Three Ideas for Final

1) The first idea I have for my final project is centered on the result of the marijuana legislation on the ballot in Ohio. I think this could be a good idea because it is impactful to Ohio State in addition to the rest of Ohio. Also by the time the project will be due the election result would be in. For the story I could delve into the impacts of the results and where this type of legislation goes from here.

2) My second idea for the final project involves the police coverage of High St. on OSU’s campus. About a year (or so) ago a partnership was forged between Columbus Police and Ohio State Police to essentially ride together in the same police cruisers so that response times could be more expeditious, more or less, it makes it easier for police to stop someone on High St. regardless of jurisdiction. This is more efficient because before the partnership OSUPD could only stop people on the west side of High St. and CPD could only stop people on the east side of High St. I think it could be interesting to look into how this partnership is evolving.

3) My third idea is to provide some kind of coverage on Frank Miller’s third installment of the Dark Knight series. The final serialization will be release on November 25. It could be interesting to cover the release and also do a bit of a review of the newest installment.

Profile of the self

The time commitment devoted to writing a profile piece about myself would, in all likelihood, be somewhat brief. Given that I am, without question, a pedestrian subject since I have not really done anything significantly newsworthy, a writer could probably write a piece on me in the space of a day–at most.

The central theme, I think, would center on my desire to be a successful writer (both fiction and non-fiction). Going along with that theme the interview would probably take place in my writing space, where there are two walls covered in novels consumed (about 4-6 a month, depending on the novel’s length) since I was 13 or so. The interview could also take place in places I seek out inspiration for writing subjects. Additionally, the piece would focus on what I do now, since I am light years away from any redeemable success as a writer.

NYTimes Feature

Jacques Pepin may now be as popular for his menus as he is for his food.

This feature comes from The New York Times Magazine. The story is about how interesting Jacques Pepin’s menus for his food are–so interesting, in fact, a couple of them have been donated to the Smithsonian Museum.

What makes this story an interesting feature is that it is a bit random. Pepin has long been known for his exquisite food, and the menus describing that food can only be thought of as something of an afterthought. But what struck me about this feature is that the writer took the time to recognize there was something special not just about the food the world-renowned chef was preparing, but also the hand drawn menus he was also preparing.

This feature is also interesting because the writer took something as unassuming as a menu and explained what is so special about it. Few people, while dinning out, probably do not even think twice about the piece of paper the mean is described on, but the writer of this piece saw something special about Jacques Pepin’s menus.

Broadcast version of News Story 2

Columbus will welcome some of the biggest names in underground and independent comics and cartooning with the inaugural Cartoons Crossroads Columbus during the first weekend of October. The festival, known simply by the abbreviation “CXC,” will be held Oct. 1-3 at various locations around the city.

This year—CXC’s first—will take place at the Ohio State’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, The Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus College of Art and Design and The Cultural Arts Center. The event plays host to some of the biggest names and innovators of the underground and independent comics and cartooning industry including Derf Backderf, author of “My Friend Dahmer;” Jamie Hernandez, author of “Love and Rockets;” and Art Spiegelman, author of the eponymous “Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.”

Having the Billy Ireland museum as the centerpiece for CXC sets the festival apart from many of the other festivals that take place around the nation. And Columbus is an important location for such a festival.

According to Caitlin McGurk, associate curator at the Billy Ireland Museum, in an interview with Columbus Alive! “Not only is Columbus home to the largest collection of cartoon and comic art in the world, but Ohio historically has been the birthplace of a tremendous number cartoonists, and especially of those with some of the mightiest influence.”

The conception of the festival was aided by Lucy Caswell, founder of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, along with Jenny Robb, curator to the museum and Ohio State alum, Jeff Smith, creator of the comics series “Bone.”

The idea for CXC grew out of the Festival of Cartoon Art, which is also held at Ohio State, however the event was capped at 300 attendees. According to Robb, in an interview with Columbus Alive! “While attendees enjoyed the intimate nature of the Festival, we wished that we could find a way to allow more people to participate and to celebrate the art form.”

Jared Gardner, professor of English and Film studies, specializing in pop culture at The Ohio State University, explains that OSU and the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum wanted to be apart of the festival from the very beginning. The Billy Ireland Museum “is the pre-eminent comics library in the country and with the new gallery spaces it is also now one of the premier exhibition spaces for comics arts around,” according to professor Gardner.

“The ultimate goal for the event is for it to grow to become a citywide comics festival along the lines of the famous Angoulême Comics Festival in France,” according to Gardner.

 

Video Exercise

The video has three main interviews. One with Sherif Mansour, a member of Committee to Protect Journalists; Ali Rezaian, Jason’s brother; and Mary Rezaian, Jason’s mother.

