Digital Journalism

COM466 – University of Washington

Burke Gilman Trail Final Project, by Brianna Butterfield

My main goal on this assignment was simply to illustrate the issues that the missing link of the Burke Gilman is causing to both business owners in the area and bicyclists, alike. It is clear that a compromise needs to be made. Bicyclists do not feel safe. Business owners feel that the inclusion of the trail would harm bicyclists more due to the business being done with industrial vehicles. I am pleased with my narration and felt that I wrote a clear dialogue to address the issue. I also feel that I was able to give my story balance.

As always, in the future I could improve. For instance, I could have taken pictures of Ballard Oil Co. to give the story more balance. I could have elaborated on the issue in my narration as well. Additionally, I would take the pictures early in the morning to improve the lighting. The lighting is difficult anyway, just with the overcast sky of Seattle.


Filed under: Student Projects

Final Project

(File Size: 1.9 MB / 0:02:04 / download)

This is an audio project I did in relation to my H4H story in addition to a text story (and a number of still images that were unable to be included as well.)

Filed under: Assignments, Student Projects

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is an international organization which pairs with low-income families to build new homes. Each family puts in hundreds of laborious hours into its home-building process. The end result: Not only a nice place to live, but empowerment, self-efficacy, and a brighter future for generations.

Photo: Lisa Geissler, Family Resources Manager of the Seattle/South King County affiliate of Habitat for Humanity.

Filed under: Student Projects

Baseball Game with Northgate Elementary

Soundslides production of the students at Safeco Field

I had the fortune of being invited to attend a Mariners game with Northgate Elementary 4th graders an their teacher, Zac Stowell. I knew that this would be a great opportunity to take photo’s. I wanted to capture the emotion of the kids a they attended what was, for many of them, their first baseball game.

Zac, their teacher wanted to reward his class for their hard work in preparing for the state wide fourth grade testing. The tests are four hours a day for an entire week. Pretty rigorous for nine and ten year olds. He contacted the Mariners seeking 29 tickets for he and his students. Turns out that Mariners Care, in association with Major League Baseball, run a program called the Commissioners initiative, the goal of which is to get tickets to lower income kids who may not have the opportunity to attend otherwise. Zac explained to me that more then 80 percent of his kids are at or below poverty level. The Mariners were extremely generous, giving Zac 100 tickets.

The kids had a blast, and so did I just being around them. I spent a lot of time explaining the game to kids who were unfamiliar, and telling them when to cheer. Taking pictures was fairly easy. None of the kids were camera shy. The roof closed halfway through the game, so my lighting changed dramatically. Other then that, I didn’t have much difficulty.

I think that I met my goals with this project. If I were to do it again, I might have simply taken more photos. My problem was that I was having fun with the kids, and didn’t spend as much time shooting as I had planned. Looking back, I also regret not approaching this as a video, as opposed to a soundslides project. The photos did a decent job of capturing the kids emotions, but not as well as video might have.

As far as the production of the project, it was smooth sailing. I am pretty familiar with soundslides now, and was fortunate to have no problems.

Aaron Randall

Filed under: Student Projects

Everyone has a story.

By Brian Farn

For those of us who ride the bus on a daily basis, we know that it can sometimes be a strange place with even stranger stories. In 2008, there were over 118 million boardings in King County. What I wanted to do was to find some of these stories and compile them into a documentary style piece. For this piece, I wanted to focus on the stories as much as possible while taking myself out as much as I could. I wanted the piece to be self-explanatory. Therefore, it became a very simple way of storytelling as a couple of slides set the audience up and each person told their story.

In the end I think that the piece achieved what I wanted; a simple documentary style video that is focused on storytelling. What I learned from doing this project was that there are many interesting stories to tell. Since there is a time limit I couldn’t include all of the stories that I wanted. Even with just two people, I overran the allotted time. I think it would be a better piece if I could have included more people, maybe next time.

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Seward Park Restoration Project | Invasive Species Removal

Here’s a soundslide presentation of a restoration project in Seward Park Seattle. The project led by EarthCorps focused on the removal of invasive species in the park. The site worked on that day primarily contained the Himalayan Blackberry or Rubus armeniacus. This species, originally from Armenia in southwest Asia, has spread rapidly in Seattle and surrounding areas because of clear cutting done the during development of the city. This left the land vulnerable to invasives and that’s why we see an abundance of blackberries along with many other invasive species around our city. Another invasive species the group set out to remove was the  English Ivy or Hedera helix, which like the Himalayan Blackberry suffocates native plants.

