Map of Noise Complaints In Eugene, OR (6/14 – 6/18)

Noise Complaints – Eugene, OR – (6/14 – 6/18)

Like most college towns, a primary conflict in Eugene, OR, is between the residents of Eugene and the college students who live, learn, and most importantly for Partyology 101, party there. This conflict tends to manifest as noise complaints: students throw parties and bring the noise, and neighbors respond by bringing the cops. Things have apparently gotten out of hand enough for the city council to pass the Social Host Ordinance, which severely punishes those students who host “unruly social gatherings.”

Graduation happened about two weeks ago, and I figured that there’d have been a lot of noise brought. I was surprised, then, when I looked at the dispatch log of the Eugene Police Department for 6/14 to 6/18 and found a smaller number of noise complaints than I had expected. The most noise complaints were filed on 6/16, the day before graduation, which makes sense.

A couple theories for why there wasn’t as much intense revelry as I’d expected: 1. The obvious one is that since it’s summer, less students are here to party and cause mischief, and 2. Since school is out, there’s less of a need to vent and relieve stress by partying.

Explanation of marker colors: 6/14: light blue; 6/15: light green; 6/16: green; 6/17: red; 6/18: purple.

(Note: A noise complaint in the dispatch log doesn’t necessarily indicate a party, but it is a reasonable supposition.)

Looking back at the term…

Well, it is finally over! My last term ever in college has come to a close! So allow me to take a look back at not only this term but this final project.

In a weird turn of events, I ended up having a end-of-college-crisis and, much like a midlife crisis, I sort of freaked out and spent most of my time trying to redefine myself. I will admit, this was a huge set back to the outcome of my projects and work this term.

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I Wanna Dress Like Everyone Else!, an analysis of plus-size fashion

Everyone who knows me knows that I am an overweight female. It’s somewhat of the “elephant in the room” at times, but I have accepted the way I look and even embraced it. But on my journey of self discovery, I’ve run into quite a big problem (no pun intended): it is incredibly difficult to find cool, vintage-based fashion for plus-sized girls. In an effort to make sense of this, and to help others out there who, like me, have trouble finding the style they want, I have done a three-part project. The first, is a personal statement on why this is such an important topic, followed by a write-up on why plus-size vintage fashion is hard to find, and finally a guide to finding this fashion for your style. Please enjoy!

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Running through my Writing for Multimedia experience

Upon entering this term I felt confident that this would be the class that I would finally be able to pinpoint what it was in journalism I wanted to pursue. Working in Final Cut Pro and watching the finished product had always brought me satisfaction in the past so I assumed doing something with multimedia would be a part of my future career. I may have been wrong.

As much as I enjoy editing video and audio slideshows I don’t know if I have what it takes to capture the content I need. I have found, and have talked about on this blog before, how I don’t seem to have the creative eye. I got significantly better at thinking of certain angles to film at or B-roll to capture and I know that the more I work with multimedia the better I will get but this class has made me realize that I enjoy reporting more than I thought I did.

The biggest issues I had were not having enough variety to choose from while editing, which could be fixed with creating more detailed shot lists and having a layout of what I want to display. I make general lists of shots I want to take but if I went in with more options I would have more to choose from during the editing process.

I still enjoy doing audio slideshows because getting to put together audio into one single story is fulfilling and exciting to me. I enjoy taking a long clip of audio and piecing it together into a flowing and meaningful story. What I would do better next time is get more variety in shots (obviously), and use a better camera and audio recorder. I did all of my audio slideshow from my phone and, while it looks okay, it could have been cleaner and sharper had I checked out a camera. I would like to continue working on improving my multimedia skills but I don’t know if it will be my main focus.

Along with learning what I may or may not focus on in the future, focusing on the running community got me re-inspired about running. After an injury and not being able to run for a few months I was discouraged by my loss of progress and endurance but following runners working towards goals like marathons and half-marathons I knew that I could get back to it.

This term was very informative to me in at least knowing what I may not be the best at and it was good for me to work on my skills to improve them. I am still trying to work out what I want to do after I graduate and although this class wasn’t what I expected I enjoyed it very much for what I learned.

 

It’s Reflection Time

­This class was my first Journalism class and it definitely pushed me outside my comfort zone in a number of different ways. Arranging interviews, having to capture video live, knowing where to find information are all things that I was somewhat unfamiliar with before taking this class. Posting consistently on multiple different social media sites, although not too difficult, was something that I had to work to make a habit of. It forced me to engage with a topic like I never had before, checking for new updates and building relationships with people who had resources for me.  Although it was tough to adjust to these new modes of thinking and learning, I think the hardest thing about following my beat was my non-focused nature of my beat.

While I’m glad I chose to follow Eugene fashion designers, the topic posed some interesting problems. My goal was to provide an overall sense of how designers living in a “non-fashion” hub, such as Eugene, work on a daily basis, make a living and engage in a small design community. It was a challenging goal to achieve, because my source of information was interviews with individual designers, and each designer provides a different story. This made it hard to feel like I was being very informative on my topic and going in-depth, since each story was so different and new. I attempted to remedy this conundrum by asking designers about their experience in Eugene Fashion  Week. For my audio slideshow, I was able to talk to designer, Jessica Stallings right as she was getting ready for Eugene Fashion Week, an interview that provided a lot of insight about the Eugene fashion community.

