MULTIMEDIA FINAL

Hi blog.

Well, it’s done. The multimedia project is officially complete. I had a lot of fun making this and exploring a more upbeat side of journalism, even if the topic was not so upbeat. Making videos is so frustrating but also very fun, and I experienced a bit of both during this project!

You can check out the final piece here: https://tigersincages.wixsite.com/quarantine.

Until next time!

ESSAY – FINAL

Nimble: A quick and light motion, agile, marked by clever conception or resourcefulness.

If there was ever a city that encapsulated this word, it would be Columbia, Missouri. It is a town that might be small to some, but is pulsing with movement and life. Everywhere you look people are buzzing with creativity and thought – moving quickly to meet with friends at one of Columbia’s many parks, to pursue creativity, or to cook up something delicious. It is an active city where its citizens and visitors alike can get a good work out in – whether you choose to exercise your body, your mind, or your tastebuds.

Columbia is quick, clever, light, resourceful and agile – nimble as can be. Here are the places, people, and activities that make it that way.


Josie M., 9, molds a hand for her robot at Art Underground in downtown Columbia, Missouri. She was one of about 10 young students building robots out of clay and discarded computer parts donated from the near-by Gravity computer repair shop. The children twisted and turned their little fingers to bring their creations to life, bouncing ideas off of each other along the way
Tyler Shrum, 21, hurls pizza dough into the air during his shift at Shakespeare’s Pizza in downtown Columbia, Missouri. Shakespeare’s is largely considered a Columbia staple, serving up hot and tasty pizza since 1973.
Two women practice their tennis skills at the Cosmo-Bethel Tennis Courts in Columbia, Missouri. Columbia has over 70 parks within its city limits, giving citizens plenty of opportunities to keep their minds and bodies sharp. 92% of Columbia households make use of the recreation areas, according to a 2015 survey done by the city.
Allie Ziegler, 22, crochets a hat for her niece in her home in Columbia, Missouri. She lives four hours away from her family, including her 2-year-old niece Liv. “I’m really close with my family, so not seeing her is hard,” she said. “But knowing how happy she will be when she gets this puts a smile on my face.”
Gage Martin, 17, sails through the air on his skateboard at Cosmo Skate Park in Columbia, Missouri. He made the same loop over and over, refusing to quit until he got it right. “Everyone here knows each other and encourages each other,” he said. “Most of the time, the people out here are pretty cool.”

SELF-EVAL

This project was definitely different.

I am a methodical person. I am used to making a plan, calling my sources, confirming appointments and making it happen. I am not a “wait and wander” kind of gal. But for this, I was.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a plan. I had ideas, but ideas that were designed to be done on the fly. I feel like I never explore anymore, so after listening to the rest of the class talk about how they were taking the opportunity to do that, I decided to try it on for size.

I actually really like a lot of these photos. I was trying to be conscious of exploring all aspects of the word nimble – nimble hands, nimble feet, nimble bodies – and activities that required a creatively nimble mind. I think I did a great job of capturing a lot of the aspects of Columbia’s nimble side, so that is a win in my book.

I was also happier with my variety of lensing for this project. I wish my wide was a bit cleaner, I had this great vision of the symmetry of the women and the light poles on the court, but that darn recycling bin distracts me! However, other than that, I tried to really work my angles, my distance, and my aperture in a conscious way for maximum visual variety.

I did find it difficult to choose an order for the essay. The photos are all very different from each other, so figuring out an order without a concrete story line was hard. I tried to base it off of details, action, wide angle, etc., but I look forward to hearing the class’ ideas.

I thought this project was really fun. I don’t know if it is my most visually cohesive body of work, but I am proud of myself for trying something different and getting to see a side of Columbia I don’t often see!

MULTIMEDIA WIP 2

Holy frustration.

I never thought making a video about coronavirus and quarantine would be so hard because it is arguably the hottest topic in the world right now, but boy was I wrong!

