Tag Archives: journalism

Cassidy Ragland-Final Reflection

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.

For my Vo1 and VoSotVo1

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.

Jackson Schneider – Final Reflection

Well, here it goes…

First off, Dr. Collins, I owe you an apology. When this semester began, I did not think I was going to like you. You came in with your big-time knowledge about journalism and broadcasting and I stubbornly thought you weren’t going to be someone I got along with.

Wow, was I wrong. I have never had a professor that genuinely cares about her students and their success like you do. I instantly began to grow to like you and learn from you quickly. Your teaching method was intense and immersive and, at times, overwhelming, but I have never gotten so much from a class as I have from this one. So, I am sorry for ever thinking I wouldn’t like you because you are hands down the best professor I have ever had.

 

As for my journey throughout this class, I began with little video experience and it showed in my first project. In my Video Essay, I had numerous shaky camera shots and blurry ones as well. I accidentally forgot a tripod when I filmed this video, creating the bad, shaky shots. As for the story line, I thought it was all there for an early video essay.

Moving on to the first real news stories we did on the year, the VO1 and VOSOT1, I thought that my Farmer’s Ball story was a good start to the year but the structure and planning of my story layout needed a lot of work. I thought I had a good soundbite, but it was a little long. Overall, I thought I did a good job. 

In my VO2 and VOSOT2, I began to put things together a little better in terms of structure and planning of my shots, and getting a good interview. For a story that was about the new upgrades to the union (what I would consider a horribly boring topic), I think I did fairly well.

When we set up our third stage of projects, we had to finally do different topics for the VO3 and VOSOT3. That provided a very interesting challenge. Having to find not one, but two separate stories, was a challenge I have not been faced with before. I think that it made me better though because I had to utilize a plan C.

The growth that I got from PACKAGE1 to PACKAGE2 is evident to me because I moved on from sports to a human interest story that I truly enjoyed. The second package was a story about my high school teacher whose son is battling cancer.  It’s a story I have followed since the beginning. I truly enjoyed who I worked with and how I got to know the situation and gain perspective on a community I am closed tied to.

The NEWSBREAK was an entirely different situation. I have never done any live TV of any sort before in my life and it was so intimidating but also amazing at the same time because it was a blast and it confirmed what I want to do with my career. This class helped me grow so much in my journalism career and I am so glad to have been given this opportunity.

Dr. Collins, Thank you for everything.

-Jackson Schneider

This semester has been a true whirlwind. Being in 18 credit hours and classes that I have been challenged by all semester long with having the opportunity to be elected to two different campus organizations executive boards. I am lucky for all the experience KU has offered me including journalism 550. This class was easily the hardest journalism class I have taken at KU. It challenged what I already knew about reporting and opened my eyes to so many different things. More then that it gave me a group of people who turned into life long friends. I feel so lucky that our class got so close and that from our first video essays to our news breaks we were all in it together.

Video Essay

Our first assignment was our video essay. This ended up being my favorite project we did. For Dr. Collins being new to KU it was fun to describe the idea of what Allen field house is and the traditions behind it. This video project was a fun topic to cover and I had plenty of video to choose from. I did forget my tripod so many of my shots are shaky. If I could redo it I would bring the tripod and and sure volume levels are correct so you can’t hear my voice in the background.

VO and Vosotsvo 1

Our next assignment was to do a VO and Vosotvo. I was very nervous about this assignment. At this point in the semester in terms to this class I felt as though I was drowning, I was overwhelmed and didn’t think I was qualified for this class. I had never written a script before and had no idea what I was doing. I felt better because the entire class was unsure exactly what we were doing. I felt like we were all struggling together. We kept being reassured that we would not drown we were learning to swim. For this one I chose to cover the flu and how to stay healthy. This was a big topic at the time due to the time of the year. My interview was not the greatest but I enjoyed going up in front of the class and reading my script. It was the first time that I felt like being a reporter was a capable goal.

VO and Vosotvo 2

The second VO and Vosotvo I was feeling better then the first. I felt as though I had a better understanding of what I was doing. This time I chose to do it on students choosing housing for the upcoming year. I was also in the process of signing a lease at the time so that helped with my inspiration for this one. I interviewed one guy first but sadly the interview didn’t record sound. I learned from that quickly to never leave an interview without checking and having headphones in while it records. In the mess of that not recording we also had two snow days at KU both falling on our class days. This through the class for a loop but we were able to Skype with Dr, Collins which was helpful to get feedback on what we were doing. My biggest regret and mistake of this package was not getting enough footage. I had a minimal amount to choose from. I believe it could have been better but it was a learning point for me.

