Unfortunately This Adventure Comes To An End

This class has taught me a great deal of useful information! Of course, so did Spanish 1010, but I feel as though I can attribute the skills I’ve learned from this course to my career path once I graduate. Even if not, I am now assured I can become a household name via the internet blogging sites with quite a bit of help from Dr. Landreville.

I think my favorite assignment in Online Journalism this semester was the “Photojournalism” assignment. It really helped to grow my photography skills. Looking back on that first month or so of this course, I notice a significant enhancement of my own photography skills. I gained more a photographer’s stance I would like to think and began seeing the world more creatively.  I really enjoyed taking pictures. Of course, there were a lot of great moments I missed because I didn’t have my camera, or couldn’t pull it out of my bag quickly enough, which was always frustating! I enjoyed it because I was able to take photographs of things I found interesting or held a passion for. In reality, a journalist can’t do that but I did enjoy taking photos of those things and don’t think it would have been nearly as fun if I was given an event or a specific moment to capture.

I think I will use my ability to capture an audience’s attention and my writing skills that I have strengthened in my future. I love scrapbooking and the photography skills I developed through this course, will help to make my scrapbooks much more eye appealing and interesting. It also supplied me with the opportunity to think on my feet when interviewing people. I learned to prepare as much as possible, but sometimes you must have the ability to think on your feet.

I would like to go into public relations. My ideal job would to be a public relations professional for a sports team. I would LOVE to work for a professional baseball team! I have invisioned this job ever since entering college, so this class only reaffirmed that this was the career path for me!

I learned a lot of vital skills within this course but I would have liked to learn how to creat and use video, which is why I will be taking Dr. Landreville’s Advanced New Media course next semester.

Thanks for all your help and insightful knowledge Dr. Landreville! I look forward to taking your Advanced New Media course next semester! Have a happy holiday!

Sound Slide Critiques

For this assignment, I have been asked to critique three classmates sound slide projects. Here are my critiques!

Andie Knous & Jessica Peck : SAE Masters of Misery Haunted House

I enjoyed Andie’s and Jessica’s  sound slide project a lot! I thought the idea was very appealing and the topic was very interesting. I could hear the interviewee very clear without any distracting background noise.  The edits were clean cut. I didn’t notice a cut that sounded rough. The ambient noise was fine. I think it would have been cool to record people during the hauted house to capture the real freight that SAE captured in the visitors.  A few screams would have added more drama to the audio, or the sound of the electric tools they “used” during the haunted house.  They also coo9uld have used “horror music,” like what they play in horror movies when the tension is strong! I thought the photos used matched well with the audio. The photos were eye engaging and interesting to look at. I think there could have been more creativity when taking photos by using unique angles to capture the event.The story flows nicely from speaker to speaker. The story made sense and topics flowed easily together. I felt as though it did end slightly abrubt, and I think that maybe ending the story with fading out ambient noise would have helped closed the story. Awesome Job!!

 

Jordan Dixon & Megan Tanaka : University of Wyoming Student Workers

Interesting Topic! I think this story topic is very relevant to students in college and shows the dedication of student workers. I could hear some background noise in the audio, but I wasn’t distracted by it and could still clearly make out what the interviewees were saying without any difficulty. I think the ambient noise was very relevant can’t think of anything else they could have used as ambient noise that would capture a work environment. The cuts and edits were done nicely and sounded clean. I enjoyed the photos and thought it was cool to display them in all black and white. I also liked the variety of pictures they chose to display. They showed a variety of different jobs available for students. I think it would have been nice to get more jobs outside of the union, or to display students working off of campus. The stroy does flow nicley from speaker to speaker and from topic to topic. I don’t think that including their major was relevant, besides the fact that it does allow the viewer to recognize them as a student. The story certainly made sense to me without any points of confusion. I thought the story ended well. I liked that they ended their story with ambient noise that gradually faded out. It signaled very clearly to me that the story was over. Overall, Great job!!

