For the past ten weeks, I have followed and reported on various topics about the Eugene Saturday Market. Topics that I researched on ranged from interviews to investigative journalism; I covered many topics about the Saturday Market.
I struggled at the beginning trying to come up with a topic that I could use throughout the term. I picked the Saturday Market because I would have many opportunities to go to the Market, since it was every Saturday, and report of various subjects. I originally wanted to do a topic relating to health and wellness, like a marathon or a race going on, but then I realized that the events would be very limited on when I could go and what I could report about. I felt the Saturday Market would give me much more freedom on topics and I would easily be able to visit the Market once a week for at least an hour or so.
Throughout all of my research and reporting, I only used, at most, about half of the information that I found. Most pictures, interviews, notes and audio recordings were either not good enough to use, not important enough to use or just not necessary to have.
Most Saturdays, I went to the Saturday Market because that was the only chance I had to go. Having the Market so regularly was very convenient for me to get information for my projects.
Each week, whether I had a project due or not, me and a friend, Bryan Cargill, would go to the Market and take random photos of events going on and do random interviews with artists. It was nice having someone there to help me out. Bryan was helpful in multitasking and getting good quality photos with his camera. Having two people gather information, instead of just me, allowed me to work with more.
There were many challenges throughout this term. One thing that was a challenge was trying to get a hold of people for interviews. Some people never returned my emails, some did, and some took a long time to hear back. I hate nagging someone to volunteer their time to give me an interview so I always work around their schedule and meet when and where it is convenient for them. Sometimes, their personal social network accounts, like Facebook and Twitter, were the only way to get a hold of them. I felt that that wasn’t the most professional way to reach someone but when push comes to shove and there is a deadline to meet, I had to do what I had to do.
Another challenge was getting into people’s personal space. One thing that journalism has taught me is that you can’t be afraid to get into peoples personal space. Taking photos of people, asking them questions and asking them to be apart of something was sometimes a little hard to do. Sometimes I felt that they didn’t want to be bothered or that I was a bother to them. But again, it’s all part of journalism. One prime example is when I took a few picture of a lady’s art without asking. Needless to say, I did not show any of her work in any of my projects. Lesson learned though.
Other challenges were trouble with technology. Before I took J333, I never used a Twitter account or other accounts that were required for the class, such as Storify. It was hard at first getting used to all theses different social media outlets; I never posted anything to YouTube until now. Needless to say, I am hooked on Twitter and Vine but now I know how to use various social media outlets. I know the power of social media and how easily stories and news can spread. (I also learned that this can be a bad thing as well). Another technological barrier was that I had to overcome was the use of a MAC computer. I am used to using a PC. I had to use a MAC to edit video projects because MACs have iMovie. I choose to use iMovie instead of Final Cut because I think iMovie is quicker and easier to use that final cut. I haven’t used final cut in dept but I have used iMovie.
It was also a challenge using recorders and cameras. Many times the battery was dead or the SD card was full, or something seemed to always happen like I couldn’t figure out the buttons at the time. But all this made me prepared for future events when I report on topics just like in this class. Prime example was during my video interview with Kim Stills, the advertising director of the Market, my camera’s SD card was full and most of my interview did not record. By the time I realized it stopped recording I was almost done with my interview. Either I make those mistakes now or I make them when I can’t afford to do so. Kim even said, “That’s what school is for.” Again, lesson learned.
All of the project I did, I enjoyed doing. Throughout this term I did found stories on different websites and social media sites and made stories in Storify and did weekly tweets on Twitter. Doing the weekly tweets was not hard at all -especially with a phone where I can tweet anywhere. There was really no excuse for not being able to tweet. I didn’t know how important tweets were until I wanted to know more about a subject. Twitter allowed me, and other users, to search #eugenesaturdaymarket and find all the stories and projects I had posted. This makes it extremely easy for someone to know more about this topic or any other topic. This is the power of social media.
Besides Twitter newsfeeds and stories in Storify, I did an audio slide show which consisted of photos along with a narration by me about what the Saturday Market had to offer to the community. I did a video interview with the marketing director of the Eugene Saturday Market, Kim Stills. I also did a photo essay which consisted of hours of going though old documents and photos from the start of the Market dating back to the early 1970s. I enjoyed this project because I like going through old documents. It allows me to see what things were like before my time and be able to see how things have changed. Just going though old documents, I can see changes in technology, political views and way people spoke along with their view points on various topics. I always think it would be neat if these documents could talk and what they would say if they could- what they saw, felt and heard at the time that were made.
One of my favorite projects were the last two. I did an interactive business card website with business cards from some of the artist from the Market. When clicked on, the hyperlink sends the viewer to the website of that artist. From the first day I started my Saturday Market reporting, I collected business cards from various artists that talked to me and shared their story with me. I didn’t know what I was going to do with theses cards but I knew I could use them for something. Very glad I did.
And finally I did and investigative journalism paper from a street performers point of view. Brian and I set up a camera and recorded us playing on the street at the Market. I really felt apart of the Market when I did this project. I was always interviewing people that worked at the Market and now I WAS part of the Market.
The two books that I read for the course, Journalism Next by Mark Briggs and The digital Journalist’s Handbook by Mark Luckie, showed me a lot about technology in the present and the turn it’s making in the future. They talked a lot about cameras, how to interview, the ins and outs of blogging and what to expect when becoming a blogging journalist. A lot of the topics covered in theses books I already knew about but it was a fresh reminder.
What I learned the most in J333 was the power that social media has when I comes to spreading information. With a blog, the blogger can easily spread their story to the entire world. Bloggers can also spread reports on topics similar to there own interests. A journalist has so much power when it comes to reporting information. People will believe what you tell them. Accuracy is crucial to any story reported by a journalist. This power should never be abused.