Final Project Photography

Hi all,

I need anyone interested in doing photography for the final project to get in touch with me (ejw2116@columbia.edu). I'm compiling a list to begin with. So far I have Rodrigo and Rebecca on board, and I will shoot myself, but I know there are plenty of other talented photographers out there. Same goes for people willing and able to shoot video. Reporters, please let me know if and when you need a photographer or a videographer, and I will hook you up.

Any photographers (other than Rodrigo) planning on attending the march on Monday? Let me know. We can use all the pictures (and video) we can get of the event. Thanks!


Online Journalism Symposium

If you're interested, you can catch the live webcast of the International Symposium on Online Journalism (April 7-8, University of Texas, Austin). You'll need the latest version of Quicktime. During the event, you can e-mail questions for the panels or any comments.


Hi everyone-

Now that Issue 4 is just a fond memory, I wanted to give you all
some things to think about over the weekend.

First of all, my primary mode of communication about deadlines and
other information will be the blog. In reality, we are producing
two projects - the final project website, and the class blog on
blogger, nyc24. So at the risk of sounding more like Sree than I'm
comfortable with, you should be checking the blog every day, and
posting often.

We are going to do a few things differently for this project. With
the exception of ths week's pitches, we will be staggering all
other deadlines. I am telling you this now for a few reasons. One
is to warn you to pay attention to your specific deadlines. But
more importantly, I want you to realize that you will be working on
a much more expedited timeline than you have been thus far. So plan
your lives (and your reporting) accordingly.

As Jeff and Duy mentioned, you may be coming up with pitches on your
own, but reporting out your stories with multimedia will requre
everyone to pitch in. Right away, when you schedule an interview,
or know you are going to an event, your first emails should be to
Erik, who is the photo editor, and Khody, the multimedia editor.
Let them know where you're going and what you need, (and listen to
their input about what you need) and they will help to hook you up
with someone to shoot video, man the marantz, or take photos.

I encourage all of you to attend the immigration march on Monday and
I will be posting details to the blog this weekend regarding times
and locations. A few of you will be asked to cover the march, and
capture still photos and audio.(If you have an interest in covering
it, contact me ASAP) But even if you aren't covering it, it is a
great opportunity to brainstorm and get ideas.

The editorial team will be having a big-picture meeting on Tuesday,
April 11th, from 5-7PM. It is mandatory for the editors, but anyone
who wants to attend is welcome and encouraged to do so. I'll blog
more details once I have secured a location.

Finally, the preliminary deadline schedule for next week is as
follows. You will note that you have two pitch deadlines--your
initial pitches on Wednesday and your revised pitches on Thursday.
This way, by Thursday night, your pitches should be in great shape,
and we will have plenty of options.




3 complete, well-thought pitches, fitting into the theme of The
"New" New Yorkers. We want to know how and why each pitch fits into
the theme, who you've spoken to, and possible multimedia angles.

Anne and I will return your pitches, with comments, APRIL 12, BY



Miscellaneous notes:
Wednesday, April 12 begins the first night of Passover. I know some
of you will be unable to attend class on Thursday, the 13th; if
that is the case, just please let me know ahead of time, and we'll
arrange a time to talk about your pitch before class.

Any questions, concerns, problems -- you can reach me at either my
cell or home phone, on the blog, or by email.

Good luck on your pitches, and check the blog this weekend.


Final Project Positions


Executive Editor: Erin Blakeley
Managing Editor: Anne Machalinski
Production Editor: Alex Eule
Multimedia Editor: Khody Akhavi

Q/A Editors: Sushil Cheema, Sarah Feightner, Tripp Mickle
Design Editors: Courtney McLeod, Rebecca Castillo, Jessica Arabski
Photo Editor: Erik Wander


Jill Bauerle
Dakin Campbell
Larisson Campbell
Rodrigo Campos
Maria Castro
Cardiff Garcia
Julia Drapkin
Kylene Kiang
Abe Lebovic
Susan Lee
Mariana Martinez Estens
Matt Reed
Cherry Sricharatchanya
Alissa Swango
Cara Tabachnick


fonts for issue 4

Many people have asked me about this. Fonts for issue 4 are arial for text, verdana for captions and headlines. Colors are same as always -- white, black, gray (666666 or 999999).

job fair tip

hey kids,

the following is a super-secret, sure-fire interviewing technique (at least in the publishing world -- jeff can shoot this down if it's a bad idea in real-world journalism).

at the end of the interview, your interviewer will ask you: "do you have any questions for me?"


be prepared for an honest answer, and have a rebuttal ready that'll put all their doubts to rest.

good luck,

From Tripp's e-mail...

