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Behind the scenes of an internship by Sami Jo Heitsch

In class Dr. Landreville taught us that, “The ability to tell a good story with video is a difficult yet important skill for journalists and communicators to learn. Video is not just on TV anymore — you can find video stories online and on mobile devices as well.”

Out of all of our assignments, this was the assignment I have been most looking forward to. This summer I worked on creating videos for a media relations company, and what I learned was that you can bring an event to life and show a different side of an event that most people would otherwise not have the opportunity to experience. Recently I have been working a lot of internship positions, and because of my experience I decided to take a journalistic view on the advantages and disadvantages of internships. I learned that if interns generate revenue for a company but do not receive money for their work, they have the right through the Bureau of Labor Statistics to sue the company they interned for. There are actually six factors that help interns decide whether or not a work program is for the intern’s educational benefit or the advantage of their employer.

The six factors include the internship is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment, the internship experience is for the benefit of the intern, the intern does not displace regular employees, the employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern, the intern is not entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship and the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

Here is the link to my video: http://youtu.be/yR_PiooTVVo

I enjoyed reporting on an event that I am passionate about. I enjoyed how the people I interviewed made the story come to life, and I really enjoyed editing the project. The hardest part about this task was my time crunch. Researching an event, creating footage and editing the video takes a lot of time and as a full time student and a part time employee of the Hilton Garden Inn that was the most difficult part about this assignment.

There were not many surprises that I encountered during this assignment. Because I have done editing before I was comfortable with interviewing and making my event come to life. I wish my video could have been a lot longer because I would have implemented a lot more interviews and different departments that offer internships.

I am extremely passionate about using video, and as I am writing this blog I am actually sitting in an airport on my way to the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas, Nevada to work for a video company that live broadcasts the rodeo. I am looking forward to learning more sophisticated ways to use video and I definitely see myself using these skills in my future career.

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AFA Leaders Conference #afalc2013 @AgFutureAmerica

When using Twitter a reporter can create a presence and garner an audience to promote and represent events. In class we focused on the important factors to keep in mind when utilizing social media to promote an event. These factors include knowing the basics, sharing and gathering information, brand management, contributing to the community, engaging with the community, stating your opinion while remaining professional, and positively representing the organization and event.

Recently I attended a leadership conference in Kansas City, Missouri. The conference promoted their use of Twitter during the event and promoted the delegates to utilize Twitter during the conference as much as possible. I took this as an advantage to promote the event and share with my followers what was happening at the 2013 Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Conference using Twitter. The hashtag used for the event was #afalc2013 and the organizations handle was @AgFutureAmerica. The conference also included a number of guest speakers who also had their own handles that I was able to implement during the event.

Check out my Twitter account to see my live Tweeting at the AFA Leaders Conference. @SamiJoHeitsch

What I enjoyed most about Tweeting this event was continuously updating my Twitter followers about what myself and the AFA delegates were being taught. However, this was challenging for me because my duties were not to serve as a public relations worker, I was primarily there to serve as a participant. This lead to some of my Tweets being used in the first person view. I did my best to stay in the third person view, but I am glad we were given this assignment because I realized I have to prepare myself for the given role when I attend an event. These roles are whether or not I am promoting the event as a public relations representative or a participant. For this reason, instead of interviewing other delegates, I retweeted what they were saying during the conference. I thought this was a creative way to share their opinions and gain more followers on Twitter.

Once I returned from Missouri, I spoke to a lot of people and they shared with me that they enjoyed following me and reading about the AFA Leaders Conference. I really enjoy using social media to promote events and I know I will utilize it in my future career.

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“Dancing at UW,” soundslides project with Brittany Hamilton.

“When you gather audio and photos for a news story, you are making the story more marketable. Your story can now be told with images, with sound, or with both. Not only will you have captions for your photos, but you’ll have a voice and ambient noise that compliment the captions.” This is a perfect description used on the uwyojournalism blog to describe the purpose of creating a Soundslides project.

