Tag Archives: reporting

Merging Traditional And Social Mediums To Better Serve An Audience

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Photo courtesy Steve Inskeep's Instagram account: @steve_inskeep.

Photo courtesy Steve Inskeep’s Instagram account: @steve_inskeep.

 

There was a wonderful example of merging-the-mediums storytelling today, 2-4-16, with Steve Inskeep reporting from Tehran, Iran.

First, I got a “publicity” preview and teaser of what Inskeep and his NPR crew were up to in Iran from interesting photos of Tehran’s subway system on Inskeep’s Instagram account. I happen to be particularly intrigued by photos of subway stations and people using them, so the Instagrams caught my attention right away.

Framing his radio story around exploring Tehran’s economic realities on hand, Inskeep wove a fascinating tale of Tehran’s cultural and economic life, and the various divisions of such, through his more traditional radio medium on today’s NPR Morning Edition show. I’m glad I had the visual preview beforehand though, as then I could “go along” with them in a much more visually imaginative way.

I need visual prompts. I’ve never, despite years of work in visual mediums, been all that visually imaginative. I’m a text-oriented person who works (and writes) better with literal prompts and signs and messaging of a more graphical interpretation.

In other words, radio storytelling, especially in a culture and city as intriguing and vital as Tehran, has its limits despite even Inskeep’s mastery of the medium. And he’s nothing if not a visually-minded storyteller and reporter when he’s on the move. Snapping interesting, contextual photos for Instagram (or wherever) clearly was a perfectly natural response to his new geography.

Thus, social media served as a natural enhancement to and for traditional forms of broadcasting. Especially within a place I’ve long been intrigued by and had often heard stories about from relatives who’d lived there ages ago (Shah times). And hope to one day visit myself.

Reporting about a place and a people with an enhanced level of audience comprehension and service can only help forge a stronger, intriguing, and respectful relationship between two cultures.

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So You Think You Can Cover A Violent Protest?

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CNN’s Don Lemon (L) and Chris Cuomo (R) deal with uninvited guests (center) in their Ferguson, MO live shot. Vine screen grab courtesy Tim Burke. 11-24-14.

Don Lemon of CNN’s such a douchebag. He’s so douchey he’s trending on Atlanta Twitter, and not in a good way. Mostly he’s trending for being too white-ish and jabbering on-air about smelling weed burning in Ferguson, MO last night, 11-24-14, as the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson news broke. Everyone loves to hate on Don Lemon. Me too!

That said about Lemon’s douchiness, as an aspiring cub news producer I once got caught-up in the midst of a downtown Atlanta protest that turned violent. Blacks were angry (Maria Saporta reminded me of what sparked the outburst) and were massing, yelling, marching, and breaking windows along Peachtree Street, and assaulting, brutally, innocent people who just happened to be near the protest and thus convenient targets.

When it became crystal clear there was no one around to protect me (I don’t think I ever saw a single cop in the mix), and after having had someone I thought was a friend scream ugly things in my face (she was part of the protesting crowd; I was news media covering the event; that’s what unnerved me the most), and my crew concentrating solely on getting the shot and not giving a rat’s ass if I was attacked, I immediately dropped my assignment like a scalding hot potato, ran to the edge of the protest, hailed a cab, and beat a swifty retreat back to the newsroom.

Never again would I put my own life in danger just to “get the shot.” I clearly got culled from any future potential war correspondent herd that day. Whew!

In other words, a violent protest in America is a very scary place to be in the middle of. Kudos to anyone in news who lasted through the night in Ferguson. (Including His Douchiness, Don Lemon.) They’re a hell of a lot braver than I’ll ever be.

Video Blogging The 2010 Georgia General Assembly Session

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Some have gone before me. Bloggers venturing forth to blog the Georgia General Assembly (don’t ever call it The Legislature) session at the State Capitol. And gotten themselves in a bit of a sticky wicket for their nondisclosure efforts in the process. (Atlanta political blogger Andre Walker of course comes to mind.) No one has ever gone video blogging down Georgia State Capitol ways. Until now.

I spent last week getting the lay of the land at the Gold Dome. Tagging alongside (trying to keep up is more like it) with veteran political newsman, Tom Baxter. Baxter and I are video blogging for CBSAtlanta, Channel 46, WGCL, a Meredith property.

The special web page they’ve created to house our multimedia materials is Covering The Capitol.  (I do photos too.) And yeah, it’s not real pretty. Not yet. There is the proverbial ways to go.  The video player won’t do right in some browsers. (Although it works fine if you select the videos via the “Videos” tab up top.)

Our videos are sure not real pretty either. Not yet. We’re all on a steep learning curve right now. Like Chloe, I’ve got new software and new gear issues. And also like Chloe, no one is the least bit sympathetic. Maybe if I wish hard enough my Jack Bauer will emerge from the mist, but I ain’t holding my breath on that ever happening. Sometime around the end of the session, mid March or so, I expect we MAY begin to level off of the steep ride up. I hope you bear with us though as we’re offering up loads of unique Georgia political media you simply will not find anywhere else.

My hat’s off, way off, to CBSAtlanta (on Twitter as @CBSAtlanta) for trying new online media things… and for having an open mind with their willingness to let me and Baxter have a go at in-depth political coverage during the course of the 2010 General Assembly session. As I like to say, “be the media you want to see.” That’s CBSAtlanta all over – a true community news outlet.

This is an amazing opportunity for me. To tag along into the Celestine Sibley press gallery, to march along the floors of the stunningly gorgeous State Capitol, meeting and greeting as we go, is infinitely thrilling and fascinating. For instance, after one week I know where the “good” lobbyists hang and where the “bad” ones perch. I know a few new faces and names by now, good and bad and in between ones. I don’t yet know where all the bodies are buried, but rest assured Mr. Baxter does! (The remains to your left live in the Governor’s Capitol press office, BTW.)

I feel like a cub news producer again. A trainee. The new girl. And that’s ok. I am nothing if not adaptable, and our system of government in Georgia, as we face a fiscal crisis such as we’ve never experienced, is having to adapt… like it or not. These are exciting political times for Georgia. Out with the old and in with something new. (At least in theory, right?)

I’m delighted to have a front row seat for the 2010 session to share with you. Tom and I will be using every mobile social media tool we have (before our batteries need re-charging at least) to bring you word and media from our State Capitol. Heck, before the session’s over I hope to have done some live streams and broken at least one very juicy story.

Follow me as SpaceyG on Twitter (I’ll be tagging material as #GALeg there) and follow Tom Baxter as twombax. CBSAtlanta is just that on Twitter, and their special General Assembly page is here. Friend Baxter and me on Facebook. CBSAtlanta is on Facebook here. Watch  CBSAtlanta broadcasts in the mornings, at 4pm, 6pm and 11pm for special broadcasting appearances too by Baxter.

And of course, if you’ve got a great tidbit you’d like me to turn my under-$200 HD camera on be sure to tell all. You know how to get in touch. Hope I see you on the floating marble staircases. Can I get a quick interview if so?!

Interview with Help A Reporter Out’s Peter Shankman

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more about “MUR Interview: HARO’s Peter Shankman“, posted with vodpod