Mark Twain wrote, "It's a worthy thing to fight for one's freedom,
it's another sight finer to fight for another man's."

Sharon Engeldrum, the wife of a New York City fire fighter, found
those words among her husband's papers after he was killed by a
roadside bomb in Iraq. In many ways, they encapsulate the power and
the potential of a final project on the way the Iraq War has hit
home in New York City.

You might say the Iraq War is overplayed, but ask yourself: when
have you seen it fully examined here in New York?

If we undertook that effort, we'd find ourselves in the midst of a
project brimming with human emotion. Everything from patriotic
passion to sorrow at the loss of family to political frustration
could be found with a click at www.nyc24.org. It's hard to imagine
anything more compelling.

During the mayoral race last fall, Bloomberg refused to comment on
the war, saying it was not a local issue. Let's prove the mayor
wrong. Here are 15-20 stories that might do so:

- a multimedia presentation on the 37-plus New Yorkers who have died
in the war with a break out feature article or two on the most
compelling stories that haven't been told (all modeled after the
Times portraits of grief after 9/11

- a story on how a family has dealt with the loss of a loved one

- a story on how a soldier who has returned has
struggled/triumphed/succeeded/failed in reacclimating to life in
the states

- a story on local Iraqis and their perspective on the war

- - A profile of a veteran who was fitted last week with the first
prosthetic leg that uses artificial intelligence to help its wearer

- Recruiters and those being recruited. Which high schools and
neighborhoods are being targeted?

- - Other amputees and injured veterans in NYC. These types of
stories appear often, but there's room for more
coverage. There have been more than 16,000 U.S. casualties.

-- a look at the Fighting 69th, NYC's national guard group that
served a long stint abroad

-- An Iraqi psychologist who was important in developing treatment
for post-traumatic stress disorder used to be based at the Brooklyn
VA (he might be retired now).

-- 9/11 families and their evolving feelings toward the Iraq War. Do
they feel the memories of their loved ones were properly or
improperly appropriated to go to war in Iraq?

-- Views from Wall Street and university economists on the war's
effect on national debt, oil supply and potential long-term effects
on the national and world economy.

-- Attitudes and opinions of 18 year-olds: How would they feel if a
draft were put in place? I know a draft is unlikely, but the biggest
reason the war is often ignored is because of the lack of a draft.

-- Attitudes and opinions of firemen toward the war.

-- Profiles of families of servicemen and women.

-- Organizers of protests and counter-protests. Are street protests
still relevant?

-- the cost of the war - Stieglitz and his research into the war -
what's this guy's story? how did a famous economist decide to
calculate the war's cost?

Look, there was some skepticism in the room about whether or not
this story could be told from a multimedia platform. Remember that
every story can, it just requires creativity. Here some examples of
narratives told in multimedia worth reviewing:



NYC's Dynamic Art Scene

Hi Folks,
Here is the ART pitch. Enjoy. And good luck to the other pitches, they are good ideas and I am sure that whatever we choose will be a very strong project.

New York City has always considered itself the cultural capital of the world. Some of the world’s greatest museums, galleries, forums, and designers call the city home. But, as a new century is ushered in, New York’s status as the “cultural capital of the world,” is in jeopardy more than ever. Boiled down, this theme is: The changing state of NYC’s art scene in the 21sst century.

I think we should strike out on our own and do something that is unique and cutting edge. It hasn’t been done in a multimedia/online way or in a way that gets into people’s lives and real concerns. This has the potential for us to take it to the next level, act as a resource for NYC artists, arts supporters, and others. With this theme we can build a real readership.

It also has the greatest potential of the three themes, for my money, to fully engage the audience through multimedia and interactivity. Art is visual (in most respects); the Internet is visual. They really make a perfect match.

Our project could begin to address what is happening in and around the NYC art world. This can include stories in visual and multimedia - art, music, film, literature, outsider art, and genuine weirdness. There are few constraints except that we are trying to capture the stories that characterize the art scene in NYC, here and now, and trying to dig deep to cover artists and scenes doing truly different and expanding things.

As Duy said in class one day there are three things that make a good story: something challenges traditional convention, something changes, and something that’s been overlooked. We have all three in spades with this theme.

