Tag Archives: photo journalism

COVID-19: No One is Immune

by: Becca Wood

Whether you’re NBC Chicago, ABC Chicago, FOX Chicago, The New York Times or the Elmhurst Daily Herald, one thing every news source can agree upon is the fact that no one if safe from this pandemic. However, each of these news outlets have chosen varying ways in showing this concept.

The idea that no one is safe does not necessarily mean that every individual will be infected by the COVID-19 coronavirus. No one is safe from this virus because people have lost their jobs, people are unable to visit with loved ones and people have to stay indoors risking mental health or being trapped in an unsafe environment.

Science Without Answers

Each day, new data and information is brought to the public by health experts studying the virus. Doctors and nurses across the country listen for new developments on the novel virus.

Dr. Lara Ferri, doctor in Philadelphia, said healthcare workers are trying their best to prepare for the coming weeks, but can only do so much with limited resources.

Dr. Lara Ferri on lack of resources

Ferri’s husband, Dr. Raj Shah, works in pediatrics at another hospital in Philadelphia, where he has been told to give up beds of his own patients to house more coronavirus patients as the facility’s immediate care units become full.

Though Shah does not ordinarily work in emergency care units, he has provided his medical expertise to assist the hospital in caring for the surplus of COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Lara Ferri on working on the front lines

Since the pandemic began, news outlets such as NBC Chicago, ABC Chicago and Fox Chicago have daily streams of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker with updates on coronavirus developments and adjustments to the stay-at-home order.

Among the data shared is generally the number of cases, number of fatalities, number hospitalized and, more recently, the number recovered. The briefings also feature symptoms of the virus and what people should be wary of.

Though most symptoms are respiratory based, other symptoms have come into media’s limelight, such as COVID-toes. Other tragic deaths, such as the 16-year-old boy from Wheeling, Illinois, raise questions as to possible additional strains of coronavirus.

As Pritzker grows increasing frustrated with lack of testing kits in Illinois, he has voiced concern over the accuracy of these tests and whether false negative and positive results are possible.

During his daily briefings, Pritzker has said he doesn’t see the Illinois economy fully reopening until there is a vaccine in place and the numbers are going down for 14 consecutive days.

Ferri said she knows healthcare workers and researchers have been doing all they can to form new drugs to combat this virus or use old drugs if they are safe for the time being.

As more recover from the coronavirus, they may not be completely cured. Ferri said many will have chronic lung damage for the rest of their lives.

Dr. Lara Ferri on chronic lung damage

Ferri has lost immediate family to COVID-19 in Italy and, though she admits it is personal for her, she does not want the same to happen across the United States.

Dr. Lara Ferry on abiding by shelter-in-place order

The Everyday Impact

Though the scientific details of the virus are pivotal in the public understanding its severity, many news outlets thought to focus on the everyday impact this is having on people around the world.

The New York Times wrote an interactive article, “The Great Empty,” with images and text showing how this pandemic looks in a variety of countries. The New York Times has daily news updates regarding the virus, but has noticeably chose to write longer form articles to capture the grave impact.

For Chicagoans, COVID-19 became even more real when news outlets like NBC Chicago and ABC Chicago took drone footage of the empty city.

Both news outlets said they chose to feature this drone footage from artists in Chicago struggling to deliver their voice during this time. Though the simple video will not pay the bills, the artists said they are doing anything they can to keep their art alive.

Students studying abroad this semester have had to cut their travels short bringing their books home and, for some, also the virus. Thomas Clancy, sophomore at Clemson University, caught COVID-19 studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. This is the message he sent his sister:

Meg Frey, a woman living in Elmhurst, Illinois, said she feels fortunate to be living in the Chicagoland area during this time. She explained the leadership of Pritzker and Lightfoot have made all the difference.

Meg Frey on Chicago leadership

Gabrielle Wood, also a woman from the Chicagoland area, has a daughter graduating her senior year at Fenwick High School. She said it’s an upsetting time, but she’s trying to keep priorities in line.

Gabrielle Wood on having a senior in high school

Her daughter, Kimberly Wood, has spent the past few weeks taking classes on her iPad in her bedroom on e-learning. Each morning she is expected to sign-in, otherwise students are expected to “call in sick” by notifying the school.

Kimberly Wood on e-learning in high school

Kimberly Wood said she’s thankful to be healthy and able to spend time with family during the shelter-in-place order. However, she explained she’s sad her and her classmates will not have the senior year they expected.

