Class Agenda – Monday, November 20

Reminders/Clarifications

On Wednesday (Nov. 22) this week, I will be here during class time and throughout the day and available to help if you want to come in and edit or check in about your project. If you are traveling for the holiday that day or otherwise have no need to come in, that’s fine; your absence will not count against you.

Rough drafts of your final projects will be due on Wednesday, Nov. 29. Both classes next week will be devoted to in-class production.

By “rough draft” I mean that you should have a draft of the 800-word story written and laid out in Exposure. You should also have a rough cut of your video completed.

Your final multimedia element doesn’t have to be as complicated or big in scope as the standalone pieces we did. If you’ve chosen to do an audio component, for example, it might be two minutes of an interview with someone. If you decide to do photos, you might have 5-10 really strong images interspersed throughout the text. (Your captions for these don’t have to be as detailed as they were for your photo essays, because your print piece is already doing the work of giving a lot of the relevant background.)

Discussion: The Business of Multimedia Journalism

Learning how to come up with a story, report that story, compose a photograph, mix sound, and shoot B-roll and then put it all together into a clear and cohesive story is only half the battle. Something that often gets left out in school is the practical side of how to make a career out of this. Sure, you might get a good internship while you’re still in school and then get hired and start working your way up. But there are a lot of different ways into the industry, and a lot of them involve taking a little bit of initiative. I’d venture to say that most journalists I know have freelanced at one point or another.

Freelancing can be a great gig, and it can also be terrifying when you’re first starting out. Here are a few common issues freelancers often run into:

What’s the deal with taxes? You still have to pay them. You’ll become very familiar with the 1099-MISC form. Keep your receipts so you can write off as many business-related expenses as possible: Equipment, plane tickets, etc.

How do you make sure you get paid in a timely manner? Send an invoice as soon as you file the story. I usually ask the person receiving it to confirm they’ve received it and to tell me when I should expect the money to arrive. If they don’t respond, follow up early and often. “Polite but incessant” is my motto.

How do you know how much money to ask for? It’s easy to undervalue your skills when you’re first starting out, but it’s worse to ask for too little money than to ask for too much. Some publications have set rates: a flat rate for a certain kind of story, or a day rate, or they’ll pay by the word. In other cases, there’s room for negotiation. If you’re not sure how much to ask for, consult your colleagues. Always try and get them to reimburse expenses.

I can’t use the school’s programs anymore. How much is it to buy Adobe Premiere and Lightroom and all that stuff? Not actually as bad as you might think, because you no longer even have the option to buy them outright; there’s a monthly subscription service to the Adobe Creative Suite that costs anywhere from $10 to $50 a month, depending on how many programs you need.

Do I need a website? YES. Showcasing your previous work is more important than any well-crafted resume. The importance of being able to refer an editor to a slick portfolio website cannot be overstated.

What kind of equipment should I invest in? When it comes to still cameras, if you’re on a small budget, I usually advise people to start with a pretty basic camera body and to invest in a few good lenses if you’re going to spend money somewhere. When it comes to video, it’s become kind of an arms race out there and DSLR cameras don’t always cut it anymore. Take a look at Storyhunter assignments to get a sense of what outlets are looking for:

“C300 or C100 strongly preferred—higher end DSLRs accepted”

“Need to have a C100 or equivalent and lav mics”

“A camera capable of shooting 1080p 24fps and 60 fps for slow motion, if possible 4k video and 120 fps for slow mo”

The good news is that if you don’t have five grand to drop on a camera and audio equipment tomorrow, you can rent gear from places like Adorama and KitSplit.

 

I just spent an insane amount of money on my new equipment. How do I protect it? Insure your stuff! Renter’s insurance can sometimes cover your gear, but there’s usually a pretty high deductible for theft etc. If you’re planning on working internationally, insurance tends to be quite expensive, especially if you’re working in areas considered “high-risk.” NPPA members get a discount through one company, but make sure to shop around.

