California Hates the Rain? Oh Yes. – Photo Critique

California rarely gets rain, like ever. However, just recently southern California faced a harsh rainstorm, leaving many to face devastation, which can be seen in NBC News’ slideshow, Powerful California Storms Leave Thousands Without Power.

In just 13 photos, the various photographers were able to perfectly encompass the emotions of the individuals as well as the degree of devastation that was occurring. Almost all of the photos followed the “Rule of Thirds” guideline, which created white space, enabling the reader to see the aftermath of the rainstorm, rather than solely focusing on the people in the photos. For the most part, the slideshow consisted of wide and medium shots that allow the reader to focus on an individual, yet see the environment surrounding the subject, which is important when a story is on the weather.

The pacing of the slideshow gets progressively worse in regards to the degree of destruction. For instance, the photo story begins with a man in the rain, but by the 4th image, we see a woman getting saved by firefighters, followed by a tree crushing a car in the 10th image. Also, the first four photos are people-heavy, where the main subject of the photo is an individual and you’re looking at their reactions. Yet, the next nine photos place a greater emphasis on the devastation, such as the firetruck and tractor that fell over the freeway in the 8th and 12th photos.

In addition, the first image—a man standing in strong rainfall on the Huntington Beach pier—encompasses the great strength of the storm, which sets up the reader for what is coming. The last image, a man walking his dog on the beach, was chosen because you can see the storm passing and sunshine peeking out, which closes the story because after rainfall comes sunshine.

Overall, the captions are very generic and strictly give information of who/what/when/where as well as facts of the rainstorm that could relate to the photo, which works since the reader wants to know what is going on, but it would’ve been better if they got a quote from some of the people to really grasp the reactions of the citizens.

However, none of the photos have unusual angles or are graphically-striking because the intention of the slideshow is to display the destruction from the rainstorm so the storyteller would want to get all of the information out there rather than have really artistic photos of the event.

 

For a story like the one of a great rainstorm occurring in Southern California, the storyteller did an incredible job demonstrating all that was needed to know and no better way than through photography.

Advertisements
Standard

What I Learned From Tweeting During the Grammys

Every time it’s award show season, I always fear going on Twitter because I know that the results will be spoiled by those who tweet during the entire show. It’s as if you sometimes don’t even need to watch the show because there are enough tweets for you to get the gist of what is going on.

Yet, when I received the assignment where I had to live tweet an event, the first thing that came to my mind was ‘The Grammys.’ I thought, why not tweet something I actually enjoy? Although I felt like a hypocrite since I have disliked those who live tweet during awards ceremonies, I was up for the challenge.

30 tweets in 3 hours? Done.

After live tweeting, I now understand why so many people do live tweet during events. It’s kind of fun? Although, I do feel bad for all of my followers – I bet they weren’t prepared to have their timeline filled with tweets from yours truly, but c’est la vie. Next stop, the Oscars?

 

Standard

Is ‘Fake News’ the End of Journalism?

Let’s face it – those in the journalism industry are facing a tough time at the moment. Now more than ever, people do not want to trust journalists because of the possibility that whatever they are writing is “fake news.”

However, you can’t blame them though. With social media at its peak, anyone can spread information. Whether it is a young college student videotaping a protest and broadcasting it on Snapchat to your great uncle sharing his racist views on Facebook – there is no escape from the wrath of social media and those who want to freely express their opinion – good or bad. Although social media enables individuals to connect to an even greater network of people through platforms such as, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, these supposed benefits do come with their consequences.

These consequences were made clear through the unexpected spread of fake news during the 2016 Presidential Election. With articles spreading that detailed how the Pope endorsed Donald Trump to news of an FBI agent associated with the Hillary Clinton case being found dead – it is shocking how people actually believed these articles to be true and chose to spread them around on their various media platforms.

In a recent article by BuzzFeed News, in which they listed 50 of the biggest fake news hits on Facebook, it is embarrassing how an article titled, “Woman arrested for defecating on boss’ desk after winning the lottery,” received over 1.7 million shares, comments and reactions on Facebook.

So whose fault is this? Should we blame the reader for believing such a thing? Or the media platform that enabled readers to have access to the articles in the first place? Although everyone has the right to freedom of the press, at what point has this freedom been taken advantage of? What does this mean for the future of journalists and the news industry?

As we look forward to the future, it is up to the journalists to stick to their morals and only write material that is true for the purpose of informing readers, NOT to get the most amount of “hits.” It is up to the readers to do more than just read the headlines, they must critique the article and learn to not carelessly share articles without checking them first.

And I’m not alone – with articles popping up everywhere from NY Times to the Center for Media Literacy, there are so many individuals out there that want to bring back a good reputation for journalism, rather than the one that has been tainted by fake news articles and money-hungry journalists.

As for right now, we will just have to wait and see. However, for those studying journalism, like myself, the key  is to stay loyal to your practice and not be affected by those who disapprove of journalists due to their biased views of the industry. Not everyone is “fake news.”

Standard