Friday, October 26, 2012

60 Minutes: foreign policy study guide

          With the election coming up, I've been trying to make sure I'm educated as much as possible before voting. This is my first time voting in a presidential election, so I'm excited to be a part of decision making for our country. I decided to do some research on foreign policy and came across 60 Minutes Overtime and its "foreign policy study guide."
          60 Minutes did a great job of making the information available and in a format that will actually engage the reader. The "study guide" is broken up into 7 different pages. There are 'Next' and 'Back' arrows to flip through each page which contains a different category. For example, the video I am going to break down further is centered around Syria. This is a great format just because it helps back it simple for the reader. I can scroll through the different pages and pick which area I want to know more about. On each page there's a video and a text description of what the video is. This gives the reader multiple outlets to immerse themselves in the story.

           Clarissa Ward did a fantastic job on her 14 minute Syria package. At the end of the video, I felt much more knowledgable about what exactly is going on, while not feeling like I was being talked down to or taught. She started off with a great graphic that showed the viewer exactly where Aleppo was and how they got there. If I learned one thing from this piece, it's the importance of transparency.

          I think the transparency of this piece is a huge reason it is so successful. She included herself in the piece, which some reporters don't do, but I thought it really added to the video. You could see where she was in Aleppo and her in the environment talking to real people. She was also very clear about the steps they took in order to get different interviews. She told how long it took some leaders to response and all the hurdles they had to jump to speak to them, which helps the reader make judgements on whether or not they are going to trust who she is speaking to. At the end, instead of saying, 'This man isn't trustworthy,' she showed the viewer how she went back and showed him the two separate videos and filmed his response and reaction. This is strong journalism since it's letting the viewer determine their stance on their own. Also, by including her and her camera crew in the piece, it let the viewer in on the real danger present in Aleppo. They were constantly getting in and out of their car to avoid bullets and danger.

         I really love this style of reporting and how it's a much longer investigative piece. You can tell the amount of work Ward put in to really expose something new and things that viewers may not have seen before. This is definitely something I want to apply to piece at some point in my career, but bits and pieces of this reporting style can be incorporated into my everyday reporting.

Mona Eltahawy

         One of the perks of going to the number 1 ranked J-School in the country is becoming exposed to excellent journalism from the very start of your college experience. The recipients of the Missouri Honors Medal all gave presentations last Monday for students to come listen and learn from their adventures. 
        I had the privilege to go listen to Mona Eltahawy, and her talk about how Twitter saved her life. It was so inspirational to listen to a powerful women standing up for herself and her country. She told us about her time protesting in Cairo in Tahrir Square where she was held hostage and assaulted.  She is such a great example of active journalism. 
       I thought it was really interesting that she said after September 11 she gave up her title as an objective journalist. We are taught in all our journalism classes the importance of objectivity in our writing, but here's a successful journalist making a difference with her beliefs and opinions. I think part of the reason Mona is so influential is because she's passionate about subjects she's fighting for and talking about, which is why people are captivated by her tweets. 
     I also really liked what she said when she compared Twitter to an empty room. She said when you first get a Twitter, you are essentially in an empty room until you start adding people you want to follow. Then, it's like you are at a party and you are picking what people you want to talk to. If you aren't interesting, then people aren't going to talk to you- or in her analogy- follow you back. So you start creating this room and environment for interesting people, but this could also be a negative thing. If you don't have the right people in your room, then your ideas won't go anywhere. It's all about the connections you make to get your voice heard and people to care. 
      Mona's talk was so moving and really inspired me to be passionate about everything that I do. She re-motivated me and reminded me that journalism is something that I love and not to get bogged down in challenges. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

"Love in the First Person"

At twenty, photojournalist Matt Eich has maturity dropped in his lap: his world-class career takes off, just as his girlfriend becomes pregnant. Together they document their budding lives, as they grapple with some very grown-up choices. See the project at

    While other majors study their books and memorize facts, I've truly learned that you shape yourself into a better journalist by experiencing life. Every experience in life creates more depth to our ability to connect to people and tell stories.
    While most of our learning experiences as students happen while we are out in the field working on class assignments, one way we can become a better journalist sitting at home is by watching and reading the work of other journalists. This way we can figure out what works and what doesn't. We can see different story-telling techniques that we might want to emulate in our own reporting some day.
     I love in-depth multimedia pieces, so I decided to watch "Love in First Person."There were a lot of things I thought were really powerful about how they told their story, but I also found spots where I would have told the story differently.


