The West Side- My Journalism Experience this Semester

I have lived in Buffalo all my life, many people believe Buffalo is not just the second poorest city, that always has cold weather, and a really awful football team, Buffalo is my home and I am proud of it. Although I was aware of the extensive architectural history of several beautiful buildings in Buffalo, there was a lot I did not know.

Based on my project and the projects my classmates have been working on, I have learned so much about the great and amazing community Buffalo has to offer. Maybe in the past Buffalo was not known as the safest, wealthiest place, but times are changing. In the past decade organizations such as the Massachusetts Avenue Project and Push Buffalo work to make the downtown, distressed areas of Buffalo aesthetically pleasing and safer.

The piece I have been working on throughout the semester is Massachusetts Avenues, Growing Green campaign. This organization utilizes urban gardens to provide healthy and affordable food to those in need. They also provide jobs to inner city high school kids. Jobs that focus on skill building and really help these kids make important life decisions, such as going to college.

The motivation these people have to help their community is astonishing. Only in Buffalo could you find such a kind community. A community who may not have much to give, but they will give as much as they possibly can to help someone else in need.

My Production Experience

Production rarely goes as planned. So much planning goes into video production and if one part of the plan does not work out, you need to come up with a solution. The key factors of my piece include, the weather and the schedules of two other individuals. Unfortunately, people do not work on my schedule, which means I have to adjust and make it work, so that I can get what I need for my video. The same goes with the weather, the weather does not adjust to when I have to film. For example, I have to shoot the urban gardens for my piece, however whenever I have time to get down to the city, it either rains or snows.

The shots that I have been able to get display the food deserts in Buffalo. My next plans are to get my interview with a family who uses the urban garden program, and shots inside the greenhouse and in the garden. It is supposed to be nice out on Wednesday, so I plan on going to the gardens and getting my footage.

Although the video project is a lot of work, I enjoy it. I have also found that if plan exactly what I want to shoot, the entire process goes much smoother.

Charles Layton “The Video Explosion”

Before I completed this reading I read “Pearls Before Breakfast” by Gene Weingarton. This article described an experiment where Joshua Bell, a musical prodigy, played the violin at the L’Enfant Plaza Station during rush hour. While Bell was one of the most famous violinists in the world, very few people acknowledged him for so much as one minute. Considering the time frame, many of those who passed by were rushing to work, and assumed it was just another street player, however so many also failed to even recognize the talent that Bell had. The problem with so many of us is that as we get older we begin to focus all of our attention on one thing, and neglect the small things in life.

The reading describes the common interest of the public shifting from photography to video. When people watch or read news stories, they want video. If a hurricane struck, sick as it may sound, people want to see it. We do not want anything left to the imagination when it comes to news stories.

Andy Dickinson stated that “It takes one hour to produce one minute of video.” As we have been editing our video projects in class I can say with confidence that he is right. Moreover, I think about how difficult editing television programs must be, more specifically reality TV. Reality TV has become extremely popular for the last few years, I think about shows like “Jersey Shore” where the cast gets violent, uses explicit language, the girls dress so provocative that parts need to be blurred out because too much is showing, and to top it off each member of the cast frequently engages in sexual activity on camera. There has to be so much to chop out and so much to cut down and fix up so that it can still be displayed, such as vicious fights where people our swearing and throwing each other around.

Clay Shirky’s “Here Comes Everybody” Chapter 3 (Everyone is a Media Outlet)

The headline of Clay Shirky’s chapter stated “Everyone is a Media Outlet”, in his last few paragraphs he stated “If everyone can do something, it is no longer rare enough to pay for it, even if it is vital.” he could not be more right.

 The beginning discussion concerns the transition from print newspapers to online newspapers. The way I see it is sadly newspapers are coming close to being nonexistent. Consider all of these electronic devices that can satisfy even more than what a newspaper does. Cell phone applications, iPad, Kindles, computers, websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Craigslist, the list keeps growing and growing.

In the past journalists in many ways controlled what would be published to the public, this is certainly no longer the case. Every single piece of news whether it be useless, scandalous, invasive is shared on the web. Subjects that do not make it to the Times or USA Today will most likely be displayed through online blogging sites.

What is shocking to me is because of websites like Facebook or Twitter, people can receive fast information on a major event that had just occurred, via a status or tweet. However, through experience, I have found that the information displayed in the status is sometimes all that they know. For example, the recent earthquake in Japan which triggered a tsunami was and still is very big news. Two days after the earthquake hit I had dinner with my family and our family friends who brought their daughter, Kara. During dinner, obviously a discussion about the earthquake came up, where Kara stated, “Yeah Paris was really worried about the people staying in her families hotel.” Of course she was referring to Paris Hilton, who she follows on Twitter, which is how she found this useful piece of information. This is one of many scenarios I have fallen into with someone who left me staring awkwardly at them with little to say.

As times change so does the technology, I predict that years from now the last two decades will be refered to as our digital transformation. Those who were not alive when print newspapers delivered our daily news will wonder how we survived.