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


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.

Sigma Kappa Sorority Hosts Ultra Violet Week on Campus


While black, red, and white are the dominant colors on campus, UNO’s Sigma Kappa sorority sports a different color for a great cause. Purple is not just a cute color to them, but it also serves as a marker for a series of their events hosted the last week of September, called Ultra Violet Week. They chose purple in order to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s Disease. The Alzheimer’s Association also challenges teams to “Go Purple” and take the “Purple Plunge”  to incorporate their official color to raise awareness.

This past weekend Sigma Kappa Sorority kicked off their 2015 Ultra Violet Week by volunteering at the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s was held in Midtown Crossing.

Ultra Violet Week is a national campaign held by all Sigma Kappa chapters across the country. It is an entire week dedicated to fundraising events and fun activities on campus to collect money and raise awareness for their philanthropy, the Sigma Kappa Foundation. The Sigma Kappa Foundation funds money for other charities within the philanthropy like Inherit the Earth, Maine Seacoast Mission, and most predominately the Alzheimer’s Association.

This year’s Ultra Violet Week is being held Sunday,September 27th through Friday, October second. During the week Sigma Kappa will host a series of events throughout the week.

On Monday, September 28, they are hosting a flag football tournament from 7 p.m. through 10 p.m.. Teams that wish to join can pre-register here, or sign up when they arrive. The tournament will take place in the Pep bowl.

On Wednesday, September 30, and Thursday, October 1, Sigma Kappa will be selling caramel, sprinkle, and Oreo covered apples called “Sigma Kapples” in the Plaza. The apples are hand made by the women of Sigma Kappa teaming up for “Sigma Kapple making parties”. They will be available for sale 10 a.m. through 2 p.m., while supplies last. Caramel apples will be $2 each and sprinkle and Oreo covered ones will be $3 each.

To conclude Ultra Violet Week, on Friday, October 2, they will and put on a Spaghetti Feed/ Silent Auction at First Christian Church, across the street from UNO’s Dodge campus. The event starts at 5 p.m. and concludes at 8 p.m.. Tickets can be pre-purchased from any member of Sigma Kappa or at the door. The Spaghetti Feed tickets will be $4 for children, $6 for adults, and $10 for all you can eat spaghetti, salad, and bread sticks.

All the events proceeds will be supporting Sigma Kappa’s philanthropy and funding Alzheimer’s care, support, and research.

“Our Fall 2014 Ultra Violet Week raised over $5,000.” said said Sigma Kappa’s Vice President of Philanthropic Service,Bri Shelbourn.

Alzheimer’s Disease has impacted the friends and families of many of Sigma Kappa’s members and serves as an inspiration to them as this week kicks off.

“Alzheimer’s annually kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined,but Americans don’t see it as the deadly disease it is” said Bri Shelbourn ,”They only see the media’s portrayal of the disease, and Alzheimer’s is much more than just loosing memories.

According to Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in America. It is also the only cause of death in the top 10 most deadly that cannot be prevented, cured , or slowed. Nationally the Sigma Kappa Foundation has been donating since 1874, and is currently the largest nonprofit contributor to the Alzheimer’s Association.

“Seth Rogen, an Alzheimer’s Association advocate is credited as saying “”Americans whisper the word Alzheimer’s, but it needs to be screamed to the point that people fear the disease.””, Ultra Violet Week is Sigma Kappas loudest scream of the year.” said Shelbourn, “We do not whisper the word Alzheimer’s because the people affected by it deserve so much more. They deserve to have people advocating for an end to a disease that steals every part of you. Our goal is to raise as much as possible during Ultra Violet Week 2015, we are really hoping for a great turnout this year.”

If you’d like to help support their cause checkout their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Legal & Ethical Boundaries

In a recent article, a photographer chose to snap a shot of a drowned corpse of a Syrian boy washed up on shore. His entire family was also drowned in their attempt to escape their war-torn country, and clearly could not consent to having their corpse plastered on an online article for everyone to see. This photographer’s action has caused a recent uproar about journalism ethics. Sparking the question, when in the midst of reporting a huge story, how far is too far?

Certain ethics codes has been set, and it’s crucial to keep them in mind during any journalism career

Journalism ethics have been laid out as:
1) Speak the Truth and Report It:
2) Minimize Harm
3) Act Independently
4) Be Transparent and Accountable

Reporter,Brian Williams, broke this ethical code, and claimed that while in Iran his helicopter was attacked, but was caught in his lie and was suspended from his job. Another newscaster made anti-Muslim comments when commenting on airline travel and was fired because of it.

Any written piece, physical or online, can be considered for libel. This makes it very easy to cross boundaries and cause legal and ethical problems if not done properly. Obscenity is one of those boundaries and is defined as sexual indecency, words and images, without the incorporation of artistic value. One example is George Carlin’s 1972 routine called “7 Words you cannot say on Television” where he describes a humorous struggle of a never-ending list of words that is considered obscene on television.
” You never know whats going to be on the list, because it’s always someone else’s list” Carlin says in the performance.
He is referring to the constant struggle of never quite knowing just who could be offended by what you say or do. To some extent that is very true. On very controversial and sensitive topics, many stations will now have comments completely disabled to avoid “anonymous” conversations from getting overheated, or taken too far. When given anonymity, it can bring out the worst in people and they say things they wouldn’t normally. In situations such as the recent journalists being killed, people in the comments supporting their murder. For stations it’s important to remove material like that, as not to offend or damage those who view it.