Freelancing is lonely. How do I meet other people in the industry? Journalists tend to be a social bunch. It’s an industry where skills are obviously important but where you can also go pretty far on the strength of your personality and on who you know. You already have a huge advantage by virtue of the fact that you live in New York, one of the world’s biggest media hubs. Make yourself known to editors and colleagues by checking out industry events like these:

ScreenUp NYC 

Video Consortium (New York chapter)

The Bronx Documentary Center

The Half King (journalist bar in Chelsea, hosts photo series as well as other events)
https://www.halfkingphoto.com/

RISC Training (first aid training for freelancers who work in remote, sensitive, and conflict areas, often host events/panel discussions at the Brooklyn Brewery
risctraining.org

Resources

  • Photojournalism

The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA membership gets you certain benefits, including discounted camera insurance and press accreditation; follow them to find out about grants)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2233179993/

Photography/Multimedia Internships and Jobs (great place to find out about entry-level opportunities)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/608650785837641/

Photo Grant Opportunities (great place to learn about grants/competitions/exhibitions for emerging photojournalists) https://www.facebook.com/groups/205928780146/

Lightstalkers/N11 (for photojournalists)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/5235712822/

Photojournalism Now (blog focused on photojournalism and social documentary photography)
https://www.facebook.com/PhotojournalismNow/

Women Photograph (a resource for female* documentary and editorial photographers and the people who would like to hire them—GRANTS!)
https://www.womenphotograph.com/

Eddie Adams Workshop (a prestigious, game-changing, three-day workshop for emerging photographers in upstate NY that puts you in a room with some of the biggest names and top editors in the industry)
https://www.facebook.com/EddieAdamsWorkshop/

The New York Times Portfolio Review (free but competitive, puts you in a room with some of the top photo editors in the world for advice and critiques on your ongoing photo projects)
https://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/…/applications-open-for-the…/

Photoville
http://photoville.com/

The International Festival of Photojournalism
http://www.visapourlimage.com/en

  • Audio Journalism

Third Coast Audio Festival
https://thirdcoastfestival.org/

Public Radio NYC Google group. Be warned, you’ll get a LOT of emails but it’s a great place to pick up transcription work and the occasional tape sync, which usually pays about $150 for a fairly easy recording gig: publicradionyc@googlegroups.com
(Let me know if you’d like me to add you.)

Radio Women Rule the World (for women in radio) https://www.facebook.com/groups/1514423228769048/

  • Video Journalism

Storyhunter (online brokerage where videojournalists and filmmakers can apply for assignments)
https://storyhunter.com

Global VJs
https://www.facebook.com/groups/globalvjs/

Binders Full of Video Journalists (for female VJ’s) https://www.facebook.com/groups/1006816089433804/

  • All Media

Vulture Club (for international journalists) https://www.facebook.com/groups/197918473577006/

The NVC (the non-Vulture Club, founded by people who were kicked out of Vulture Club—long story)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/439000736155194/

Freelancers Get Your Freak On (for freelancers who work in different media and are looking to collaborate) https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021852794578554/

Journo Housing Exchange (for wandering journalists looking for short-term housing around the world) https://www.facebook.com/groups/1639458896367607/

Journalism and Trauma (a place to discuss how we as journalists engage with trauma, from how to interview someone who has experienced it to how to cope with our own direct or indirect trauma)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/468146643386958/

Ladies Writing and Journalism (for female print journalists)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/159810750800770

Binder of International Reporters (for women who work internationally) https://www.facebook.com/groups/634887219990543/

Binders Full of Digital Journalists (for female journos who work in digital) https://www.facebook.com/groups/globalvjs/

Riot Grrrls Of Journalism (global group for women who work in all different media) https://www.facebook.com/groups/1698979077092920/

  • Formal Groups/Organizations

New York Association of Black Journalists (NYABJ) https://www.facebook.com/NYABJ/

(NABJ) National Association of Black Journalists
https://www.facebook.com/NABJOfficial/

South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA)
https://www.facebook.com/South.Asian.Journalists.Associati…/

