Bethel Baptist Church Choir heads to Carnegie Hall

For this piece, I got the chance to speak with Choir Director Robin Anderson about the choir’s impending performance at Carnegie Hall.

I was able to attend a practice 2 weeks prior to the showcase and enjoyed getting a taste of the choir’s style. Story here.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg meets with two Centralia farmers

This week, I had the opportunity to speak to Austin and Dustin Stanton of Stanton Brothers Eggs about a visit from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

The Stanton brothers were most surprised by how down to earth Zuckerberg was.

Story here.


Objectivity seems to be an ongoing conversation throughout the course of my journalism courses and one that continues on in the industry.

We are told to be reporters of news and nothing more, we are encouraged to look at our own personal biases that come with being who we are and how they might affect the work we produce.

Naturally we are predisposed as humans to have opinions on different topics granting the explanation that there is no true objectivity. We as journalists are expected to put those opinions to the wayside in the hopes of providing the clear unmolested facts of a situation, but it isn’t always the easiest thing to do.

At the same time, I got to thinking during our social media peer review, where we were partnered up to go over a peer’s social media presence, that more than ever we’re also expected to have opinions?

Instructors have spoken on the benefits of being able to merge a personal and professional persona online, one of them being that audiences will be able to connect more with someone who shares tidbits about their life and for all intents and purposes showcases a “human” side.

This I agree with wholeheartedly. People gain trust for someone and generally speaking “like” them more if they are able to relate them to themselves. In that sense, I don’t see how it’s possible to go opinion-less.

Audiences like to know where people stand. Now more than ever before it seems that they like and expect to see people they idolize or follow taking a side on tough topics. In the past, large public figures were probably not as encouraged to choose sides for fear of ostracizing groups of people (and their support.)

This idea seems to extend to the media as well. Specifically those media personnel that are in the public light seem to do best and gain favor with fans when they pick a side on a divisive issue. Magazines and newspapers even have taken political sides and gave voice to topics that would’ve been more taboo to speak on in the past.

I have mixed opinions on this. There’s a part of me that hopes that these people and organizations are genuinely taking a stand on issues and seeing that their audiences are compassionate intelligent individuals.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t say there’s also a part of me that thinks that these figures are doing their part to feed their opinionated political activist consumer bases. Meaning they’re only taking a stand because it’s the the thing to do. It almost seems for lack of a better word – a fad.

An example would be that very ill-received pepsi ad that came out earlier in the year. It was a poorly thought out commentary on nationwide unrest and protests that completely missed the mark. Many were left wondering how a company could produce something so tone deaf. And I think that was their attempt to voyage into political territory, which ultimately sunk. I couldn’t help thinking they were one of many “riding the wave” to pick sides on big issues with the difference being they weren’t as successful…although they did garner a lot of attention so make of that what you will.

There’s a lot more to say and I think I will revisit this topic later in the year to see if my outlook has changed. The point is I believe, is that objectivity is ideal but not real. I think I see it as teeter tottering on a tight rope – a balance between reporting just the facts, being a journalist and being professional but also retaining some humanity about yourself.

J2150 Reflection

J2150 has been a real change of pace with so many things packed into such a short amount of time. With three different instructors covering video, audio and photo the scheduling got to be a little chaotic, but still worthwhile. I think the class has been successful in teaching what you should look for in successful multimedia work and provided some of the basics to get you there. As far as the class setup it could have been more efficient, but with a new model for teaching the class it was a “figure it out as you go” routine and I think students still put out decent work considering.

As far as helping me find what I want to build a career on, I originally planned to be something related to magazine whether that be writing, designing, editing etc., but I’ve found that I enjoy elements in the multimedia realm as well. Hopefully in whatever I decide, I’m able to put to task some of the skills I’ve been able to take away from 2150. Especially the skills I’ve made just communicating with people and getting involved with them as I’ve worked on projects throughout the semester. Getting the opportunity to work with people and hear their stories has been extremely rewarding.

I appreciate the emphasis on storytelling, would have liked more time to thoroughly develop these stories, but I likened it to having deadlines in the industry and rolled with the time crunch. Also the media storm training workshops were awesome in that they went almost frame-by-frame with postproduction and explained the decisions they made in order to elicit a specific response from the viewer. They really do a good job explaining why they chose to take a certain angle on a subject and the direction they chose to go.

One place I felt was lacking in the course was instruction of software and equipment like I get there is such a shortage of time, but we had to learn on our own time on the fly and then were expected to put out quality work in such quick turn around. It just wasn’t practical to get this new equipment, new software, go out and shoot, and have a couple days to get it all together.

All in all though there was a lot to be learned throughout this semester and I’m motivated to hone my skills in the editing realm for future work.



Mizzou Wheelchair Basketball 5 Photos

The team practices different play formations while Coach Ron Lykins looks on from half court Wednesday, Nov 16, 2016.
Freshman, Luke Hutchinson, locked in concentration during freethrow drills Wednesday, Nov 16, 2016.
Sidney Wheelchair closeup
Freshman, Sidney Attiogbe, comes to a hault during practice drills Wednesday, Nov 16, 2016.
Sidney Portrait
Before leaving for a tournament in Whitewater, Wisconsin, freshman, Sidney Attiogbe poses for a photo Thursday, Nov 17, 2016.
Alexa Hodges
Undercarriage of junior, Joe Underwood’s, wheelchair Wednesday, Nov 16, 2016.