Personal- The story was extremely personal, which is what allowed them to really make it an in-depth piece. They were telling the story about themselves, so they were able to capture those raw, emotional moments. Also, since they are both so comfortable with each other, the camera wasn't intrusive. They were really able to capture the raw emotion of the journey they were going through.

They were also able to include personal videos from the wedding, which I think added a nice dynamic to the piece. There weren't any major holes in their story telling, since they have access to all their home videos and personal moments. They also included some of his girlfriend's voicemails to him as part of the audio. This really gives us an insight to their relationship, and what they are going through together. The raw emotion really gave the story an impact on the viewer.

Extended period of time- Since they were following their own lives, they were able to take as much time as they needed to tell the story. You can tell they at least followed the story for a year, since it went from the beginning of her pregnancy to the birth of their baby.

The power of silence- At the beginning especially and continuing throughout the piece, there are a lot of moments of silence and just fading to black. I think this adds to the emotional impact of the piece. The pauses and fades to black give the viewer a chance to think about what they just heard and almost put themselves in their shoes. Sometimes saying or showing nothing at all is the best way to make a statement.


Music- Although music can be a powerful storytelling tool, I thought it took away from the story in this case. If you are going to use music, I think it should be something that the viewer doesn't even notice. For this piece, the music was extremely noticeable and almost distracting at some parts. There were abrupt changes in the music that drastically switched the mood of the piece too suddenly. One part towards the end, they used the beat of the music to change the photos on the screen, which I thought was a good a use of music. It made the pictures have a role in moving the piece forward and telling the story.

Quality- A lot of the video portions weren't the best quality. The lighting could have been better, just to make it look more professional rather than something two 20-year-olds threw together for fun. A lot of the time the resources aren't available, but it would have added more to the piece.

Abrupt- Not only was the music very abrupt, but I thought the ending was extremely rushed. They did a great job of developing the story and really letting the viewer into their life. Then they just randomly threw in the birth of their child at the end of the story. If they were going to use the birth of their child as the ending, I would have liked to see something more in depth to really give the viewer a sense of completeness that the piece was over. I was left feeling like there should be another clip to keep watching, since the story wasn't fully summed up.

Overall, this was a great example of raw, emotional story telling, and I will definitely consider using some of their techniques in my own work.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

iPhone 5

     Mac vs. PC users seems to be the big technological divide of our generation. You either love Apple products, or you hate them.
     Apple released its iPhone 5 only a little over a week ago and sold over five million phones just three days after its launch, according to CBS news. People around the country waited in lines for hours just to get their hands on the newest Apple phone. There were even blogs and articles about how to survive the iPhone 5 line.
      Like any new technological product, in the first weeks after they are released, customers start to see some flaws. Apple is no exception. CNN reported on the top five complaints of the iPhone 5:
1. Scratches
2. New connector
3. Too light
4. Screen Issues
5. Leaking light
     Apple CEO Tim Cook just recently apologized for the map flaws in the new iPhone 5. But, just like the podcast posted above said- no matter what, someone is going to have a problem with the new phone. Complaints like "too light" or "new connector" have nothing to do with the quality of the phone itself, just people's preferences. The podcast played a song that Steve Jobs played when he flew back early from his vacation to make an apology for the flaws with the iPhone 4s. The lyrics are "If you don't want an iPhone 4, don't buy it. If you bought one and you don't like it, bring it back."

This song pretty much speaks for itself.
     After months of carrying around a cracked iPhone 3, I am ready for my iPhone 5 to arrive in the mail any day now. Regardless of the phone being "too light" or the "work-in-progress maps application," I'm just excited to finally have a phone that can take video and quality photos. Who knows though, maybe in a month from now I'll have my own ridiculous complaints.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"A Thousand More"

A family is determined to give their disabled son a whole and vital life. In the midst of a great burden, one small child – with a seemingly endless supply of love – is the blessing that holds a family together. See the project at

          A Thousand More is a video I first watched in my multimedia class sophomore year, and as I was browsing through an awesome website called Media Storm I saw the link to the video again. Having forgotten what exactly the story was about, I clicked it again. Let me tell you, this video is worth all 13 minutes of your time. A good multimedia piece should inspire you and squeeze your heart, and that's exactly what this pieces does. Since I've seen the video a few times now, I decided to break it down into the components of what I think makes it such a successful piece.


          When putting the piece together, they weren't afraid to leave in pauses. Silence is okay! The entire story is told through soundbites, which is part of what makes it so powerful. I never realized until now how intrusive having an anchor voice reading in the background can be to a piece. It really puts up a barrier to the direct line of emotion the viewer feels. The power of just having the main characters tell the story is incredible. When one of the parents started choking up, they wouldn't cut the camera right away and go to the next shot. They would let the camera sit, and let the viewer feel the emotion and pain with the parents. The pauses in the piece really allow you to become emotionally invested in their life. A key to a good multimedia piece is letting your viewers feel the emotion, and the best way to do that is through the actual character's voices and direct emotions.