Soundslides is a program that we used to combine audio and photography to make a final presentation on “Dancing at UW.” Brittany Hamilton and I worked as partners. We divided the work into photography and audio. Brittany focused on the photography and I focused on the audio. Brittany was an absolute joy to work with, and I believe we challenged our creative thinking and created an innovative news angle that does a great job promoting dance organizations at the University of Wyoming.

Brittany and I had a challenging task deciding what dance organizations to implement into our story. I believe we did a great job picking Zumba, Belly Dancing and Cowboy Country Swing Club, and it was a lot of fun creating this project and accumulating the audio and photographs to do so. Brittany did a fabulous job taking the pictures and I believe the continuity between the photographs and the audio blends seamlessly.

Brittany was the mastermind behind using Soundslides. I did run into an obstacle when trying to upload the audio. Brittany uses a Dell computer and I use an Apple computer, so we had to do a lot of converting the files and emailing to make it compatible for the Soundslides system. Once we were able to resolve those problems it came together. The only other problem we ran into was having more time to finish the project, as I had to leave early for my leadership conference.

If I would have changed something about this project it would have been the amount of time we had for the project. This story could have easily covered eight minutes. But I am grateful to learn the techniques of shortening stories and interviewing for short soundbites.

Check out the video: Dancing Around the University of Wyoming

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“My Name is Denise Caskey and I am a practicing Pagan,” by Sami Jo Heitsch

Photo by brandingirononline.info

Photo by brandingirononline.info
Video by Pagan101

When Mike Brown came and spoke to our class about using the Audacity program, my favorite quote from him was, “Editing audio is actively creating pictures in your mind.”

I enjoyed audio editing using Audacity. This was my first time using the Audacity program and I am not sure I took full advantage of the different tools and effects. However, I did implement a lot of fade in and out effects and I adjusted the amplitude and frequency.

The tool that helped me the most during my audio editing experience was the zoom tool. The zoom tool makes it really easy to precisely delete the audio that I did not need, and not take away sound that was vital to the story.

The only challenge that I faced was exporting the audio into the MP3 version and getting it uploaded into Soundcloud. The only reason that became an issue was because the UW internet was not working correctly and Soundcould would not upload the audio. Once I uploaded the file on my personal computer I did not have any problems.

After editing Denise’s audio, I have decided I that really enjoy audio editing and interviewing. Mike Brown was correct when he said you are actively creating a picture in your mind, and as the mastermind creating the audio, it becomes addicting. I hope to find a career where I can edit audio and bring different stories to life.

Here is my final edited audio story, “My name is Denise Caskey and I am a practicing Pagan.”

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Raw Audio File: Denise Caskey

When we started the lecture and reviewed “The Art of Gathering Audio,” I knew that this was going to be a challenging assignment. After learning the 15 tips for interviewing someone with an audio recorder, I was prepared to choose a quiet location and engage with my interviewee.

Here is my raw audio file:

Photo by dcaskey.com

Photo by dcaskey.com
Link to Pagan101

Interviewing Denise was a lot of fun. I enjoyed learning about her practice of being a Pagan. I felt comfortable interviewing Denise with an audio recorder. I mentally prepared myself to be quiet and to ask good questions that would encourage Denise to give interesting facts. We set the audio recorder on a table and did not touch it at all. That made it easier for us to focus on each other and what we were saying, rather than focus on the recorder. That resulted in Denise going a little over time, but because I was unfamiliar with the recorder I had to ask her how to turn it off. That could have been avoided by knowing where the button was before interviewing, but that is why I am in this class learning how to interview.

I learned from this experience that the more eye contact you make with someone and avoid looking at the recorder, the more focused the interviewee will be. I enjoyed learning more about Denise and it is fun to hear our voices on a recorder.

I would have liked to know the topic prior to interviewing Denise so I could have researched Paganism a little more and asked more in depth questions. We had a little background noise during our interview when Denise’s dog chose to drink some water, but that again is another learning experience.

