Class Recap: Multimedia & Online Journalism

Journalists must be well versed in all types of media when working online with their stories. Multimedia aspects are key in having a modern and interesting online stories. With every event that is covered, the story should be the determinant for the best type of media and format chosen.

For most stories photography will be the strongest, however it is important to make sure that you get the best photos possible.

To do this it is recommended that you:

1.Know your camera and its functions.

Camera quality will vary between different types of lenses in high end and low end cameras. While phone cameras are getting better everyday, they can be limiting with close up and zoom. Optical zoom makes for better quality than digital zoom. There is also shutter speed to think about. Low shutter speed will allow more light in and make for better night shots but can often become blurry without the use of a tripod. Using a phone camera in the dark will almost always have a blurry outcome.

2. Compose your picture well.

The most pleasing shots utilized the rule of thirds for composition. This means placing a focal point off center to bring attention to the main object. Another great way to draw attention is using in and out of focus to make backgrounds or objects blurred and emphasize the surroundings.

3. Take lots of photos.

To get the perfect shot you must take several different shots including: Closeups, Medium shots, and Wide shots. You can never take too many pictures, unless you run out of battery of course. Make sure to charge up extra batteries and check all equipment beforehand to avoid that possibility.

4. Do not over edit your pictures.

Do not use Photoshop to change a photo into something its not,people actually get fired over that. If a photo doesn’t look real or natural it can cause a lot of problems. Editing is mainly just used to color correct and make sure that everything is as accurate as possible to its original color.   Other acceptable edits include cropping and resizing. Pic Monkey is a great website to adjust and correct photos for free.

.5. Complement with audio.

Some stories will be better suited for audio. When using a microphone it is important to be aware of background noise and echoes. Onimidirectional microphones will record from multiple directions, and cardioid microphones only work in one direction. For interviews it is best to use a cardioid microphone.

Use these tips next time and you will have much stronger photo and audio.

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Student Involvement hosts “Hockey Eve” at Dudley’s Pizza & Tavern

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With only one day left until UNO’s first hockey game of the season, students and fans in the community cram together to share their excitement for our No. 1 nationally ranked Mavericks hockey team at Dudley’s in Aksarben Village.

The event is being called “Hockey Eve” and hopes to reach out the community and spread excitement about UNO. I thought this related well to my story beat and would be an exciting event to cover.

As the very clever opening message on the “Hockey Eve’s” Facebook page reads, “‘Twas the night before Hockey, when all through the Village
Not a fan was stirring, not even our coach.
The jerseys were hung in the locker room with care,
In hopes that the UNO Mavericks would soon be there.”
,this event will mark the history of the Maverick’s first game not only as a nationally ranked team after competeing the Frozen 4 last s\Spring, but also the first ever game played in Baxter Arena.

Here’s a look at the event’s excitement.

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Dudley’s entrance awaiting the crowds before the event.

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UNO students going through the free tasting line with mushroom fries, BBQ wings, pretzel bites, potato chips and pizza.

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Dudley’s mini-menus that were being handed out to the events guests.

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UNO students eating and getting excited for the game.

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Mav Experience bundles that are being handed to the events guests.

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UNO Cheer Team chatting with guests.

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#MavSPIRIT hockey stick headgear being handed to the events guests.

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UNO Cheer waiting outside Dudley’s to greet UNO guests.

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UNO Cheerleader Cassie Reisdorff modeling a foam hockey mask being handed out to guests at the event.

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UNO fans celebrating and enjoying the free tasting at Dudley’s.

Photojournalism: Tips and Tricks

In our last class we had guest speaker, award- winning and Omaha World Herald photographer Chris Machian, who spoke to the class on his tips and tricks on how to improve your technique as a photojournalist. However, I was unable to make it to this speech so I did a little bit of research on photojournalism and the tips and tricks Machian shared with my classmates so that I can share them with you.

According to Wikipedia, “Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism that employs images in order to tell a news story. It is now usually understood to refer only to still images, but in some cases the term also refers to video used in broadcast journalism. Photojournalism is distinguished from other close branches of photography by complying with a rigid ethical framework which demands that the work is both honest and impartial whilst telling the story in strictly journalistic terms. Photojournalists create pictures that contribute to the news media.”

Now, what job is more challenging, important, and rewarding than that of a photojournalist? No only so they have to cover a story, but they must be there as it happens and capture the “shot”, the one photo that captures the time, emotion, and puts the reader in their shoes. To capture the right shots to tell the story here are some tips.

  •  #1: Take all types of shots.

You never know which one could be the cover shot, so take many different angles. The first is a tight shot, or a close-up to show detail. The next is a medium shot, or average, typical, viewpoint from your own perspective.The last type of photo is a wide shot, or a zoomed out overview of showing the majority or entirety of the subject. This also called an “establishing shot”.

  • #2: You can never shoot too much.

Sometimes even professionals can shoot a dozens of photos before they get the “one”. To get the one that captures everything perfectly it is important to shoot, shoot, shoot. You can never have too many photos, it is way more preferable than not having enough.

  • #3: Stay true to the photo.

Never Photoshop your images and always include an accurate caption. Altering a photo can cause a photojournalist to quickly lose their credibility, and captions are also extremely important.  In an accurate caption you must include: Who is in the picture, What is happening, Where is it happening and When it is happening meaning the day, the month and the year.

Overall, Photojournalism is a very important way to document history. Photojournalists must strive to capture that one good photo that can tell their story with just a glance.

UNO Cheer Team volunteers at Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure

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Last Sunday the UNO Cheer Team volunteered their morning to support Race for the Cure. On October 4 the Susan G. Komen foundation hosted their annual Omaha- Council Bluffs area Race for the Cure 5k for breast cancer.