Character Development

         Another reason I think this video is so strong is how they developed the main character, Philly Mayer. He is the first person we are introduced to visually and audibly. They pieced together a simple string of bites about what he wants to be when he grows up, and let that give the viewer an insight to who this little boy really is. I love that they chose this way to introduce Philly. They didn't let his disease define him. They let the story naturally unfold in a way that didn't feel rushed or out of order. After the initial introduction, they don't stop developing his character and just focus on his disease, they continue to show his every day life to let the viewer get even closer to him and experience life as if they are with the family.


          I think this goes hand and hand with character development, but you can really tell the depth the journalists went into to tell this boy's story. All the video isn't from one day, it's from multiple different visits and important events in the family's life. The still shots, pictures and videos from when Philly was younger also help tell the full story. This depth makes the viewer feel like the story is complete and there aren't pieces missing or questions unanswered.

          This video is a great example of excellent journalism. I'm really interested in doing more long-term pieces like this where I am able to tell more of an in-depth story rather than short, hard-hitting news. This video is such a great example of the power of journalism when you take the time and effort to tell a meaningful story in a powerful way.

Every True Son

      I hate to even give this article the time of day and give it more attention by writing a blog post based on it, but it really made me realize what it means to be a true fan.
      I'm not going to sit here and act like I know everything about football or that I even truly understand the significance about being a part of the SEC, but these are just my opinions and observations on what it means to support your team.
      I've spent at least an hour now reading through all the comments on the article, and people could go back and forth for hours. I've seen UGA fans criticizing Mizzou's lack of accomplishments in college football, and Mizzou fans criticizing the article in general saying that an article like this would have never been published at the best journalism school in the country. I understand fans from different schools will never see eye-to-eye on an issue like this, but sometimes I feel like people forget what really matters.
      No matter what sporting event you attend, there will ALWAYS be a handful of rude fans. It's immature to let that small section represent the entire fan base as a whole. What upset me the most about the article is his comment about what Mizzou fans wear to the games. He criticized us for showing up in our jeans and gold t-shirts, while UGA fans wore their sundresses and "Saturday best." It's a football game. Why does it matter what either team wears? If Georgia fans choose to wear sundresses, that's their choice...and if Mizzou fans choose to wear their jeans and t-shirts that their choice. Since when is fan fashion important to how well your team plays on the field? I understand that there are certain traditions and reputations that go with each conference, but why should we be expected to change our traditions overnight?
      Probably the thing that upset me the most about Saturday's game (besides the loss) was the lack of loyalty in some of the Mizzou fans. The week previous to the game, Mizzou's first SEC game was all the hype on campus. Saturday was the most beautiful day on MU's campus. Just the atmosphere before the game was so exciting, and I had a great time hanging out with friends and seeing all the UGA fans. Obviously going into the game I wanted our Tigers to win, but I understood that the game was predicted to be extremely close. Regardless of what Jeremy Dailey says, I absolutely love the M-I-Z, Z-O-U cheer. It gives me chills every time it echos throughout the stadium and makes me proud to be a part of the University of Missouri. After we started losing by one touchdown in the fourth, a lot of the people around me in Tiger's Lair started saying "Oh, the game is over" when there was at least 7 minutes left in the quarter! I know it's frustrating when it feels like your team is giving up, but I was really disappointed with how easily the fans were giving up.  You can be upset, or frustrated, or disappointed with your team, but just like we expect them to play until the clock hits 0:00, don't give up on your team before the clock hits 0:00.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Final Project!

As the semester comes to a close, my group is finishing up the final details to our final project. I was the editor for the tv broadcast video. We decided to make this more of a features video of James and what flying means to him and how he balances his life.

I've really enjoyed working on this project. I think 3 people per group is the perfect number so everyone can do work on their own, but then also correct each other's mistakes. I took all of the video and pictures for the project since I am able to fly with James the most. I'm really proud of some of the photos. I think since James is so comfortable with me being around, it allowed me to really capture his personality since most of the time he didn't even realize I was taking pictures. Here's the final video and my favorite photo!

Click here: Sophomore James Militello's life is a juggling act between managing his schoolwork, a job and making time to fly. Although being a student pilot is expensive and takes time, Militello is confident becoming a commercial pilot is the best career path for himself.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Multimedia Journalism

Click here to watch the video!