Overall I enjoyed this assignment and I am looking forward to editing the file!

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Photojournalism at its finest.

According to Dr. Landreville, “Many journalists and communication professionals are asked to become photojournalists for particular assignments, events, and stories.”

This assignment highlights the photojournalist in me and taught me the skills needed in photojournalism. What I enjoyed about this assignment was finding unique situations and using Snapseed to make the pictures come to life.

Here are my 5 photojournalism pictures-

1. Feature (Enterprise) photo: “Color Guard All-Star”

After class last week I was walking home from the business building and I found Katie twirling her rifle. She stopped to ask me why I was taking her photograph and I explained to her my assignment. She laughed a little and I told her to act like I wasn’t there. I learned she was practicing because she is a part of the Unviersity of Wyoming Marching Band. There was an uncomfortable ambiance when I started to move around and take different shots, but I became more comfortable as I started seeing the  results. The creative devices used in this picture include color, rule of thirds, viewpoint and depth. 

23-year-old Katie Barker practices twirling her rifle on the University of Wyoming prexy's pasture. Barker has received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and is now studying Theater. You can see Barker perform with the University of Wyoming Marching Band at the Homecoming game October 12th.

23-year-old Katie Barker practices twirling her rifle on the University of Wyoming prexy’s pasture. Barker has received her bachelor of science in criminal justice and is now studying theater. You can see Barker perform with the University of Wyoming Marching Band at the Homecoming game Oct. 12, 2013.

2. Sports feature photo: “Superman”

I had a lot of fun this past weekend attending the college rodeo in Lamar, Colo. Rodeo is a sport that moves fast, but provides great photographs if you have good timing. Fortunately, for this photograph I had great timing and was able to capture the “Superman” dismount that Tate performed Sunday afternoon. I used Snapseed to enhance the color of the photograph, but there was not a lot of editing done. The creative devices used in this photograph include color, viewpoint, experimentation and background.  

Eastern Wyoming Junior College

Sheridan college saddlebronc rider Tate Schwagler flys head first into the dirt at the Lamar Community College rodeo on Oct. 6, 2013. Schwagler placed 6th overall. The last fall National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) rodeo will be hosted Oct. 11-13, 2013 at Laramie County Community College (LCCC) in Cheyenne, Wyo.

3. Feature (Enterprise) photo: “Meditation”

David did not know that I was taking a picture of him. I love how this photograph exemplifies “meditation.”   Ithought editing the photo to black and white enhanced the his facial expression. The creative device used is contrast .

Laramie County Community College (LCCC) Rodeo Team Coach David Browder takes a mental break before the rough stock events on October 6th in Lamar Colo.

Laramie County Community College (LCCC) rodeo team coach David Browder takes a mental break before the rough stock events on Oct. 6 in Lamar Colo.

4. Sports feature photo: “This Girl is on Fire”

This shot uses viewpoint and color to bring the event to life. Timing is what makes this photograph difficult. It catches the dirt flying, where the rope lies on the calf and the body position of Cody. “This Girl is on Fire” is a great title because Cody was one of the few girls to rope a calf during the Lamar rodeo.

Lamar Community College rodeo team member Cody Kay Brown competes in breakaway roping

Lamar Community College (LCC) rodeo team member Cody Kay Brown competes in breakaway roping at the rodeo her home team hosted in Lamar Colorado. Brown won the rodeo, roping her calf in 6.3 seconds on Sunday afternoon.

5. Feature (Enterprise) photo: “Cleaning with a View”

“Cleaning with a View” is a photograph that is proof you can stumble upon an event when you least expect it. I was driving back to work after my break on Tuesday night and I noticed this man cleaning the windows of the IPF. I stopped to take a photograph of him, and we sat for a few minutes and had a great conversation about how long he has worked for On the Spot window cleaning and why I was taking pictures of him. This photograph uses viewpoint, color and establishing size to make this photograph interesting to look at.

