David P. Amelotti

Simply, A Work In Progress!

Month: December, 2013

LUTV Blog 6

Accountability. Honestly, I had none two weeks ago and it burned me, badly. Here’s the thing, this is supposed to be my final LUTV Blog. Number 6 and in it I’m only assuming I should have answers to early asked questions. What I have is frustration and a craving to learn more.

Here is the situation. It was two Friday’s ago, the Friday before Thanksgiving break and I was producer. I had an anchor that was out of town, and both sports and weather not having talent with an hour to go until show time. Those spots were filled. I knew they would be. However, it was a rare moment where I thought if they don’t have to care then why should I. If the show tanks, it’s on them. I wasn’t nearly efficient as I usually am. I felt rushed. I think back on that show and it ran rather smoothly. A few bumps but nothing really unusual but what was apparent was my attitude.

Accountability. I used to get so frustrated with my mom growing up because I always felt she was so critical. There were few times when I felt I did something that met expectations and school was always more of a priority over having fun or being with friends. She talked a lot about how I act is a reflection on her and dad and there is a certain way you need to behave in public to have the respect of your peers. I hated all of that really. I never saw the need to invest so much effort into what others think of me.

I experienced that moment when I felt that I let those around me down and for the first time, I felt my brand was tainted. My brand? That’s crap! Why do I care about a brand, my image now. I mean after all this time of saying anything on my mind, no matter the situation is pretty rewarding. Everyone else is concerned about social tact and I’m over at the news desk pretending I’m a German chef from 1947. I just want to have fun, that’s all I’m saying. I don’t want to become dull.

I feel like when you dream as a child, those around you applaud but then you age and everyone is offended that you dared to be more than average.

Accountability. My point to all of this is, that I need to care because if I show that I don’t I lose the respect of those around me and whatever I’m putting my efforts towards will fail. I’m not sure if that is a realization I needed now. I feel I knew this but never had burnt myself so badly to where I needed to acknowledge it. I know what happened that day and I know I’m far better than that.

So what do I take away from the super semester?

I have a chance. The experience on camera, working with the community to develop my stories, and writing all contribute to my belief that with more time, I will acquire more skill and have chance at being beyond average. I’ve gotten tired of the idea of wanting to be the best. There is a different way of saying it, I believe.

I think back at all my times on camera and there are leaps and bounds to be made and my writing is not the most concise but good God I’ve gotten so much better. Considering the first time I did an interview for LPS last year I was shaking. I get in front of a camera now and I’m calm. Sure I need to work on my facial expressions and inflection when reading the teleprompter who doesn’t. I’m better than when I began and I feel that, no matter what degree of improvement, should be considered a success.

For one thing that has shown much improvement is my shooting. I’ve come back with some shots for weather and I couldn’t believe it was my work. How did this happen? Was it merely increased exposure with a camera? My stand-up for my Christmas light package – Oh my! That is a nice shot. Now, that isn’t said to brag or anything but I can tell you when I first transferred at Lindenwood, I could not have done that. I didn’t do one thing with television until I got to LU and now it’s all I want to do. I never tried because I was told I wouldn’t be capable. Well, after this semester, I want to take the risk and prove them wrong.

I don’t know where my end is whether if it is news or sports. Really, I don’t see that being an end, more like a launching pad. I’m a dreamer and I’m hard pressed to believe that is something to grow out of.

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Industry Blog #4

In an article found on newslab.com, “Using Social Media in Covering Breaking News,” the writer discusses how social media reacted to the recent death of actor Paul walker. Rather than focusing on the death, the article examines the accuracy of information that finds its way online and on the screens of millions. One example of information not being accurate was a quote that was liked by 200,000 people on Facebook however, the quote was a lie; a made up statement to attract the eyes of young and old on social media. In fact, AP had to issue a statement correcting their original story that used the quote.

Kim Bui is featured in the online article by making appearances in Youtube videos offering advice to those looking to use social media when reporting or gathering news at home. Her public radio station, KPCC in California has developed a list of users on twitter, for example, to follow in breaking news situations and utilizes their information in valuable to their story. It is suggested to journalists that if they want to begin constructing their own list of users to follow online, it is best to begin with one’s competition.

Bui later elaborates as quote in the article as saying that every newsroom needs a breaking news social media strategy. This was personally exciting to read considering that there is such a strategy with LUTV as the producer has a special program allowing him or her to follow hundreds up on hundreds of users simultaneously.

If you are interested in reading the story, just click here.

The article I read was also on Newslab.com, “Tips for Telling Vivid Stories.” The title says it all as the article does in fact focus on offering advice to journalists on how to better find, research, and construct their stories. There needs to be a central theme or character whose story has a complete beginning, middle and end. There should be some form of conflict or action that has a resolution; good or bad.

As the reader goes on, one will be introduced to David Zwerdling who has been a reporter for over 30 years at NPR. He stresses the importance of preparation and research. Attention to detail is essential, especially in setting the scene. Zwerdling offers 4 main tips for those looking to improve their story-telling ability.

1. Mapping. This is an idea of a reporter after learning about his or her story to sit down and actually draw out a map of the story to find its beginning, middle, end and just as importantly discover the most important story.

2. Stated as hypnotizing but it is a method when interviewing a subject asking basic questions like day, time of day, and weather, to allow you to tell whether or not this individual is being honest.

3. Conversation in regards to evaluating how the subject told their story.

4. Dreams. He asks his subjects if they dream about the event. Mainly when he believes a subject is dry and rambling he asks this question to find some lost energy.

A bit of humor at the end of the article is shared when it is explained that it comes down to asking the right questions. The challenge is creating those perfect questions.

If you want to read the article for yourself, feel free to click here.