Final Project: Light Pollution in Tucson

Assignment 8

Final Project

For my final project, I met with astronomers and engineers to discuss the current status of light pollution in Tucson, Ariz., and how this light pollution impacts astronomical observing at local telescopes.

© Emmalee Mauldin 2018

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Video Sequencing Re-Do

Assignment 3: Video Sequencing REDO

 

The Sahuarita Pecan Festival is hosted by the Green Valley Pecan Company, located in Sahuarita, Ariz.., and features the pecan shelling process, as well as local vendors and performers.

Blog Post #3

Blog Post #3

“A Day on the Road With the Migrant Caravan” by Neil Collier, Emily Rhyne and Ainara Tiefenthaler from The New York Times

For the final blog post, I wanted to venture into an outlet typically recognized for its’ print journalism and see how they have adapted to multimedia journalism, so I chose The New York Times. The story I chose is titled “A Day on the Road With the Migrant Caravan,” by Neil Collier, Emily Rhyne and Ainara Tiefenthaler. I chose it because I was interested in finding a very popular news story and see how the Times portrays it as an atypical/unique multimedia story. The content of the piece is very relevant and fresh because the migrant caravan is still traversing central America and traveling towards the United States, which makes it relevant to the Americans watching the video. It is compelling because it is well-voiced since it features a woman and her family, who are a part of the migrant caravan. It is a clear story because it simply walks the viewer through a “day in the life” of a member of the migrant caravan and is complete because the story begins in the morning and ends at night. The source and story are credible because it features a real person in the caravan and tells her story. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this story is valuable. I find it valuable because it gives a face to the movement — this giant caravan of people traveling towards the United States. Seeing a mass of people on the news is quite alarming, but listening to the stories of the individuals in the mass induces empathy in the viewer.

The visuals in this multimedia piece are very compelling. It brings viewers right into the “day in the life” of a migrant in the caravan by following the featured woman through her morning, dressing her kids; and through her day, walking for hours or sitting and resting or hitching a ride on a truck; and at night, when she sets up camp for the night. These all capture the most important actions of the story, since it is a “day in the life” and illustrate the story well. It obviously moves the story forward because it simply goes through a day from morning to night and. Shot composition is fairly good, with the correct exposure and in-focus shots most of the time. Many, if not most, of the shots are slightly shaky but I think that it adds to the story since it is following around the migrant caravan and it is not like there is a tripod set up somewhere. There are a variety of shots and it doesn’t look like many of the shots are repeated, and if they are, then they are still slightly different. The pace of this piece is appropriate, and I almost wish it was a little longer. Finally, these shots are very memorable. I know that I will remember this multimedia story in the future because I found it very compelling and well put together.

The audio in this piece is fairly good. It uses natural sound and ambient noise very well. The audio tracks do not seem to have a consistent volume due to the conditions that the video journalists were in, but in post-production I am sure that the editors turned up the volume during some parts. Also due to the conditions of the video journalists, the audio tracks aren’t always clear and without distractions, especially due to the natural sound in the clips. However, it all puts the reader into the story and I do not mind it at all. There is also parts where the editors utilized voiceovers, which were very compelling and met all of the standard criteria (volume, without distractions, etc.).

The organization of this piece was simple. It began at the start of the featured mother’s day, moving into why she was a part of the caravan, and continued until nightfall. This storytelling structure fit the piece well. The beginning draws viewers in and covers the necessary bases, and the pace and flow of the piece are appropriate following the introduction. The video has a clear focus and does not wander at any point in the story. The story translated very well from idea to execution and I can imagine that it would be quite simple to put together a short video like this. The video has a very clear ending, which was nightfall and the caravan stopping to rest for the night. The audio, visuals and words fit together well in the piece and are necessary, but are not distracting.

