Just like the photography section of the LA Times, I had a hard time finding the multimedia packages within the website. Once I finally found them, I learned that it was a part of the elusive photography section... of course. The few audio slide shows that I found reminded me a lot of the "One at Marquette" projects that my Journalism 1550 class is currently working on.
The multimedia packages range from the story of a determined boxer, to one about prison hospice. I really enjoyed the editing in these stories, no story was quite the same as the other. One included an on-screen interview with the subject. Another included interview's with the subject's family. The other package I saw made a really cool use of natural sound.
The stories are full of hope and heartache. A story about a man's neurological disease showed the toll that it took on his family. In another one, viewers learned from an insider what prison hospice was like (and it was almost too much to watch at certain points). The story about the boxer used the sound of a gloved fist colliding with an opponent's body to amp up viewers.
Once again, I am pleased with what I have found on latimes.com
On Saturday night, a part of me that I thought was completely dead was awoken. That would be the 14-year-old Green Day fan that I once was. I am even listening to Green Day as I write this post.
The reason for getting in touch with my inner-Green Day fan is due to the fact that I saw "American Idiot" on Saturday night. "American Idiot" is a rock musical based on the 2004 Green Day album of the same name. The musical recently finished up its Broadway run and is now in the middle of its national tour. I was lucky enough to catch one of the final shows in Chicago while I was home for the weekend.
The musical follows the story of Johnny and his friends Will and Tunny. The trio is stuck in the fictional suburban town "Jingletown," and they are dying for a way out. Johnny secures money for bus tickets, but Will finds out that his girlfriend Heather is pregnant, so he must stay. Tunny and Johnny go on to the city, where Johnny delves into drugs, finds love with a girl called Whatsername and discovers a dangerous alter-ego of himself called St. Jimmy. Tunny quickly tires of city life and joins the Army. He loses a leg, but falls in love with a girl called the Extraordinary Girl while he is in the hospital.
After coming home from the musical on Saturday night, I dug up the LA Times' review of the show from 2009. I was drawn into the article from the first few words of the lead:
"Attention, everyone. We have a theatrical bulletin coming in: Music videos have just made an artistic breakthrough. And the form has gone live."
This lead captured the attitude of the show, and I was awed by the LA Times' ability to do this. The article kept up this, kind of, edgy vocabulary throughout the whole article. Terms like "aesthetically dazzling and socio-politically stark," and "cable pundits were jawing about Saddam Hussein" are words choices that I normally do not see in articles, but I aspire to write this way.
This article has also helped me to look at Green Day's lyrics in a new way. The album "American Idiot" is really a modern day concept album. "American Idiot" is a tale of rebellion, heartbreak and growing up. The words in the songs are full of emotion and brought to life in a stunning way through the musical.
If you couldn't tell from my post, I am a huge fan of this musical. Go see it. I don't care that it is traveling across the country. Make like an old rock band groupie and follow the tour. It's worth it, I swear.
The Grammys aired last night. At the beginning of the weekend, no one would have expected that the Grammys would include a tribute to a recently deceased musical talent. News broke on Saturday that pop superstar Whitney Houston died from unknown circumstances. The "Twitterverse" blew up on Saturday night with tweets mourning Houston. The tweet that caught my attention the most was this one by singer Frenchie Davis, retweeted by my journalism professor. How would the Grammy producers pay tribute to Houston, with less than 24 hours notice?
Today, LAtimes.com was full of articles relating to Houston. One was about how friend and mentor Clive Davis said that Houston "would have wanted the music to go on." Davis holds a pre-Grammys party every year, and the article said that attendees were in somber moods after hearing about Houston's passing. The night morphed into an impromptu tribute to Houston, by musicians such as Kinks frontman Ray Davies and singer Tony Bennett.
Saturday, the LA Times wrote that part of the Grammys' tribute to the late Houston would include a performance by Jennifer Hudson. I am not a fan of Hudson as a person, but I think she was a great choice to pay tribute to Houston. Her rendition of "I Will Always Love You" was beautifully sung, but it still can never compare to Houston's cover of the Dolly Parton tune.
Although Houston's death overshadowed the Grammys, the LA Times also covered Adele's multiple wins at the ceremony. The British songstress won in the every category she was nominated for, including album, record and song of the year. According to the LA Times' article, the singer responded, "This is ridiculous," as she broke down in tears and accepted her award for record of the year.
