My journalism experience

When I first decided to come to MU, I wanted to be a sports broadcaster. I loved NBA basketball and it was my dream to one day be the play-by-play announcer for my beloved Phoenix Suns. With one of the best journalism schools in the country, I knew MU was the right school to help me chase my lifelong dream. 

Throughout my first semester, I joined MUTV and KCOU and covered different sporting events across campus. Surprisingly, I enjoyed writing web stories and soon found my niche as a sportswriter. I struggled learning the technology required to create video packages, and I was much more comfortable and efficient as a writer. 

Toward the end of the first semester, I started to lose interest in covering sports and decided to change career paths. It seemed like every male on campus wanted to be ESPN’s next Stuart Scott, and the field was far too overcrowded for me. The only sport I truly loved was basketball, and it seemed extremely unlikely I would one day obtain my dream job as an NBA announcer– where 90 percent of them are retired NBA players.

As passionate as I was about basketball, it paled in comparison to my love for automobiles. Growing up, I spent more time reading Motor Trend and Car and Driver than most of my school books. Although I was a little discouraged to leave sports behind, I knew without a doubt that automotive journalism was the right field for me.

Last semester, I decided to enroll in the print and digital sequence to help me become a better writer. I’ve very grateful for all of the wonderful things I’ve learned in J2150, especially photography. As an automotive journalist, I need to learn how to photograph cars in addition to writing. My goal is to be a well-rounded journalist that can tell automotive stories across all platforms. 

After I graduate from MU in 2015, I plan to attend Coventry University in England to pursue my master’s degree in automotive journalism. While at Coventry, I will travel throughout England to cover various auto shows and construct my very own automotive magazine along the way. Although 2015 seems distant, I’m very excited about my future and can’t wait to get started. 


SI swimsuit issue offensive?


Since the 2013 SI swimsuit issue was released Feb. 12, it has been drawing a lot of negative criticism for its photos.

This year, issue editor MJ Day had SI models travel to all seven continents. Day’s idea was to show SI readers that beauty exists in even the most remote places in the world.

However, many readers found the issue’s photographs to be culturally offensive. In many of the shots, the SI models were posed next to locals engaged in everyday activities.

Critics believe SI was purposely trying to portray minorities in a distasteful light. The models were beautiful and dressed in stunning swim wear, while the locals were wearing traditional clothing.

I have a problem with the criticism about the SI swimsuit issue. First, I’m not sure how it is offensive to use people of color as props. While they may be classified as minorities in the U.S., they are the dominant race in their native country.

Sports Illustrated was just trying to show its readers that not all model shots have to be taken in front of green screen. They wanted to show off not only the true beauty of their models, but also the beauty that exists in various cultures around the world.

If the locals found the the photographs offensive or culturally insensitive, they probably would not have agreed to participate in the photo shoot. If anything, they probably enjoyed the opportunity to show the world their their homeland and culture.

This is just another case of America overreacting to a supposed race issue that doesn’t exist. The photographs are artistic and creative, not discriminatory and offensive.

Not to mention, since when did a swimsuit magazine start serving as a medium to influence America’s perception of the world? Nobody buys the SI swimsuit issue to broaden their intellect about world culture; they buy it to look at hot girls.

Drone technology expands multimedia journalism


The MU School of Journalism is experimenting with the use of drone technology in field reporting.

In Feb. 2013, MU secured a $25,000 grant for the university to build custom drones. While innovative to say the least, the University of Nebraska has been developing a drone journalism lab since 2011.

The two schools are hoping these experimental programs can lead to a permanent use for drones in the field of journalism.

Expanding drone technology could lead to a fundamental breakthrough in the way multimedia journalism is presented. With the ability to capture HD videos and still images, drones will allow journalists to travel to areas they’ve never been able to before.

Imagine how drones would have helped journalists cover Missouri’s historic drought in 2012. Using the drones to fly over crop fields and capture images and video of the destruction would have definitely added an interesting element to the way its coverage was presented.

Unfortunately, using drones for journalism purposes has raised a lot of ethical questions from civilians and legislators. They fear drones could be used for illegal purposes and the invasion of privacy.

Journalists are always searching for different tools to expand coverage and simplify reporting. Drone technology will allow reporters to cover stories in a very innovative and unique way. Provided that they do it in an ethical manner, I believe drones will help media coverage and provide yet another tool for journalists to employ in the field.