The writing and editing of this piece was, like the organization, very simple. It doesn’t appear to have evident factual errors, and the words superimposed, such as the Spanish to English translations on screen, have correct grammar, spelling and punctuation. The fonts for these translations are very readable.  AP style is used where needed, such as in the voiceover, and are in simple broadcast style with active voice. Transitions are clear and clean, and they flow very well. The language of this piece is clean and understandable, especially since this piece is so simple. The length of the piece is appropriate, however, I do wish that it was a little bit longer. The length of time to see images, video, and written words are a pretty good amount, however, there were points where I wish the text-on-screen bits were longer. The quality of the video and audio compliment quality reporting.

There really weren’t any graphics in this video, besides the text-on-screen for the language translations. For these bits, the graphics utilized the correct tools to portray information. There were clear and user-friendly. They simplified complexity because it translated the Spanish to English and allowed viewers to understand what the migrants were saying. The translations were very complimentary to the other components of the multimedia story.

Finally, this story does not appear to overstep good journalism ethical boundaries. It is simply a “day in the life” and used the consent of a mother to follow her throughout her day. I love video journalism pieces like this because it highlights the stories of individuals others might not know about and humanizes something quite alarming, like the migrant caravan. It exemplifies one of the purposes of journalism — telling the stories of people who need their voices heard.

A&B Roll II

Assignment 7

A&B Roll II

“How light pollution affects observing the night sky at Steward Observatory” with Ryan Webster, chief telescope operator at Steward Observatory.

 

Blog Post #2

Blog Post #2

Camp fire claims at leave 48 lives, as search heats up for missing” by ABC News via YouTube

This week’s analysis is on an ABC News story, titled “Camp fire claims at least 48 lives, as search heats up for missing,” which I found on YouTube.com. I chose this story because I have been seeing hundreds of stories like this ABC News story reporting on the deadly fires in California. This multimedia piece reports the casualties from the fire, stories of survivors, some quick statistics about the significance of this fire, reports from local authorities, and photos and videos from Twitter. It is a very relevant and compelling story to those of us who live in the United States because California is such an important state and the fires in California exemplify climate change, which makes it very valuable to viewers. The story is clear and well-voiced because it utilizes both on-ground reporters and stories from survivors to report on the tragedy. ABC News is a credible source and how this fire is reported is similar to other reports, so there is no discontinuity in stories. The story is fairly complete because it covers what has happened, what is currently happening, and how the fire is continuing to spread. And finally, it is quite fresh because it included new videos and stories that I hadn’t heard in previous reports yet.

As with any story on a natural disaster, the visuals in this multimedia piece are very compelling and eye-catching. They utilize shots of firefighters battling the fires, rescues, rubble and burned down houses, studio reporting, a reporter standing in front of rubble, and video/photos from survivors; there is a variety of shots that illustrate and move the story forward. They all capture the most important parts of the story. All of the shots from the ABC News videography have good composition, are lit with the correct exposure, are in focus, and are smooth with no shakiness. Of course, the shots from survivors’ personal phones are quite shaky and out of focus, but that just adds to the story. It doesn’t look like any of the shots are repeated and the pace of visuals is appropriate. These images and video will be very memorable when discussing this fire in the future.

The audio from the reporters and their interviews are very clear and without many distractions, and have consistent volume. There is natural sound of fires crackling and the hush tones of voices, and it puts the viewer right into the story.

The organization of the story is well put together. The pace, flow and structure are appropriate, and it is quite fast considering it is something meant for live television. The beginning draws the reader in and covers the necessary bases because it begins with what has happened with the fire thus far and describes the current conditions of the fire, including the casualties and missing persons. It has a clear focus of telling the most updated reporting from the fire, without wandering. The audio, visuals, and words fit together well without distracting viewers and the story translates very well from idea to execution. It has a very clear ending by showing photos of celebrities houses and their statements on the strength of the community and thanking everyone (especially firefighters) who have been helping with this deadly fire.