Neil Hanawalg works late Tuesday night washing the windows of the University of Wyoming Indoor Practice Field (IPF). Hanawalg has worked for On the Spot Window Cleaning business for 3 years.

Neil Hanawalg works late Tuesday night washing the windows of the University of Wyoming Indoor Practice Field (IPF). Hanawalg has worked for On the Spot Window Cleaning business for 3 years. On the Spot window cleaning is located in Fort Collins, Colorado.

I really enjoyed this assignment. I was surprised that people are not used to having their photograph taken when they are completing routine tasks, and it shocked me how friendly and willing they were to participate in my assignment. Photographing the rodeo was a lot of fun as well, and I learned a lot about having good timing and having a camera that has a fast shutter speed. This assignment made me want to become a photojournalist so I can get front row access into the arena to take even better pictures and earn the money to buy high tech photography equipment.

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Capturing creative devices with raw material

Photojournalism is a way for media to bring events to life through pictures. In Online Journalism we are taught that “good photojournalism begins with understanding basic composition and design principles.”

This assignment was a great opportunity to focus on creative devices used in capturing photos and analyze how these devices draw the viewer into the focal point. What made this assignment challenging – no photo editing allowed!

With no editing, here is my RAW TALENT:

photo 1

Driving through Medicine Bow National Forest. The Medicine Bow National Forest administers 1,095,384 total acres and is located across the state of Wyoming and Colorado. The Medicine Bow National Forest dates back to May 22, 1902, with the establishment of the Medicine Bow Forest Reserve by President Theodore Roosevelt.

“Traveling Wyoming” uses the leading lines as the dominant creative device. This creative device draws the viewer’s attention down the road and into the beautiful skyline. There are several other creative devices used in this photograph. They include cropping, balance, framing and depth. With the combination of these creative devices this photograph is made aesthetically pleasing to the viewer.

photo 2

Seven-year-old quarter horse named Roundup roams in the arena at Snowy Range Vet Clinic in Laramie, Wyo.

“Arena Roaming” uses the rule of thirds as the dominant creative device to draw the viewer’s attention into the focal point. The placement of the focal point in the image is what makes this photo aesthetically pleasing and catches the viewer’s attention because the horse catches the viewer’s attention immediately. The other creative devices used in this photograph include symmetry, view-point and contrast.

Beautiful landscape at the University of Wyoming prexy's pasture.

Beautiful landscape on a rainy day at the University of Wyoming prexy’s pasture.

“Rainy Day” uses depth as the dominant creative device. The viewer is immediately drawn into the foreground by the placement of the rocks, then their attention is drawn into the mid-ground of the walking path and then the viewer notices the background of the pasture and the trees in the distance. This photograph also uses color, leading lines and establishing size to make the photograph aesthetically pleasing.

Dead mouse found on the kitchen floor. The last thing a person wants to wake up to in the morning.

Dead mouse found on the kitchen floor. The last thing a person wants to wake up to in the morning.

“The Borrower” uses background as the dominant creative device to draw the attention to the main focal subject. The other creative devices that this photograph uses are balance and contrast to make the photograph aesthetically pleasing.

Plant display in the University of Wyoming College of Business

Plant display in the University of Wyoming College of Business.

“Plant Life” uses viewpoint as the dominant creative device. This is a different view of a plant that University of Wyoming College of Business students walk by every day. However, viewing this plant through the glass with the Steamboat logos framing the plant and bringing attention to the focal point. The other creative devices used in this photograph include framing, symmetry, light and balancing elements.

This assignment made me appreciate photo-editing programs. I love using Instagram, Photoshop and Snapseed to enhance the quality and drama of the photograph. I was surprised when I realized four of the pictures I chose for this assignment are portrait orientation. I learned that I need to be more creative with the orientation of my pictures. For this assignment I would have used several different cameras. However, because my cameras are all located at my parent’s house I only had the ability to use my iPhone.