Before I continue I should address the other themes. The Iraq War theme is an important story, but in my mind it is too “heavy” and emotional for us to be working on it for a month. And as spring arrives, readers may not have much patience to make their way around the site. I think multimedia would be a little hard and I don’t think we want videos of families crying. It may make for engaging TV but is that what we want to be covering for our last month in school? I also think access would be kind of hard; not all families will want to talk to us, and government officials will almost certainly not.

With New New Yorkers, immigration seems like it is shaping up to be the issue of the year. But because of this, every media outlet you can think of is devoting huge amounts of space and covering it on many levels. It already feels a little played out and I worry that joining the discussion now might look a little bandwagon-ish. Five months from now when we expect our site to have legs, will our audience be oversaturated with immigration news?

On the other hand there is the right type of buzz about the state of the art scene in NYC. It is a story – many people are worried the city is losing its creative class – but it has not yet been covered to death.

See these resources for background of what’s been done lately:
A study done in December 2005 by the Center for Urban Progress: http://www.nycfuture.org/content/home/index.cfm?CFID=20839531&CFTOKEN=47210562
Or this report on WNYC:
Or these NYTimes articles:

Here is a small sample of story ideas that would fit the theme. It is just a starting point and your input is wanted and expected, but they should illustrate that there are many, many possibilities:

• Making it (and not making it) in the NYC art world. What does it take, now vs. then
• Richard Florida on the death of the “creative class” (http://www.creativeclass.org/)
• Richard Florida talks about educating and nurturing a new generation of artists as a way to grow our economy. What does he mean? Do others agree, and what are they doing about it? Why have math and science careers and education received all of the press lately?
• Philadelphia, the new Williamsburg?
• What about Bushwick? How do artists lead the housing wave into a new frontier neighborhood? What do they think about it?
• The Freelancer’s Union – artists and health care
• Immigration issues for foreign-born artists (see above article on Yo-Yo Ma’s plea before a House panel)
• Creative solutions to the lack of affordable studio space in NYC (ex. Exit Art, http://www.exitart.org/traffic/)
• Five minutes of fame – what happens to an artist/art form after its 5 minutes of fame are over? (ex. graffitti artists)
• City Hall’s new plans to support artists and nonprofit art institutions
• How senior citizens affect the art world. Are they making art? Donating to art institutions? What does this mean for the arts if our country is becoming older?
• Immigrants who have come here and make art? Is it influenced by their native country? Will there growing presence influence the art scene in some way?
• How do artists benefit from gentrification? Talk to Franco the famous store grate painter along 125th street. What does he think about the gentrifying of Harlem?
• In MOMA’s recent contemporary art show the large majority of art featured was installation pieces, and specifically video installation pieces. Why? What does this mean for other art forms?
• What is the resale value on video installation art? Are art collectors on the UWS buying video art?
• There are many private art collections in Harlem that are substantial and little known. What will happen to these collections? Who are the people who have them and what do they expect to do with them? How did they survive the decades of decay in Harlem before its present resurgence?
• Is the “Bodies exhibit” art? What kind of an influence will emerging technologies in fields outside of art have on the art world.
• Alex Gray has a gallery in Chelsea just like many other artists. Yet Gray creates “transformative art” that shows people meditating with visible chakras and energy fields. Gray has been hailed - I think - by Ken Wilber, an American philosopher and psychologist, for his progressive art and expanding concepts.
• How has the definition about what is art and what is not changed over time? How is it defined now? Who is in charge of this concept?
• What does the corporate marketing of cool mean for good old authentic artists? How is it changing our world?
• Rodrigo and I know an artist that takes photos of himself suspended by a harness from bridges, buildings, the ceiling. He then removes the harness from the finished image. How did his art come out of his comfort with hanging hundreds of feet up in the air by a harness. Is he a rock climber? Did he have to learn to tie knots and use a harness to advance his art? How did this affect his identity as an artist?

the iraq pitch debate

hey all -- duy wanted this added to the blog, so for the record:

Quoting Matt Reed
I think there has been little pre-reporting all around, on all of the ideas. Access could be a problem on the other ideas, too. But, yeah, I admit that access could be an issue here.

As for importance and impact: I think part of the story is the war's potential for greater impact. It doesn't look like the situation in Iraq is getting any better, and could get a lot worse, and that could have negative consequences for a lot of things, everywhere. And the fact that U.S. voters have had the luxury of ignoring the war is, for me, a reason to put it back in their face.

