Tag Archives: r

Things I learned at ONA

In chronological order, a handful of the cool tips, tricks and advice I picked up at the Online News Association conference.

1) Cool mobile apps [AUDIO]

2) Data

  • Tips for data newbies on what to consider when looking for/working with data
  • First things first, figure out if data is even available, ie: call someone and ask
  • There is a TON of data out there, a small list from Chris Keller here.
  • You almost always want to get data in a CSV (comma separated value) format or an Excel file. Avoid PDFs at all costs.

3) Info graphics

  • No slideshow or webpage for this, but the tweets were pretty good.
  • Moral of the story was to look at your data and pick the best format for the data
  • Sometimes bar charts are the best way to visualize data
  • “If it doesn’t work on mobile, it doesn’t work”
  • Involve data viz people EARLY on when you’re working on a story

4) Sensors [AUDIO]

  • Major talking point: WNYC Cicada Tracker
  • Building, coding sensors is a step up from basic web development
  • Sensors journalists use are often inaccurate, compared to military-grade sensors, but much cheaper to produce and easier to crowdsource
  • Sensors can track many, many things (air quality, chemicals, pressure, wifi, cell phone signals [intensity not specific person], temperature, motion, etc.)
  • Still many ethical/legal questions around using sensors in public places

5) There are jobs in journalism…

  • …and people are hiring if you have the right skill set
  • Biggest buzzwords were “code” followed closely by “data” and “multimedia”
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Scripps Blog: News brands need to engage communities

On Monday, I wrote a blog post on why newspapers need too engage communities. I think it’s alright.

Give it a read here.

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CU falls to Oregon State

On Saturday the Buffs lost 64-58 to Oregon State in their final home game of the season. I decided to shoot it because it had been more than a year since I’d shot basketball. Good times.

Also wanted to introduce a new storytelling technique I’m trying out… Gifs. Please click on the image below to see the gif.


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InaugBlog: Ink freezes

Editor’s Note: I wrote this last night but the Internet was sporadic and I decided to wait until this morning to publish.

As I packed up my copious amounts of gear tonight, as well as some clothes, something a friend of mine told me rang in my head.

“Bring some pencils because ink freezes.”

Tomorrow morning I’m off to DIA to began a five day multimedia short course thanks to PBS NewsHour. Myself and 12 other college journalists will be compiling content related to the inauguration on Monday.

Our site, the Inaug Blog will contain all of our stories, photos, video, etc. so please check back on that as the weekend progresses.

I’ll try to post here as much as possible as well.

Already, I have created an interactive Google Map, see below, and hope to embed all of our content in the map as the course goes along. My goal is real-time but I know that probably won’t happen.

In any case, it is what it is.

I’ve successfully packed my clothes and gear by this time. Thanks to Steve Outing and the Digital News Test Kitchen I have quite a bit of gear to haul around.

All my gear

All my gear

Outing generously offered to let me use a GoPro Hero3 with hot shoe mount, Lytro and GoPano iPhone attachment in addition to my GoPro Hero3, Canon 5D Mk II, various lenses, MacBook Pro, iPad and Manfrotto sticks.

GoPro – I plan to mount this on top of my camera in order to create a neat timelapse as well as possibly create an instructional video on how I look for photos.

Lytro – My goal is to simply experiment with the Lytro. See what I think it works well with, see what Lytro doesn’t do well.

GoPano – This iPhone attachment is pretty astonishing. It allows me to take video in 360 degrees and allows the viewer to move around his or her viewpoint. I’m really excited to see how I can use this at protests and other events.

My gear – Pretty self-explanatory. I’ll shoot as many stills and video as I can.

Putting all this together, I kept thinking that ink freezes. Double, triple checking batteries, cards, did I get everything I need? What may I need? What can I leave at home?

I think I got it all.

I threw a few pencils in my bag, even though I hate pencils.

Well, I have to be up in five hours so I’d better hit the hay.

Thanks for your interest in my trip and for your continued support. It really means a lot.

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The Student Journalist: The most important principle of photojournalism

(Courtesy N.Y. Post)

(Courtesy N.Y. Post)

Kevin Moloney (an instructor with CU Journalism and Mass Communication, doctorate student and New York Times contributor) has taught me a great deal about photojournalism. And every time I came across the NY Post’s “DOOMED” photograph this week, Moloney’s voice came to mind.

“You should always be a human first.”

One should always help out if the need arises. It has become extremely clear that the situation in New York was complicated. The photographer claims to have tried to alert the train’s conductor with his flash, however it seems that he could have done more. Not being there, it’s hard to say either way.

In any case, the photog’s first instinct should have been to be a human and not to raise the camera. I think we forget that sometimes, hiding behind a lens.

Always be a human first.

Note: This post does not address the horrid judgement of the NY Post editorial staff. Another may, but please note that I am in no way letting them off the hook.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson

Earlier this semester I covered a speech given by the popular astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson at Macky.

Check out my story here.

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson leans against the podium during his speech to students and community members at Macky Auditorium Wednesday. The event sold out in under a week. (CU Independent/Robert R. Denton)

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