For my final project, I would like to do a human interest story on a woman in my neighborhood who’s life was saved by Obamacare. As Republicans continue to wage a war against Obama’s eponymous healthcare plan, many Americans across the nation worry about possibly losing their healthcare, including Mary Boscarino. When she unexpectedly developed kidney cancer and required surgery to remove the organ, she relied upon Obamacare to pay for the expensive surgery. Over a year later, she is now cancer free and happily living her life. My project would be an insight into how Obamacare ended up saving her life and how she feels about Republicans fight to repeal it.
The debate on kneeling in protest during the national anthem has been a hot topic all across America for NFL players. This past month, President Trump has continued to stoke the controversy with his usual dramatic tweets. New York City, home to the NFL headquarters, prides itself on being one of the most liberal cities in the country. Its two football teams, however, are stationed across the river in New Jersey. Evan Lewis went deep into the heart of East Rutherford to hear what fans had to say about the most talked about story in sports.
NFL players kneeling during the national anthem has been one of the most controversial topics not only in sports, but in all of America over the past year. The conversation was once again thrust into the national spotlight after President Trump called the kneeling players “sons of bitches” during one of his rallies last month and suggested that those who do kneel should be released by the owners. This led to over one hundred fifty players kneeling that weekend, causing strong reactions one way or another from fans. My pitch is to go to MetLife Stadium on a Sunday when either the Jets or Giants play and interview real fans before the game to get their opinions on the situation as a whole, including the player who started all of this (Colin Kaepernick) and Trump’s tweets. By talking to people at the stadium, I hope to get an idea of what local everyday fans in our area think about the issue.
The first piece that immediately caught my eye was this one, detailing China’s effort to train captive pandas to thrive in the wild. Seeing as the animal was once severely endangered not too long ago, China has recently made it a top priority to restore the pandas’ habitats. While they work at this, the pandas have been under the careful watch of scientists and trainers as they take care of them until their homes are fully restored. This requires simulating the environment pandas usually thrive in and takes a lot of effort and creative thinking. It also makes for a fantastic photo opportunity for a journalist. Ami Vitale spent time in one of these panda communities and beautifully captured what it’s like for both the animals and the humans to coexist together towards a common good.
These photos are some of my favorites because they expertly capture the relationship between the scientists and the animals. While their main goal is to train the pandas to live on their own in nature, even the scientists cannot help but become attached to the adorable fluffy panda. The expression on the man’s face in both pictures as he snuggles with the cubs seems to say it all. It’s easy to imagine that all of the conservationists, especially him, would have a difficult time when saying goodbye when the time finally comes for the pandas to be released out into the wild. All of that can be garnered based solely on these two powerful photos, which speaks to the ability of the photographer.
These photos speak to the dedication of those trying to help out the formerly endangered species. These trained zoologists dress up in panda costumes every day to work with the cubs, teaching them how to survive in the wild and how to interact with others of their kind. In the last picture, a researcher even holds one of the panda’s natural predators to train the pandas to beware of cheetahs and other such dangerous carnivores out in the wild. This kind of devotion to the pandas’ well-being may seem silly to some, but to these passionate scientists it’s just a part of the job. These pictures effortlessly capture the love these researchers have for these animals and their unyielding commitment to helping the pandas.
Lastly, this photo shows the pandas finally being let back out into the wild after years of being under the scientists’ care. The countless days spent in the simulated wilderness with the conservationists will be put to the test right now as the panda journeys out into its real habitat. This is a historic milestone for China’s researchers and an emotional one as well. They have watched these animals grow up before their eyes and now are watching them do what they have been trained to do: be free. This is definitely a bittersweet moment for everyone involved because as much as they have been wanting to prepare the pandas for this exact moment, now that it has arrived it has to be both very uplifting yet also very sad. They know deep down that they will most likely never see those pandas again and never know whether or not they thrive in their new environment or fail. All they can do is hope that they have done their best in parenting these animals, then start all over again with the new batch tomorrow.
The link below is my photojournalism assignment, discussing New York City and its inhabitants sixteen years after September 11th.
For my photojournalism assignment, I plan on doing a piece at the World Trade Center for the anniversary of September 11th. As someone who lost a lot on that fateful day over a decade and a half ago, this is a story that speaks to me personally as a journalist. There is so much material that is possible to capture at this site, including the museum, the memorial, the new World Trade Center, places around the site, and the many people affected by this tragedy. Sixteen years after the worst day in American history, I would like to hear the stories of New Yorkers who lived through that day and get their opinions on the political climate of the city, the country, and the world in 2017. The goal of my story is to reflect back on what happened, tell the stories of real New Yorkers, and reflect on how much has changed/stayed the same all these years later.