As a challenge, this week my teacher asked me to write my thoughts on a multimedia piece. California is a place is a website we have visited during class and watched a few of the videos on, so I decided to pick one that I haven't seen yet. I randomly chose to watch Aquadettes and when it first started, I wasn't taking it very seriously. The combination of the music with the old women made it seem like it was going to be a very light piece.

As I continued watching, I was able to appreciate more parts of the clip. Although I think the addition of the music is distracting to keeping it as journalistic as possible, I love all the different angles and shots they have of the Aquadettes. A few of the shots were right on the water line, which I thought was really cool and creative. I also enjoyed this piece because it wasn't the light story I thought it would be. They focused on one person and came up with an extremely well-developed story. The view can see that she is very dynamic and that the reporter spent a lot of time getting the entire story and having her feel comfortable opening up about it.

I would love to be able to do journalism like this some day. As much as I love working at KOMU and news stories, I am much more of Features girl. In high school, I was the Features Editor for our school paper, and I loved personality profiles. Taking J2150, I've realized how much I love the multimedia aspect of journalism. I love telling a story through videos and pictures, instead of through text. Hopefully I'll be telling powerful stories like this one day!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Students reach out to spread faith

Approaching a stranger in general can be a difficult task, but approaching a stranger to discuss faith can be even more challenging. Mizzou Students for Christ reaches out to fellow students to invite them to their ministry.

"It's awkward approaching people, but you just need to swallow your pride and humble yourself," sophomore Brendan Borman said.

Borman, a Parks and Rec Tourism major, first got involved through students approaching him on campus. He was very involved in his high school ministry, so he said Mizzou Students for Christ is a good match.

"They are definitely people I can trust," Borman said. "I meet a lot of people everyday. It's good to know you have people that have your back."

Mizzou Students for Christ meets two days a week for Bible talks and gathers on Fridays as a larger group to sing and worship.

Caption 1: Sophomore Brendan Borman is from Kingdom City, Missouri and a part of Mizzou Students of Christ.

Caption 2: Members of Mizzou Students for Christ approach students and invite them to join their ministry on random parts of campus, such as the MU Student Center or Ellis Library.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Proposal in Kansas City

Watch the video here

Like I mentioned in an earlier blog, I got a spontaneous opportunity to photograph a proposal in Kansas City a month ago. I was at The Plaza with my boyfriend and best friend when we saw people hold up signs saying, "Michelle, will you marry me?" We realized they were waiting on a horse and carriage to come around with the couple in it, so we quickly asked them if they'd like us to film it for them. James went across the street and shot video, while I stayed on the other side of the street and took photos. We finally had time over spring break to edit it all together! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." —Winston Churchill

Reflecting back on the first half of this semester, I could not be more happy with my decision to major in Broadcast Journalism. Multimedia has provided me with the opportunity to try new things and experiment in a learning environment. i've realized that I don't dread doing any of the projects, but think about them a lot outside of class, bounce ideas off of my friends and put a lot of time into each assignment. I'm most excited about the television video package that is due on Friday. I have my main interview done, but I'm getting all my final footage tomorrow. I can't wait to sort through all the video and find the best shots and sound bites to tell the story in the most influential way. 

For this project, we have the option of including a stand-up. Last semester, I was trained in hair and make up for KOMU cut-ins, but have yet to try it. Trying and mastering cut-ins is my main goal I have for the second half of this semester. This is something that is out of my comfort zone and sphere of knowledge, which is why I decided to use the courage quote for today's blog entry. I think courage is taking advantage of every opportunity you get and not being afraid to fail or say no. No one is going to expect you to be perfect the first time, so the only way you are going to learn is through practice. Multimedia has given us the opportunity to start these skills with the stand-up this week, so even if I don't use it in my final video, it's still a start to being comfortable delivering a news story in front of the camera. I'm excited to gain the courage to push myself out of my comfort zone and go live at KOMU towards the end of the semester. The only way to become comfortable doing something is to practice, practice, practice. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kony 2012

"Goodness is the only investment that never fails." — Henry David Thoreau

I decided I would be crazy if I had a multimedia blog and didn't write about the KONY 2012 video this week. For those of you who haven't watched it yet (I don't know how that's possible), watch it now. This video has been blowing up my social media newsfeeds for days, until I had no choice but to watch it to see what everyone is talking about. If you think about it, it's amazing that they were able to get so many people talking about and watching a video that is 30 minutes long. 