Creating an ongoing story was still difficult though, since I didn’t have a site to go explore. I got lucky in that Eugene Fashion Week lined up almost perfectly with the video assignment:

Aside from the coverage of Eugene Fashion Week, however, I relied solely on individual interviews for all my media coverage. I knew I needed something visually interesting, so the angle I chose was providing a view into the studio spaces of local designers. This was challenging since most local designers work from home and didn’t want me coming in to take video footage. However when designers such as Sierah Edwards, or Kendra Brock did let me in to the studios, I think the stories turned out pretty well.

The technical aspect of this class was not completely unfamiliar, but I still ran into problems at times which taught me a lot.  I don’t have a lot of experience with recording sound and that was made blatantly apparent to me constantly throughout the term. I also just started using the new version of Final Cut Pro, which took some getting used to. Every project seemed to elicit a new challenge. Rather than describing every little problem I ran into, I’ll just say one of the main things I’ll take away from learning Journalism technical skills is the importance of being prepared. For example, for my video of Eugene Fashion Week I was stuck in a seat too close to the runway and with models walking quickly towards my camera, it was having a hard time re-focusing quick enough. Later when I was editing my video, I wished I had gone to the location ahead of time to make a game plan for where I would sit, what my camera settings would be, etc. so that I wasn’t fumbling when it came to the actual show. This instance, among others, taught me that journalism happens quickly and one of the best things you can do is to check equipment before heading to a location and make a game plan for how the logistics will play out.

Finally, I learned about transparency for journalists sharing information in a highly mediated world. I had never thought before about the journalistic process too in depth because I have in the past only been a consumer of journalism. This class taught me that writing about the making of the story can be almost as interesting as the story itself. It allows your readership to experience the story in a new way because knowing how the story was made brings the reader closer to the scene. It also brings the journalist closer to his/her readership by letting them in on the behind-the-scenes work. Overall, I learned that the many different platforms for distributing information could cause stories to become less personal. It seems the trick to journalism today is to gain a relationship with your readership by sharing the stories as personal experiences and not merely sharing them from a distant perspective.

Term in Review – of the Eugene Saturday Market

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.

Reflections on J333 and a cappella

By Nick Pothetes

When we all started this course, and discovered the types of projects that we would be pursuing, I must admit that I wasn’t thrilled to be doing interviews, photo-shoots, and all that stuff that comes with a good journalistic story. You see, I didn’t exactly believe in my ability to produce a coherent story that maintained journalistic standard and a sense of professionalism. Everything I do is hap-hazard, yet I manage to make it work somehow. I’ve had my style described as forced and battered together, but somehow managing to pull off something organic and interesting. I thought for sure that the same would go for my journalistic story telling. I imagined a broken piece that wasn’t fluid, wasn’t interesting, and  wasn’t appealing to the eyes of true journalists. While I can’t say that it was interesting to others, I can say that my story telling process was interesting to myself and developed a fluidity to it that I never expected. My greatest decision was picking a topic that I was personally passionate for: music.

Music, at first, seemed like a daunting topic to approach. There are scholars, and my peers alike, that could speak to the topic of music much more professionally than myself. I also knew that a challenge would arise around capturing audio from multiple sources and finding sources within performance groups to interview without disturbing their busy schedules and carefully planned out sets. Strangely enough, this still wasn’t my biggest worry. You see, my topic wasn’t just music. It was a cappella music. With all of the media’s hype about shows like Glee and movies like Pitch Perfect, I knew that in general my audience base would immediately reference these pop-culture depictions of a small and passionate culture.  Nonetheless, the anxiety about my topic accidentally brought forth an underlying story that I had never thought to approach. I was going to show everyone what it meant to perform, what it meant to sing a cappella, and what it meant to truly love music.

With my first multi-media piece “The Reality of A Cappella” I must admit that I was a bit disappointed. I created a great audio-slide show, and I was proud of that, but the over arching theme of the video became exactly what I was trying to disprove. My coverage of Divisi was incredibly similar to watching a low budget version of Pitch Perfect. It showed a group of people singing perfectly as on-lookers gazed on with admiration for their talent. It showed how good they could be, but it didn’t show how hard it had been to get their. This is one of the major problems with pop-culture a cappella. It’s not realistic, and it makes fans think that they could do the same without any devotion or time lost.

By the time my second project rolled around I was a little lost within my story. I had no sources a couple of days before the deadline, and I didn’t know what to expect. Finally, Kate Taylor, the music director of Divisi, pulled through and let me interview her. It was such an enlightening experience to focus on one member of the group rather than the bunch. After meeting at a local bar and having a few beers, the true story started to slip from her mouth. While my video was about vocal health, there was an underlying disdain for what popular culture had done to the world of a cappella. Kate even mentioned that because Pitch Perfect was based on Divisi they had been invited to a screening of the movie. She went on to described that most of the members were appalled at the depiction of Divisi, and found it all to be very unrealistic. This discomfort with the “popular” image of a cappella was just what I was looking for.

Finally, when my last  story rolled around I was unexpectedly comfortable with my story. My previous anxiety about where the story was going was gone, and I was comfortable in assuming that when I interviewed “The Peacoat Gang” about musical performance that the story would come together naturally, and it it did. While Caspar and Trevor (The Peacoat Gang) are not a cappella singers, their musical careers started within a cappella in high school, and it definitely  brought a lot to the table for their current performances. I was incredibly pleased with their take on a cappella and the insight they provided.

All in all, I was surprised and delighted to discover that sometimes a story will come together all on it’s own. I began with extreme anxiety about “not being a true journalist” and left with a new found confidence and insight. Journalism isn’t a restrictive medium, and you don’t have to be a “journalist” to find a good story. Sometimes all a topic needs is someone to shed a little light on it.