SXSW FOR FREE
by Hayden Bach
Want to attend SXSW but can’t afford a music badge? SXSW offers a plentiful amount of free shows all across the Austin during the festival. This year a music badge to SXSW cost just under $1000, but someone without a music badge could potentially see the same amount of shows as someone with a music badge and pay $0.
On March 12, The Rustic Tap, located on West Sixth Street, offered a full day of live music shows for free. The acts included The Jonny Gray Band starting off the day, Origami Ghosts performing in the afternoon, and Jane N The Jungle wrapping up the performances in the evening.
“I’ve lived in Austin for five years now and I’ve never purchased a SXSW music badge,” said Corey Burnett while watching The Jonny Gray Band perform. “I am not interested in the big name artist that require a badge, the free performances are just fine with me,” Burnett said.
He is correct, if you are interested in seeing any of the big name performers, like Wiz Khalifa, Garth Brooks, or Kehlani, for example, you will need the music badge, but if you’re just at SXSW for the music and do not care who is performing, then the free shows are your best bet. Some people tend to buy a badge and attend the free shows anyway.
“I buy a badge every year because I know there is always going to be someone I want to see where I will need the badge to get in, but I almost always go to more free shows where I don’t even need it,” said Marcus Garcia, another attendee of The Rustic Tap shows. “Besides, the big shows are insane most of the time, I really like being able to go to a show and relax and not worry about someone hitting or kicking me,” Garcia said.
This is also true for most free shows. You will very rarely see a free show where a line to get in is a block down the sidewalk or attendance is at the venue’s full capacity, but shows still see a good crowd with The Rustic Tap hosting around 200 people during The Jonny Gray Band’s performance.
“We love getting to play shows at SXSW,” said Jonny Gray, lead singer for The Jonny Gray Band. “The bars do not pay us a lot, but it’s more about attracting new fans for us. The more fans we attract, the longer we get to play music and SXSW is one of the best places to do so,” Gray said.
So next year, if you’re running a little tight on money, but still want to enjoy the SXSW festivities, just take a stroll downtown and there is a good chance you will find a bar with live music and a band who would love you to come see them play.
This has potential. I used to love going to the free stuff .That’s back when SXSW didn’t feel like an invasion of Alien Hipster Hordes from Planet Los Angeles. Who are the characters in your story? What’s the beginning? The middle? The end? What is the multimedia? Read the assignment carefully!
For my story I was thinking about covering the free music performances aspect at SXSW. This would include interviewing some of the performers as to how they land a spot performing at SXSW and talking about the differences between the free performances and the paid ones.
On January 18, 2015, Dan Zehr, reporter for the Austin-American Statesman, published a piece titled “Inheriting Inequality”. This is an incredible three-piece story combined into one big news story using many interactive media elements to highlight the steps taken by city and federal government 75-100 years ago to successfully segregate the city of Austin, TX and how it is impacting the cities’ minorities today.
The main page of the piece is where we see the majority of the media elements. It begins with a timeline of the processes taken to segregate minorities and low-income families away from the rest of the city. The article uses a photo slide show of maps to provide a look at how African-Americans and Hispanics were dispersed across the entire city in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. However, a second media element, a “slider” as the article refers to, was used on another map to show how new laws and policies put in place by government separated white and minority communities in 1928. When you slide the bar to the left, you are able to see the minority neighborhoods, but when you slide the bar to the right, you are able to see the white neighborhoods. The slider was used again to show the “hazardous” areas of town was where minorities concentrated at. The final media element on the main page is another photo slide show of a third map, providing racial densities across the city of Austin over a 70-year period. The rest of the interactive media elements primarily deal with videos and photos. The author used these with the other three pieces when going in depth on the impact of minorities today. Zehr conducts video interviews with the people he is highlighting and photos of the communities they live in.
When assessing the interactive media elements, I find many strengths but very few weaknesses. The biggest strength, I believe, is the uses of the slider and photo slide shows. These are not just pictures or videos that can only be viewed, it allows you to be physically involved with the story by dragging the bar across the photo changing the perspective on it, or clicking through pictures to see changes in the picture over time. Another strength I find is Zehr’s use of videos. They allow you to really connect with someone struggling with the impacts of Austin’s long history of segregation. It is especially helpful for someone like me, a white male, to connect with someone in a position unfamiliar to me. The only real weakness I find with the media elements is the different maps used on the main page. The maps make it somewhat confusing to tell if the same neighborhoods being highlighted on the first map, are the same neighborhoods being highlighted on the second and third maps.
