My Newest Adventure

I have exciting news to share with everyone–

I HAVE FINISHED GRAD SCHOOL!

I finished all of my classes in December, and I got that expensive piece of paper in the mail. Whew! What a relief I feel to have it all done.

Since I no longer have to spend time studying and writing papers, I decided to get myself a hobby. I decided to start a blog – one that will help me find other hobbies and projects to occupy my time.

I am calling it “Project Finding Passion.”

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Project Finding Passion is a spin-off on the concept of “passion projects.” They are projects that spark your creativity, excitement or passion. For example, have you ever said you want to go on a missions trip to another country, or wanted to become a tutor at a local school? It could even be something as simple as creating an Instagram to document your favorite moments in life. These could all be considered passion projects.

There are numerous things that I have tucked away saying I don’t have time, or they are just bucket list items. Well, why do I have to wait till I’m dying to tackle my passion projects? Now seems as good a time as ever.

I plan to take on a project each week or complete tasks toward a bigger project each week and report back. I also plan to share video and photo content that I create revolving around this project and take feedback from you all on things I should try. I really want to push the limits of my comfort zone and possibly inspire others to do the same along the way.

I will also be sharing posts about getting started on your own passion projects and how you can find the “why” that makes you tick.

To follow my adventures visit: https://projectfindingpassion.wordpress.com/

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Imagining​ the future of Journalism

Technology is the driving force behind the products delivered by journalism outlets. When Snapchat was created, I know I saw it as a way to communicate amongst friends. I never imagined that one day, like right now, that companies like NBC would have reporters dedicated to producing a “newscast” like series on the platform. Technology is changing the way we able to present information and to stay ahead of it we need to think outside the box.

So where does broadcast TV news fit in the digital age?

“We recognize our audience increasingly doesn’t distinguish screens: they might get something from our newscast, or from our mobile app, or from being a fan of our local station’s Facebook page, or an Instagram video,” Frank Mungeam, VP for digital content at Tegna, said. (Interview with Niemanlab) “Part of our reinvention effort is to recognize that the most compelling way to tell stories in the digital age is an all-day story experience that starts with social engagement, that gives updates on digital, context on broadcast, and then offers extras as a digital follow-up, and then continues with a social conversation — and then you repeat that cycle.”

In short form, broadcast TV news needs to be a seamless product that stretches from the TV screen to a mobile device to a computer screen. It is no longer a single product for each platform, but one encompassing product.

So, how does that change the current news cycle or workflow of a newsroom? 

Everyone from a reporter to a producer to a news director needs to have a hand in the product making. Syllos that contain a “team”, like digital team or news team, need to be broken down. Creating content has to be looked at as a whole.

My current role as a producer is already changing. I have to consider how can I move the TV story to a web story. That may be accomplished by including a web graphic at the conclusion of a story. It may be teasing you can see a complete video online or a 360 video element online. Thinking way out there, there are now opportunities to be Snapchat producers or live stream producers.

Technology is shaping the way I do my job, and being aware of those changes is fundamental in creating a seamless product for consumers.

Mevo Test Run

This weekend Lester Holt and Jake Tapper were honored by RTDNA for their excellence in journalism. They received the awards at the Excellence in Journalism Conference held in Anaheim. I took the opportunity to try out my new MEVO camera.

It was rough!

I tested my camera multiple times before the event started. No problems… then the event started. There were problems!

The camera connected to my smartphone without an issue, but when I went to begin my live stream it presented an error message: “camera cannot connect to WiFi”. If you know anything about this camera, it has to be connected to the Wi-Fi in order to be connected to a smart phone. So, I was left fumbling, trying to figure out how I could make it work. Meantime the event got underway and was not waiting for me to figure out what was wrong with my camera.

I decided to forgo live streaming, and instead just recording to the memory card in the camera. As you can tell in the video I miss the intro to Lester full receiving his award.

Stay tuned for more on the MEVO Camera.

 

Creating stories that stand out

More and more people are turning to Facebook posts and Twitter feeds as a source of their news. In turn, the organizations reporting the news are finding new ways they can present their information on those platforms. A big innovation from Facebook and Twitter is live streaming. In recent months that feature has been rolled out to all users, and as a result more, every day people are using it to share their experiences in real time.

A big innovation from Facebook and Twitter is live streaming. In recent months that feature has been rolled out to all users, and as a result more, every day people are using it to share their experiences in real time. At my news station, our reporters use it as a chance to show viewers things as they happen through out the day; outside the normal newscast times.

