Awesome! I really enjoyed the web reporting project that I just finished in my Online Journalism class. You can view a collaboration of profile stories of University of Wyoming professors at our class website, http://klandreville.com/report.html.
The most valuable lesson that I learned (too late, of course), was that there is no need to be so shy. Really. Don’t let yourself get all freaked out! I’m not shy. I am normally chipper and obnoxious and known by most to be a “yeller.”
However, I was jittery and nervous when I interviewed Professor James D. King, Ph.D., for the political science beat. I was suffering from dyspnea and asthma (due to fresh paint in the Arts & Sciences building); but try as I might, I can not blame that for my bright pink face, the swarms of butterflies performing acrobatics in my tummy or my obviously frazzled state.
You can view my story here at http://www.klandreville.com/poli.html
I would change a few things if I had to redo this project. First, I should have asked Professor King more questions. I rushed through my interview with him, not straying far from the required questions. This really “bit me in the butt,” so to speak, because when writing, I felt like I lacked quite a bit of substance. I didn’t get to know King well enough in our brief interview, unfortunately. My paper definitely lacked that personal aspect that I saw in the other stories. I have to agree with my professor that my lead was totally boring. I do hope Professor King likes my story, but I know I could have done better. I just don’t think I did him justice.
I learned to always take your digital audio recorder with you, which I conveniently forgot at home. I don’t know about you, but however speedily I write, reading and understanding it later is a completely different story! I found the photography for the assignment to be quite difficult. I quickly snapped a few pictures of King, not even taking into account the straightness of the horizon or my subject’s background or poses. I ended up with only three usable profile images. (And two of them were from the same angle.)
I think everyone in class did a really great job on their stories! It was difficult to choose three to critique, but here we go.
Arts – Costume Designer – Lee Hodgson – By Dyann Diercks. View her story at http://www.klandreville.com/theater.html
I really liked Dyann’s photos. The contrast between the black & white photos and the colored ones brought a happy vibe to her story. I liked the background and childhood element of this story too. Picturing a professor as a kid watching his parents perform with wide adoring eyes paints a pretty picture in my mind, and I wanted to keep reading. Dyann should have used more links in her story to help readers connect to the professor, department and the theater. The links could help to involve and inform readers of shows and artistic events that UW and Laramie offers to the public.
Social Sciences – Journalism -George Gladney, Ph.D., by Egla Negussie. View her story at http://www.klandreville.com/cojo.html
I am a huge fan of Professor Gladney’s. He is one of my favorite instructors on campus! I like how Egla’s lead describes Professor Gladney’s office. His office is fabulous with tons of books and framed newspaper clippings… just like a newsman’s office should look! Egla did a great job including these images in her photos. I loved all the links! Egla included some information about Gladney’s travels, but further questions might have dug up some interesting stories! I know that Gladney frequents Poland and he traveled there for the summer. Details regarding that experience would have made a great addition to her piece.
Science – Botany- Steven Miller, Ph.D., by Cameron Patey. View his story at http://www.klandreville.com/botany.html
I had to read his story after seeing the title, “Do you know the mushroom man?” It made me think of the “Muffin Man” song and I was instantly entertained and hooked. Now, I know nothing about botany, which was confirmed when answering “no” to the lead in question about ectomycorrhizal fungal systems. Again, I think lots of links are needed. This subject matter is intense and technical. Links could only help to educate the reader, especially a reader with a non-science brain like mine. I do think Cameron should have elaborated on the professor’s trip to Guyana, South America. That section was way too short. I was left with wanting to know more!
Overall, I think this web reporting project was an incredible learning experience. I really would like to do it again. 🙂