VO and Vosotvo 3

This VO and Vosotvo we were not allowed to do the same topic. I was originally worried about coming up with two different story idea but it turned out being easier then expected. KU had just won the big 12 for the 14th straight season and I believed that would be a great VO to cover. I got some good shots but Allen Fieldhouse is very restricted and was hard to get in to take video. This was an added challenge but I believe with that I still persevered and got a good video. This was also the first assignment where I was more confident in my scripts. After spending Mondays in the news room writing scripts along with doing them for class I felt as though I was able to write a more conversational script. For the vosotvo which ended up being my favorite vosotvo I did was my friend Taylor who was auditioning for the bachelor of fine arts program at KU. It was a different type of subject then I had done before but I believe that’s why I liked it so much. There was a lot of movement as I got the chance to film parts of the dance she was preforming for the audition. If I could do it again I would make this vosotvo into a full package along with that I would like to get better angels of different movements. This was the point in the class I was starting to swim. I was still struggling a little but learning to swim slowly but surely.

Package 1

The package was a daunting task of the class. I knew that we were working up to it but at some points it felt like I would never be able to do a full package. For this we got to to work with our partners and I was lucky enough to be paired with Katie. She was an awesome partner and we worked very well together. We chose to do ours on the no smoking policy that will be implemented this upcoming summer. We focused mainly on e-cigerttes and vaping which is a common activity amongst students. During this project I had to do the most research out of all of the videos we had made so far. I wanted to make sure that we got all the facts right about the policy and what students could expect. I felt as though we got interviews that we were able to work with. The standup was an added stress because neither Katie nor I had ever done one before but it ended up being a lot of fun going out and shooting it. I thought this package came together really well. It was a large help having a partner for the first one to get our feet wet in making these packages.

Package 2

The second package we were on our own to shoot, write our script and edit. This was the first time we were completely on our own with little to no guidance and it tested our abilities to build off everything we had learned this entire semester and put it into one final package that would go into our live news breaks. I chose my package idea after seeing tours on campus and remembering my first tour at KU and falling in love immediately. I am an out of state student and know many others who are also from out of state so I went deeper and did some research about the increasing trend at KU of out of state students. I was lucky enough to score an interview with the senior associate director of admissions. She was one of the best interview I was able to get all semester. It was clear interviewing her how much she cared about each students that walked through the doors at KU. I had a few shaky shots in this video which I wasn’t thrilled about but I was working with weather and wind. I also thought that audio levels were okay but when played later in my news break the interviews were quiet. This is now something that I will always check. Little things that you learn along the way that once it happens once you will never forget.

News breaks 

The news break were the end goal of the semester and I doubted many time we would ever be able to pull off a newscast but we did it! I am beyond proud of our class and myself for coming as far as we did. One of my biggest struggles is talking to fast when I present, read out loud, talk, really anything. This is a continuing problem I will be working on and practicing. It was helpful to have classmates encouraging me along the way. We each were there for each other and without all the teamwork these wouldn’t have been possible. For me the hardest part of the news breaks was the weather. I was unsure how to best read the weather to make it interesting for a viewer. Going back and rewatching my news break I can see places I can improve like moving my papers and talking to fast. This was an amazing opportunity though that a JOUR 550 class hadn’t gotten to do before.

WOW! Looking back at this blog and seeing all that we have done and all that I have accomplished this semester I am still in shock. This was easily the hardest class I was in this semester but also the most rewarding. I came out of class a better journalist but also a better person. I learned life lessons and had deep and meaningful talks with both Dr. Collins and with my fellow classmates. This class challenged me academically but also personally. I grew as a person and I feel as though I can come out of this class saying that I am better because of it and each and every person in this class has made that possible. This class turned into a family that will never be broken. It is sad to see us all go our separate ways. Saying goodbye for the summer is always hard but it is harder this year knowing that I won’t be returning this fall to this same JOUR 550 class filled with so much love and passion. I feel so lucky that I took 550 when I did and that I had the chance to take it from Dr. Collins. She was an inspiration everyday to live life to the fullest and to not take a moment for granted. This is something I will hold on to for the rest of my life. I would finally just like to thank everyone in this class and most importantly Dr. Collins for bringing us all together to make this amazing and swimming family we are.

 

Caroline Appleby

End of the Road – Tiffany’s Final Reflection

Wow, what a semester!

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.

Smiling….Tiffany Littler.

Aksinya Kichigina| The End of The Semester

I chose this photo for a reason…because we look unprepared, funny, and all different!

Wow! What a semester…Overall, it was AMAZING! If I go back to the beginning of the semester, I thought I wouldn’t do well in this class…I didn’t think I wouldn’t learn a lot, but I only knew/thought that it would be so difficult to keep up with all the work that was outlined to us and, at the same time, earn a good grade. But, I proudly can say that my hard work, passion and love for journalism, and my desire to learn and become better paid off. However, without Dr. Collins’s support, her inspiration, hard work and passion, I could not achieve everything. This class wasn’t just about attending the class and earning grades…this class was about gaining experience and knowledge, learning to be ethical and professional, multitasking, critical-thinking and resolution. I don’t know if it’s a right thing to write about Dr. Collins and how inspirational she was…but I guess I’d love to…not because I want a better grade…laughing…but because Dr. Collins should know it.

Dr. Collins is a totally different professor compared to the professors I have had in some of my classes. Besides being a truly happy person, she is amazingly kind and sweet to everyone; she is supportive and carrying; she is a strong and tough woman on the outside, but on the inside, she is emotional, generous, and sincere…and I loved it about her. Thank you, Dr. Collins, for everything…you are in my heart.