Regardless if you support or are a critic of the KONY 2012 video, you have to admit this proved the power of social media is amazing. The video received over 20 million views in less than 24 hours and is still continuing to grow in popularity. If you watched the video the entire way through, you'll know that the first purpose of the video was simply to make Kony famous. Regardless of if you watched the video or not, millions of people now know the name Kony.

A lot of the critics are pointing out that this is something that has been going on for years, and now the only reason people are caring about it is because it is a "fad" or "trending." First of all, the video acknowledges that this is something that has been happening for years and they haven't been able to make enough people aware of it. And the goal of the video was for as many people to share it on Facebook as possible just to get the message out there and the issue known. I agree that some people are only supporting the cause because they simply watched the video and it's popular and have done no other research, but if it's helping a good cause then why complain? Yeah, there will always be a million other problems in the world that people want to draw attention to, but the makers of this video did an amazing job of packaging the issue and letting people become involved and have a part in a simple way. I think this video speaks volumes about the power of social media and the effect it can have on the world around us. I'm interested to see how the Kony 2012 project will pan out in the next few months, and if the capture of Kony can actually be a result of a 30-minute video and social media.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Plans for the Future

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." — Eleanor Roosevelt

So this post is going to have to be super short because I have three midterms this week, my family is coming, a lacrosse tournament all weekend and a presentation due in 30 minutes.....

As stressful as planning classes for future semesters is, I am so happy with my future plans. I decided that I'm staying in Columbia over the summer and hopefully (fingers crossed) I can take Broadcast News 1 for the first month of summer. I planned my Fall semester to have all my classes Monday- Thursday (Including Broadcast News 2) and Friday off so I can keep my job lifeguarding. At KOMU this week, I worked with the reporter I normally do, and we had a lot of downtime while we were waiting for her live shot. It was so reassuring knowing that her sophomore year in college, she was at the exact same place I am, and now she is a success reporter who is graduating this semester. I can't wait to push myself for the rest of the semester to try new things at KOMU and be fully independent and live on my own this summer. 

Can't believe my sophomore year of college is almost over! 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Life Through a Lens

"Photography is a means of recording forever the things one sees for a moment." —Aaron Sussman

This weekend was the first time I fully appreciated and understood the beauty of photography. For my semester project, I'm covering Rood Music who had their first live show this weekend in Lawrence, Kansas, so my boyfriend, best friends and I road tripped to Kansas City and made a day out of it. We carried around cameras all day and after loading them on my computer, I realized we perfectly documented all of our adventure. 

We started off the day at Oklahoma Joe's in Kansas City, one of the top 12 places to eat before you die. We had to wait in line for about 30 minutes before we could order and started talking to the adults next to us. Turns out they are all from Chicago close to the area we are, and we had a good laugh with them in line and learned about each other's lives. While we were eating, the MU-kU basketball game started.

After lunch, we drove to the Plaza. Someday I'd love to go back there and just spend the entire day taking pictures of all the houses and churches. The architecture is beautiful. We walked around and did some shopping, constantly refreshing the basketball game score on our phones. After we left Forever 21, the game was in OT, so we tried to find a place that would have the game on tv. We finally found a sports bar and ran in for the last 8 seconds of the game. We left the second the buzzer went off and the bar full of Kansas fans went crazy. Then we walked down by the river and pouted for a bit after realizing that we were going to be on the kU campus that night and have to deal with all the Kansas fans celebrating.

As we were taking pictures on a bridge, we saw a large group of people holding up a bunch of poster boards. Being 3 curious journalists, we walked over to see what they said. The signs said "Michelle, will you marry me?" We started talking to them and they told us how the couple was going to be coming around on a horse and carriage ride and stopping right in front of the sign for the man to propose. We offered to take pictures and a video for them. James went across the street and got the whole proposal on video, while I stayed with the signs and took photos. I was so nervous because I've never had to photograph something spontaneously and where I'd only have a few shots to get the perfect picture. The sun was setting quickly, so I had to work with the settings on the camera. After we combine our video and photos, we have a beautiful compilation of the proposal.

After the proposal, we continued on our way to Lawrence, Kansas. All of the kU fans were already out at the bars completely drunk and wearing "Muck Fizzou" shirts, so we drove around blasted Rood Music's "Doin' It (Mizzouted)" song and screaming MIZ out the window. We arrived at The Granada and checked out the area we would be working with. James is working on making a music video for one of Rood Music's songs, so we were able to bounce ideas off of each other for good shots. After we got all set up, James and I decided to walk around and find somewhere to eat. After we saw a few drunk kU fans in the street, we decided it would be a perfect time to interview some and see what they had to say about the game. We shot hilarious videos of 3 different groups of kU fans, which James hopes to put together if we end up playing them in play offs. 