What's going on in Washington and Baghdad is, of course, more important. But we are a New York publication in name, if not in reach.



Hi all --

Let me preface this by saying that the Iraq theme could be really exciting. I have a few reservations, though, and a few questions:

- Access: Access is key with this theme. Have the folks behind the Iraq pitch done any pre-reporting? Do we know how hard it's going to be to get sources (esp. vets and grieving families) to talk to us?

- Importance: While the war may be having a local impact on NYC, the REAL story is happening in Baghdad and the back rooms of Capitol Hill. Are we covering the smoke instead of the fire?

- Impact: What impact HAS the war had on NYC? It hasn't had the impact of past wars on the U.S., either in terms of loss of life (WWII) or a culture shift (Vietnam). I would argue that the reason the war has gone on so long is because it HASN'T had a local impact on the majority of U.S. citizens, giving voters the luxury of ignoring the war's effect abroad.

I'm not saying that any of these are deal breakers, I just want to know how we'll answer these ?s for ourselves and our readers.

- Sarah


Quoting Matt Reed
Hi everyone,

Tripp's pitch probably deserved more support from me Thursday night, which is why I'm writing this e-mail.

I became interested in this idea last fall when Bloomberg refused to comment on the war during the campaign, saying it was not a local issue. I disagree. I'm probably preaching to the choir, but I think the decision to invade Iraq has the potential to be even more disastrous, for everyone. And I think the war is unique to New York because the memory of 9/11 was used to justify the invasion.

I first thought this could be like the Times' Portraits of Grief of 9/11 victims (http://www.nytimes.com/pages/national/portraits/index.html) -- quick profiles of the 37 NYC soldiers who died in Iraq. But there are other potential stories:

-- A profile of a veteran who was fitted last week with the first prosthetic leg that uses artificial intelligence to help its wearer walk.
-- Other amputees and injured veterans in NYC. I regularly see these types of stories, but I still think it doesn't receive enough coverage. There have been more than 16,000 U.S. casualties.
-- An Iraqi psychologist who was important in developing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder used to be based at the Brooklyn VA (he might be retired now).
-- 9/11 families and their evolving feelings toward the Iraq War. Do they feel the memories of their loved ones were properly or improperly appropriated to go to war in Iraq?
-- Views from Wall Street and university economists on the war's effect on national debt, oil supply and potential long-term effects on the national and world economy.
-- Attitudes and opinions of 18 year-olds: How would they feel if a draft were put in place? I know a draft is unlikely, but the biggest reason the war is often ignored is because of the lack of a draft.
-- Attitudes and opinions of firemen toward the war.
-- Iraqi-Americans in NYC.
-- Profiles of families of servicemen and women.
-- Organizers of protests and counter-protests. Are street protests still relevant?
-- Recruiters and those being recruited. Which high schools and neighborhoods are being targeted?

Khody said Thursday night that the primary priorities for choosing our final project should be whether a project lends itself to multimedia and whether we have access. He's right. Having a news hook is also important. Whether or not it is interesting to the majority of the class comes next.

"The New New Yorkers" is a great idea and would be a great choice -- lots of angles and opportunities for multimedia, and a news hook with immigration looking to be one of the top political issues of the year. But "Iraq Hits Home" would make a bigger splash. When a New Yorker dies in Iraq, its just a two day story, as we saw last fall. Coverage of the war's effect here at home isn't commensurate with its effect or potential effect. We should try to change that.



Other comments?
- Sarah

My $.02 about the final project

Thought I'd post ideas/comments from a few conversations I've had with other people in the class.

It seems that the new NYers, art is NY and Iraq are getting the most back & forth, and for good reason. The other ideas still haven't been flushed out in class, via e-mail or on the blog. So, I'm only addressing these three.

I would be happy working on any of these topics. They all have their individual strengths and weaknesses, which I see as the following:

New New Yorkers:
-Easy multimedia. Audio slideshows and videos work well with stories about people and their experiences. I also think a front page has other graphics that would work well: statistics on new groups (per Erin's pitch last week), maps of where people have come from, historical trends, etc.
-Wide open topic. Each reporter the ability to report on what they're interested in. There are excellent business, education, culture, technology, etc. stories in this topic, which I think is an asset to the reporters.
-Strong nutgraph. Immigration is at an all time high, new groups are coming in (again, stats from Erin's part of the pitch).
-Is about NEW YORK. A few of the other ideas feel like they can be done as well, if not better, from other places.
-Tying it all togther. This is a big topic, and it might be difficult for editors to make it cohesive.