As we began this semester, I realized we would have to do a lot of work…and our first assignment was a video essay. This assignment, itself, wasn’t difficult; instead, it was interesting to do. We had to make a story using only footage.

https://youtu.be/cmHUGJR1SIc

I didn’t have issues filming this video essay; I actually enjoyed it because I spent a couple of hours at South Park filming children playing and having fun. When I began editing my footage, I did not have any troubles. For some reason, I felt confident. Though, my challenge was to pick good shots. I always tend to have a lot of footage, which makes it harder for me to pick the best shots. Despite this, I put b-rolls together and began writing my script. I will admit that it was challenging to keep 3C’s in mind. But, I think I was able to accomplish it. When it was the day to present, I did not feel as nervous as I felt during my first VO and VOSOTVO. I felt happy inside because I was able to accomplish the first goal… and this assignment was just the start.

The next assignment we had to do was VO and VOSOTVO…and we had to learn new information, keep up with that information, and also do great. I learned about the structure of Pregnant I, as well as the formula for VO and VOSOTVO and their elements.

https://youtu.be/xoH9hDpO8e0– VOSOTVO

https://youtu.be/FsqcI51-vmQ– VO

This assignment also was quite challenging for me to complete. As Dr. Collins said at the beginning, “You always need to have a plan A, B, C, and D.” So, since that day I try to follow her advice. When I decided to film my VO and VOSOTVO on the Virtual Reality event, I got so excited. I reserved the equipment, contacted a coordinator two days before the event began, and had a good spirit. However, when it was the day to film, the coordinator emailed me and said that the event was postponed. I felt desperate at the moment, but I had to follow with a plan B. So, I decided to do a story about this year’s flue activity. First I contacted the Watkins Health Center, but the administrator told that all the physicians were busy and could not have time for an interview. After I heard it, I began to panic. I only had half of the day to find a story idea and film it. Then, a couple of my co-workers told me that there was a Career Fair going on at the Union. So, I rushed to grab my equipment and go to the Union. I got a lot of footage that day; but I didn’t know how it would turn out. When I got back to my office, I checked my footage right away and felt some sort of relief. Next day, I began a writing and editing process. When it was the day to perform, I felt nervous. I was not confident in my story. I read through the script so quick, I believe, and I stumbled a couple of times. My timing did not work out either, and I also did not have a patting at the end. Another problem was overlaying a SOT with a b-roll that didn’t make an impact on the video. I also realized after watching my video was that my edits were also too quick. I learned something new and keep carrying it on with me.

Overall, this first VO and VOSOTVO was a learning experience for me, and it was so important to have Dr. Collins’s critique….and I believe I was always trying to listen to her advices and follow them.

As we moved forward, we reached our third assignment or the second VO/VOSOTVO. This video project could’ve been done better but it was just another learning experience for me. If I improved in one thing, there was still something left or new I had to perfect.

https://youtu.be/bmUIpajejTU– VoSotVo

https://youtu.be/rsnxtJw154Q– VO

The second VO and VOSOTVO felt less stressful or challenging, though I experienced some troubles as well. What I liked the most about this assignment was the individual time that we had with Dr. Collins. She was able to explain each student what she or he needs to improve or continue working on. Personally, I found it beneficial to me and my work. The original idea for my second VO and VOSOTSO was supposed to be a celebration of Chinese New Year at the Plaza Library. However, this plan fell through because I was not allowed to fil inside of the library. Then, when I came to Kansas City for the weekend, I had no choice but to film something there. Fortunately, weakened turned out to be nice and warm; that’s when I realized that it could be a great story to film. I came down to Loose Park in Kansas City and began gathering footage. It was an enjoyable time. My next step was to write a script. During the process, I repeatedly read out loud to make sure I sounded conversational. However, as Dr. Collins noticed in our Skype meeting, my script was written for a meteorologist rather than an anchor. Then, Dr. Collins began giving me various ideas on how I could improve it. While we had only 30 minutes, we had accomplished a lot. I revised my script a couple of times and made sure everything was clear and concise. When the writing part was done, I began editing. After a couple of days, Dr. Collins sent us a document with her critique to each work. I believe it helped everyone learn something new from each other’s work. What I had to improve for my third VO and VOSOTVO was to let shots break for a second or two because viewers have to see a story not a number of different b-rolls. Also, I learned that I need to avoid cutaways. Individual meeting was a great help to improve out writing, editing or reporting skills, as well as learn new things. So, a big thank you to Dr. Collins for that.