After we finished interviewing people, we headed back to The Granada for the show. Photographing the concert was a great experience. I got some good shots, but also learned a lot. I was so focused on "oh my gosh, I need to get a good shot of Roy singing," when really I should have gotten more of the group as a whole, detail shots and more crowd shots. It was also really difficult to work with the stage lighting, so editing the photos was a challenge. Looking back on it, there's definitely a lot of things I would have done differently, but I'm happy with the work I did considering it was my first time photographing a concert environment. It was definitely an exciting, journalistic weekend!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Time Flies

"Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." — Napoleon Hill

This quote is definitely something I've learned this past week. I'm currently sitting at Panera trying to get some homework done (I'm so stressed about the rest of my week being jammed packed) without a clue of what I should write about since I've barely had time to do anything journalism-related this week. Then I realized that's exactly what I need to write about— time management and the importance of taking advantage of every moment you have, especially when it comes to journalism and photography. 

My roommate from last year, Teddy, always makes fun of me because she says at least once a week I come crying to her saying "my life's a mess, I need to get organized." But this time I seriously need to stay on top of everything. (I'm sure Teddy won't believe this) I work at KOMU one night a week. It's the beginning of lacrosse season, so I spent the entire weekend in Nebraska for our first tournament  where we won all three of our games (Go Mizzou!). I have lax practices Monday through Thursday right after my classes end until 5 p.m., but instead of going home and getting my work done, I will now be going straight to my lifeguarding job at the Rec until it closes at 11 p.m. some nights. I'm super excited about the job and to finally be having a steady source of income, but I realized I'm definitely going to need to start balancing everything more efficiently. 

Last week in Multimedia, we were assigned our three photos project. Luckily, I thought ahead and decided to take my photos last Thursday afternoon. I was only able to spend about an hour or two with Roy, but I made sure I made the most of it. I took as many shots as possible and tried as many different angles as I could, since I was working with sunlight as it was setting. I was running around, standing on tables and even sitting on someone's shoulders at one point to get the shot I was imagining. That night, I loaded the pictures on the computer and saw a lot of good ideas, but they weren't perfectly executed. I realized that I physically wouldn't be able to retake the pictures before the due date because my only free time would be a night after the sun went down. This relates back to the quote posted at the top of this post. You might only have one shot at getting the perfect pictures you need, so take advantage of it. If like in my case, your pictures don't turn out exactly how expected, you need be creative with editing the pictures and working with the shots that you were able to get. I'll definitely keep these lessons in mind for our next assignment and continue planning ahead!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Rood Music!

"Music is all around us- all you have to do is listen." — August Rush

Roy Jackson, sophomore music major, talks about his band Rood Music and its upcoming show. Jackson is the music producer for the band and is currently working on mixing new beats for the February 25th show. (1:00)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Soaring to Success

"There is no flying without wings." — French Proverb
I think the biggest trick to success is support. Whether the support is from a boyfriend or girlfriend, best friend or family member, having someone there cheering you on and appreciating your work motivates you to strive for more. I believe that support is huge in journalism. It's all about your connections and who you know. You could be doing amazing work, but if the right people aren't seeing it, you'll never get anywhere.
I've had some exciting journalistic moments in the past few days that have inspired me to keep striving for more and reminded me how passionate I am about everything I'm doing now and want to do in the future. 
On Saturday night, I had the privilege to fly out of Columbia to Sikeston, Missouri in a small, four-passanger plane. My boyfriend, James, is at the end of his training to become a pilot, and he has a few hours of flying left before he can take his Pilot's test. So Saturday night, I got to sit in the back of the airplane behind James and his flight instructor amazed at the view and all the hard work he has put into getting to where he was sitting behind the control panel. Like I said earlier in the my "Beautiful World" post, just the feeling of getting into an airplane and flying to a completely new place to experience different things is what inspires me and makes me so passionate about journalism. We landed in Sikeston, ate a delicious dinner at Lambert's Cafe, tried new foods and saw how they live, then flew back to Columbia. I brought a camera on the flight and experimented with taking pictures as the sun was setting over the Missouri River. 