Cody Hess & Patrick Pajak : 2011 Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team

I loved the ambient noise! I think it shows the great pride at UW that the volleyball players raved about during the interview. There was some background noise in a couple clips, but being in a gym I can expect that to happen. I don’t think that the background noise that appeared was unrelevant to the piece, so I didn’t find it distracting. I think it may have even captured the environment on a greater level. I was able to hear all the interviewees very clearly. I liked that they used more than one source as well. It helped to bring more to the table I think and display the true character of UW Volleyball.  I was able to tell where cuts had been made, but I think it was because of all the various interviewees that spoke on the same topic. I didn’t think that the audio pieces were rough at any time.  The photos synchronized to the audio very well. I liked that when the players talked about the fans, they displayed pictures of the fans at the games. I think the story flowed nicely from speaker to speaker and from topic to topic. The story made sense and I think it ended well too. Once again, I like that the story ended with ambient noise, helping the viewer to recognize that the story was coming to an end! Fantastic job!

Documenting Big Footsteps

Alex and I chose to focus our sound slide project on the Geology Museum here at the University of Wyoming. We interviewed two people about the Geology museum and gathered a lot of great insightful information about the museum.  We gathered audio and pictures, in which was edited to create a story using  the sound slides program about the museum. It was a large time commitment, but it was challenging and definitely rewarding to be able to combine all the skills we have gained through out this course with using both audio and photography pieces to create a story.

I feel fortunate to have had such a great partner. I know that Alex will provide 110% effort towards the project and never feel as though I am left single handed. My favorite interview was with Morgan Churchill. We both got a significant experience out of the interview. I noticed a great change during the interview, compared to my previous experiences with interviewing Alex. It was certainly less relaxed. Luckily, I had Alex there with me to relax any tension and make any awkward moments less awkward, well at least for the both of us.

I thought Sound slides was an easy program to work with for the most part. However, I didn’t like that it wouldn’t let you work on the project without any audio added. Stressing to finish the audio in a timely manner, allowing enough time to finish the sound slides, was inconvenient and annoying. Alex and I ran into an obstacle when finishing the project. We were not able to send the project to one another when it was all finished. It would save as several different files and made it impossible to see the finished project on our own computers, but it is technology after all!

A problem that we encountered during conducting interviews was noise in the background. During our first interview, Morgan began unwrapping the fossils we was working on and the audio had caught the noise of the wrapping being removed.  The same issue arose during our second interview with Mary. There was a lawn mower outside, which I was certain would pick up on the recorder.  I was unsure of how distracting the background noise of the lawn mower would be but I think I had expected the worst before listening or editing the audio. 

The one thing I plan to do differently is to do my interviews and gather information first, then gather pictures second.I  think it would be easier to conduct the information from interviews and edit the audio to create a story and then focus on taking creative pictures that would fit well within the story. Overall, I enjoyed this project a lot and can’t wait to start on my individual slideshow project!

Thinking On Our Toes . . .

These are the three audio stories Alex and I had decided upon. Enjoy!

  • Mike Dilbeck with Campuspeak:

 We would gather sound clips from his speech, as well as from the conversations from the dinner before his speech with him and three other leaders in the Greek community. This story is important because he talks about bystander behavior and leadership on campus. He instills the necessary tools for anyone to accomplish successful leadership traits that will make a significant impact on our community. Bystander behavior is a huge problem within this age group; therefore it would be interesting to get his perspective and his advice of how bystander behavior can be diminished in our community and the steps that one needs to follow in order to prevent bystander behavior from becoming a relevant issue on our society. Possible sources could include Mike Dilbeck himself, Kate Steiner (Greek Life Coordinator, (President of the National Panhellenic Council)  and Clay Radakovich (President of Inter-fraternal Council) and possibly any students who attend the speech.

  •  Story about Campus Activity Center and the events they put on:

 The campus activity center puts on events on Wednesday nights. This Wednesday night, October 19, 2011 from 8-10 p.m. Kelly Taylor, a comedian, is performing. It is vital for students to get involved on campus and I think this story would show all the great and fun ways there are for students to make a difference and get involved on campus. Involvement usually corresponds with greater success rates and this story shows students that there are amazing ways to impact student’s and campus, getting involved within recognized students organizations (RSO). It could be a great way to show support for the activities that our student fees go towards. We could interview Anna Rader, who works for the CAC, we could also collect sound clips from the Kelly Taylor as well as we could talk to the Aztec workers who handle the sound for these events. All of those people would give us a different perspective on the story. 

