At the beginning of the semester, I had no interest in pursuing a journalism degree. I had tried print media and I knew it wasn’t for me, and I was bitterly taking journalism classes because I had already come this far, might as well finish it. The first day of class I felt so unexperienced and overwhelmed I considered dropping. Thank God I didn’t. Throughout this class I have developed a passion for broadcast journalism. I had so much fun writing and researching stories, I felt like I was fulfilling my creative side by shooting with a camera, and I’ve always had a passion for performing and getting up to anchor seemed natural. I even loved being floor manager during news breaks. For that, thank you Dr. Collins. I’m so glad I didn’t give up, because now I can see myself pursuing this career in so many ways.
It all started with the video essay. I had never picked up a camera and I was so nervous. I thought I had a good topic, but I was clueless about the shots. I needed more tight shots, but overall I was just relieved I got it done. It took me hours to teach myself Premiere, but I was really happy for my first time editing.
I was nervous to make a turn. Originally I had a completely different event in mind, but that fell through. Dr. Collins had taught us all about having our plans A, B, and C, so I went on with plan B which was the International Jayhawk Festival. Walking in I was instantly inspired. I had some editing issues, but I really liked my shots for this one. Writing the story I enjoyed as well. I’ve always been more of a conversational writer, so broadcast seemed to be right up my alley.
Next, we had our Vo2 and VoSotVo2. I wasn’t as happy with this one. I felt like the shots I got wasn’t as interesting as the ones I got in my first Vo and VoSotVo. I thought the topic was interesting but it wasn’t easy to write a story about it. The actor I interviewed was adorable, but I could have done a better job steering the interview. Overall, I would say I did pretty mediocre on this one. I was still figuring out sound editing as well.
For our Vo3 I really liked how my shots turned out. I felt like I had a lot to work with and with the music I had some great nat sound. This was also difficult to write about, but I thought the storytelling through the shots was good. I got a little too audio-happy in editing, but overall I was happy with this one. For the VoSotVo3, I was a little less happy with it. I thought cyberbullying was a relevant topic and I used one of my current events for it. I felt like I was grasping at straws to write this story and it became too late to change the topic. I wish I had a more interesting background for the interview, but I couldn’t think of anywhere for a cyberbullying story.
I really had a great time filming package 1 and package 2. The stand up for package one I thought was nice, however there was a crisis with the audio. When we went to review our stand up our audio was completely gone. We refilmed the stand up, but without the Quidditch posts it was boring. So our plan C was to lay down an audio track to go over our first stand up. It worked, not awesome, but I was content. The second package I loved the nat sound with the singers, but I should’ve given it more time to breath and brought the audio down way more. I loved the topics and writing both of these stories was a lot of fun.
The news break was way funner than I thought it would be. I’m pretty comfortable in front of the camera, but I could feel how nervous I was about my package. Overall, I felt pretty good about my delivery.
Thank you so much for a wonderful semester, Dr. Collins was honestly one of the best professors I’ve ever had and I learned so much more this semester than I thought I would when I initially enrolled. Thank you.
This was my only class I took, but having a full-time job at KSNT News made it somewhat stressful. I started as a Breaking News Producer, working primarily on the web and going out to cover breaking news scenes if no reporter was available. Now I’m training to become the new Morning Producer and will take on producing the morning show on my own.
Despite how stressful juggling this class and my job was, Dr. Collins was an amazing professor. She had to juggle learning the ropes of our journalism department at KU, as well as helping us become better journalists.
The first assignment was the video essay. At first, I was unsure what to do for this even though it was probably the easiest assignment. At work, I got sent to cover a church that caught fire. With Dr. Collins’s permission, I used that video for the video essay assignment.
Our second assignment was to do a VO and VOSOTVO on the same topic. Since flu season was in full force, I was wondering how gyms were dealing with it and what precautions they were taking.
There was confusion when it came to set up an interview. The staff at the rec center thought I was wanting to talk more on the medical side, but my focus was on the gym (working out while sick, wiping down equipment, etc.). It eventually all worked out and I got some good video and an interview.
With the second VO/VOSOTVO assignment, I panicked a little about finding something. Luckily, at work I covered this groundbreaking ceremony a church put on. That day was so windy, dirt was blowing everywhere. So while dirt was blowing into my face, I tried to keep my shots as steady as possible. I was also dealing with clouds moving in and out, so the lighting in some of my shots was a little bad.