Our last VO/VOSOTVO was fun to make because it had to be two separate stories.

https://youtu.be/UxCzElfTouk– VoSotVo

https://youtu.be/m2mIkM-HZzw-VO

The third VO and VOSOTVO was an opportunity for us to show what we have learned based on Dr. Collins’s feedback and critique. This time we had to do a VO and VOSOTVO on a sepearte subject. For some reason, maybe because I had a good spirit, I was lucky to schedule an interview with an assistant general manager of IHOP on Tuesday when the National Pancake Day happened. I did not struggle with filming, plus my interview seemed to go smooth. However, as soon as I checked my footage when I got to school, I noticed that audio of the interview disappeared by itself. I was almost crying. I tried various ways to improve the audio, but nothing seemed to work. Therefore, I decided to reschedule an interview. Next day, the manager did not seem happy, and she strictly gave me 2 minutes to film the interview. I felt nervous. Though, I was able to manage ask some good question, and even pick a good soundbite. When I began my writing, I did not struggle with writing conversational. I always pretend that I am talking to someone and telling him a story of what happened today. Actually, I learned from Dr. Collins. When I presented my VOSOTVO in class, I did not feel too nervous. Though, I could have slowed down a little bit while reading my script. My other mistake that Dr. Collins pointed out was spelling. So, this means I need to always double-check my spelling of lower thirds. Overall, I am satisfied with my third VOSOTVO. For my VO, I chose to do a story about kids exploring their DNA. I was lucky enough to be able to film children; but before, I had to ask a permission from their parents. Whenever I deal with children I enjoy filming. Therefore, I had some good shots to pick for my VO. Also, as I began writing my script, I felt that there were a couple of time where my writing could have been improved…and thankfully, after Dr.Collins graded this two video projects, she was about to make corrects in my script and give an overall feedback. I believe this VO/VOSOTVO were the best out of other VOs/VOSOTVOs.After these assignments, we finally moved on to News Packages!

Before we could go to our Spring Break, we had to complete our first news package. We all had a partner, which was nice to get some extra help. My package was about an interesting and fun event. The local Pet World hosted an educational event for the community.

https://youtu.be/3V9wQxM17TA– News Package

Oh, boy! This package was quite difficult to put together. First of all, my plan A or B did not work…and I had only 2 days to find another story, film and interview people. Luckily, I reached out to Pet World in Lawrence, and its manager let me come in and film “Feature Creature.” I felt comfortable recording kids holding a python, interviewing workers and a visitor with her daughter. When I begin writing the script, it was a little bit a challenge because I was stressed. I was stressed because I had limited time and some issues with audio. Though, as I finished writing my script, I felt great about it. However, as I showed my package to class, Dr. Collins was able to notice some mistakes within my work. For example, I had a jump cut, and during my stand-up I did not look at the camera as much. Other than that, I was happy with the outcome of my first news package in this class. However, I knew I could do a better job…and it was my goal to perfect the second news package.

https://youtu.be/mnGd8Yg9nTk– News Package (Final)

As we came back from the Spring Break, we had to do another news package, the final one, as well as practice our first news break. But before I begin writing how I completed my final news break, I will write about my final package called “Easter Egg Hunt in Lawrence.” Overall, I think it was my best work I’ve done. My plan A worked perfectly! I went to South Park to film Easter celebration of the Lawrence community. That day was so sunny and bright that it was hard for me to see on the screen what I was filming. I was irritated, but still tried to have positive attitude. This is something I need to work on…in any situation I need to stay optimistic. To write the script was natural for me…I learnt how to keep in mind that I need to write the way I’d say it, but after revise it. It is important to write a story rather than overwhelm myself with what I should say. To put my package together wasn’t challenging; instead, I tried to work ahead. However, I also was preparing for my first news break. Overall, my first news break was an interesting experience. I learned how to anchor, do weather, read scripts without relying on Teleprompter, be a camera operator and floor director.

https://youtu.be/RqmSjk229SI– Final News Break

The final project, which was the final news break, was awesome! I felt confident to anchor on camera, act natural, smile, and come up with stuff when I didn’t read a line for my weather forecast. I was prepared to present my final news package, CNN reader and weather. Luckily, when I made it on time, Dr. Collins was happy with the turnout. It made me happy! This final news break and package were two great things that I think I’ve done for this class in terms of assignments. But I think I’ve grown as a journalist a lot, which I am proud and thankful to Dr. Collins. I’ve honestly learnt a lot of great information in this class and also made great friends. Everything I’ve learn, I’ll keep in mind and carry it on with me.

Thank you, Dr. Collins, for everything.

Aksinya Kichigina

Jose Montoya – JOUR 550 Final Reflection

This semester I decided to enroll in Journalism 550 taught by a visiting professor from Illinois. At the beginning I knew the basics of video production and had spent two years in the studio helping out at Media Crossroads in the library. I knew this was good experience, but didn’t implement it to pursue my career. To start, here’s a picture of me in early December with my favorite professor Dr. Bernie Kish.

Rock Chalk! 🔴🔵

A post shared by Jose Montoya (@talkinwithj) on

When I met Dr. Janice Collins she put a smile on my face. I was ready to start this class and work with many familiar faces. Before the class I knew Jasmine, Riley, Cassidy, Kathy, Patrick, Tyler and Jackson. Little did I know this group of friends would become very close and dear to my heart.