The work done that day allows EarthCorps to remove the invasives and return in the fall to plant native plants in it’s place. Every six months or so for the next couple years EarthCorps will return to the site to remove new growth of invasive species. Only after the newly planted native species grow large enough, will they be able to prevent the growth of the Himalayan Blackberries and restore the park back to its natural ecosystem.

Click the picture below to enjoy the soundslide!

Seward Park Restoration Project | Invasive Species Removal

Soundslide Presentation

Thanks to EarthCorps, Bastyr University’s volunteer group and all other volunteers

Keala Richardson

Filed under: Student Projects

Key Arena, Post- Seattle Sonics

By Wilhelmina Hayward

This was a story idea pitched to the Seattle P-I about how the Key Arena is doing now, after the loss of Seattle’s NBA basketball team, the Seattle Sonics. There was an event being held at Key Arena, a “free-skate” event that sparked this story. So, it ties in the free event with where Key Arena is now.

There were only certain parts of Key Arena that were open, so I could only really film within the bowl area and of the rink, so it was a challenge finding b-roll that was appropriate to sync with the audio of the communications director of Seattle Center talking about how Key Arena is doing with the basketball team.

Overall, I think it was a decent blend of still photos with video. I think the still photos may be a little too vague, they’re just of the building of Key Arena, but as I said, it was difficult coming up with material for just the Key Arena aspect of the story.

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Local Impact on U-District Construction

My final video story is about construction that is currently going on in the U-District in preparation for the NE 45th Viaduct Project-West Approach Replacement and how it is impacting local students and residents. My goal was to bring human interest to the story so I conducted an interview with a student who got his car towed as a result of the construction on 22nd AVE NE for my video. Luckily I did not have many reporting challenges as I had plenty of access to footage of the construction because it was right outside my residence. Living in such close proximity to my story helped me find many people directly affected so I had many options of interview subjects to choose from.

I believe I met my goal of bringing human interest to a construction story by finding a someone to interview who had a unique story to tell-but also one that others could find relatable. I met my goal of incorporating many different shots in my video and I took so many photos and videos that I could not use a good portion of them.

By making this video, I got more practice using my filming and editing skills. I learned that I can now produce videos more quickly and with more ease, as I now have a basic handle on what I am doing! If I had a chance to do this project again, I would probably take shorter shots while filming the interview so the segments do not drag on as long because I feel that one of the interview scenes in my video is a little lengthy.

Filed under: Student Projects

Final Project: Closing Time at the University of Washington

Link to SoundSlides Project:

For my final individual project I chose to combine my recently discovered admiration for SoundSlides with my own nostalgia for the closing of the academic year. The Audio / Slide Show focuses on the procedures undertaken by the IMA and the Residence Halls as the term draws to a close and record vox populi sound bites to communicate the emotional atmosphere surrounding the process. The story is structured to provide a short introduction to the university and it’s environment, give seasonal context, tie the university to the two services (HFS and the IMA) and then focus on the student requirements involved in the process. I was lucky to be able to shoot in the Locker Room of the IMA and had to request special permission to take a camera within. As a requirement, I was told that it would only be possible at precisely 6:00 am, to reduce the risk of patrons being caught in the frame.

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Final project: Pearson Air Park

My video is a short profile of Pearson Air Park in Vancouver, Wash.  The Air Park is a place where people of all ages can learn about aircraft and learn how to become a pilot – some people actually complete pilot training there.  My goal for this video was to take what I learned from my previous project and add to that skills set.  I wanted to incorporate more five-shot sequences into this video and import a few still photographs into it.

The main reporting challenge for this project was simply getting good footage.  The air museum was a great place to film, but I happened to visit on a particularly crowded day, so it was hard to get shots that people weren’t walking through or clogging.  Also, the museum is located inside a big hangar, so the ambient sound was very loud and echoed, which made it a little difficult to smoothly edit in my voiceovers – but in the end it all worked out.

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Filed under: Student Projects