that it is crucial for different organizations to work together when information is unclear. I believe that some publications have become so obsessed with being the first to publish a story and no longer wait until they have all the facts. Alex pointed out that although it is impressive to present a story first, retractions are not only embarrassing but time consuming and expensive. 

Next a speaker, Al Shaw showed us apps he’s been working on for the past 4 months. It was very interesting to learn more about APIs. He showed us a very interesting chart titled, “Who are the Super PACs’ Biggest Donors?” It was very informative and made it easier for any audience (especially one who may not follow politics like me) to comprehend. He also showed us a chart about how much money each state is spending for which party. His company, Pro-Publica does a lot of partnering with local newsrooms to collaborate new ideas on how to present information in a unique way. 

I enjoyed this presentation because I was able to see a new perspective about political journalists. I also really thought Mr. Shaw did an excellent job presenting his work and answering questions. 

J2150U Blog #8 The Best Is Yet To Come

Today in lecture Frank Corridori spoke about strat comm. He described the difference between the Mojo Ad class and the Adzou class. I’m more interested in the Mojo Ad class because the other one seems to be more researched based. He said that the Mojo Ad class really allows students to be creative and work with real clients. This semester, students are working with TGI Friday’s. That is something that would not only be fun but also very useful for a portfolio and gaining experience.

Corridori also described how important it is to make connections early. After this class today, I decided I want to join AAF Mizzou which is a club that many strat comm students participate in. I’m hoping to be the head campus correspondent for the magazine I am a part of, Her Campus Mizzou next year. I am currently the events editor and am working on planning a fashion show with Rent the Runway in New York to raise money for a sorority’s philanthropy. I know how important it is to have a wide variety of experience so even though my sequence isn’t magazine, it is still beneficial to have experience working as a team and writing content. I am also glad that I’m in this course because being able to use Final Cut Pro and make videos and knowing how to edit them makes me more marketable. I found the assignment that was due this week was the most challenging thus far. I have never really worked with Final Cut Pro before and have never needed to edit a video. It took me awhile to get the hang of the program, but I feel more comfortable using it and know that I would be able to pull something together for a client if necessary. I also want to practice more on my own this summer doing video for the social media firm I work for in Chicago.

I found Corridori’s presentation to be the most interesting today and hope to be a part of Mojo Ad. I am more interested in the copywriting portion because I am wanting to do PR and marketing. However, I still want to practice using InDesign because I think that will increase my knowledge about graphic design which is useful in this field.

 

J2150U Blog #7 Digitized Media

This week’s lecture was about how media gets digitized. Our guest speaker discussed HTML5, gamification and augmented reality. I learned that HTML5 is a language for structuring and presenting content for the Internet. It is the 5th development and is still undergoing changes. The goal of it is to improve language with support for the latest multimedia but still making it understandable for humans. Gamification is the use of game design techniques. Gamification basically makes technology more engaging and interesting. What I found to be the most interesting was augmented reality. It is a live, direct or indirect view of a physical and real world environment where elements are computer generated. Here are several awesome examples of augmented reality.

As shown in this example, augmented reality has the ability to take things to a whole new level and will allow people to gather information in a new and different way at a crazy speed. Before this lecture, I hadn’t really heard of it but now I am very interested to see how it progresses and becomes more popular and well known in the future especially with my generation.

Another topic that was discussed in lecture was LinkedIn. I have one because I was required to make one this summer for my internship at a social media firm. Many students in lecture weren’t sure what it was and I was a bit surprised especially because many students are looking for internships and jobs and I feel that it is a great and very useful tool. I helped my mother create one this year to help her real estate business.

I am fascinated by how the Internet is becoming so complex and as well as all of the technology that goes along with it. Just by having a profile online, people are able to make connections and get jobs. Being knowledgeable about the Internet and being technologically savvy has really put people ahead of each other for jobs. In lecture, the speaker said that if anyone is able to wire frame what a website should look like, you’ll have a leg up in an interview. It is these little skills that really separate people from each other in the business world. I know that learning new skills and being able to learn them quickly is what really sets people apart from each other. Being able to use things like Elements, Audacity, Soundslides, and more will help expand my capabilities and hopefully make me more well rounded. I am looking forward to seeing what other programs and tools we will use in this course in addition to other courses I’ll be taking. I certainly am going to take advantage of what I have available to learn in the next 2 years.

J2150U Blog #6- Strategic Communication

I found today’s lecture to be especially interesting because it was focused on strategic communication. I got my e-mail of acceptance yesterday and was thrilled we were going to be discussing it in lecture! Mark Swanson spoke a lot about the ethics of advertising. The four main advertising methods that were discussed were:

  • Appeal to hearts and minds
  • Use testimonials
  • Endorse with celebrity
  • Create characters

We were provided with examples from each of these. One of the advertisements that really stuck out to me was the one of Burger King which had a woman with red lipstick with her mouth open about to eat a burger and it said, “It’ll blow your mind.” I found that to be pushing the envelope and many students had negative reactions (everyone was tweeting about it it #J2150i).

Mr. Minshew tweeted asking the class what they thought strategic communication was, advertising, propaganda, manipulative, or simply effective. Personally, I believe that it is advertising and has potential to be effective. Overall, any form of journalism has the ability to be manipulative or use propaganda. Some people make the argument that strategic communication (PR and marketing) is more likely to use false advertisements and mislead their audiences with ads but I don’t agree. Magazine journalists as well as photojournalists try and capture their audience’s attention. Newscasters often edit clips that are aired on TV to hold the audience’s attention.

Photos and advertisements are extremely powerful. There were several examples of the misuse of photoshop in class today. I thought the most interesting was the one that involved Lance Armstrong. He posed for a photo wearing a solid plain shirt, but then, “38. B.F.D” (stands for 38 years old. big fucking deal) was photoshoped on his shirt. He tweeted it was bullshit and was very angry about it. I can’t even contemplate how a journalist or anyone would feel comfortable running something like that without the celebrity’s approval. That is only asking for trouble! Yes that ad was interesting and captured my attention, but it was unethical and morally wrong and caused Lance Armstrong to tweet (he has thousands of followers) something negative about the company.

Another photo that was shown in class today won a Pulitzer Prize. This photo showed an African child about to be eaten by a vulture. The photographer ended up committing suicide because he couldn’t even live with himself because of how this situation impacted him so much.

I am now beginning to pay even closer attention to advertisements and something I really value is meeting customer satisfaction. Someday when I (hopefully) have a job in PR, I know that is key and it is important to know your audience and to keep one’s morals and ethics in tact at all times.

“Regardless of the moral issue, dishonesty in advertising has proved very unprofitable”- Leo Burnett

I couldn’t have said it better myself!