The first assignment our class completed was the Video Essay. I think this project was a fun way to get into the idea of “storytelling.” I decided to film a group of students playing frisbee. It was fun up until I lost my SD card. This meant that I had to use my other SD card with half of the footage that I had. Luckily the video wasn’t too long and I was able to turn in a pretty good video for my first one in the class.

This screenshot is from the video. It was a fun project to do and picking music to go along with the shots was pretty great as well. “Frisbee with Friends” and can be viewed below:

The next six videos our class completed were VO’s and VOSOTVO’s. I chose a few great topics for my videos and i am excited to reflect on them.

The first VO and VOSOTVO I did was very rushed. I had to work on a tight deadline since I was in Indianapolis from Thursday to Sunday and the project was assigned on Tuesday. I chose to talk about Greek Life KU and made a short video using B roll of a meeting from the Multicultural Greek Council.

The biggest lesson I learned from this project is that writing transcripts for each quote is difficult. My interview lasted about five minutes and Darius Jones (the person I interviewed) is very long winded. Therefore, I spent way too much time typing his answers for a short SOT I was going to use later. Either way, I learned more during the interview and had some footage of Darius to work with.

I don’t think I should have chose this as my topic, but I am glad I got it finished in time which helped me learn how to be proactive and prepared for the other video projects. The videos “Greek at KU VO” and “To be Greek at KU VOSOTVO” can be seen here:

The second VO AND VOSOTVO for this project was even easier than the first. I had plenty of time to work on it since we didn’t have class and it was the perfect story to tell. One thing I found out quickly is that 8am classes didn’t get canceled which meant students still had to go to class. I also had a lot of opportunities to get some great B roll.

The downfall of this assignment was the end result. First of all, many of my edits were too quick for the eye. While I was editing I thought they were fantastic and smooth, but after watching it again a few weeks later, I changed my mind. If I were to do this project again I would film the same amount of B-roll, but I would be more selective with my shots.

I thought this was perfect because I imagine that I was the only one shooting video in Lawrence about the school cancelations. #IGotTheBreakingNews

The videos I made, “Classes Canceled Tuesday VO” and “Students go to class before school cancellations VOSOTVO” can be seen below.

I think my interview was good and my NAT sound turned out awesome. On the grading rubric I was told I needed NAT sound so I thought that was weird since some great sound is there in the video. Even though I got a poor grade on this assignment, I think this is my favorite VOSOTVO of the year.

The next project let our class split of into two different topics. I chose basketball for my VO and Rise at St. Lawrence Center for my VOSOTVO.

My VO turned out great for having shaky shots because I filmed without a tri-pod. I am very impressed that I got to work alongside Tiffany on this project. We both told different sides of the story and it was cool comparing our different VO’s while watching them on YouTube.

My VO, “KU WBB Senior Night VO,” can be watched below. I am very pleased with my script and how much I paid attention to details while presenting this project.

My VOSOTVO was very challenging because the talk I went to was in the dark and therefore I had to work with a different lighting compared to my other video projects.

My interview choice was excellent because he spoke that night and gave me a better idea of why this event was so important to St. Lawrence Center and KU. It was also a success because there were a lot of people there as well. I like how the video turned out, but if I could improve one thing, I would make my NAT sound go into the beginning of the video. This would have changed the mood almost instantly.

My VOSOTVO, “RISE VOSOTVO,” is below:

Then came spring break…..

I don’t know why I added more projects, but I had four major projects over the next month for different classes and team videos. It was difficult to handle, but it was helpful that I picked a package idea far in advance of the due date.

I decided to film Quidditch for my first Package. My AWESOME partner (Cassidy) and I killed it with an awesome script and some excellent B-roll of the Kansas Quidditch team playing in their annual Kansas Cup. We spent a lot of time filming various matches which helped while we were picking what shots to include in our package.

Another good thing that we did was interviewing. We shot six different interviews and they turned out fairly great. We decided to chose the best quotes even though some of the audio got caught by some wind while we were filming.

Shooting a stand-up was pretty different. I enjoyed doing one, but something didn’t turn out how we wanted…. Our audio didn’t work! I was so upset and fund out a few hours after filming. I decided to try to re-film on campus, but it didn’t have as cool of an effect. We decided to VO our stand-up and layered it over our voices. Obviously it didn’t work out too great, but I think it’s a funny story to learn the lesson about audio and filming stand-ups.

Either way, I am glad that my partner this semester was Cassidy. We have known each other for a little bit and have had some fun memories added to our list because of this class.

The video, “KU Club Quidditch,” is featured below:

After doing this video project and getting a good score, I was excited to start on a new package. I decided to film a Pooch Eggstravaganza over Easter weekend at South Park in Lawrence.

The dogs were soooo cute! I am so happy with the footage and the interviews I had, but my audio didn’t go well because the event played music the whole time. It was upsetting because my shots had different songs in them and could potentially distract the viewer while they are watching it.

Maybe I should have chosen a different idea, but I think it worked pretty great. I decided to shoot a stand-up and the same thing with the audio caused me to re-think adding it. After some thought, I decided against it and cut the TRT of my video by 9 seconds. Overall, this was an effective decision for my news break.