I really enjoyed the writing and editing for this multimedia piece. It follows ABC News’ traditional broadcast style. AP Style is used, with no apparent grammar or factual errors. Sentences are in simple broadcast style using active voice and the language is understandable. The fonts are readable. Transitions are clear and clean. The length of the piece is appropriate for the subject considering that it is meant for live television, and the length of time to see images, video, and written words is appropriate. The quality of video and audio from the ABC News reporting is fantastic, although the survivor’s footage isn’t high quality, which is to be expected and adds to the story.

This multimedia piece did include a small portion of graphics. It utilizes the standard format/layout/theme for other ABC News stories and are not distracting. The graphics mostly describe the statistics from the fires, such as casualties and missing individuals. The graphics are clear and user-friendly. It utilizes the correct tools to portray the information and simplify the complexity of just reporting a bunch of numbers. They are very complimentary to other components of the story.

As I mentioned before, I quite liked this story and reporting on tragedies is such an important part of journalism. However, because of this, journalism can also skirt ethical boundaries. Luckily, this story did not overstep good journalism ethical boundaries. I will continue to follow the fires and hope that they are put out soon.

VOX POPS

Assignment 6

VOX POPS

Why is it important to conserve water in the desert and how can we, as private citizens, help conserve water?

Blog Post #1

Blog Post 1

“Meet The Midterms: Environmental Issues Break Red-Blue Divide In Florida | NBC News” on YouTube.com by NBC News

 

This week’s analysis is on this video story from NBC News, which I found on YouTube.com. It is about the how environmental issues, particularly the “red tide,” have a significant impact on how Florida citizens will vote during this midterm election. The content of this story was very relevant and fresh because citizens throughout the nation will be thinking about how they are going to vote this midterm election. It is quite compelling and valuable to those who live outside Florida because, since Florida is a swing state, how Floridians vote will have a nation-wide impact. It is credible and well-voiced because it comes from a nationally recognized organization, NBC News, and the reporter completes several VOX POPs to get the opinions of voting Floridians. This story is complete and clear because it covers how Floridians have voted in the past, their impact as a swing state, what the issue is and why it is an issue, and has significant relevance to what is happening in our country right now.

The visuals in this story are quite compelling and eye-catching and support the important parts and actions of the story at an easy-to-follow pace. It features candidate signs on the side of a roadway, people outside holding signs, a warf and boats, the shore, pollution, etc. Each of these visuals illustrate the story well and  move the story forward. It has very well-done shot composition and for the most part it looks like the video is well lit with correct exposures. All of them are in focus or have a specific focus with blurred backgrounds. Some of the shots, however, look to be slightly shaky. There is a variety of shots, from close up of pollution to wide bird’s eye view from a drone to a medium angle from the VOX POPs. There are no graphics for this story (besides the standard NBC News logos in the corners).

The audio for this story is quite good. The reporter has very good audio during his report, however, the audio during the VOX POPs has a few issues sometimes due to wind. There is not as much natural sound or ambient noise, but when it is used, it is not distracting and flows with the story. All of the audio puts the viewer into the story.

The organization of the story is very well done. It starts with discussing the midterm elections and their significance this year, the environmental issues in Florida, into what voter’s are thinking about during elections, how the environmental issue is influencing voters, and then Florida’s significance as a swing state and the importance of Florida voters. This structure and pace fit the piece well, and covers all of the necessary bases. It draws the reader in and has a clear focus, without wandering. The story translates from idea to execution and the audio, visuals, and words all fit together well without distractions. It is a clear, fitting ending about the significance of voting for Florida voters.

The writing and editing of this story are very clear and clean, and it all fits the story well. It seems to have no obvious factual errors. There are no superimposed words to supplement the story, so there are no errors for that and there is no issue with fonts. AP Style appears to be correct and the reporter’s sentences are in simple broadcast style with active voice. The language is understandable. The length of the piece is appropriate for the subject, especially since this story is for a news broadcast (although I, personally, would love more information on this topic and would appreciate a longer story), and the length of time to see images and video (no written words) are a good amount. The quality of the video and audio is very complimentary to the reporting.

This story was very well done and follows journalism ethical boundaries. I am now very intrigued in this topic and would love a follow-up story.

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