Final Thoughts

I’d like to first start out in this blog my thanking Dr. Landreville for doing an excellent job at instructing this course, as well as making it fun to learn about even during difficult material (HTML). I took the time and filled out the COJO department’s teacher evaluation this year because I was so impressed with her teaching skills and I hope the department will recognize this! i would also recommend this class to any communications major looking to learn as much as they can about online journalism, which is basically a necessity in that career field today!

My favorite project this semester, hands down, was the individual soundslides project I did last month about the Woodslanding Cafe and Bar. I learned alot about the history of that area and the old tie hacks that worked it for decades. I was even given some homemade pie by one of the older woman that I interviewed who’d been a Woodslanding resident for more that 50 years.

The technical skills I’ve learned have also been so helpful and I feel this class alone, has benefited me the most as an Ag. Comm. major looking into pursuing a career in photojournalism. Just from the inspiration I’ve gotten from completeing this class, I’ve signed up for a Photojournalism class being offered next semester at UW. I hope to pursue more of this type of coursework in the next year and a half before I graduate. After graduation, my hope would be to write for an agricultural company doing online public relations for their websites, social media, etc.

In conclusion, I know that every skill that was taught in the class was within the realm of an introduction course to online journalism.  I really can’t see how Dr. Landreville could have made it any different and still gotten the same material and results packed in to the short time of one semester. Again, great job Dr. Landreville!

With that, I end my blogs and look foward to a professional career in writing and photography!


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Posted by on December 12, 2011 in Opinions, Thoughts, and Stories


Woodslanding-Individual Soundslides

The follow-up to the first Soundslides project, Blog #14, has been my favorite assignment this semester. Soundslides is a program where audio and photography are combined in slideshow form with captions. In the group project I was in charge of the photography, but with this assignment, I did all the photography, audio, and editing.

Woodslanding Cafe, Bar, & Dance Hall

My experience with this individual project went really well. I conducted my interviews on two different days at Woodslanding (25 miles west of Laramie), took all the photos myself, and edited everything (which took many 6 hours). Both the interviews I did were 6-8 minutes in raw form, so it was a lot to edit. I decided to add in some narration as well, which I was very pleased with how it turned out because I even added some music as ambient background noise.

The people at Woods were so nice and welcoming to me just coming into the cafe and asking for an interview. Most noteworthy was my interview with Maggie, an older woman who cooks breakfast every Sunday morning at the cafe. She’s been a Woodslanding resident for more than 60 years since her marriage to her first husband in 1950. She was just 19 years old and lived with her new husband in the Albany area near Woods. She recalled many stories over the years, like living in a house with holes in the floor and the rug that would blow up and down, attending dances with all the “Sweeds” who worked as lumberjacks in the Medicine Bow Range, and even cooking at the Woodslanding Cafe in the summer of 1988. She expressed joy and love for the small community she’s called home for so long, and even commented how much she wished she could buy the cafe and run it as her own. As I ended the interview with her on Sunday morning, she sent my home with the best coconut creme pie I’ve ever tasted! That afternoon will be one I’ll remember for a long time.

I really didn’t encounter any problems with this project. I completed it on time, had good luck with the technology used, and made sure I attended Monday’s lab to ask any questions I did have. I knew that it would be easiest to complete the Soundslide on a lab computer so I had all the audio and photos edited and on my flash drive ready to go at class time on Monday.

I’m so pleased with the topic that I chose and honestly, I would not change anything about my project. The amount of time and effort put into this assignment is my best work and I’m very proud of it!

Please enjoy this Soundslide interview about the historic Woodslanding, Wyoming; it’s cafe, bar, and famous dance hall!

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Posted by on November 13, 2011 in Opinions, Thoughts, and Stories


My Critiques for Group Soundslides

Critiques- Group Soundslides

Zach Gruebel and Peter Stevens– I really enjoyed the topic of your project. It was very original and intrigued my interest. The audio was not very clear, which was disappointing. Mr. Kunce had a very interesting story to tell, but it was hard in some places to understand him because of the static noise in the background. I thought all of your pictures were great. The captions that went along with them were professional and logical with what the image portrayed. Overall, I really appreciate this story as an interesting news piece (it definitely made me want to go in and try their honey ale this weekend!)