On the other hand, the LA Times also wrote that the 2012 Grammys may have been "the most bloated Grammy show ever." Apparently, certain artists were given more than one segment to perform. I definitely agree with that. But, I was disappointed to read that the LA Times considered Paul McCartney's show closing performance to be "recycled." Since I did not have a chance to see the Grammys, I do not really understand what is meant by the term "recycled." And, most disappointing of all, the article ended with the article regretting the fact that rapper Kanye West was not in attendance.
Someone called Paul McCartney's performance "recycled," and was disappointed not to see Kanye West at the Grammys?
I've mentioned before how much I love the LA Times' Framework, but now I am going to dedicate a whole blog post to obsessing over it. I mean, look at the raw emotion in this picture. The pain on the subject's face almost puts me in pain. And I wonder how the man behind him can remain absolutely stoic. I also love the onlooker's innocent curiosity. The color is gorgeous in this picture, as well. I am not a fan of the color red, but I love how it pops in the background of this picture.
This particular picture makes great use of point of entry. Because of the woman's position in this picture, her hands are the clearest point. The picture would not be the same if the woman was in any other position. The fact that she is positioned like this is what makes the picture in my eyes.
The rule of thirds is incredibly effective in this picture. If this church were completely centered, it would be a totally different picture. The contrast of the rough, grey stone against the clear blue sky makes this picture great, too. Framework makes great usage of many different elements within each of their photographs. Instead continue to obsess over them in my blog, go check out Framework for yourself. Just don't blame me if you develop an obsession with it.
5:00 p.m. on Sunday:
Some consider Superbowl Sunday a holiday. Some have campaigned for the following day to be a holiday. I do not fall into either of these categories. I do not care for football. I do not understand it. I don’t even know when the game starts, I could be missing it for all I know. The only thing that excites me about the Superbowl is the great television that follows it. At least the LA Times has some articles for me to peruse, before I must struggle through watching a few minutes of a football game.
8:30 p.m. on Sunday:
I ended up having to miss most of the Superbowl, and I was not near a TV either. I did hear a lot about Madonna’s half time show, however. From what I understand, viewers were pretty split. I was able to read a little bit about Madonna’s half time show from Rolling Stone. LAtimes.com did a good job of keeping readers updated on the game. However, I was once again disappointed by the LA Times’ lack of tweets during the game. If TV personality Jimmy Fallon can keep up with a few tweets during the Superbowl, I think the LA Times can too.
11:30 p.m. on Sunday:
Well after the game was over, an article about the Superbowl remains LAtimes.com’s highlighted article on the homepage. Not much on the website changed between during the game and after it was over. Once again, with the exception of lacking in the tweeting department, I think the LA Times did a decent job covering the Superbowl.
Noon on Monday:
I was pleased with the LA Times coverage of the Superbowl today. It was interesting to read about reactions to the final score and commercials. I was especially surprised to see Mrs. Tom Brady blaming her husband's teammates for the Patriots' loss. I was also happy to find a more in depth article about the halftime show. From this article, the halftime show sounded absolutely ridiculous, and I am glad that I missed it. With a few exceptions, I was satisfied with the LA Times' coverage of the Superbowl. I almost felt like I had watched it, even though I didn't even catch five minutes of it.
In my Digital Journalism II (Journalism 1550) class, our professor has mentioned that we will partner up with a classmate to create a multimedia story for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. Honestly, I find this project to be the most intimidating of our upcoming projects for Journalism 1550. I think the fact that we, as a class, will go out into the community is what makes it intimidating. I am used to staying within the safe confines of my school to find a story. I know that journalism is all about going out into the community to find the story and I am excited to be able to do that, but it's a little scary doing it for the first time. I was able to take a look at last semester's Journalism 1550's projects, which are on display on my professor's blog. Here is a picture from www.herblowe.com of last semester's students working on their projects. While I enjoyed looking at these stories, I wondered how the pairs found their specific subject. Were they assigned to that person, or did they have to find a story within the community?
The Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service (MNNS) itself is a pretty cool website. I've personally never seen a website like it – I think it is really great to have a website that breaks down news from Milwaukee's various neighborhoods. I don't know much about Milwaukee so this, along with my upcoming class project will be a great way to learn about the city. I was really excited about one particular story I found. The MNNS website featured a story about concerts being held at The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, which is better known as "The Domes." I have always wondered what happens at The Domes and, thanks to MNNS, I know that I will be seeing a Beatles tribute band on Feb. 23.
However, I was a little confused about one thing. I read in the website that the MNNS provides news about the five communities in Milwaukee. In the website's navigation bar, there are only three communities listed – Clarke Square, Lindsay Heights and Layton Boulevard West. These communities are referred to as the "pilot" communities. How long will it be until two more communities are included?
Regardless of some questions and concerns with this project, I am excited to be a part of it.