Kimberly Wood on senior year of high school

Uncertainty of the Unemployed

Before the shelter-in-place orders were announced, my mom and I took a trip to Colorado after choosing to avoid our originally planned trip to New York City due to the escalating coronavirus situation. The severity of the pandemic reaching the United States became very real very quickly, as stores and restaurants closed their doors and travel bans were being issued.

One woman working as a waitress and hostess at a restaurant open for pick-up said all their employees were forced to cut back on hours and are worried about any future paychecks.

She wanted to remain anonymous, as she was instructed to not speak to media while on the job.

Hostess and waitress on being scared for job safety

Shawn Wood, an attorney in Chicago, said his job is safe for now, but he is on a committee that decides what attorneys and secretaries are furloughed during this time, with some not returning to work after the pandemic lightens.

Shawn Wood on furloughing

Shawn Wood said he has tried to save as many employees as possible, but it’s not ultimately his decision who is furloughed. Instead, he has tried to act as a voice of comfort, listening to those in shock from the difficult news.

Shawn Wood on difficult conversations

The New York Times article, “‘Sudden Black Hole’ for the Economy With Millions More Unemployed,” and the newspaper’s podcast, The Daily, both shed light on the crippling effects this pandemic has on the economy.

According to the article, within three weeks, 16 million people had been put out of work. As Michael BarBaro said in his podcast, this number is simply unheard of in American history.

In both the article and podcast, The New York Times explains that people filing for unemployment will receive more money than they ordinarily would. This will aid those out of work amid the falling economy, but can only hold people over for so long.

Hope in Humanity

Despite the efforts of news media to inform the public of the necessity to stay quarantined and the impact this virus is having, many have also been choosing to focus on the positive acts happening.

NBC Chicago has featured several stories on newborn babies arriving amid the pandemic. A recent couple announced the 6-week-early baby by writing pieces of paper and showing their family through a glass window of the hospital.

While each of the news outlets have been clearly focused on real people in communities doing good, some networks are aiding in displaying ways to keep active at home.

ABC Chicago has been providing a combination of uplifting content, along with ideas to keep a positive mindset while staying busy at home.

Fox Chicago has a tab on their website for their show, Good Day Chicago. It’s no coincidence that’s the tab is called “Good Day,” as they showcase daily uplighting stories.

Helping people be aware of their mental health, Fox has produced stories such as a woman creating a Facebook page for people to vent about coronavirus. Another story features a violinist talking about music education at home in Chicago.

Frey said she’s proud to be from Chicago not only for the leadership driving people through the pandemic, but also because Chicagoans appreciate keeping a light-hearted attitude in times of despair.

Meg Frey on Chicago positivity

The Elmhurst Daily Herald appeared to have a constant flow of positive stories — occasionally lacking in hard-hitting news on the coronavirus. From “Humanitarian Service Project launches campaign to combat hunger amid crisis” to “Trivia Night: At Home Edition to raise funds for West Suburban Humane Society,” the writers seem to focus on the good in the community.

Though these news outlets are working through times of uncertainty, each platform featured stories looking into the future, ensuring Americans are aware of reality without losing hope in humanity.

Assignment 1 Ramirez

The entrance to Hallene Gateway in Urbana, Illinois

What’s up! My name is Demisha Ramirez. I introduce myself as Demi like Demi Lovato; it just helps people remember it. I have been studying Broadcast Journalism for the past 2 semesters and I absolutely love it. I really haven’t used a camera ever before (except selfies, but that doesn’t count).  Whenever someone would ask them to take a picture I would just say no because I thought I was a horrible photographer. So actually having a camera and having to go out and take pictures and video is completely out of my comfort zone!

Assignment one was easier than what I hyped it up to be. I just wanted my shots to be clear and straight, because I do not have a steady hand. I went out and started walking around campus on one of the most beautiful days. The sun was out and I felt like an actual photographer.

I took photos of everything on campus. I even brought along one of best friends,  Quan Trimble, and started taking pictures of him until he got annoyed with me and I had to stop. I started taking pictures at the Ike, but wasn’t getting any shots so then went to the Quad. I figured there is always something happening on the quad so I would have plenty of inspiration. I got some pretty nice shots of the quad (see one below).

Davenport Hall on the Main Quad of The University of Illinois- Urbana, Illinois

I felt like I could do better, so I decided to go inside the Illini Union. Lucky for me, there was an event called  “Festival of Maidens, Daughter of the Dragon.” Think ‘Game of Thrones,’ but without the blood and death. There were no real swords, so they fought with a stick wrapped in a silver, shiny material that mirrored a sword. I got some great shots of all the matches and also some medieval merchandise the sponsored organization was selling.