For the third VO/VOSOTVO, we had to do different topics. Initially I thought this would be easy because I wouldn’t have to do an interview. My thought process behind that was to cover the last women’s basketball home game and use soundbites from the post game press conference. I then remembered I would have to transcribe that entire press conference and almost all of those questions weren’t mine.
I decided to switch and make the game my VO. Jose actually had the same idea so we both covered that game. It was cool to see how our minds worked and the different shots we used; really cool to see that play out. I was happy to be covering a sporting event because in previous semesters my focus was on sports.
As for the VOSOTVO, I chose to cover one of the veggie lunches the Ecumenical Campus Ministries puts on every Thursday. The interview went smoothly, but getting shots was a struggle for me. The tripod I had was so unstable it made my shots shaky. Some of my shots were also dark. I was kind of disappointed with how it turned out because I knew I could have done better.
I was excited to move on from the VOs and VOSOTs and start doing packages!
Cain was a great partner and was very helpful. Our first idea was to cover how law enforcement was preparing for March Madness. Then we switched focus to how bars were preparing for it. Cain was able to get some video over the weekend since I worked and wasn’t able to. He eventually suggested a new idea to me…our Plan C! Again, with both of our schedules he was able to go shoot video and 3 interviews easily, as the Justice For All Group was on the Stauffer-Flint lawn.
We worked together to write the script and help each other with our stand-ups. Some shots weren’t white balanced properly, but shooting video outside can be challenging. All in all, I think we did a good job working together to make the first package.
Then came our second package. This was done individually, which in my opinion, was less stressful because we didn’t have to coordinate with our partners. Everyone has such different and busy schedules
However, this package brought more stress than I had anticipated. Once again, my first two plans fell through and I went to Plan C.
I was so excited for my Plan A and am still sad it fell through. I was on the app Nextdoor and came across a post coordinating a walking group. It got lots of engagement and so I took a shot and emailed the woman that posted it. Right away she was willing to do the story. It was difficult trying to find a day they were walking that was also on my day off (and also was on a day with good weather…). I met the woman near the Levee Cafe, just north of the river. The issue was it was only her and one other woman. I worked with what I had and got great shots, hoping to attend another walking session with more people.
Well, I met her again and it was only her. She wasn’t very happy and said she wasn’t going to put in the effort anymore if nobody was going to show up. She was very sweet and sympathetic, apologizing my story didn’t work out.
Then it was on to Plan B. When I first moved to Lawrence, I was very into health and fitness. I came across this company called Fitness Kitchen that makes healthy meals and packages them up to sell. They seemed excited that I wanted to do a story about them, but they were very slow in responding to my messages. The Sunday before the package was due, I decided I would have to move to Plan C.
It all fell right into place that Sunday. At work, I was sent to cover a veteran that was turning 100. As soon as I walked in, one of the employees was extremely helpful and eager to help me do this story. Without asking me about it, he immediately grabbed family members and asked if I could talk to them, basically doing the hard part for me! It then clicked that this would be my package.
I interviewed, Art, the veteran turning 100, his brother and two of his sons. I didn’t do a standup because I was pressed for time, as I had to write and edit this as a VOSOT for our 5 p.m. show. Everything worked out and I’m so happy I used this story for my package.
I was very excited to do the news breaks because I want more practice anchoring. I found it hard to time everything right and I was short for both news breaks. In the second news break, the teleprompter wasn’t loaded for my news break. I pointed it out a few minutes before I was set to go, but I don’t think anyone heard me. I then got distracted when I saw we had an IFB, so as I was adjusting that I had less than 30 seconds to get back in my spot. My rundown still wasn’t loaded and we went right into my news break and I pointed it out live on air, without realizing we were live. I quickly heard Dr. Collins in my ear telling me to keep going and I was mad at myself that I didn’t realize I could easily look down at my scripts.
Luckily, my package was the first thing to run, so the person running teleprompter was able to get my rundown loaded before I was back on camera. Everything else went smoothly, other than the fact that I was about 30 seconds short.
This class left a huge impact on me. Being older than everyone, I felt pretty out of place and felt as if I wouldn’t be able to connect with anyone. I was completely wrong. This class was hands down, the best group of people I’ve ever had a class with. I formed great friendships and connections that I’ll always treasure and hope we can continue to talk to each other and meet up every now and then.
Dr. Collins is one of the best professors I’ve ever had. I’m so thankful I got the opportunity to be in her class. She made sure to make everyone feel that they matter. She spoke with everyone individually and took the time to get to know us. She didn’t have to do any of that, but listening to her stories and just observing her, I learned she’s an incredible person and genuinely cares. She wants to make a difference in everyone’s lives and I find that so inspiring.