Don’t get me wrong, the interviews we have are great. They’re just so different. We have three completely different situations that are all bound by the fact they were in University quarantine, so putting them together in a cohesive narrative is really difficult.

That’s why we need to sit down and brainstorm how we want this to go. We need a good structure where holes can be filled by narration and data, so the differences highlight each other rather than make it hard to figure out what is going on.

There is a ton of footage for me to comb through (almost an hour and a half in total), so I have a feeling we will need to cut that way down and only choose the best bits, leaving the rest to be done by narration.

I know I have the building blocks, now it’s just about putting them together!

ESSAY – WIP BLOG

Hi Blog!

It is definitely busy season here at Mizzou. I’m juggling several projects, papers, and midterms and I feel like it is all going to come crashing down! But, I am moving along and somehow managing to get it done bit by bit.

One of the projects I am working on now is my photo essay. It is designed around defining Columbia by one word – and the one word I drew from the bunch was “nimble.” Nimble means “of light and quick movement,” so that is what I am focusing on! I am still in the process of photographing in the little spare time I have, but I did manage to get to the skate park the other day and get some good shots. I am playing with the concept more, trying to get things a bit more “out of the box” (hint: pizza).

Here is what I have so far. I only need one photo from this scenario, and I am struggling on which one to choose. I like Gage’s face in the first one, but two and three are cleaner. I am excited to find more around the town this week and this weekend!

MULTIMEDIA – WIP BLOG

Hi blog!

As one thing ends another begins – and that is certainly the case for my capstone class!

We just wrapped up our portrait and personality story and are already starting two new projects – a group multimedia project and a photo essay.

This post is going to be a little update on what my multimedia project is and how it’s going. I am in a group of three people and we are focusing on university quarantine housing at our school – the University of Missouri. Some of you might recognize that name in relation to COVID-19 because we have been in the headlines for our schools approach to keeping people safe amidst the pandemic, hence the inspiration for this project.

We are still in the planning stage of our project and about to start gathering materials. I am interviewing the person I found who has been in quarantine housing on Thursday. I am super excited about the format of our project because we are combining our project with the “COVID age” – doing a lot of video stuff with the interviews screen recorded over Zoom. I am putting the videos together which I am also excited about. I have really only done video as a hobby and not as a journalism medium, but I have so many ideas for this and I am super excited!

If our timeline stays on track we will be getting our interviews and raw footage / photos this week and start piecing things together this weekend. I am pumped to get started!

CAPSTONE – 5 POV, FINAL

Angleo Fosco has been a lot of things. A high school math teacher, a volunteer firefighter, a personal trainer – but all of his previous and current jobs have one essential thing in common: they’re all centered around helping others. It’s a drive that has been inside of Angelo all of his life, and it has only grown while being a fitness coach for CrossFit Fringe in Columbia, Missouri during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Angelo has been a fitness coach for CrossFit Fringe for 6 years now. CrossFit Fringe is one of many locations offering the CrossFit style work out that has been popular around the country. It is designed to push your body in multiple ways in a short amount of time – giving you a complete physical workout in just 30 minutes. Angelo says that this is what makes CrossFit unique, but it also stands apart from other gyms because it provides members a sense of community through small group classes.

“The idea is really just to help people,” Fosco said. “[Working out] helps people have better health, better quality of life, help them live longer and have more time with their kids. And the sense of community is just really motivating, it helps people come in and go harder and then go on about their daily lives.”

Angelo says that while the community aspect is so special, it has been hard during the pandemic. All businesses that rely on in person traffic such as bars, restaurants and gyms have been struggling to operate in a safe way during the coronavirus and resulting city ordinances impacting how many people can be in a space at one time. CrossFit Fringe is open and operating somewhat normally, with coaches and attendees keeping a six-foot distance from each other and wearing masks when not actively working out.

“It’s been challenging. But it’s also been good getting back to whatever this new normal is and keeping people healthy. It’s obviously a big thing with COVID-19 with the [pre-existing conditions] like obesity and high blood pressure, so keeping people healthy can prevent them from getting sick.”

