Midterm Story Draft: Olivia Skedd

Susan Stanford was walking to class her freshman year at the University of Texas in the fall of 1969 when trucks full of men in riot gear pulled up. They jumped out of the trucks and told her to leave immediately.

[I will be adding photos to all the audio clips I have]

That day was known as the Chuck Wagon Riot and the first demonstration that Stanford was a part of.

Stanford’s life had been leading up to a moment like this. Her mother came from a very poor family, but was able to go away to college where she would meet Stanford’s father. The two of them instilled certain values into their children like respecting all types of people no matter their socio-economic status, gender, age, or race.
“You have to teach children the difference in people and I was very lucky that my parents didn’t”, said Stanford. Instead her parents were open to everyone.

The 1960’s were a pivotal time of change in America and specifically with regards to social change.
Information about strikes, marches, and sit-ins were spread through word of mouth. Stanford’s brother, John, would call her to tell her what days to not go to class and where she would need to be instead.

Now information can be spread to hundreds of thousands with one click. Social media has reshaped the way people can learn about movements, marches, and rallies and gather masses of people. A new generation of protestors has formed using Facebook and Twitter as their platforms.
Zoe Watts has been able to find her voice through social media. At only 19 years old social media is allowing her to connect with people from different countries, with different ideologies and values as her. Facebook to her “is a great way to share information and voice opinions, and to have conversations and start dialogues”, said Watts.

With so much information available, you’re sources need to be accurate and trustworthy. “I look mainly for sources that have been fact checked by a reputable source, or are  peer edited/reviewed, that take an unbiased approach at reporting a story”, said Watts.

Watts is queer, female, and a person of color, who feels that given this, is hyper aware of what is going on in the world.
“If we can’t respect each other and each other’s cultures, and realize that we can be different, we’re not going to get anywhere closer equality. I think some people need to realize that it’s okay to not be the same, and okay to be proud of those differences, but not be judged or treated differently because of it”, said Watts.
Though new mediums are available to voice injustices, why people are saying they will not be tolerated are the same. Generations will constantly be pushing for change. Marches, rallies, sit-ins, letter writing, phone calls, tweets are continually building on top of one another to create a more connected and informed world.

[I will add more points to this map as well as a key with an explanation of the colors]

PITCH Olivia Skedd

For my midterm story I would like to cover three women, each in different generations; a millennial,a gen X, and a baby boomer. I want to create a story based on how protesting has evolved and stayed the same throughout time. I want to included video of each women during their interviews, as well as personal photos these women have taken at the marches, rallies, and riots they’ve been at. I also want to create an interactive map that will trace the major protests that have gone on throughout the country beginning in the 60’s to present day.

Absolutely fantastic idea. This would be great for Hilltop Views to run for Women’s History Month if you’re up for that.


These are terrific, Olivia! I love the second one. Proud Canine! Now, write AP Style photo captions for each of them. Click on the photo. Up will come a template w/a little pencil icon. Click on it. Up will come THIS template. Write your caption, choose your display settings and then click Update on the bottom right.

Thought Exercise 4 Olivia Skedd

1. Direct Quote: “You feel like you’re different,” he says. “Even though you’re working in the same place, you’re still like an outsider. And it’s weird because you’re actually protecting these people.”
Indirect Quote:  Sometimes, Cardenas says, he doesn’t make enough money to feed himself and his daughter, which feels strange, working at a place like Google.
2. How do you feel working in an environment like Google?
3. I would want to interview one of the organizers of the Austin Women’s March. Someone like Melissa Fiero or Yvonne Gutierrez who were organizers apart of Planned Parenthood.
1) When did you start planning this march and what types of tools did you use to get the word out?
2) When did you realize how big this march had become?
3) What do you say to people who tell you that marches won’t solve anything?
4) What are past events like this that you’ve been apart of? Either as a participant or organizer?