If I had to do this project again, I would have prepared myself by bringing headphones and talking to more people about their experience at the egg hunt. I had a lot of dog footage, but I didn’t interact with as many people as I hoped I would.

The package, “Dog Egg Hunt,” can brighten anyone’s day. Especially with the video of the dog barking at the end.

Holy cow! That was a lot of reflection and we still haven’t got to the news break.

What a perfect transition to talk about our famous in front of the camera part of the class. I really enjoyed doing the news break. Even though preparing for it seemed to take forever, I am glad it is over. My first run went “okay” at best. My classmates say I did well, but I didn’t think so.

My frustrations were with the timing of the show. I thought that I had everything timed out, but some things didn’t work out during my practice. I got upset and didn’t get to finish how I wanted to. Apparently I have a lot of energy so I guess that’s a pretty okay trait to have.

Attached below is my second news break which ended up being awesome!

The second news break went so much better! I wasn’t scheduled to go first, but I decided at the last minute to switch spots with Cain. He was an awesome classmate and let me go. I had a smooth run and was very pleased with the end result. Could have I done better? Sure, but at least I did something to improve my broadcast presence.

I think the part of the news break that was my favorite was the weather. I enjoyed tying sports to something that is vital to a newscast. Some people (Dr. Collins and every broadcast professional) would agree that weather is the biggest reason why people watch the news. I would agree.

Honestly this class was pretty fun and I am glad I did so much with so many great people. Meeting new people from different countries and states was an incredible experience.

The last part of this project was working on the Monday edition of KUJH. I think this was fun for the most part because I got to do it with some of my friends. Aksinya, Jackson and Kathy stayed for the show with me and Cain, Caroline and Olivia did things before the show with me. Even though I did an extra hour of work each week, I think it helped me prepare for the newscast and gave me a better idea of collegiate broadcast journalism.

I will forever remember this semester and the great connections and friends I made along the way. Thank you for everything you have done for me as a journalist and a future storyteller!

Smiling…… Jose Montoya

Cassidy Ragland Self Reflection

Video Essay

For the video essay I was really nervous. I thought my topic was good, but I was nervous about using the camera equipment for the first time. I panicked a little when Dr. Collins said in class that we weren’t supposed to do pans. I had done pans when I had filmed the day before, so I was worried I wouldn’t have enough footage. I had plenty, so that was good. Using Premiere for the first time was extremely frustrating, because I was teaching myself and I felt like it took way too long to edit. But, I am proud of myself for learning and teaching myself. I took note of the things I needed to do, like have more of a variety of shots and to use video transitions, and I got ready for the first Vo and VoSotVo. Watch my video essay here. 

Vo & VoSotVo 1

Continue reading

Aksinya: Video Projects’ Progress

After completing Video Essay, three VOs and VOSOTVOs, I feel less nervous about my performance, writing and editing skills. However, no improvement will be noticed if Dr. Collins did not give us a critique.

Our first video assignment was a Video Essay. It probably sounds easy and not a lot of work to do; however, I felt I had to do my best to show Dr. Collins my filming and editing skills. I did not have issues filming this video essay; I actually enjoyed it because I spent a couple of hours at South Park filming children playing and having fun on a warm day. When I began editing my footage, I did not have any troubles. For some reason, I felt confident. Though, my challenge was to pick good shots. I always tend to have a lot of footage, which makes it harder for me to pick the best shots. Despite this, I put b-rolls together and began writing my script. I will admit that it was challenging to keep 3C’s in mind. I revised my lead and tag several times to make it more concise and conversational. But, I think I was able to accomplish it. When it was the day to present, I did not feel as nervous as I felt during my first VO and VOSOTVO. After Dr. Collins gave a critique to me based on my work, it was mostly a positive feedback. I felt happy inside because I was able to accomplish the first goal. However, more work was ahead of me; I faced many challenges.

https://youtu.be/cmHUGJR1SIc

Our next assignment that was slightly different from a Video Essay was the first VO and VOSOTVO. This assignment also was quite challenging for me to complete. As Dr. Collins said at the beginning, “You always need to have a plan A, B, C, and D.” So, since that day I try to follow her advice. When I decided to film my VO and VOSOTVO on the Virtual Reality event, I got so excited. I reserved the equipment, contacted a coordinator two days before the event began, and had a good spirit. However, when it was the day to film, the coordinator emailed me and said that the event got postponed. I felt desperate at that moment, but I had to follow with a plan B. So, I decided to do a story about this year’s flue activity. First I contacted the Watkins Health Center, but the administrator told me that all the physicians were busy and could not have time for an interview. After I heard it, I began to panic. I only had half of the day to find a story idea and film it. Then, a couple of my co-workers told me that there was a Career Fair going on at the Union. So, I rushed to grab my equipment and go to the Union. I got a lot of footage that day; but I didn’t know how it turned out. When I got back to my office, I checked my footage right away and felt some sort of relief. Next day, I began a writing and editing process. When it was the day to perform, I felt nervous. I was not confident in my story. I read through the script so quick, I believe, and I stumbled a couple of times. My timing did not work out either, and I also did not have a patting at the end. Another problem was overlaying a SOT with a b-roll that didn’t make any impact on the video. I also realized after watching my video that my edits were too quick. But, I learned something new and keep carrying it on with me.