Although things look different at CrossFit Fringe, Angelo says he is grateful to be able to continue helping people better their lives and reach their fitness goals.

“I am just happy to continue doing what I am doing in some capacity. That’s ultimately the goal for me is just to keep helping people, as well as all of the staff here at CrossFit Fringe.”

Angelo Fosco, 34, talks to a class attendee about proper squatting form at a CrossFit Fringe Class in Columbia, Missouri on September 14, 2020. Fosco has been a fitness instructor and personal trainer for 11 years total.
Angelo Fosco, 34, demonstrates an exercise for a CrossFit Fringe fitness class on September 14, 2020. Coaches and attendees are required to wear masks when not actively working out.
Angelo Fosco, 34, watches some of the members of CrossFit Fringe work out during a class on September 14, 2020. Fosco is passionate about helping people achieve their fitness goals, even if he has had to change his approach during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Angelo Fosco, 34, talks to an attendee of his CrossFit Fringe class during a water break on September 14, 2020. Downtime during the classes is limited as the workout is only 30 minutes.
Angelo Fosco, 34, slightly lifts his mask to shout instructions at members of a CrossFit Fringe class on September 14, 2020. The gym does have garage doors that remain open during the class to promote airflow, but attendees are still required to stay six feet apart and wear masks when not working out.
Angelo Fosco, 34, walks to the back of the CrossFit Fringe gym after setting up barbells for the members of his workout class on September 14, 2020. Class sizes are fairly small, with about 12 people attending his session.

SELF-EVALUATION

I am over all really happy with this project. I was scrambling for quite a while after my original idea fell through, but the images I got when I was working with Angelo made the struggle worth it. I liked changing it up a little and putting the images in black and white and am happy with the toning even if it was a bit out of my comfort zone. The only critique I have just from my own viewing is I wish the shots had a bit more emotion. The masks and not being able to get close kind of takes away from the element of connection, but I know I am going to have to get used to that though out the semester. I think I did a good job of moving around the space to enhance the element of 5 points of view in order to work around that element. Over all I am happy with the work and am excited to continue photographing through out the semester!

OUTTAKES

PORTRAIT & PERSONALITY – WORK IN PROGRESS, CAPSTONE

Hi Blog!

It has been a while since I have written. I am back at school in my own house (!!!) with my own kitchen and bedroom. I have a few in person classes but most of them are online. One of my in person courses is my capstone, a.k.a. the last class in my undergraduate photojournalism track. The images and description of this project below is my first assignment for the class!

This project was very hectic. Finding subjects in the age of COVID is already proving to be difficult. I originally wanted to do a story on an art teacher who was having to teach a very hands on subject online, but there was a lot of red tape to go through and it ended up falling through.

All of this being said, I really enjoyed this photoshoot. Angelo, the CrossFit trainer I focused on, was super accommodating and I felt like I got to know him pretty well during the three hours I spent with him. He is passionate about helping others, especially during the pandemic, and uses physical fitness to encourage others and try and keep people the healthiest version of themselves. I didn’t realize until I pulled into the parking lot, but I have actually been to this location for another photoshoot a couple years ago. The building has since expanded quite a bit, but it was nice to be in a space I was somewhat familiar with!

It was a difficult shoot because I had to keep a fair bit of distance from him and the other participants through out the time I was there. I feel like some of the photos lack emotion because of this and because of his mask. I am going to have to get used to this I suppose, but it is frustrating. I wasn’t sure about putting it in black and white but I am very happy with this look – I usually try and go for bright colors but wanted to try something different.

It has been a while since I have gone out and photographed, and I am overall satisfied with the way this ended up turning out. It was good to get my feet wet and I look forward to jumping back into photographing this semester!

THE MARRIAGE OF PRODUCTIVITY AND SELF-AWARENESS IN THE MIDST OF A PANDEMIC #J4450

Hey, blog.

I didn’t have class today, which was somewhat nice because I got to sleep later than I am used to! So instead of breaking down what I learned today, I am going to share some ~personal reflection~ with y’all.