  • The new STOP violence project on campus

 The STOP violence program is a new program this year that educates the University on how to end sexual and relationship violence on campus. Sexual violence is a huge problem on campus, and a majority of the time it is swept under the rug. So by doing this story we could help educate people on the project itself, while promoting safe sex and safe relations. We could talk to Jules Arthur, who is the program coordinator. We could also talk to the Albany Safe Project to hear about other perspectives on healthy relationships. Another resource would be the counseling center and discuss information on the resources available on campus, including the resources they provide if students are involved with a violent relationship.

On the Right Track

Megan Tanaka

I think Megan’s interview was certainly unique and interesting. Megan interviewed Jordan Dixon, who is a fellow agricultural communications student at UW and throughout their interview Jordan’s passion for agriculture really shown through. I had no idea what organic farming was or how significant it is to our society and agriculture. I admire Megan’s ability to ask impromptu questions during her interview. I thought the impromptu questions she asked were very helpful and added clarity to the interview for the viewer.

Megan had a great interview and I think she conducted an engaging story for her viewer. I could hear Jordan clearly and wasn’t distracted by any ambient noise. Ambient noise would have been an interesting factor in her story, but would have been difficult to gather, considering most of her story was based in Jordan’s experiences in California, not Wyoming. The only suggestions I would have are to possibly have a set topic and to base your questions regarding that specific topic. I think it will help to create stronger questions, therefore impacting the story positively. I also would suggest ending with an overall question to help round up the interview or try to ask a question that would benefit your viewers. An example may be to ask “Where do you foresee organic agriculture  developing within the next 10 years?” or “What can students here at UW to do help with the agriculture issues and malnutrition?.” Overall, Megan did a terrific job and her edited piece flowed together beautifully and created an impacting story.

Bridget Wilson

Bridget interviewed Jasper Fitzgerald about her love for skiing, which I think was an appropriate topic being this time of season, and living in Wyoming, close to several skiing areas. Their interview seemed to flow very smoothly and Bridget seemed prepared during the interview with questions. Her questions were related to her specific topic and helped to heighten the quality of the interview and allowed her a lot more of information to work with when editing. I found Jasper’s experiences and accomplishments in skiing very impressive. She certainly accomplished a lot with in her younger age and I think Bridget did a great job capturing that success and striving passion Jasper has for skiing.

Bridget did a fantastic job interviewing Jasper. However, the one thing I noticed right off the bat when listening to Bridget’s audio was the sound quality. I could hear background noise pretty well during the interview. Although the background was terribly distracting, I could still hear it and it was slightly irritating throughout the interview. Thankfully, the background noise was not distracting enough to overpower Jasper’s voice. I could hear Jasper’s voice clearly. I feel as though it would have been helpful to possibly have faded in and out on some of the cuts. I could hear the cut at 1:10 and I think it would have been less noticeable if the audio had been faded in and out. Overall, Bridget did a great job at capturing a passionate story about Jasper’s success and love for skiing.

Personally, I learned that our audio recorder will pick up on about everything so you need to be very cautious of background noise. I also learned that although it is important to have prepared questions for your interview, it is just as important to have the ability to ask impromptu questions.  During this assignment, especially when editing, I learned that there are many ways a journalist can portray a story to their audience. It is important to sort out all the different ways to portray your story before you begin chopping and deleting your masterpiece.

Advice I would give to myself for this assignment in the future would be to choose one specific topic and stick to it! Ask questions that revolve around that one specific topic and enhance the audience’s clarity of your interviewee and the topic discussed.  I also suggest finding a key location for your interview. It is important to steer away from background noise. On the subject of sound quality, I also suggest to place the recorder on a table near your interviewee. I wish I would have included ambient noise, but I look forward to that challenge in future assignments.

Here is a link of the audio profile I conducted, where I interviewed a good friend Alex Edwards about her studying abroad experiences in Europe. This was the same assignment in which Megan and Bridget were assigned as well.

Travels to Europe with Alex Edward

I really enjoyed doing this assignment. Once I got the hang of editing audio using Audacity, I was anxious to begin editing my audio interview. I actually had to re-do the assignment because it hadn’t saved the first time. However, I am grateful because I like my second story more than my first. I took the advice to build, rather than to break, which really helped me create my story. I took all the vital pieces from the interview, such as name, major, etc. and put that into the new track first. I then deleted the sections where I was asking questions. I listened to the unedited audio and decided how to organize my story. I decided I would do an intro, then discuss why she chose the major she did, her study abroad experiences, differences she noticed about the two different cultures and any advice/suggestions about studying abroad to any University of Wyoming student who is interested in studying abroad.