https://youtu.be/xoH9hDpO8e0 – VoSotVo

https://youtu.be/FsqcI51-vmQ – VO

The second VO and VOSOTVO felt less stressful or challenging, though I experienced some troubles as well. What I liked the most about this assignment was the individual time that we had with Dr. Collins. She was able to explain each student what she or he needs to improve or continue working on. Personally, I found it beneficial to my work. The original idea for my second VO and VOSOTSO was supposed to be a celebration of Chinese New Year at the Plaza Library. However, this plan fell through because I was not allowed to film inside the library. Then, when I came to Kansas City for the weekend, I had no choice but to film something there. Fortunately, weakened turned out to be nice and warm; that’s when I realized that it could be a great story to film. I came down to Loose Park in Kansas City and began gathering footage. It was an enjoyable time. My next step was to write a script. During the process, I repeatedly read out loud to make sure I sounded conversational. However, as Dr. Collins noticed in our Skype meeting, my script was slightly written for a meteorologist rather than an anchor. Then, Dr. Collins began giving me various ideas on how I could improve it. While we had only 30 minutes, we had accomplished a lot. I revised my script a couple of times and made sure everything was clear and concise. When the writing part was done, I began editing. After a couple of days, Dr. Collins sent us a document with her critique to each work. I believe it helped everyone learn something new from each other’s work. What I had to improve for my third VO and VOSOTVO was to let shots breath for a second or two because viewers have to see a story not a number of different b-rolls. Also, I learned that I need to avoid cutaways.

https://youtu.be/bmUIpajejTU – VoSotVo

https://youtu.be/rsnxtJw154Q – VO

The third VO and VOSOTVO was an opportunity for us to show what we have learned so far based on Dr. Collins’s feedback and critique. This time we had to do a VO and VOSOTVO on a sepearte subject. For some reason, maybe because I had a good spirit, I was lucky to schedule an interview with an assistant general manager of IHOP on Tuesday when the National Pancake Day happened. I did not struggle with filming, plus my interview seemed to go smooth. However, as soon as I checked my footage when I got to school, I noticed that audio of the interview disappeared by itself. I was almost crying. I tried various ways to improve the audio, but nothing seemed to work. Therefore, I decided to reschedule an interview. Next day, the manager did not seem happy, and she strictly gave me 2 minutes to film the interview. I felt nervous. Though, I was able to ask some good questions and even pick a good soundbite. When I began my writing, I did not struggle with writing conversationally. I always pretend that I am talking to someone and telling him a story of what happened today. Actually, I learned that from Dr. Collins. When I presented my VOSOTVO in class, I did not feel too nervous. Though, I could have slowed down a little bit while reading my script. My other mistake that Dr. Collins pointed out was spelling. So, this means I need to always double-check my spelling of lower thirds. Overall, I am satisfied with my third VOSOTVO. For my VO, I chose to do a story about kids exploring their DNA. I was lucky enough to be able to film children; but before that, I had to ask a permission from their parents. Whenever I deal with children I enjoy filming. Therefore, I had some good shots to pick for my VO. Also, as I began writing my script, I felt that there were moments where my writing could have been written more concisely. I thought it was not as conversational as it could be. Also, I think my VO is quite lengthy. I did not get a chance to present my VO in class, but I hope Dr. Collins will be able to provide a critique to us again.

https://youtu.be/UxCzElfTouk – VoSotVo

https://youtu.be/m2mIkM-HZzw -VO

Jackson Schneider Self Reflection – March 7, 2018

Our first video project in JOUR 550 was one that I was excited, yet unsure about. Being a person who has focused far more on radio than video, I had a lot of skills to try and develop. I was relatively pleased with how this project turned out, considering it was the first video we did, but the shaky shots really irritated me. That, of course, can be attributed to me forgetting a tripod (yikes). That, however, is a lesson that I learned the hard way, and you can bet I won’t do that again. View my Video Essay .

I was more comfortable with how my first VO/VOSOT project. The subject was something that I am involved in and passionate about, so it was fun to cover. I thought that my soundbite was interesting, but I will agree it is a bit long. I think that the nat-sound I got could have been better. I probably should have integrated more music into it, consdering the topic is a radio station’s battle of the bands. Overall, I think as a first VO/VOSOT, the project turned out well. View my  VOSOT 1 .

There are few better ways to illustrate stories being everywhere than my VO/VOSOT 2. I racked my brain for days trying to find a topic, but couldn’t seem to find one. Then, one day, while sitting in the newly revamped KU Union dining area, I thought to myself, “wow, this is so much nicer than it used to be, I bet people really like it.” From there, I shot up and ran to get a camera and I knew exactly what to do. I think that my shots fit “say it–see it” fairly well for this video, as well as giving a relatively boring topic some life. I think that the project turned out really well! View my VOSOT 2 .