Art in New York / the Creative Class:
-Easy multimedia. (see above) And, art makes it even more interesting to create strong multimedia. This could be VERY engaging in a multimedia format.
-Open to all types of stories. Similar to above, there are certainly business, arts and technology stories here.
-How to tie it together? Do we pick an idea we're trying to support? Last week some talk about the creative class dying - is this are topic, or only one story?
-What is the news peg? Artists have been moved out of their locations for years. SoHo, Williamsburg...not sure if this is new.

-It's big and important. No other class has picked such a serious topic in the past. This could be amazing...or it could totally flop.
-News peg/Timely.
-Tight theme. Would all flow well together.
-Because it's a tight theme, there are less options in terms of stories to cover.
-The story isn't in New York.

So, I think these are things we all really need to think about tonight. What I keep going back to: as our final project both in this class and at Columbia (except for us part timers), what is a project we can all feel passionate about? I think that while a strong final product is important, it's equally important that each person brings something out of this that they can showcase to potential future employers.

My gut feeling, New New Yorkers or Art. But, the vote tomorrow will tell...

Response to The New New Yorkers pitch

Personally, I would really like doing The New New Yorkers. I think it is an interesting topic, but I worried last week that the original pitch was too broad. Expanding it beyond immigration makes it, for me, definitely too broad. I would rather that The New New Yorkers idea was defined down to, say, immigrant groups that only began arriving en masse in the last 20 years. Or even some other theme that would set us apart from all the other immigration reporting likely to be churned out over the next few months.

Our first issue was criticized for having stories disconnected from one another and too remote from the Power theme. I feel like The New New Yorkers idea would make the same mistake if it were expanded to the point that any reporter could interpret the topic to whatever story happened to interest them.

I'm not writing this just to push the Iraq idea. I could also live with Art in New York if I had a better sense of what exactly we would do with it, and if it had a a focus that would generate stories that have clear commonality.


So I wanted to write with a flushed out breakdown of The "New" New Yorkers, in anticipation of the final project pitches on Thursday.

Some of you balked at the idea of solely covering immigration, for reasons of access, or interest, what have you. So I'd like to propose a revised theme, and tagline: The "New" New Yorkers: So Much More than Bunch of Immigration Stories.

I am not excluding immigration stories, mind you--far from it. I just think this idea has room to be much more broad, and can (and should) include newcomers from around the world, and across the U.S.

New York City is a city of turnover, of comings and goings, of moving in and moving out. People come here from all over the world, to gain a foothold in this country, to escape poverty and persecution, to make a living. To carve out a new identity.

But they also come here from every corner of this country. They are relocated from Seattle, or San Antonio or New England. They come to start a career, or to take their shot on Broadway. Or they come here to expand a business that has never existed in New York before, like the new Trader Joe's that just opened in Union Square. Or to bring an industry that hasn't existed here before--like the Biotech industry, which is making a splash in New York with the under-construction East River Science Park.

But its not just business that brings people to New York. Its leisure, too. Its the growing numbers of older people who are retiring to New York, as opposed to Florida or California, mirroring the growing number of people nationally who are retuiring to cities rather than golf courses. Or they are grown children who move to New York to live closer to their parents. College students seeking summer internships. People chooising to raise families here, rather than elsewhere.

Its people who move to New York to seek medical treatment for a rare ailment, or to seek out a specialist or surgeon that they couldn't find where they were from. I have heard stories of people moving clear across the country to seek out a pediatric oncologist in New York; since these are treatments that often take years, families pick up and move, rather than live fragmented lives.

In short, the "New" New Yorkers are everywhere, everyday, building their lives here. We see The "New" New Yorkers as a theme that has something for everyone--there are art stories, music stories, business stories, immigration stories, and quirky offbeat stories. There is enough to keep everyone busy, and to allow everyone to select their own interests and to carve out their own path.

The only requirement is that you report on the people and institutions who are looking upon this city with fresh eyes.


Exporting sound from Final Cut

Has anyone exported sound from video they captured on Final Cut (so you could use it elsewhere, like an audio slideshow)? It doesn't seem to let me export sound as an MP3--is there any other format, eg. WAV, that will work?


New Media Reading ...


Times Redesign

The NYTimes.com redesign caused quite an uproar among my coworkers. What do you guys think?