Another exciting journalistic moment I had was my shift Monday night at KOMU. I was talking on the phone with my mom earlier, and she was saying how Mizzou was the perfect choice for me, since it has so many opportunities to get involved before you even start your journalism sequence classes. Last semester, I just cut national video and ran the teleprompter at the station every Thursday night. I just wanted to get familiar with the video editing software and the atmosphere of the newsroom. This semester, I have a Monday night shift as Live VO Patrol. For the past 3 weeks, I've gone to the station for my shift and sat around since all the reporters had already gone out to shoot footage, and there was no breaking news. So FINALLY, Monday night I was able to go out with a senior broadcast student at Mizzou and help her with her live shot for the 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. news. She was so helpful and explained everything she was doing so I could learn, and let me shoot video and help out. She taught me how to feed the footage back to the station from the Live Reporting Backpack (so cool!) and help get the camera, lights and mic set up for the live shot. She went live from the Columbia Public School Administration building at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. It was so awesome to just be able to learn from someone that was once in my position and see how portable and independent broadcast journalism can be. Even though I wasn't doing anything huge, watching her reassured me that this is what I want to do, and made me so excited to start making packages and reporting the news!

Monday, February 6, 2012


"Old Missouri, Fair Missouri, Dear old varsity, Ours are hearts that fondly love thee." — Missouri Alma Mater

Deciding a college can be one of the most important, life-changing decisions a teenager has to make. At such a young age, you are trying to decided where you can fit in for the next four years of your life, on top of deciding which career path you think will suit you best. At the age of 16, not many teens are 100% confident with what they want to do for the rest of the their life. It's actually kind of crazy to think about how big of a decision we are faced with at such a young age.

I was fairly confident all of high school that I wanted to do journalism as my career path. I wasn't sure what I ultimately wanted to do with my degree, but I was set on journalism. Being the oldest child, I was the first to go through the whole college things with my parents, and I felt like I was pretty clueless. I applied to four colleges and ended up only liking two of them: University of Dayton and University of Missouri. 

I knew going to Mizzou would be best for my journalism career, but I wasn't entirely sold on the environment at Missouri. Dayton is a Catholic school, and I felt really comfortable on the campus, but their journalism program didn't come close to Missouri's program. I decided to visit Mizzou one more time, and when we drove past the football field for the first time, I knew that Mizzou was where I wanted to go. 

After spending a full year in Missouri, I can't imagine going to any other school. Mizzou is the perfect fit. It's a big enough school to always be meeting new people, while still having a condensed campus where you can see familiar faces each day. It has an amazing Journalism School with incredible opportunities. I'm currently sitting at KOMU as I'm writing this. KOMU gives students with no experience an opportunity to learn from professionals and get a feel for a real news room. 

The one thing I love the most about Mizzou is the school spirit. I love walking around campus and seeing everyone wearing Mizzou gear. I love all the excitement there was this past week before the big MU-kU game. Being at the Arena on Saturday night was one of the craziest moments of my life. So many people coming together to cheer on one team. The arena was booming with screams and stomping on the bleachers. The last minute when Mizzou took the lead over kU, the crowd went crazy and my roommate and I were jumping up and down. I've never been more proud to be a Tiger!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Seeing Red

"If everyone would look for that uniqueness then we would have a very colorful world." — Michael Schenker

Beautiful World

 "We all have a story to tell, whether we whisper or yell." — Happily Ever After by He Is We

This week in my Cross Cultural Psychology class we started talking a lot about stereotypes and how we can prevent people from simply pushing people into categories after a second of observation. Me and my roommate, Devon, started discussing (Even though we were supposed to be paired with someone we didn't know...oh well), and the first thing we decided was if people just took a minute to talk to the person they were judging, their opinion of them might completely change.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the fact that every single person in this world has a story. And the only way to discover these stories is by talking to new people. Think of how many stories you pass every day just walking from class to class on campus. If you never just simply talk to someone new, you'd never know what kind of story you are missing out on. 

The first time this realization really hit me was first semester of freshman year. I was really homesick, but had no way of getting back to Chicago (7 hours and no money), so one of my good friends on Marching Mizzou Color Guard, Carissa, invited me and our other friend, Kara, to her house in Missouri for the weekend. We decided that it's better than nothing and packed our bags for the weekend. We drove an hour and half away to an area near Hermann, Missouri. We started getting close to her house, and the first thing Kara and I noticed was that our cell phone service was almost completely gone. Then Carissa started talking about the ferry we have to take to cross the river to get to her house as she turned onto a gravel road that stretched for miles. We started drive along the bumpy road, over floods and completely in the dark. Kara and I, being from Chicago, were completely fascinated by the way she lives. The nearest Walmart was around 30 minutes away! We went out to dinner and everyone knew her. Her mom owns the main local restaurant in town and her dad owned the bar in the nearest town. The next day, her neighbor picked us up in his pickup truck and took us to his farm where we got to pet cows, hold pigs and learned to drive a tractor. It amazed me that a lifestyle so different from what I'm used to is just an hour off of campus. If I never agreed to going home with Carissa, I would have never known. 