Asian American Journalists Association
https://www.facebook.com/AAJAHQ/?ref=br_rs

National Association of Hispanic Journalists
https://www.facebook.com/NAHJFan/

Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association (AMEJA)
https://www.facebook.com/AMEJAGlobal

Association of Health Care Journalists
https://www.facebook.com/healthjournalists

Society of Environmental Journalists
https://www.facebook.com/SocietyOfEnvironmentalJournalists

Native American Journalists Association
https://www.facebook.com/NativeJournalists

The International Association of Religion Journalists
https://www.facebook.com/The-International-Association-of-R…

Association of Food Journalists
https://www.facebook.com/AFJeats

Overseas Press Club of America
https://www.facebook.com/opcofamerica/

Society of Professional Journalists
https://www.facebook.com/SocietyofProfessionalJournalists/

Committee to Protect Journalists
https://www.facebook.com/committeetoprotectjournalists/

Blink (resource where outlets can search for and hire freelancers)
https://blink.la/

  • Funding Opportunities

International Center for Journalists
https://www.facebook.com/icfj.org/

The International Reporting Project
https://www.facebook.com/internationalreportingproject/

The International Women’s Media Foundation
https://www.facebook.com/IWMFpage/

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
https://www.facebook.com/Pulitzercenter/

Open Society Foundations
https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/

final project pitch

I plan to do my project on a musician, Skela. She just put out an EP and is getting a lot of buzz around that so the piece is timely. I want it to be more of a feature project, trace back her roots as a Queens girl and the path of making it as a musician in NYC. The struggle of flying between LA and New York and the frustration of having to be good on social media being just as important as making good music. There’s a lot to say about how the music world is in the middle of a drastic change and how smaller musicians are grappling with the direction it’s falling into. Visually I think this would be great, I plan to follow her around as she works with producers and is writing and recording more music. I’d interview her and a few people in her life and also include footage of her performing and on-set on photoshoots. The 800 word piece would focus more on being a feature piece around Skela and the interview I get from her. I’ve already gotten permission from Skela and her record company to film and use her music.

Final Project Pitch

For my final project, I was considering covering a relatively new “green roof” rooftop farm that I recently discovered in my neighborhood. It is located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on top of a now vacant warehouse and is owned by Broadway Stages, a film and theatre production company that has recently committed to renewable energy by creating the world’s first solar powered sound stages and launching projects such as Eagle Street Rooftop Farm. The rooftop also offers farm based education in an effort to spread the concept of rooftop farming and sustainability.
On their website, they claim to be open to commercial photography and film shoots, so I don’t think getting access would be an issue. I have reached out to them and am waiting for a response.
Another potential person I could interview is one of my former teachers, Aimee Hill. She has participated in various urban farming programs and worked with the Philadelphia Seed Exchange, which preserves seeds and aims to preserve biodiversity in general. I’m not sure if she is still involved, but if I manage to get in contact with her, I’m sure she can give me a lot of great insight on the whole urban/rooftop farming and sustainability trends.

NPR on Crack (Final Project Pitch)

On a battered back street in Bushwick, Brooklyn lies Punk Alley—an ominous yet hip hangout for music geeks, bartenders and journalists. At the end of the narrow passageway lies a 9×7 magenta studio, known as KPISS.FM.

KPISS is an internet radio station that broadcasts over 70 live shows each week. Self-described on their website as “NPR on crack,” the programs bustle with zany commentary and good music, both underground and widely known.

For most of these DJs, internet radio is a hobby. Once a week, they leave their 9-5 jobs and head to the tiny, pink shack to devote themselves to the web. I’d like to profile a few of these DJs for my final project. I’ll tape their shows, take photos and interview the subjects on what makes KPISS so special, and why it’s slowly blowing up in Bushwick.

Final Project Pitch

I wasn’t sure if I should pitch this because I didn’t want to risk the jobs of anyone, but I figured, since I have connections, I might as well use them.