I learned that there are many ways to deploy a story. For example, I could have executed a story based on just her experiences studying abroad or all the differences between the cultures she noticed studying abroad. I also learned you can never use enough dead space or pauses when interviewing. Those lengthy pauses can be shortened in Audacity but it certainly helps to have those lengthy pauses when editing your audio. I learned that “ummm” and “you know” are fine to leave in your audio story. It helps develop personality and engage the viewer more, as if the story is being told directly to them. It makes the story feel more real.

I enjoyed editing the audio and making my own story out of the material provided. I enjoyed using Audacity because although it is a very complicated device with many different features, it was simple for me to use. I enjoyed learning about all the affects you can implement on your audio as well. I absolutely loved the zoom feature in Audacity. I didn’t enjoy having to cut down my audio to just two minutes. I found this very difficult. I was grateful to have an interviewee who provided me with such significant information and I felt I was betraying my audience by not providing them with all the great information Alex had informed me of during our interview. The one thing that did continuously frustrate me was that I was not able to copy or paste unless I had stopped the audio completely.

I was surprised with everything you can do to audio using Audacity. I felt it was very beneficial. I was surprised by all the awesome effects Audacity had. I was also surprised by how easy it was to use. Of course, the zoom feature was great help, but it was simple to copy and paste specific audio into a new track. I thought I was going to have to spend several hours editing, but it only took me a couple hours to edit the audio, if that!

I wish it would have allowed me to copy when the audio was paused, so I knew exactly where I had wanted to stop or start again. The only thing that I wish I would have done differently is set up the questions without a yes/no response. For example, I asked Alex “Were there any differences between the cultures?” Instead, I wish I would have asked Alex, “What are the differences?” Asking a quantitative question, I am able to get more feedback from my interviewee rather than yes or no. I also would have liked my interviewee to have stated “I noticed several differences between the cultures, the first one being that . . . ” However, that takes away from the interviewee personality and makes it less personal by telling your interviewee how to answer a question.

Studying Abroad with Alex Edwards

I conducted a few questions before Alex and I met regarding her international studies major and her experiences abroad. I felt much more comfortable knowing which questions I wanted to ask prior to the interview. However, I was really nervous to alter my questions depending on Alex’s answers. I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of having to come up with questions right off the bat. I was nervous about the interviewing process because I was worried that I would have a hard time not interrupting Alex’s answers, saying “yea,” “I see,” etc. However, I found it much easier than I had expected since I was focused on the time, questions, audio and answers being discussed that I didn’t engage within the conversation. I felt awkward when holding the audio recorder up to Alex’s mouth, extending my arm over her lap and holding it towards her face.

I was anxious when Alex was interviewing me. I was interviewed first and I was unsure of what to expect. We had a few screw ups when she was interviewing, because I wasn’t sure of what she was asking or couldn’t get my thoughts across clearly. We had to restart the interview acouple of times and I felt terrible. I was also nervous that I wasn’t givingher enough information. I knew the time limit and knew how challenging it wouldbe to successfully conduct a five minute interview. I found it awkward to keep
eye contact with the interviewer, especially when we were re-interviewing. Iwould look across to break eye contact and to focus on my answers, but unfortunately when I looked away my volume decreased on the recorder.

I learned that it is beneficial to have questions preparedfor the interview. I also learned it is best to set the audio on a table nextto the interviewee, making it less awkward and easier on the interviewer,
rather than holding your hand up to their face for five minutes. I learned that maintaining eye contact is important, allowing connection between you and yourinterviewee, making them comfortable, showing that you are interested in whatthey are saying, and to keep their voice volume steady.

I enjoyed getting to know more about Alex and her internationalexperiences. I also enjoyed thinking of topics and questions to ask Alex forour interview. I did not enjoy re-doing the interview. I felt really bad for Alex and felt even worse for her when she nailed the interview I conducted about her. I didn’t enjoy using the audio recorder because it was awkward holding the audio recorder to her face.

I wish I would have interviewed Alex at a table, allowing the audio recorder to sit on the table near Alex. I also wish I would have prepared alternate questions for the interview to feel more comfortable interviewing. I wish I would have maintained eye contact throughout the interview. I wish I
included ambient noise as well.

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