Student Journalist Slideshows

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February 1, 2014 by aderenczau

We live in a day and age where journalism is available to anyone. We live and a day in age where people have the ability to show their journalistic prowess.

Recently, I came across some student journalists that created slideshows that are hard to forget. The phrase, “a picture is worth 1,000 words” is very much applicable to these journalists. There are so many things that I want to say about these slideshows, and I will try to get them all.

The first slideshow comes from Washington State University’s Matt Benoit who is a student in the Edward R. Murrow School of Journalism at WSU.

Mr. Benoit went on a trip to Cuba, and during his trip, he catalogued  some of the sites he visited. The location that sticks out to me is the slideshow he does of a Cuban baseball game. One of the reasons that this stuck out to me was that I am baseball connoisseur. But at the same time, his photos show us a side of the game that some of us have never seen before.

In the United States, baseball is coined as “America’s Pastime.” Benoit’s slideshow shows that the game may mean more in Cuba. Although the slideshow is about a baseball game, Benoit takes it step further to highlight the fan aspect of the game. He includes close-ups of bleachers and faces of the fans.

As a student journalist, I can’t help but dissect this slideshow and unearth the journalistic value contained in each frame that clicked from Benoit’s camera. To me, one of the goals of journalism is to tell people a story that they do not know about. Many people in the U.S. do not realize that in some Latin American countries like Cuba, baseball is a way of life, and an exit to bigger and better things. Mr. Benoit demonstrates how the game is the exit plan for some men in the country to give them and their families a better life.

In every piece that I look at, I try to find something inspiring about it. With this piece, finding something inspiring was not difficult at all. To me, I find it amazing that a country that is shrouded in turmoil still can congregate around the game that is baseball. It shows that no matter what the situation is, something can bring us together. Prime example, there is a photo of a Cuban soldier in the stands in uniform with a baseball bat on his shoulder. It shows me that the game serves as medium between the problems that exist in a place.

The overall message that I took away from this slideshow is that this slideshow inspired me to perhaps one day bring a story from a different country back to the U.S.

One of the reasons that I wanted to become a journalist was so I could make a difference in someone’s life. I feel that bringing a story from a different country could have an impact on someone and inspire them to take action. In this case, Benoit has inspired me to venture to a foreign land one day and bring back a story to change someone’s life for the better.

After watching this slideshow from Matt, I pose the question, “How do you find inspiration in a piece of journalism?”

My next piece comes from Samantha Clemens, a University of Missouri journalism student. This piece was featured in and won second place in Student Society for News Design, as well as the Missourian. This slideshow is focused on residents of Columbia, Mo. and their recollections of the Great Depression. It contains photographs of each of the speakers, while their stories are being told in the background.

This piece was published in 2008- about 80 years after the Great Depression. Back in those days, technology was just beginning to heat up. The only real form of journalism came in the form of radios and newspapers. Television weren’t even a thought yet. Therefore, people had no outlet to tell stories of the depression.

Those stories were just passed down by word of mouth. No camera was there to film someone and their strifes. Those stories sat untold to the later generations. But the later generations such as Clemens, unearthed them, and brought them back to life with the use of technology. Now, the stories of the depression are in the open.

The value I find in this ties in with the inspiration I found from this slideshow. It is never too late to tell someone’s story. The story will always be there, but it is our job to uncover it. Clemens took that to heart when she interviewed survivors of the Depression.

This brings me to my next point that everyone has a story, but no two stories are the same. Each of the people from the Depression who were interviewed told different sides of the depression that I never knew existed until Clemens brought this slideshow.

When I become a journalist, I feel that I can bring a story from the past that has never been heard before to life. In fact, I want to set a goal of highlighting a story from the past. Thank you Samantha, your work has touched another human being.

The last piece that I looked at came from another University of Missouri student. Her name is Phoebe Sexton. The piece I looked at won first place in the SSND multimedia slideshow, and was also featured in the Missourian. Ms. Sexton did a slideshow on the Legion of Black Collegians Gospel Choir. A group whose motivation is faith in all they do.

One of the things that I love doing as a journalist is highlighting an organization that some people are not very familiar with. I feel that simply doing a story gets their name and their cause out in the open. Isn’t one of our responsibilities as journalists to be there for the people? Well, the people have the right to know about a new organization. The least we can do is bring that to them.

That is what I value about this piece. Phoebe brings out an organization that has a worthy cause, and she does a fantastic job of making her viewers remember them. That is the value that I find here. Like each of the previous pieces that I have covered, I have found something inspiring about them-this piece is no different.

For me, one of my other reasons for wanting to become a journalist is to connect with people on a personal level. I want to be able to walk with someone or follow them in a day in the life and learn their story.

That goal of mine is evident in this piece. Ms. Sexton took the time to connect with this group, and through her work, I learned their story and their mission. How was this done? It was done through the power of journalism. Phoebe has shown me why I want to become a journalist. She like the rest of the subjects I covered are shining examples of what journalism is all about.

I pose you this question: These slideshows showed me what I want to do with my life, how do they show you what you want to do with yours?

As I said before, there are many words that I could say about these students. But, in summation, they are true examples of how amazing the opportunity student journalists have. Whether it be Eagle Eye or students around the world. Student journalists are doing amazing things, and these slideshows tell part of the story.


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