Media Critique Olivia Skedd

In 2015, 10 years after Hurricane Katrina, The New York Times published a multimedia story on what the city of New Orleans is like today. Through the work of writers Campbell Robertson and Richard Fausset and videographers Alexandra Garcia, Margaret Cheatham Williams and Andrew Blackwell, they were able to create a work that put readers in the mindset of the many situations going on in New Orleans. Combining video, photos, text, and graphics, the creators were able to split the story into 7 parts, each a different neighborhood in New Orleans, detailing what has become after the 10 years since Katrina.
The piece begins with an overview of all that was lost to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, with a city map breaking down the amount of flooding to each neighborhood. Even before Katrina, the city was divided between the rich and the poor, but since the hurricane, that division has increased. The city has become a ground for testing on housing, education, and socio-economics. The piece delves into the specifics of how some neighborhoods lost so much while others came back more prosperous and wealthier. Some neighborhoods have been completely deserted while others have had an influx of millennials wanting the “New Orleans experience”. There were seven neighborhoods discussed; Treme, Mid-City, Lower Ninth Ward, Central Business District, BW Cooper, Lakeview, and New Orleans East. Before the start of each section, there is a photo of the neighborhood right after the hurricane hit it in 2005 contrasted with a brief video of a resident saying what the neighborhood used to be like and what it’s like now. Included in all of the sections were various maps that visually showed what was being written about; increase in Hispanic populations, rent and household incomes, movement of white and black populations.
There is so much packed into this piece that parts get lost, but what really makes it work is the repetition in the layout. Each section will start with a photo, go to a video, followed by text, then concluded with a graphic showing the data that was written about. The best part of this multimedia story was the use of videos. Each video was extremely personal and intimate. Rather than hearing an interviewer ask New Orleanians questions, the residents were given full range to speak what they truly felt. After watching the video and then reading the text, I was able to hear the person’s voice in my head and the tone they were saying when quoted. The photos showing what the city looked like after the hurricane was vital to understand the destruction that it caused, but even still it was shocking to read this piece and learn that some people haven’t been able to move back to their homes yet. Sometimes the videos were too short. I understand that they can’t take up the whole piece, but I just wanted them to keep going, a minute and a half felt too short.
This was one of my favorite multimedia pieces that I’ve read so far. The combination of photography, videos, and text each building off of one another truly benefited this story. There was so much discussed in this piece like public education, housing, economic disparity, gentrification, crime, that having a person describe it from their point of view made me remember all the issues. Overall The New York Times did an excellent job on this piece and they should follow up with in-depth pieces on the issues they wrote about.

Thought Exercise 3 OLIVIA SKEDD

1) 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.
One idea would be to cover the “We are all Texas; A Day of Action for Immigrant and Refugee Rights!” Rally taking place at the state capitol on February 28th. It would be interesting to do because of the global impact this issue is having due to our current presidential administration, but shown in a more local way. It could also turn to a piece about what these recent marches and rallies have accomplished contrasted with similar marches and rallies in the past and what they have done.
Another idea that would be specific to college students at St. Edward’s would be to do an investigation on the economic benefits of choosing to work on campus at a private, liberal arts school compared to getting a job off campus in Austin, TX.

2) 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.
The march is just about to happen so getting coverage of it would be new and interesting to not only those in Austin, TX, where it is happening, but also the world as immigration has recently be one of the sole topics discussed. The story could turn more into just coverage of a march/rally but also the history significance and what we’ve seen in the past and how that has transformed our society and world. This is a very sensitive topic that many are interested in because people either are for the public making peaceful demonstrations like the women’s marches that went on across the world or they do not see the point of them.

3) Identify and list potential sources and interviewees for your story.
I would be at the march and interview not only those in the march/rally but those that are protesting the march. I want to know why it is that people felt the need to come out whether that be to protest the march or be in the march. I would also want to directly contact Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance, the advocacy group that has formed the march. Another source would be a politician or lawyer who can clearly explain to me the current law/set of laws on immigration that are causing widespread protests across America. By including this people can actually understand what it is that is behind these marches and protests.

4) 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?
An interactive map showing all the marches and rallies that have taken place these past two months whether are on immigration or women’s rights. I can also have a map comparing the amount of protests and number of people involved using a month during the civl rights era. Similar to what the Snowden piece did, I would do with contrasting interviews of people either protesting the march or in support of the march. I would definitely want a video of what the march was like to show the number of supporters and opposers.

5)Explain why the public would find the story relevant, interesting or important.
With our current administration people aren’t sitting by and letting things happen, rather going out and making their voices heard. This piece is important to show politicians that people are not going to let choices be made for them when they are negatively affecting a majority of the population. It also is going to allow other people to decide to start speaking up whether that be writing to your state senator or attending a rally to show your support. It’s important to show how all people are taking decisions made in Washington D.C. and what they are doing on a local level.