In the world of journalism and ethics it is easy to wonder just what reporter’s are thinking when they take pictures of the horrors and death that occur around them. Do they hesitate and consider the implications or not even flinch?

Student Profile: Miguel Alvarado

UNO Junior, Miguel Alvarado, 22, sets his goals high for the future by double majoring in Public Relations and Graphic Design while also staying very involved on campus.

Alvarado grew up in California before moving to Nebraska at age 14 when his parents got new job opportunities in Omaha. He attended Omaha Bryan High School for four years and graduated in 2011. Alvarado chose the University of Nebraska Omaha because of it’s proximity and closeness to home. Currently he lives in Scott Court and loves being on campus.

Alvarado chose his majors because he has a passion for graphic design and wants to continue to grow in the field. He grows his skills in and outside of class by stepping up to be the Public Relations Chairman of his Fraternity, Sigma Lambda Beta, and managing all of their social media accounts and online relations with other chapters. He has big plans to get Sigma Lambda Beta’s name out on campus in the upcoming year.

“One of my biggest goals is to see our chapter grow and become more widely known,” says Alvarado, ” I would love to see a larger membership before I graduate.”

On campus he is also an active member of UNO’s Public Relations Club, PRSSA, the Latino Association, Spanish Club, and Ad Club. He plans to to study abroad in Costa Rica for a semester as well. Alvarado previously interned at the advertising company, Swanson-Russell, helping hospitals and farmers create advertisements. Currently he works as a sales person for U.S. Cellular and enjoys his job.

In his free time, Alvarado likes to “stroll” dance with fraternity brothers, visit UNO’s HPER facility with his friends, sleep, and play soccer. These have all been an important ways to relieve daily stress for him.

For the future, he plans to graduate UNO and move to Chicago to finish his masters degree in  Advertising.

“Chicago is definitely my favorite city, I see myself living there after I graduate.” says Alvarado.

Online & Citizen Journalism

Today even new born babies and pets have Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. The amount information that we share is exponential and that trend isn’t going anywhere. Online is becoming the most crucial media outlets to reach an audience and remain relevant to the times. Online Journalism has grown and become the most interactive form of news sharing and is quickly becoming the preferred norm. Companies like Huntington Post are based solely online, and kick butt at it.

For the first time the media audiences are being called “users” not just “readers”. Sharing news online has created a whole new platform for for interactivity by allowing users to post, share, and comment live. This allows the conversation around an topic to be the area of attention rather than just the report especially when controversy (such as Super Bowl Commercials) is thrown into the mix. More and more news stations start trendy #hashtags to encourage more public conversation and create web traffic. Other undeniable advantages of online media are Google Analytics that allow you to learn about the audience that visits each page, not to mention the unlimited space for stories and content.

Along with large companies, the internet is seeing a rise in citizen journalism. Citizen journalism is huge on Twitter, as it is one of the fastest ways to reach out. @MeanStreetsOMA ins a great example of local citizen journalism. This is very beneficial because citizens are there in the moment and provide crucial details that reporters can’t always grasp all while the event is still happening. However with live reactions it often creates a battle between reporting first and reporting right.

Overall, online journalism is now an essential part of the media industry and is now required of potential employees of new casting. They must be well versed and skilled at online media, staying up to date with their audience. Online journalism is doing amazing, unprecedented things with the way modern day people interact.

Josie Loza: The “Gateway” to a career in Journalism

Omahan Josie Loza explains the road to her journalism career in three words “Networking is key”.

Loza realized her interest in journalism during her years at Omaha Bryan High School and decided she was going to go for it. Loza’s career took off when she met the editing manager for Omaha World Herald her senior year at a conference, and got the chance to share her passion for journalism with him.

That crucial conversation led to her landing her first job at the Omaha World Herald. It also led to her meeting her best motivator Diana, the highest ranking female at the Omaha World Herald, to keep her striving to realize her potential as a young woman in the journalism field. These connections were priceless to her on her climb to her dream career.

As an employee at the World Herald, Loza was very persistent, and says that it was her biggest asset in getting her an “in” on the positions that became available.

In doing her best and taking every opportunity she could get, Loza worked her way up from the UNO Gateway as a student, to working the archives, to human writing human interest pieces, to police writing at fires, to crafting obituary columns, to sharing Omaha night life, to becoming her own writer for her, now very popular blog, Momaha.  And now as Manager of Student Publications at the UNO Gateway, she offers up her expertise to help students do just the same and realize their true potential.

“No opportunity is a missed opportunity” Loza says, ” I could’ve sat and been a column writer all my life, but I wanted more and you should too.”

Her determination to continue to better herself in her career is inspirational for women. In her strive to give others the same networking skills, Loza has created a Journalism Boot Camp for UNO’s students.

“The goal of this boot camp is to create opportunities for students to get internships like I did,” says Loza.

The boot camp is held once a month on Mondays in Eppley on campus. The first meeting will be September 28th at 6:30 p.m. For students interested in participating in the boot camp, check out The Gateway website for more information.

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