Sarah Alfred and Otis Garrison– Of all the soundslides I watched, yours’ was my favorite! It’s such a simple idea to pick a student on campus to interview, but you definitely picked a great choice. Mr. Ensor’s story is really interesting and inspiring for myself as a believer, student, and young person just growing up and learning life’s lessons. The pictures and audio were great and fit the story well. Sound quality was good and that’s always my biggest critique on all of the projects I’ve watched. The storytelling made sense and I just have a hard time critiquing this video because it was my personal favorite in the class.

Cody Hess and Patrick Pajak– Great job on your project! For a story about a sport (especially a woman’s sport that usually doesn’t receive alot of media attention) you made it very newsworthy and exciting. I really appreciated the way you guys would switch back and forth on the audio interviews to break things up. I understand that taking pictures is very hard in the UniWyo and I applaud you for the good pictures that you did get. I definitely see your group as being the one with the hardest interviews to get, as the athletes and coaches are very busy people and hard to contact. The ambient noise of the UW Marching Band playing the school song fit very nicely in the piece and was a great choice rather than just voices of players in a rally or the crowd screaming. I feel that this is very good quality work and a difficult interview to get so great job on it!

From watching all of the class’s soundslides, I am really inspired to start my individual project! I have some great ideas and hope that I can really get creative with the audio and pictures to go along with it.

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Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Opinions, Thoughts, and Stories


Group Soundslides Blog #12

The purpose of this soundslides project is to combine photojournalism with audio reporting to cover an interesting or otherwise newsworthy story. The project that my partner Andie and I have been working on for the “Group Soundslides” assignment covers a story on Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s “Masters of Misery Haunted House.”

The SAE fraternity chapter has spent weeks planning, raising funds, and finally putting together the 13 rooms of haunted decorations. Andie and my schedules did not match up at all this last couple weeks so it was hard to work together on the project. She did a great job on getting the audio edited and put together and I took over taking the pictures at the haunted house and interviewing students that actually went through the house during this past weekend.

Converting files to the required MP3 format was a disaster for us. Between me using a school computer and her using her Mac, it was still very frustrating. I appreciate the Soundslides program for what it is capable of doing for journalism projects, but to get all the information in the right format is where all the trouble comes in, for me anyway. I guess anytime that you work with technology you need to expect difficulties, but because of the project we chose (an event that just started Friday night 10/28) we put the time crunch on ourselves.

On a brighter note, I’m actually really glad that we covered this event. The SAE boys were so helpful and willing to let me come in for pictures and intereviews whenever I could get there. They were enthusiastic about their philanthropy and the money they were raising for charity. Even though they were putting countless hours into it, I never once heard a member complain or act ill of such a huge endeavor! I sincerely applaud them for that and their effort!

If I could go back and change one thing, I just wish Andie and I would have had more time together this past weekend during the actual haunted house tours to go in together and record, but under the circumstances I think we did a great job and learned alot about soundslides for our next individual project!

Finally, as a reflection for my upcoming individual soundslides project, I will definately cover a story in which time is not as big of an issue. However, I understand the required programs (Audacity, Soundslides, Photoshop, file converters) a lot better so that will also help in completing my soundslides project easier and more timely.

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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Opinions, Thoughts, and Stories


Three Stories Idea

For the upcoming project with my partner Andie Knous (check out her blog for her input on this project), I’ve chosen three different story ideas that we could turn into a soundslide project for Blog #11. As a regular reader of the Boomerang and Branding Iron, I looked at their websites first for upcoming events in the Laramie area.

The United States Air Force Choir and Singing Sergeants!

My first story that I am interested in producing a soundslides project for would be the concert this evening at the Fine Arts Concert Hall. The United States Air Force and Singing Sergeants will be performing a free concert at 7:30pm where students, faculty, and the community can come and show their support. I am very interested in this event as I feel that it could be very interesting to showcase this group of men and woman in the community. Resources I could contact would be the Fine Arts Box Office for concert information, Robert Kamholz (contact given on website), and the USAF office on campus.