Over the years the current principal Laguardia HS has been over fire from the news (specifically the New York Post) on how she runs to the school, from smaller offenses like changing the school’s final schedule to larger ones like inviting Peter Yarrow to the school and doing a tribute performance for him. What is peeving students, parents and teachers currently is the installation of a drug rehabilitation center. And while no one is opposed to the rehab center, it is the location of the center that really has people upset. Upset enough to start a petition. The rehab center is now in the location of the former instrumental department. Basically leaving students and teachers stranded in their own school. I’ve seen all over facebook teachers and students, current and former, extremely upset over this news.

https://www.change.org/p/dr-mars-save-our-music-studio-fiorello-laguardia-high-school

 

Final Project Pitch

For my final project I want to focus on the 2nd annual Print and Zine Fest at New Women Space (in Brooklyn). The event is hosted by Got a Girl Crush, a blog and annual print magazine about women and by women, and will take place on November 19. They describe their line-up as “emerging female/fem-identifying/non-binary/trans/gender non-conforming lead zines and print-makers” focusing not only on general societal issues for women, but also with some zine and print makers focusing their work for women of color. A zine itself is almost like a short magazine that is self published and usually includes topics not usually discussed by mainstream media. I have reached out to Got a Girl Crush and have secured access to interview them and record/photograph the event in general.

Final Project Pitch

A friend of mine is a professional baseball player in Puerto Rico so I planned on documenting his daily activities as he prepares for the upcoming season. Since now it is the offseason, there won’t be actual in game film available to me.  So it would be his daily routine on what types of training he does in order to prepare for next season as well as what he does as other hobbies stay focused going into the new season.

Or I also have a friend who is a tour guide at Madison Square Garden.  If I am able to get permission, I can film bits and pieces of his tours and document what goes into these tours as well as what a day of a tour guide is like at the world most famous arena.

Edward Antonelli Final Project Pitch

Volez, Voguez, Voyagez is a Louis Vuitton exhibit happening in Lower Manhattan until January 08, 2018. It showcases the company’s history from 1854 to present and their future plans. Louis Vuitton is a popular luxury brand known more prominently for their handbags and luggage. If I have permission to film the exhibit, I see this being a very visually striking piece.

 

UPDATE: Ended up doing it on the crackdown of electronic bikes in NYC.

 

Final Project Pitch

It’s that time of the season for high school students to start looking at Colleges, and with the first wave of SATs giving children their first grey hairs of stress, plus the impending January first deadline to file your Common Application looming overhead, the approaching  new year feels more like the end of times for these seniors. My own memories of this stressful time have resurfaced in no small part to my younger sister’s high school tours, one of them being Baruch High school, which I attended. Still being on good terms with the school, I’d like to interview several of the students to discuss their future plans and contingencies, and use this final project as an exposé on the most stressful standardized process we encounter in our childhood. Like it or not, the Common App does gives you a blanketing perspective of your academic prowess; but one’s potential can also be overshadowed, or become outright invisible in the torrent of applications–before you consider the permutational hell of Early Decision. God, it’s stressing me out all over again; did I tell you Colombia rejected me on my birthday? Like Pepperidge farm, I still ‘memba.

Edit: I think it would also be best for me to profile one particular student–such as whoever is poised to be the valedictorian–and focus on their story; that way the whole project still functions as an exposé on the college process but isn’t too overbearingly general.

Another idea I have for my final project is to interview several members of my Fraternity who are currently tied up in a lawsuit with the school (I was personally involved, but was acquitted of the charges, which would have seen me suspended) The suit has everything to do with our own constitutional right to freedom of speech and association, plus it would also be a great way to gauge the school’s current views on Social fraternities, a way of life the school has been desperately trying to exterminate at all costs. I would interview the three students currently engaged in this litigation, give the viewer an understanding of their lives and how the chapter has benefitted their lives, and ultimately show how the school was entirely in the wrong. I’d frame this like a CNN documentary:  I have all the evidence on my computer, as it were.