Generally, you would expect that a student would gradually progress with each attempt at a VO/VOSOT, but I honestly feel as though I regressed a bit. I struggled with windy conditions and a shaky tripod, had some blurry shots, and conducted an interview with bad lighting. All of this combined to create a very average product. All things considered, I think it could have turned out far worse, but I’ll take it for now and must improve as we move forward towards packages. I can’t continue to make no or minimal progress if I hope to get where I want to go someday! View my VOSOT 3 

Other Links:

VO 1

VO 2

VO 3

 

-Jackson B. Schneider

The Road Traveled…So Far – Tyler C. Soetaert

This semester, I remember the first day of class in Journalism 550 almost better than I remember any other day. “I’m going to throw you in the deep end, but I’m going to teach you how to swim, says Dr. Janice Collins, a visiting distinguished professor from the University of Illinois. A visiting professor that may be here just a little shorter than we had hoped. “You will learn how to swim, I won’t let you drown,” Collins said. This stuck with me and through weeks and weeks of getting over different hurdles, I believe it began to resonate with all 18 students in that lab room.

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Video Essay: A Jayhawk Jumprope routine at the Rec Center in Lawrence, Kansas.

In the first class endeavor, my peers and I were assigned to a “video essay”, which would help serve as a smooth beginning for more things to come. The video essay was a light assignment in which we were required to gather 12 shots or more and compile it into a story. One with a beginning, middle and end. My video essay was about a famous Jayhawk jumprope routine that serves as a quick daily workout for the average student. I was able to catch a student in the action of doing his own routine at the Rec center, gathered a compilation of shots and put the story together. I really wanted to focus on the natural sounds of the jumprope slapping the ground, as well as capture the sweat and detail in the student’s face. I wanted people to see how the jumprope routine exhausted the individual in a short period. For a first project, I believe it went well and I should have worked on obtaining for close-up shots.

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Art Exhibit at the Spencer Art Museum in Lawrence, Kansas.

A week would pass after the first video essay, and eventually we were introduced to the first VO and VOSOTVO project. This came as expected for me, but the class emotion in general was still slightly overwhelmed. The first project would almost appear as two in itself given the request for both videos, however, real world business would ask for the same most likely. For my first VOSOT, I decided to admire the new African Art exhibit at the Spencer Art Museum near campus. This exhibit served as the last piece of the Sallie Casey Thayer collection, and the “final corner of the world” for the museum. It seemed as if the missing culture in the museum was that of African culture. I ran into an issue as my original idea had to be scratched and my tripod then served as an issue more than an asset when gathering the film. Nonetheless, I did acquire some beautiful shots for my first piece, which you can see in the links attached at the bottom.

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University of Kansas campus on Jayhawk Blvd.

After a short break and recovery, our class was back in the saddle for VOSOTVO number two. The second piece I put together was a more emotional piece. This VOSOT could potentially serve as a very timely and heart-felt package coming in the near future. I wanted to touch on the issue of gun’s on school campuses. I addressed the current climate of guns on KU’s campus and how students felt about the new conceal and carry policy that was put in place last July. The responses I got were incredibly interesting and gave me different perspectives from different students. It is not hard to notice the 70% of students who do oppose the new gun policy on campus. Through this project, I felt that Dr. Collins was very emphatic on the topic and believed that I have the skills and ability to make this a remarkable, emotional package that dives deeper into the conflict and uncomfortability of a pro-gun campus.

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“Ad Astra gives back”, a story that was done for a local business and used as VOSOTVO number three.

After a reflection, multiple current events and a handful of video assignments, I could sense the class was being worn down. Dr. Collins knew that one more project would truly improve the abilities of everyone in the room and especially ones who may be just short of the mark. A very compassionate person, Dr. Collins emotionally thanked her class for the birthday wishes and reassured myself and my peers that she is here to help us every second. The class began their third VOSOTVO and I decided my topic would encompass a local business who gives back to their community. I gave the spotlight to Ad Astra Running in downtown Lawrence. The company has an upcoming Run Walk Lawrence event, as well as their famous Irish Mile which are all centered around bringing in the community for a healthy and positive reason. The company reaches out to anyone of any physical ability or social class in Lawrence that is looking for an outlet. The project went better than the others, and fairly error free. I didn’t every shot that I may have hoped and imagined, however, the story fell together nicely. The one large difference in this third project was the guideline of creating a VO on a separate topic. My third VO stood as an announcement for the J-school’s big career fair on March 7.

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Bottom line, I am enjoying this class more than I had thought I may. More importantly, I am really appreciating Dr. Collins for her belief in her own process, and for connecting and caring for us as people before students. That can go much further than some educators may recognize.

Video Links:

Video Essay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4EU39YYEtI

VOSOTVO 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkPU9Fx-ljI

VO 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzpOil7l6-g

VOSOTVO 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DExvEbp0_A

VO 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRxcTm3t_PE

VOSOTVO 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n61-l1oc6a4

VO 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K9YMWPL1xI