Final Flash Project

23 Apr

Check out my final project for my converged journalism class.

Using Flash, my partners and I created a project about Orlando Bike Polo. The project was broken into three chapters. Chapter one explained how the team originated. Chapter two was a team member’s personal story of his involvement and chapter three explained the rules of the game.

Please visit my webpage below where you’ll find a link to the project.
Webpage to project

Enjoy!

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The scattered approach

27 Mar

With a headline “Adopted or abducted,” how was I not drawn in?

This article, written by Dan Rather opens our eyes to the horrible truth that unwed mothers experienced – having their babies taken from them.

Definitely a good read if you’re prepared for your tear ducts to water a bit.

As I was reading, I found myself constantly distracted by the brilliance behind the layout of the article. I’ll admit, I was quicker to click on the link when I noticed there was a video along with it. For me, anything visual always trumps the written word. And at that moment, I didn’t exactly have an unlimited time to be surfing the net, reading articles.

So I read through the first few paragraphs before hitting the first video segment. Keyword: first. They put a minute-long clip in the middle of the article and if you scrolled further down, past a few more paragraphs, you hit the second minute-long clip. Brilliant!

Expecting to watch a video clip and then leave the page for another, I was hooked. And not the kind of hooked where I could just scroll down to the next clip. No, I needed to keep reading until I got there. Which I assume, is exactly what the goal of scattering the visuals throughout was.

Scrolling even further down is a picture linking to a photo gallery. And you can bet that I read my way down to that one too!

So there, I’m living proof that the layout reached their goal of keeping me on the page longer. The approach of scattering the visuals throughout the article kept me focused on both, instead of just singling one out which was my original intention.

Kudos, Yahoo! News.

“One tool does all”

18 Mar

As cool as my camera bag makes me feel, walking around snapping shots and changing out lenses, it makes me feel just as bad by the end of my photo shooting excursion. My shoulder feels weighted down and I feel like my posture is permanently slanted.

Wouldn’t it be nice to cover an event without the hassle of keeping track of all the necessary equipment? Have we come this far already? Perhaps!

In a Guardian article written by Michael Rosenblum, this dream might not be so far off.

Apple released the iPad 3 on Friday, March 16 and for mojos like me, it’s like having all your bulky camera and editing software combined into one slender contraption. The times of lugging around a camera bag, laptop and notepad are on the verge of extinction.

The iPad 3 allows us eager beavers to take still pictures, record up to two hours of HD 1080p video, store images and use touchscreen software to edit stills and video, and allows for instant internet access to upload and post content. What doesn’t this magnificent product do? All available with the swipe of a finger in one compact, lightweight product.

I’m amazed. So who wants to lend me $500 so I can get my hands on one of these bad boys?

Victims of gang violence

26 Feb

The Los Angeles Times did a great job utilizing multimedia journalism to tell their compelling story titled Victims of Gang Violence: The smoke clears, but pain endures.

This story was published online in December 2010 with various storytelling options. A main page depicted the purpose of the story and gave a video montage of victims and their families interviewing. At the bottom of the piece, the reader had the option to scroll through six victims’ personal stories where they could read a blurb, watch the victim speak in a video and scroll through a dozen photos of that particular person and their family.

My personal favorite was victim #4, Melody Ross. Being the aspiring photojournalist I am, I was immediately drawn to the pictures. I love how the whole piece was done in black and white, setting the serious, solemn mood. To have used color would have just detracted from the storytelling.

After the reader has had their fill, they have the option to scroll further down and read a full story published on the gang violence in Los Angeles. Something similar, I would imagine, would have run in print.

Are you wondering why you’re suddenly so intrigued about gang violence? Did you notice all the different platforms that were used in this segment, each sparking a different emotion and level of interest in you? That’s the beauty of multimedia journalism. There’s a little bit of something for everyone.

This piece was visually stimulating and inspiring. Projects like these are what draw me back to a publications website in hopes they’ve hit the jackpot once again.

A lovers’ spat via Twitter

16 Feb

As we all know, Twitter is commonly used as an outlet for venting frustration, expressing boredom or letting the internet world know what kind of sandwich you’re eating.

On Valentine’s Day however, it was used as an outlet for romantic bickering between the official AP Stylebook Twitter account and the Fake AP Stylebook account with guest tweets from the Fake PewResearch and the Chicago Manual of Style.

Below is Rosa Golijan’s Storified version of it all.
[View the story “The geekiest (and most romantic) Twitter fight yet” on Storify]

Podcasts

12 Feb

Podcasts became popular in 2004 after it was first mentioned in The Guardian newspaper by Ben Hammersley. These digital audio files are available online and accessible to download for the listener’s convenience.

For me, podcasts are a great way to further tell a story. Simply reading a story could never evoke the same emotions a podcast could. A great example of a podcast used to aid a story is the one NPR posted on Jan. 19 about a woman who returned to her hometown in Iraq after being away for 20 years. The woman returns to a changed land and is describing what’s different and how she feels.

I first heard this segment Monday morning, Feb. 6, while driving to my internship. I was heading into downtown Orlando and instead of seeing the skyline of office buildings I was envisioning myself in Iraq, in the taxi cab, with this woman. The podcast transported me out of my surrounding area and put me into this story that was being told to me.

No matter how well written the story posted with it is, a podcast to me just goes that extra mile.

With podcasts you’re breaking the gap between platforms, bringing an element of broadcast news into your story. It’s amazing what a voice and some background noise can do for a piece.

The glory of linking

5 Feb

I’ll be the first to admit my laziness. I prefer reading my news off the internet rather than in print. Why? Because of the sheer convenience. I like to read an article and see as much supporting information as possible. Is there a photo gallery? Was there a video clip of the subject interviewed? Have other reporters dug even deeper into the topic and written their own related articles? A newspaper can’t provide me with all of these resources and I’m certainly not the type who remembers to look these things up afterwards. However, the internet gives me access to all of this. I’m not talking about the internet as a search engine. I’m talking about links. After all, we all like it when someone else does the work for us, don’t we? So God bless links.

On The Media: This Week is a great, interactive site where you can find information recently discussed on NPR’s program. The site allows you to search through podcasts*, post feedback and even download your favorite shows.

So in honor of the Super Bowl today, my example will be The Disastrous Follow-Up To Apple’s ‘1984’ Ad. Chris Neary, a producer for On The Media, wrote a short blog post about the different impact that two Super Bowl commercials had on their audience. Neary posts videos of the commercials to emphasize his point and then continues to go a step above by linking to related articles.

The first video shows the 1984 Apple’s Macintosh commercial, followed up by the less popular 1985 Apple – Lemmings commercial. As Neary links, in a Forbes article, contributing writer Allen St. John explains why the follow up commercial wasn’t as successful.

What was missing from Lemmings was the girl in 1984, the savior who says ‘The world could be different than this.’ Had there been some way to have that redemption in Lemmings, there probably would have been a very different outcome.

Another article he linked to is featured here. On Feb. 2, The New York Times posted an online article about the lack of surprise in the 2012 Super Bowl commercials. They back this up by posting links within the article to previews or extended versions to the commercials being discussed. Print newspapers have begun providing links at the end of their articles giving the reader the opportunity to go online and view further information. Online however, the reader can be automatically redirected just by clicking those beautiful, underlined words. How convenient!

Linking helps in keeping the reader involved. It’s an effective way to pull supporting information into an article instead of expecting the reader to venture out and find it on their own. And most won’t, so don’t expect that they will. Links are our friends. Use them.

**Podcasts are another excellent example of how journalism is evolving today. Don’t worry, I’ll discuss these further in my next post.