The second story I’d like to cover would be about the Ghost Tours of Laramie City presented by the Territorial Prison throughout the end of this month. In honor of the Halloween festivities, it would be newsworthy and fun to cover such a big community event. Not only could I attend the event, but I could talk to the coordinators and people in attendance to cover the full details of the event.

Finally, I would really enjoy putting together a story on different RSO groups around campus. Diversity is something the university strives to have, so showcasing that through a soundslide story would be very interesting and newsworthy for fellow students. It would be easy to gain information as to what groups are on campus and contact information for them. The RSO website even has a RSO directory for all groups and their contact persons, so finding resources would not be a problem.

Look for Blog #12 soon where I’ll be completing my first soundslides project with Andie!



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Posted by on October 17, 2011 in Opinions, Thoughts, and Stories


Audio Profile Critique

Audio Sound Recorder

Here is the profile critique’s of fellow classmates, Marie Smith and Tracey Rosenlund for Blog #10.

Marie Smith: Very interesting topic that your interview was about! I really enjoyed hearing about his travels to other countries and that he is cultured from those experiences. There’s a couple of places in the recording where it gets choppy, so I would suggest that you fade in/out those spots so they’re less distracting. I think I heard your voice go to ask a question in the middle of the piece, but I understand that when the voices over-lap that it’s hard to cut out. Overall, great topic and recorded interview!

Tracey Rosenlund: I really enjoyed your interview and it felt like I was just listening to a casual conversation with your respondent talking about his band.Your transitions were very smooth, however the sound quality of the recording was not great. I don’t know if the recorder was not close enough to him or what exactly was wrong? I would suggest putting some pauses in-between each answer so the listener has time to catch up, but I understand with the time limit, that might have been difficult. It was a very well done interview with sufficient information to be interesting and understandable for a listener.

Jessie Peck: I really enjoyed editing this interview, but what I realized is that I need to spend a considerable amount of time to get an interview of high quality and standard. I’m so used to taking, editing, and posting pictures that it has become natural and easy for me, but sound editing will take some work on my part! Advice that I will follow in the future will be to plan ahead how I want the interview to sound and then try to execute that goal as I interview, record, and edit the sound. There is a few places in the interview that I wish I could have made smoother transitions, but overall I am pleased with the final outcome!

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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Opinions, Thoughts, and Stories


Edited Audio Profile

Andie Knous

Here is my final edited audio interview with fellow classmate, Andie Knous, about her love for her native state, Colorado. Andie’s future plans of returning to Colorado to work at her dream journalism job, the publication “5280”, made it easy for her to discuss several aspects of why she loves Colorado.

I really enjoyed being the interviewer and piecing together the audio I had to make the final project. Obviously with it being my first experience editing audio, it took some time and patience to get  tracks where I wanted them. The most important thing I learned from this project, is that the more I messed with the sound or the more I cut it up and pieced it back together, the worse it sounded. I think I tried to get really creative with what I was doing and then I just had a poor interview that  didn’t flow well. What I enjoyed most about this interview was that Andie was so easy to talk to and was prepared with her answers. I did not enjoy the time limits on the interview and wish it could have been more flexible by allowing a 2-3 minute final edited version. I was surprised how easily it was for me to get 5 minutes of interview material. Since I had prepared questions and talked to Andie prior, we went through the interview very smoothly and finished it up in a half-an-hour time frame. After I had started the interview, I quickly found out that my audio recorder did not have a pause button, which is a drawback as an interviewer.

I wish I could have edited the interview differently, but every time I tried, it became so unclear and there was no logic to where I put snippets of sound. I understand that perfecting editing just comes with time. I also think that if you’re interviewing someone that’s had experience with being questioned would make a difference too. I’m sure President Buchanan gets interviewed every week, so with experience like that, it would be hard to not get a perfect interview.

From what I’ve learned through this project, I’m looking forward to learning more about Audacity and maybe even trying to learn some editing skills with Adobe Audition.

Thanks Andie for the interview, it was great to hear your thoughts on your love for Colorado!

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Posted by on October 5, 2011 in Interviews


Example of an Audio Interview



Here’s a great example of a recorded audio interview from High Country News . This interview with Jeff Rice, conducted by Cally Carswell and Stephanie Paige Ogburn, explains his job as an audio collector of environmental sounds. Very cool stuff, so check it out!