Later in the semester, I had the same experience with the MKT Trail. One of my best friends at Mizzou, Sally, and I decided we wanted to go on a walk and take some photos. Sally of course has ran on the MKT trail a million times and knew all the areas where she wanted to take photos at, and I had never even heard of the MKT trail before. We ended up going on a 5 mile walk and barely making it to our FIG class in time. It amazed me that something so beautiful is literally 2 minutes off of campus, and if you are too lazy to get off your butt and go exploring, you'd never know it existed. 

The last experience that completely cemented my fascination of getting to know every story and experience new places happened over this past winter break. I was a production assistant at The Maneater every Monday night first semester this year. Normally by the time it came around to go to work, I was completely stressed out and had a million things left to do on my to do list, which resulted in me trying to get in and get out of the office as soon as possible. I'd finish my work as fast as I could, then go into a different area of the office and try to get all my work done, so I didn't talk or get to know a lot of the people that I worked with every week. Looking back on this, I'm realizing how beneficial it is to be fully present wherever you are. There was one boy I worked with all semester (kind of knew his name, and that was it) that I made some quick judgements about what kind of person he was (exactly what we were talking about preventing in Cross Cultural Psychology....) and never thought deeper into it. My last night working, I was in another area working on a study guide when he turned the corner and sat down and started talking to me. That night I had one of the most open conversations I've ever had with someone. We realized we lived in similar areas in Chicago and ended up hanging out over Winter Break. Long story short, after spending another day with him, I realized I completely misjudged him. The kid that I shrugged off to be a stoner turned out to be an amazing, ambitious, drug-free man who has completely opened my eyes to so many new things in such a short period of time. So, I guess the moral of the story is from now on I should take off my own advice and actually have a conversation with someone before I jump to conclusions. 

All of these experiences have just expanded my curiosity and desire to travel the world and meet as many interesting people as a I can. Seeing different parts of the world makes me appreciate every detail and the beauty in everything. Hearing people's stories makes me appreciate what I have in life and opens my eyes to the struggle of others. As my best friend Melanie would say,  we live in a beautiful world.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Confidence is Key

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." — Henry Ford

"Just be yourself." Individuality. Confidence. These are all things I have noticed myself thinking about a lot more in the past week. Ever since we were little, teachers and parents always stressed how important it is to just be yourself regardless of what anyone else thinks. Going off to college is a huge transition for most of us and a time to focus on finding ourselves. I believe being confident with who you are and what you believe are two of the most important things to discover in college. If you don't believe in yourself, who will?

The exact same concept applies to journalism. Even if you have no idea where you are or exactly what you want to get out of the story, you need to walk with confidence. No matter how many times a story or source falls through, you need to keep your chin up just as high as it was before. Learn from your mistakes, don't be afraid of them. I think fear is what can ruin you as a successful journalist. The best pictures aren't angles and ideas that are "playing it safe," they are the shots where the photograph took a risk, experimented and approached with confidence. You can't be afraid to take hundreds of awful pictures just to capture that one amazing moment. 

Going into multimedia, I was a little hesitant and self-conscious since I've never expressed myself through photography before. After this week, I've realized confidence is key. We're given all the resources we need to experiment and learn in our own way. If you go into an assignment with the attitude that you're going to give it 100% and create amazing work, chances are that's what you'll end up with.

Friday, January 20, 2012


"Goals in writing are dreams with deadlines." — Brian Tracy

I can't even keep track of the number of times I've said, "I've always wanted to do that!" My mental list of things I'd like to learn goes miles long, but for some reason I never find the time to actually follow through with them. Over winter break, I finally sat down and wrote out my list of things I wanted to accomplish at some point, which included learning to play the guitar, learning a new piano song and at the top of the list was photography. 

Photography has always been something that interested me, but I never had the resources to learn. I wanted to take a photo class in high school, but my electives were always filled with Spanish, band and journalism, so a new hobby always got pushed to the back burner. I've wanted a nice camera for a while, but they are so expensive, and I always found other things to spend my money on. Like a lot of the other goals and dreams floating around in my head, photography was something I thought I'd never actually get to learn and experience.

After the first week of J2150, I could not be more excited about everything the class has to offer. This class is finally holding me accountable to do something that I've always wanted to learn more about. I can't wait to finally be able to understand what all the random numbers mean on the display of the camera, to understand how lighting affects a photo and finally capture all the images and creatives ideas in my mind into a photo. This class will probably be the class I need to work the hardest in, but I know my hard work will all be worth it once I can check photography off my goal's list.