At my news station, our reporters use it as a chance to show viewers things as they happen through out the day; outside the normal newscast times. The format is so often the same, you see the reporters face as they set up the live stream and then the camera flips to show what the reporter is looking at.

So how can news organizations create stores or live streams that stand out from the rest?

Quality.

I propose a test of sorts that looks at how to keep viewers engaged. I recently discovered a camera called “Mevo.”

 

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Product photo from Amazon.com

 

The camera is made for live streaming events, but it goes one step above a normal camera. It allows for a person to use multiple shots from one camera. Something that would normally take multiple cameras, and a director, now only takes one camera and a smartphone.

I propose testing this against the norm of live streaming– a set camera that does not move the entirety of the event. I hypothesize that set cameras create a barrier between the viewer and the actual event taking place.

By incorporating multiple camera angles, I hypothesize it will allow a viewer to have a more immersive experience.

Stay tuned for more updates. I plan to test this at the Society of Professional Journalists Conference this upcoming week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entering an old world in a new way

What if you could go anywhere in the world right from the comfort of your own home? What if it was more than just passively watching a scene or story, but being a part of it?

Virtual reality can allow you to do just that. 

Virtual reality, as a storytelling tool, takes the immersive experience one step past the boundaries of what 360 would allow. 360 video places the individual watching on a predetermined path. They have to experience the story as the video is edited together, and only through the camera lens in which it was captured.

Virtual reality allows for individuals to experience a story or place on their own terms. They are a free agent of sorts within a virtual world; with the story happening around them like it would in real life.

With this distinction between 360 video and virtual reality, journalists can bring the two together to tell impactful stories.

When I consider what stories I would tell using virtual reality, I want to take viewers somewhere they wouldn’t be able to see on their own. For example, if I wanted to tell a story about the lone post office that operates on Antarctica; using virtual reality would enable people to be there without traveling to one of the southern most parts of the world. Plus, from recent news articles, a record number of people were interested in working there.

Many people have described VR as the ultimate “empathy machine.” A means by which people can tell stories that pull on emotions and reach to make a change. On the other hand, VR can be fun and engaging. Taking people outside of their everyday box and giving them an escape all while telling a story.

Creating a VR world of the Antartic post office would allow individuals to engage with the scene almost as if they were there working. If 360 video was used, they would only get to explore the path set by the camera person.

I hope that one day creating VR worlds becomes a less time-intensive process, so then we could create more carefree stories. As journalists we still must strive to ethically create these worlds, so they are true representations of the world they are portraying.

 

 

 

Preserving and recording history with new technology

I have always thought of journalism as recording history while it’s happening. Without journalism, many of the accounts that historians turn to would not be available. It is this idea that plays into some of the deciding factors for what I want to cover or investigate as a journalist.

With new emerging technologies, the ability to record things in history has grown immensely.

Take this example:

Archeologists are crowdsourcing images in order to recreate items or places in history that have since been destroyed.

What if we could do that now as journalists?

Many news organizations like to show change with the stories they produce. For example, this month marks the one year anniversary of the Soberanes Fire that tore through Big Sur, California and the surrounding area. My news station, which covered the fire extensively while it was happening, tried to piece together a story to show the contrast of before and after the fire.

What if we could incorporate photogrammetry?

We could collect images/aerials of before the fire and create a scene showing that. Then we could capture or crowdsourced images of now to show the stark compare and contrast.

Just and idea.

What are your thoughts?

 

 

Creating a Virtual World

This week I got to play around with Unity3D.  It’s a software that allows users to create worlds almost out of thin air! In my case that meant utilizing all the prefabricated pieces that were free in the assets store.

Oh was it a challenge!

I am NOT a video game player by any means. Not having that experience of moving both perspective and position at the same time it tough. It’s a coordinated effort that makes navigating through your creation so much easier. In my case that meant it was a challenge. One minute I am looking at the front door of my house the next minute I am some how falling through my landscape, further and further down.

On the other hand, using this software was fun!

Looking at its applications outside of journalism, this software allows you to really create any wonderland you could imagine. That’s what made my assignment so challenging. Create a simple scene. Simple yes, but any scene? I settled for a house and trees, somewhat realistic.

If I were to use this software in a journalism setting I think I would have to be very careful about tracking the sources from which I was pulling information. That is a crucial piece especially if using the 3D software and virtual reality to showcase something that has a large impact like war or global warming.

Overall, getting to use this software hands on excites me for what is to come. Future editions may be more consumer friendly so anyone can create worlds of their choosing. They may even be able to recreate their living environment in real time!