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is one of the largest 5K walks in the United States. Each year it raises funds for breast cancer research and focuses of raising awareness of the disease. Susan G. Komen has a huge focus on celebrating the lives of those affected by breast cancer. The survivors of Breast Cancer are given bright pink runner tags and the families who have lost a loved one to breast cancer have tags honoring who they walk for. According to Susan G. Komen Nebraska, since its inception in 1983, the Komen Race for the Cure series has grown from one local race with 800 participants to a global series of more than 140 Races with more than one million people expected to participate in 2014.

This year was hosted in the newly finished Baxter Arena in Aksarben Village. Thousands of Omaha residents filled the streets around Stinson park for the 5K. The UNO Cheer Team has volunteered as the face of UNO at Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure every year. Attending Race for the Cure is a very important event for the them. The girls say that they really look forward to going every year. They even gear up with pink poms for the whole month of October to raise awareness for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“The UNO Cheer Team loves to support Race for the Cure,” said the teams co-captain, Taylor Boham, ” We love coming down every year, it’s a big event for us.”

The UNO Cheer Team lined up and stood next to the Race’s starting line to encourage runners and spread the spirit to the crowds. After the Race begun, they cheered along the sidewalks on the runners paths. As the participants were finishing the Race, the UNO Cheer and Dance Teams helped hand out pink carnations to the runners with pink runner’s tags, signifying that they currently have breast cancer or have survived past the disease.

“This is one our favorite parts,” said Boham,”we love seeing all the survivors and hearing the stories of those walking in memory of loved ones.”

The UNO Cheer Team also volunteers at several other charity events throughout the year.

“Getting involved in our community is a very humbling experience,” said Boham, ” we really look forward to attending events like this.”

The UNO Cheer Team represents at all University of Nebraska Omaha athletic events as well student community events. However focusing on UNO is not their only goal, UNO’s Cheer Team puts a huge focus on volunteering in the community and attends several events throughout the year to benefit an array of different causes.

Some of the other main volunteer events that the team attends include:

For more information, check out the UNO Cheer Team’s Facebook page.

Online Journalism: Tools and Terminology

Current journalists have more tools and terminology than ever before. Not only do they have to focus on getting and writing the story, they have to maneuver the online world to reach a modern audience. With the knowledge of social media and online content being so crucial, an online journalist must be constantly on their toes to adapt to the here and now.In fact, many  take coding classes just to try and stay up to date and receive job security from their skill set.

Online journalism is a complex system with a lot of confusing acronyms and nicknames. Here is a quick run down of the terminology used by online journalists.

One of the most confusing to me initially was knowing the difference between the words Internet and World Wide Web. The difference is that the Internet is the physical hardware that allows everything to happen, and World Wide Web refers to the software technology that creates the design of the user experience. This software is called the GUI, or graphical user interface where everything we see on screen is created and managed.

The TCP, short for transmission control protocol, is the process by which online information is transferred and allows data to pass quickly between pages.

The IP,internet protocol, and DNS, domain server name, are basically the same thing. They both are the online address for an individual. A URL, or universal resource locator, is the online address for a specific webpage. Using a URL is the easiest way to find the correct page on the web.

An RSS, short for real simple syndication, is a news wire that allows for automatic split-second results. Twitter is a great example of an RSS.

Another recent innovation made very popular by Google and Apple, the concept of using a Cloud, or external server that makes it possible to store an infinite amount of personal data in an easily accessible space. UNO uses a cloud called Blackboard that we use to share and save information between students and professors. While free and extremely convenient, the cloud is a very mysterious platform and can easily be hacked and personal information can stolen and manipulated without users even knowing. It’s important to never store personal, bank, or password information in these databases as to protect your safety and privacy.

As the rules to the game continue to change, it’s very important for journalist to be familiar with these types of tools and terminology in order to be educated and understand what is expected of them in this ever-changing field.

Silicon Prairie News Profile: Ryan Pendell

Ryan Pendell, writer for web journal Silicon Prairie News (SPN) , shares his passion for creative writing and the path that lead him to where the is now.

Pendell attended Northwestern College in Iowa. There he double-majored in philosophy and English and was the editor for the Newspaper and Lit Mag.
“I’ve always loved writing.” said Pendell.
After receieving his degree, Pendell traveled to Chicago to attend the Art Instatute and received a masters degree of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.
Pendell had always dreamed of having a career in creative writing, but found the field completely flooded with writers and other like-minded people, so he found difficulty figuring out how to use his degree.
“I soon realized I would have to work really really hard just to get a humane job out there.” said Pendell
He started off doing freelance work then writing item descriptions for products on Hayneedle’s website before joining the SPN team

SPN was created by two friends named Dusty and Jeff when noticed that several newsworthy events in the Midwest weren’t getting the media attention they deserved. They collaborated to report on the “underdog” companies and the cool things that they were doing in the community. They started developing their readership by hosting events for their followers, creating critical business relationships, having comment discussions, and creating local Facebook groups in four states for their readers.

When their readship hit its peak and started to make adapt to trends to stay relevant. They noticed the explosion of Lady Gaga fans when she started calling them “Little Monsters” and decided to mimmic that model. This is when they started a hashtag and started calling their readers SPNers. This worked really well for them and
helped them get to know even more about their readers.

With SPN there has been a question to wether or not it is actually journalism due to all the stories being focussed around what it’s readers were doing and that every single story is positive promotion making it bias.

Pendell stood behind his work and disagreed by saying that SPN should definately be considered journalism because accuracy, quotes, and facts are all important to their stories and everything is written in AP style. SPNs goals are to reach a more general audience. and interact more with their readers.