A participant of The Festival of Maidens

 

Next, I just decided to practice my shooting inside my room with some items I had laying around. I live in Bousfield and the rooms are pretty big for being a dorm room, but still. I had a limited space to shoot in. I shot some stuffed animals I had so I can practice my close-ups. I also practiced on some old flowers I saved and I was extremely happy with how they came out. I was excited for class so I can do the next step.

A pink dead rose I’ve had since February 2016

Next step was editing and putting my pictures into a video. I have never used Adobe anything in my life, but I have used I-Movie to edit 2 videos. I figured it couldn’t be that complicated. Man, was I wrong! I don’t mean complicated in a bad way, but it was a little overwhelming seeing and trying to use all the effects and buttons correctly. I got the hang of the program after a few minutes of playing around with it. I also kept asking my  classmate sitting next to me for help. It was also hard to decide the order of the pictures in the video and deciding what pictures to actually use. I am happy with my final project, but I am more excited for more projects to come. Then I will actually have some experience and hopefully they will be better.

Check out the video of the fun I had all over campus here!

 

Assign 2 Photo Essay Pugh

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bookshelf display

The second assignment of our semester was another challenge. I am still getting to know my camera. I do have plenty of story ideas. “Tea Enthusiast’s Bedroom,” came from a tip from a friend. Ariel Fang is an MBA student at UIUC who aspires to one day open a tea shop. Her website is called Ariel Drinks Tea. She recently spent time studying ceramics in Taiwan. Although Ariel did not want to be photographed herself, she agreed to let me photograph her bedroom which is still quite personal.

This was my first real experience with photojournalism outside of food blogging and instagram. Even though I talked to Ariel and had her permission, I felt like I was intruding. I sent her the photos afterward and asked for permission again. It makes me think about what a journalist covering a live event must think. The commitment to reporting truth, getting voices heard, and keeping audiences informed is central to a career in this field.

View my final photo essay with sound and without sound on Youtube.

Assignment 2 Photo Essay

I was more excited then I thought I would be about this project, because I immediately knew what I wanted to do. I chose to take pictures of graffiti/ writing on the walls of the bathrooms at the Espresso Royale on 6th and Daniel, because I’ve always been intrigued by bathroom art.

If you take a moment to look at some of the things scrawled on the walls, you’ll find there’s a beautiful blend of inspiration, imagination, humor and interaction that is so much more than the word ‘vandalism’ allows for. But how does it happen? What inspires someone to pick up a pen or marker and write sometimes paragraphs of content, or share a personal thought? What moves someone to respond or react to what’s been written? I had originally intended to use photos from multiple locations on campus, such as the other Espresso Royale, Cafe Paradiso, the English Building and the Foreign Language Building, however, it ended up being too much content for this one minute photo essay.

While I enjoyed taking the photos and recording the natural sound, I continually found myself wishing I had more knowledge of the camera I was using and, later, the editing software. I had a lot of ideas and visions for how I wanted my photos and project as a whole to look, but felt limited by my lack of experience in the multimedia domain. I think my photos could have been taken better. I tried to google how to use the camera and what the different settings mean, but still wish I had some previous knowledge.

I also felt a little lost when adding sound, but ultimately am proud of my project. I put a lot of hours in and felt a little stressed while editing, but enjoyed the challenge.

My video without sound can be found here. My video with sound can be found here.

One of my favorite shots from this peice

One of my favorite shots from this piece.

The Quad on Labor Day: PEWS/PEWO

For this photo essay I shot the quad on Labor Day. This is a story about students enjoying the weather outside on their day off of classes. There were people hanging out, juggling, using hammocks and many of them had brought their dogs. While taking pictures, I gathered audio near each shot so that I could get sound of each activity. I think that the essay with sound had a greater impact than the one without sound because each activity with sound was different. Although some of the sounds were more quiet in certain segments, there were also certain parts where this made a big difference. For example, you can hear the dog I shot breathing, as well as music playing in the hammock segment. You were also able to hear the water fountain in that shot, and the bells ringing in my shot of Altgeld.

Find the video with sound here.

Find the video without sound here.

Two hammocks set up on the quad on Labor Day

Two hammocks set up on the quad on Labor Day

Assignment 2: The Show Must Go On

For my second assignment, I knew I wanted to take photos of a story that meant something to me.

If we have to take photos for class, why not take photos of something I’d like to remember?

The first thing I thought of was the one thing I love most: live music. I knew of a few singer-songwriters touring around the Midwest who were stopping through Champaign-Urbana over the weekend. I had my project.

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