When I was offered a full-time gig at KSNT, I was so nervous signing my contract. I trusted her and asked if she could help me look it over. She went through each page and pointed out things to me I didn’t understand. She also pushed me to gather the courage to ask for what I want. I was scared about signing a three-year contract and she gave me advice on how to negotiate it down.
On the last day of class, she did something I’ve never experienced a professor do. She wrote down messages for each of us and read them out loud. Walking in that day, I didn’t expect to cry, but I started to feel a little emotional listening to her and especially when she started crying. Being in such a big college, it’s hard to make connections with your professors, but Dr. Collins made it a priority to form connections with each one of us. I’m forever grateful for her and I’m so sad to see her leave. She’s a great professor and an even better person.
Thank you Dr. Collins for believing in us. Thank you for making me believe in myself and making sure I know that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.
It’s been five weeks already, since I am in this class. First week turned out to be quite stressful. I did not know what to expect, and I did not know how successful this class can be for me. Dr. Collins is very energized and inspiring professor, so I realized she would help us succeed. When I saw the syllabus, I got nervous because of the amount of work that needs to be done this semester. But, it’s probably better because this prepares us for the future. Therefore, our first two assignments were Video Essay and VOSOTVO.
Video Essay Project
The Video Essay assignment was very interesting to film, edit and present. However, I experienced some challenges. First, the tripod I used turned out to be broken, specifically its legs. So, it was hard for me to stabilize it every time. Despite this challenge, I believe my footage turned out nice and bright. But, before filming children playing on the playground, I had a different plan. I filmed dogs playing at the dog park; however, my forage turned out to be blue and lacked sound. Obviously, I felt upset, but I realized I had to move on and avoid making the same mistakes. Therefore, the next day I went to South Park to film children having fun; but before, I triple-checked the sound, white balance, and gain. After an hour of filming, I returned home and watched my footage; I could not be happier with the result. The next step was editing. When I put pieces together, I always thought, “What will be my focus?” So, I constantly changed footage and its order; eventually, I was able to finalize my first video project. After I was done editing, I began writing my script. For some reason, I felt good about what and how I was writing. But also, thanks to Dr. Collins, we had a script example. I tried to follow 3C’s, and I believe I accomplished it. I did not find it challenging to write conversationally; probably it’s because I am not a native speaker, and I always use simple words when I write and talk. My last stage was to present my Video Essay. When I go upfront, I always feel nervous and my heart is pounding fast. Though, as soon as I begin speaking, my nervousness disappears. I felt energized and happy to present my Video Essay, because I love doing stories about kids. Based on the Dr. Collins’s critique, she motivated me to do even better. Therefore, I was ready for the next project.
VOSOTVO and VO Project
My next video project was VOSOTVO and VO. Unfortunately, it was not as successful and smooth as the Video Essay. First of all, my plan A, which I was the most excited about, failed. I was ready to go and film, but the event got postponed; and I lost my opportunity to do a good story. Then, I decided to do a story about the flu season; however, the physicians, I wanted to talk to, were busy on that day; plus, I would be the third or fourth student to do a story about the flu season. Once again, my plan B failed. Then, while I was at work, my co-worker told me that there was the University Career Fair at the Union. At that moment, I felt he was my life-saver. I ran to the Dole to get equipments, and I found out that all the JVC cameras were gone. I felt upset, but did not let my mood to take over. The only choice I had was to reserve a tiny Canon camera that does not white balance, have a clear focus and sound. To make my story nice, I decided to change my mood and think positively. I was at the fair for two hours, and I had over 150 b-rolls. When I returned to my office, I checked my footage; honestly, I did not know what to expect. However, I was happy that the footage turned out ‘okay.’ I wrote the script, and I felt confident about my writing. However, I was not confident about timing. Though, I practiced as much as I could to perfect it. Then, when it was time to present upfront, I felt nervous once again. My goal this semester is to learn how to calm this feeling down because it distracts me from showing my emotions and personality. Also, even though I tried to sound conversational and natural, I think I failed. As my VOSOTVO was showing, at the end of the video I did not have any patting; so, it went black. Therefore, this is something I need to improve for the next VOSOTVO project. As Dr. Collins told us, “Say it, see it,” I think I did a good job on that, except of the SOT. For some reason, I included an extra b-roll, which did not make sense, over the interviewee. Overall, all this is one step forward to be better and perfect myself and my work. Next time, I will improve my video by adding patting at the end, practice timing myself, work on being conversational and showing my personality, avoid unnecessary b-rolls in the video, and stay more optimistic.