Yes, I am a journalist. But I am also a college student. I was settled into my routine, my sense of independence, and my ability to know myself and structure my environment in a way where I would be the most productive. I had my friends close, and spending time with them was a much-needed laugh and mental break from my work-related responsibilities.

The coronavirus has changed, well, all of that. And I have had a lot of conversations with people about how all they complain about is not having time, and now we have SO MUCH time, but they have suddenly become less productive. They don’t understand it and also feel guilty about it.

I am also going through this. I know when it is time to buckle down and grind out a project or a story, and I don’t have a problem doing so, but I know I am not being as productive as I can at school. I think a part of that was finding my new routine at home, in my high school bedroom that usually means I am on break. But it is a routine that is different and not as ideal as my one at school.

I think people struggle with cutting themselves some slack. This is a major world event that we are going through, and frankly, it sucks for everyone. So many people have it worse than others and I feel fortunate that I am not dealing with this issue closer to home, but it does impact everyone in some way. And the mourning or sadness or sudden decrease in productivity you experience is valid and normal! So I am trying to set boundaries for myself and attempting to be more actively aware of how I am feeling and what I need to stay sane while getting things done. And that’s something that has really helped me so far!

I have my next GA shift tomorrow and am working on some other stories, so I am hoping I will have a good week with that. See y’all soon!

PRESSING ON#J4450

Hi, blog!

I am just popping in to write a quick something about a story I did the other day related to everyone’s favorite newsworthy topic, COVID-19.

There is an equestrian center in Columbia that was bringing two of their miniature ponies around to local neighborhoods, dressed in full unicorn attire. They were doing so to brighten people’s days during a scary time. According to their description, they were following social distancing practices by only going yard to yard and not letting anyone pet the horses.

But not everyone was in agreeance that this idea was beneficial for the community. Someone anonymously reported the business to the Boone County Health Department, and the pony program was promptly ordered to cease their in-person operations.

Many people were mad.  Some were grateful, saying it was what was best to slow the spread. But the core thing about this story that stood out to me is how they adapted their mission to spread cheer during this pandemic.

They decided to do virtual pony appointments for all families who wanted to participate. Out of all of the ways Zoom is being utilized right now, for business meetings, conference calls, and virtual happy hours, I think signing on to stare at a horse wearing a unicorn horn has got to be the best use of your computer’s webcam.

It brightened my spirits to see how this program was able to think on its feet and shift their methods to accommodate for COVID-19 conditions. I love stories like that!

That’s all for now. Be back soon!

 

HERE WE ARE#J4450

Hey blog.

I haven’t written in a while. Here’s why.

This time two weeks ago, I was still at Mizzou. I was still living with my friends, going about a somewhat normal life given the current circumstances. Then, my housing unit I lived in decided to close. I had 48 hours to get up and get out.

I am writing this from my house in Texas, where I will be living for the foreseeable future. I never would have thought I would be in this position right now, but so much is changing that at this point, anything could happen.

If I am being honest, I am struggling. I need to be social to keep my mental state relatively sane, so being cooped up in the house hundreds of miles away from my friends is effectively my worst nightmare. It feels weird doing college things in my high school bedroom, under my parent’s roof when I am used to a more independent lifestyle. I am mourning the loss of the rest of my junior year, which was going to be tough but at least we were in it together. I also know a lot of people that are being hit close to home by the disease, with a lot of friends and loved ones knowing someone who has COVID-19. That’s the worst part, knowing that someone I love is sad and not being able to do anything to comfort them.

I am also experiencing a sensation I have never felt before: wanting to turn off the news. I am a journalist, so I should want to be more up to date on COVID-19 than anyone, right? Well, wrong. And I feel disappointed in myself for feeling this way. I love journalism and its value now is more apparent than ever, but I am finding myself to be really overwhelmed with anxiety and sadness about our reality. And I’ve come to accept that is what makes me human, and knowing my limits of negative news consumption is something I have unfortunately been forced to test out recently.

