Midterm Story Pitch – Rachel Hubbard

I’d like to do a story using primarily photos and/or video interviews portraying a local artist whose work is displayed in an Austin-based gallery. I’d want to visit their studio or home, wherever they do their work, and have them tell me about their story and what inspires and influences their projects. I would ask if they like to stick to a certain subject matter and find out whether or not their work has any meaning behind it.

Great idea. Be sure to interview others, too, about this artist and his/her work. You always want to have more than one voice in a story. And get the artist at work! Can we see them paint or sculpt, etc?

Media Critique – Rachel Hubbard

I chose to critique a Buzzfeed news article covering the affects of the damage caused by Northern California’s Oroville’s Dam, and what this could mean for the area and it’s its residents. The authors of the article are listed and shown at the top of the page before the story begins. The concerns posed by the article are stated in the title and it’s its subtext. The rest of the article continues to piece together the reasoning for the chaos created by Orville’s Dam, as well as providing a few different methods of interactive media that are used to make the descriptions about what happened easier to understand.

The Oroville Dam, the tallest dam in the U.S., experienced an overflow on Sunday, causing the water to flow over its emergency spillway for the first time in the dam’s history. This caused major erosion, a hole in the spillway, and an emergency evacuation of the area and those in its path. The first interactive media element of the story was a video taken from above the emergency spillway showing the vast amount of erosion and land affected by the overflow. There were a few more pictures and videos throughout the article that helped to further depict the immense amount of water lost from Oroville Lake. Specific tweets from Oroville’s sheriff department, workers at the dam, and other officials were also included throughout the story to give a personal insight into how the ordeal was handled and what precautions are now being taken to restore the damage.

These media elements that were discussed really helped with the overall understanding of the story and its context. The first time going through the article I only read the text, which led me to believe the story and the order in which the facts are presented were a bit unorganized. Going back a second time and using the visual aids, helped me to grasp the important parts of the story and follow along better with all the information being covered, while also helping to keep my interest.

The way in which Buzzfeed stages their news articles is different from other mainstream news coverage in a few ways. They use an abundance of images that are paired with short statements and descriptions in order to get the message across quickly and easily without relying too heavily on long text segments. Presenting this article with solely text would be possible but not nearly as impactful and affective without the use of photos and videos to capture this event.


Source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/claudiakoerner/oroville-dam-spillway?utm_term=.advrLOrav#.yp6pqBpxR

Thought Exercise #4 – Rachel Hubbard

  1. 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.

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: 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.

  1. Write down one question you imagine the reporter asked to get one of these quotes.

What is it like for you to be on Google’s campus?

  1. 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.

Asking members of an environmental conservation group what their top priorities and main interests are for the work they do for the environment.

What is your main reasoning or concern for wanting to join a group like this?

What subjects do you find most important as an advocate for environmental issues?

What would you say would be the best ways to resolve problems such as these?

Are there some things that anyone can do in their daily routine in order to help with these issues? Good question

Thought Exercise 3 – Rachel Hubbard

  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.

I’m thinking about doing a story on an Iranian-American friend I have who has family living in Iran that frequently travel to the U.S. and stays for an extended time at home with her mother. I think sharing this story would be important to help some people understand the affects the travel ban would have on families such as these.

Another option would be to look to my local community for environmental conservation groups and form interviews and documentation about what members of these groups find are the most important issues and possibly tie it into thoughts concerning National Park services and climate change.

  1. 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.

I would like to choose to do a story portraying how the travel ban would affect families by getting more information about their lives and relate it to a potential global issue that would have an impact on many others in the same type of situations.

  1. Identify and list potential sources and interviewees for your story.

American citizens that I know personally and members of their family who are not born citizens that often visit, including elderly family members that need taking care of.

  1. 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?

I would use pictures that capture their daily lives and possibly video interviews with different family members and those who know them best in the community.

  1. Explain why the public would find the story relevant, interesting or important.

In hopes to bring awareness to those directly affected by the travel ban by sharing the stories of these people and their experiences and backgrounds.

Thought Exercise 2 Rachel Hubbard

  1. Do the interactive media elements help you to understand the problem of predatory lending? Why or why not?

The interactive media elements of the story help us to form a better understanding of the problem by presenting the reader with a step-by-step interactive slideshow process explaining how predatory lending works, while the photojournalism elements of the article help to enhance the depth of the poverty within these communities.

  1. Who might benefit from reading and engaging with this content?

Reading this article can help those interested in learning more about the issue of the predatory lending process, along with anyone looking to advocate for these tribes and wanting to gain further knowledge about the subject.

  1. Why do you think there are such differences in the percentage change in childhood homelessness from state to state? Does the map help you to understand causes or reasons for the different increases?

There are many different reasons for childhood homelessness that vary from state to state and community. The map does not directly talk about the causes or reasons but presents the viewer with statistics covering population and how much the issue of homelessness is growing within the state, which could lead us to infer reasons based on how rural vs. urban regions of the country differ politically and economically play a role in this issue.

  1. Name the two states with the highest percentage of homeless students as a “share of all students.” (Be careful, not looking for percentage change)

New York and California.

  1. What creative techniques are used to attract your attention?

Setting up the interactive media to included each position and contain the number of concussion related injuries within each, attracts the viewer to read further into the application and form conclusions based on these presented facts that imply the severity of this issue occurring in the NFL every year.

  1. Does the interactive web app “Concussion Watch” help you understand the issue of concussions in the National Football League? Why or why not?

The interactive web app helps to inform the reader on the vastness of the issue by presenting the large numbers and long lists of players that get concussions each year and how many games they missed in result of their injuries, making it easy to follow without excessive text.