The interview with Sherif Mansour shows him discussing that Jason Rezaian has been in jail for seven months, the longest of any international journalist. Mansour goes on to explain there is no evidence against Rezaian. Mansour explains that the most recent news is that Jason will have a day in court, but the court he will be in is one of the worst in Iran because it is a revolutionary court. The revolutionary court usually hears cases regarding national security and espionage.

The second interview is with Jason’s brother, Ali. Ali explains what he and his family know about the situation regarding Jason’s arrest. On the evening of July 22 authorities came to Jason and his wife’s home and were subsequently arrested. Iranian authorities then went through his wife, Yeganeh, and Jason’s computers and devices. The two were then taken to Evin prison where they were both kept in solitary confinement; ultimately Yeganeh was released after 72 days. Ali goes on to explain that neither he, nor his family, has been able to speak with Jason.

Next, Ali describes he and Jason’s backgrounds—their father was an Iranian national who moved to San Francisco, where he and Jason were born and raised, and that Jason ultimately followed a career in journalism. Ali explains that Jason had never been to Iran, until he was 28 years old when he made a documentary about his travels in Iran.

Ali describes Jason’s conditions in prison, which were unhealthy. Ali explains that Jason lost a considerable amount of weight and he suffered from infections. Ali then explains how he and Jason’s mother traveled to Iran and pleaded with the government for Jason’s release.

Ali explains how Jason has never been able to speak with an attorney.

Ali explains that Jason loves his job as a journalist and telling stories.

Ali then speaks about how people communicate with him and ask how they can help.

The third interview is with Jason’s mother, Mary Rezaian. She explains how she waits everyday for some form of news. The video then plays a clip of Mary Rezaian being interviewed on CNN, speaking in Arabic. This interview further illustrates Jason’s mother pleading for his release.

During all three interviews various screenshots of Jason’s work for The Washington Post are flashed in the background of the speaker. There are also articles flashed in the background of the person being interviewed that illustrate a point that the speaker is making with regards to news about Jason’s imprisonment.

The interviews with Ali Rezaian and Sherif Mansour both took place in a recording studio with a black backdrop, which did not particularly add to the narrative, as this was a specific location in relation to the documentary. However, the simplistic black backdrop did add to the visual aesthetics of the film because there was nothing else to detract ones attention.

The interview with Mary Rezaian took place in what appeared to be a home office, which also did not particularly aid in the narrative. The second clip of Jason’s mother takes place in a CNN news studio, which does somewhat add to the narrative because Jason is a journalist and this interview takes place in a news studio.

Throughout the video there was various pictures shown of Jason, both by himself and with friends and family. These added to the narrative tremendously because it showed Jason in his element during day-to-day activities in Iran. This further helped the narrative because these pictures depicted Jason not participating in any wrongdoing, like the Iranians would have us believe. The photos also help to convey the filmmaker’s point that Jason is innocent.

The film also showed the clip of Jason on “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.” This clip fit with the film nicely because Jason was arrested only a few weeks after the filming of the episode. The clip shows Jason speaking about Iran in a positive light in a restaurant terrace. This clip further drives home the point that Jason is innocent and devoid of any wrongdoing.

This video differs greatly from a traditional news report covering the same events. Perhaps the biggest difference is that the video is conveying a specific message—that Jason Rezaian is innocent and should be set free. In this regard the video is very slanted towards a specific position. A typical news report would largely not have such a slant and outline the events of Jason’s stories. Additionally, the video is a bit more artistic than we would expect from a more traditional news story.

News stories and the Role of Photographs

This is an example of a story that lacks a photo, but could benefit from one. The story is about an escaped juvenile inmate. The story would benefit from having a photo of the escaped inmate or perhaps a photo of law enforcement searching for the inmate.

This is an example of good use of a photo to further convey meaning in a news story. The story is about tutors defrauding tax payers by faking attendance to tutoring sessions. The photo that complements the news story is the state auditor giving a press conference about the situation with a photo of one of the main defrauders projected behind the auditor during the press conference.

Story Proposal

If I were to propose a story with regards to the events in Oregon, it would focus on the gun control vs. mental health issue debate.

I would explore the options available related to gun control from a political stand point. I would further pose the argument that the blanketed prohibition of guns is not practical. Backing up my argument, here, would be reference to the war on drugs–just because something is illegal does not preclude one from being able to obtain such a good. Thus, the prohibition of guns, seems unlikely and impractical. However, stronger gun control measures should be put in place.

Next, I would focus on mental health. I tend to believe that gun violence, specifically the use of a gun is, more or less, the tool by which one with mental health issues expresses such an issue. Thus, in order to quell further gun violence, we should be looking out how to control gun violence by way of exploring ways to help those with mental health problems.