“Jeff Rice on documenting the West in sound”


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Posted by on October 3, 2011 in Opinions, Thoughts, and Stories


Raw Audio Profile

Interview with Andie Knous/Raw Audio File.

This interview for Blog #8 is the first interview I’ll have ever done using an audio recorder. Posted above is the raw file of questions I asked fellow student, Andie Knous, about her love for her home state of Colorado. Andie was great to interview and helped me run the interview as smoothly as possible! She answered her questions as detailed as she could so I had the advantage of getting as much usable material for my edited interview. We were both nervous when the interview started, but as it progressed we got into the hang of things. The audio recorder I used in the interview did not have a pause button which we found out the hard way, but corrected our mistake and came out with a good raw file that I think will be easy to edit down to a really good first interview. Being interviewed by Andie was really comfortable and easy, because she asked all the right questions which made it easy for me to talk for the full 5 minutes.
From this experience I learned that there is absolutely nothing to be nervous about. Emotions still come out in audio format which doesn’t really make for a good interview. I could tell on the recording every time I would awkwardly smile at Andie, just from the pitch change in my voice.
If I could go back, I would not say, “um” or pause so much! I know better than that, but for a first interview, it was a good learning experience that I can really build on for my next project.

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Posted by on October 3, 2011 in Interviews


Journalism: Take a Listen!

For this blog, I’d like to take a look at three different audio stories from the websites: The New York Times’ “One in 8 Million”NPR, and High Country New. These sites are great resources for finding reliable and compelling audio news. I’ve linked each story to its corresponding title so please listen to each! In my opinion, these are the highest quality of audio journalism being produced today. I especially enjoy and appreciate the NY Times’ “One in 8 Million”. I am so interested in anything biographical that I can read, but listening to people’s stories is just so much better!!!

Steven Marmo-The Bar Fighter

I chose three different types of audio journalism recordings.The first story is a monologue of an interviewed man, the second is of the interviewer and respondent, and the third is of a group of people being interviewed separately. I feel that by choosing three very different stories, you’ll be able to see how diverse audio journalism is but how beneficial it’s news value is.

The first story I chose, from “One in 8 Million”, is titled “Steven Marmo: The Bar Fighter”. I loved his New York accent and was intrigued by his “overcoming adversities” story. Marmo’s voice monologue sounds deep and pained; partly because of the type of person he is and partly because of the hardships he’s gone through in his short life of 26 years. The first sentence of the piece, Maramo says if he had the chance he would go back and erase some of his tattoos that don’t represent the person he is today. I love the raw simplicity of this story and applaud the journalist for telling it as straightforward as possible.There was great transitions and clear audio throughout the recording that make it work so well.

‘Biblical Womanhood’: A Year Of Living By The Book, is the second audio story I chose from NPR. Instead of a monologue piece like the first story, this recording is an audio interview of Rachael Held Evans by NPR staff. I like that it was recorded as a casual conversation between two people. The journalist asked relevant questions that shed light on Evan’s journey of living the word of a biblical woman from the Old and New Testament scripture of the Bible. For a whole year, Evans followed principles like not cutting or styling her hair (Corinthians 11:15) and sleeping in a tent during her menstrual cycle (Leviticus 15). The narration was done well and provided good transitions for Evans to answer all the questions appropriately.

The third story is actually a multimedia piece from High Country News, but I only listened to the audio instead of watching the video so I could compare it better to the other two stories. “Out of the weeds: the people of cannabis county”  is a story about residents of Humboldt County, California who are involved with the cannabis industry that thrives there. This story is very interesting with the attention-grabbing points it brings up about the economic value that cannabis brings to that county and state. Although you don’t here the questions being asked, they are very open-ended to allow the interviewed people to answer how they please. What I don’t like about this story is that they are basically saying that marijuana is an economic staple that is needed in that county however, the interview does offer another viewpoint which comes from the Humboldt District Attorney shockingly.

I hope you enjoyed my take on audio journalism and do some research yourself on audio journalism that would interest you!!

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Posted by on September 28, 2011 in Opinions, Thoughts, and Stories