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Just in from a relaxing (???) week of vacation. Note to myself: I am too old to do Disneyland the way I used to when the girls were little. That place is BRUTAL. Now Catalina Island…there’s a spot that is more my pace.

I’m posting the two stories I did a week ago for the Lodi News Sentinel below. When they post the Yosemite story to their site, I’ll substitute their URL.

Lodi Fireworks/shot 7/4/08 using Canon HV20

Yosemite 2008/shot 7/2/08 using Canon HV20

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Yosemite is done…

The video for the Lodi News Sentinel is done and I’m waiting to upload and email in. Recommendation: steer clear of ClearWire. When I get back from my mini-vacation, I plan to have a very pointed talk with them about how frequently their network dumps and how difficult it is to find. Problem is I’m in the country and don’t have a lot of choices.

Added on July 18: Well, I had the conversation with ClearWire – and they called ME. Interesting. It seems they cruise the Internet looking for comments about their service and then track you down and try to make good. After an hour of talking with a very nice tech and following his instructions and going all over the house looking for a good location to put the module, he found the problem. We’re situated right in between two towers. When I log on, the ClearWire module locks onto the strongest signal…but if the other tower suddenly gets stronger, the module dumps out on the first signal and then locks onto the second signal. That explains the random loss of signal. So here I sit waiting for a visit from a real live person who will hopefully set me up properly.
I did wander around for a couple of hours the past few days and may have found our sweet spot – but I think I’d better let the expert tell me if this is is.
OK, ClearWire…you are back on my “A” list.

Back to the video…I made the changes suggested by Andrew Adams plus added a slide at the end ot personalize it more for locals.

Next: get to work on fireworks video/email in. Glad I’m not on the payroll…although maybe all these tech problems wouldn’t survive long in the real world.

Monday morning at 8:50am…and I’m sitting on the patio of our hotel at Catalina Island. I’ll give the LNS a day to post the videos and then I’ll either link or put up on this site.

Putting Yosemite together…

I’m on what for me lately is a speed edit. Yesterday I shot a story for the Lodi News Sentinel – part of my desire to keep my skills current in videojournalism.

Today (thank goodness they don’t have those horrible 4 to 6 time daily deadlines broadcasting has) I am logging and writing and editing. I’ve found I may need more data to make the story flow, so in addition to my Yosemite ranger and visitor interviews from yesterday, I have a call in with CSAA/California Automobile Association and an email to Scott Gediman/Yosemite PIO for a bit more information.

I’ve listened to the interviews – Scott, a Japanese tourist, a Danish tourist, and a father from Monterey Park near LA. There are some good nats segments I know I’ll use. Now I have to block it out so it flows and entertains and informs.

As usual, this is a work in progress, so I’ll update the blog as I work on the story. My deadline – 4pm today. Video is in the computer and notebook and pen at hand. Here goes.

5pm. Hmmmm. I’m home from a run into Lodi to show my partially edited story to City Editor Andrew Adams. Remember…I’m learning some new stuff here. As I edited I realized I was doing a regional…even a national…story. There was no local angle. I tried to bring that in with a look at gas prices and how much it would cost for a day trip to Yosemite, but that wasn’t enough. Adams agreed and mentioned that the staff had many discussions about how to localize news. He did say he’d seen folks packing for trips when he drove into the office.

So my lesson for today. Hyper-local (thanks Howard Owens for that term). I needed to start with a local family either getting ready to go to Yosemite or one already up there. No good for this story…I want it out for the weekend if possible.

Adams suggested I stick with the scenics of Yosemite (you can’t shoot bad video up there) and some of the interview with Gediman, include the family camping (not from our area) and possibly end with a news twist – gas prices, the overseas visitors, and the Japanese film crew.

Addendum: Due to the huge markets required to sustain broadcast news departments, stories tend to be regional…they must be significant to viewers over a large area. When I went into this story, I approached it as usual, trying to find a more local angle, but not really succeeding. This became more evident as I went deeper into the edit. Scott tried to help by focussing one of his answers on the San Joaquin Valley…too big again.
As journalists move from market to market, level to level, or even do cross-overs between media, they need to understand who their audience is. I knew…but did not begin my set-up early enough to find a subject locally to base the story on.

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