I am adapting to the situation more and more every day, and there are a lot of silver linings. I can cook again (yay!), be with my family again, and spend more time walking around outside than usual. If staying home is the most difficult thing I am asked to do in my lifetime, I am lucky. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its challenges, but I am adjusting accordingly.

I have my first remote GA shift tomorrow and am feeling much better mentally about it than this time last week. I am taking this all one day at a time, and choosing to see the bright spots in a world of uncertainty.

To end this vulnerable post, I’ll insert a quote from my all-time favorite book / movie series.

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

PANIC, PRECAUTION, AND BEING FLEXIBLE #J4450

What am I going to do now?

That’s the question that’s been running through my head the last two days.

COVID-19 is changing things. It’s dominating the news on all levels, and cities and states all over the map are trying to deal with a new threat to the public health. And it’s hitting close to home too.

The Missourian is staffed by reporters that are Mizzou students, and we take this as a class. Mizzou has moved to an all-online platform for the next week as a precautionary measure. That means big changes for our newsroom, as we are moving to a mostly remote working-style.

I can’t lie, I am a little overwhelmed. I get a news alert every 15 minutes about how the situation is changing, and it is very nervewracking to be so far away from my family at this time of uncertainty. But I saw a tweet yesterday that made me think about this situation in a different way.

Schools are closing, sporting events are being canceled, and flights and travel are being suspended. And naturally, we are covering it. This is huge news, there is no other way around it. And it is so overwhelming. The public is, well, freaking out. Everyone doesn’t know what to expect next, but I think there is a lot of hope in this situation that is going unseen.

These changes, although they can seem overdramatic, are a form of national solidarity. We are taking preventative measures to combat this situation escalating, and I think that is pretty great even if it is tough in the short term. People are saying that the media is making it seem more intense, but that is not “the media’s” intention (I could write a whole other blog on that phrase but that’s for a later date). We are covering this to keep people informed, give them the best medically-backed advice we can, and explaining how these actions, although scary, are for a common good to “flatten the curve”.

I want to end this post by saying one last thing. Staying informed is important, but I would be remiss if I didn’t say that staying informed on such a scary topic has effects on your mental health. A lot of my friends are nervous and I don’t blame them. Sometimes you need to mute your notifications, step away from the screen and enjoy some quality time with your loved ones. Stay up to date, but don’t forget to surround yourself with things that make you feel good.

Take care of yourself, mentally and physically. We will get through this together!

TAKE CARE OF OTHERS AND YOURSELF #J4450

Good afternoon blog.

Today in class, we discussed covering traumatic events and interviewing trauma victims. It was pretty heavy, to say the least, but we touched on a lot of points that I found to be quite helpful.

One point that really stuck out to me was our tendency to comfort someone who has witnessed or been a victim of a traumatic event. It is totally normal to (and I would argue that you should) want to comfort someone going through something horrible, but it isn’t appropriate to say you understand what the victim is going through. Our professor said it’s because trauma and normal grief are so different, and while they often exist together, they are not the same.

Another thing we talked about is how the repeated coverage of traumatic events can take a toll on journalists. Repeated exposure to graphic photographs, interviewing people going through horrible pain, etc. can impact your life in a big way. That’s why it is important to monitor your emotional state and step back or talk to someone if necessary.

We also talked about the tactic of covering mass shootings, and how there is a “no notoriety” campaign that is gaining popularity. This is because of the contagion effect that happens after intense coverage of a mass shooting including the shooter’s name, photograph, and detailed background of their life. In the no notoriety strategy, we would eliminate the publishing of the photograph and name of the perpetrator.

Intense coverage like this walks a fine line of informing the public and re-traumatizing the victims of a traumatic event such as mass shootings and big accidents. I think we need to evaluate the news value of publishing certain things and if it essential for the public to see a graphic photograph or other materials that might do more harm than good.

It was a tough topic today. But these hard discussions are essential for us to do our jobs well and serve our community as much as possible.