Looking at the overall structure of the news package it is clear the author favors only one point of view. The entire piece focuses on the negative impact years of segregation has brought on to minority citizens today with nothing being mentioned about possible positive impacts. Even the interactive media elements only offer one perspective. They focus primarily on minorities perspective on the situation and nothing about a white upper-class citizen’s perspective. That being said, because of the statistics and visual aspects they provide, I do believe the media elements are essential to the news package. Without them, I do not believe a reader fully understands the impact of the segregation laws and their effects today.
Overall, this piece uses a wide arrange of great interactive media elements. The story would not be the same if not for these elements and would likely lose a great deal of the message the author was trying to convey. Although there is only one point of view and perspective, I believe, because of the message being told, the other point of view and perspective is not needed.
Identify two quotes, one direct and one indirect (you may include partial quotes), from Mr. Cardenas that appear in the passage. Write the two quotes below and identify them as direct or indirect.
“They give you to-go boxes if you ask for them, but we weren’t allowed to do that.” —- Direct Quote
Cardenas says it is strange being on Google’s campus, watching the regular employees drive around on company-supplied bikes and scooters and taking food home. —– Indirect Quote
- Write down one question you imagine the reporter asked to get one of these quotes.
“Has a Google employee ever offered to give you food?” Great question!
- Identify a potential source for a news story of your choosing (think back to thought exercise #3). Write down the source and four potential questions for your interviewee.
The effects of the new student apartment construction on students living in neighboring dorms. Excellent topic for story and questions. You should write this for Hilltop Views!
Source: Student living in dorm
Questions: “Is the construction a nuisance to you?”
“If given the opportunity would you transfer to a new dorm?”
“Did St. Edward’s University give you notice of the construction before you moved in?”
“Did St. Edward’s offer any sort of restitution for you having to deal with the construction?”
- Brainstorm possible news story ideas. If it helps you may think about news story ideas by using some of your own life experiences and those of your family, friends, neighbors and community. Think about what makes the stories interesting and important, select 2 and write them down.
- Homecoming weekend festivities at St. Edward’s
- Local story about local immigrants and the effects of the travel ban
- Think about news values (timeliness, proximity, conflict and controversy, human interest, relevance), pick one of your story ideas from question #1 above and explain which news values are present in your story.
- Timeliness, proximity, human interest, and relevance are present in my first story idea.
- Identify and list potential sources and interviewees for your story.
- Students, student-athletes, alumni, St. Edward’s archives
- Think about some of the interactive media elements from thought exercise #2. What types (photos, video, interactive maps, etc.) of interactive media would add depth and understanding to your story?
- Photos and video would add lots of depth and understanding to the story and possibly a map or graph to show changes in homecoming week throughout the years.
- Explain why the public would find the story relevant, interesting or important.
- I believe local stories are always interesting and it could potentially convince people in the community to come out and support the local St. Edwards students and athletes.
- The interactive media elements are incredibly helpful in understanding the predatory lending problems in the “Payday Nation” article. As someone who is not the most knowledgeable about loans and their pros and cons, the elements helped expand my understanding more than just words would have done. The step by step process they give to explain how the Native American tribes are being directly affected by the loans not only helped me in understanding the situation more, but also made it more interesting.
- I think someone who is thinking of getting an online payday loan would benefit most from this in order to see the dangers of it and how the process of giving a payday loan actually works.
- I think the biggest reason there are such differences in the percentage change in childhood homelessness from state to state is that ending childhood homelessness is higher on the priority list in some states compared to others. The map does not help at all with understanding causes or reasons for the different increases. All it gives you in the percentage numbers and total numbers.
- California has the highest percentage of homeless students with 21.3% and New York is second at 8.3%.
- I think it is really creative that they break down the concussions by positions that way you can see which positions are more susceptible to getting a concussion. You can also see which teams and players have had the most concussions as well.
- I do not believe the interactive web app “Concussion Watch” really helps you understand the issue of concussions. All the app is giving you is the total number of concussions and not if the numbers are low, high, or in a good spot. Someone who is not informed on the health risks of concussions would never know if those numbers were good or bad or why they are even watching in the first place.
1. How do you get most of your news? Television
2. What device do you prefer when interacting with news stories online? My iPhone
3. Do you read any print newspapers regularly? If so, which ones? N/A
4. Do you watch TV News (network or Cable). If so, which programs? CNN and local news
5. Do you listen to news on the radio? If so, what programs? N/A
6. What is your favorite news or entertainment website? ESPN or Yahoo
7. How often do you read, watch or listen to news stories? 2/3 times a week
8. Please write the response that applies next to each question:
News organizations play a key role in democracy: _agree____
Politicians are not held accountable by journalists: _unsure_____
The media I consume keeps me informed about my community: __agree__
News organizations hurt democracy: _unsure___
The reporting of facts and events is important for our society: _strongly agree___
I have knowingly shared a fake news story on social media at least once: _disagree____
I have shared a story I later realized was fake news on social media at least once: _disagree___