Archive for the Diary Category

You’re gonna be remembered for the things that you said and do

Posted in Diary, Kernel with tags on April 7, 2008 by lenscapremoved

It’s the question I hadn’t answered for myself. I left it out of my application as well. That same question was the one that I knew would be the easiest to start the interview off.

Why?

Why do you want to do this job? Why would you want to take on this much responsibility? Why would anyone want to be held accountable for an entire publication’s actions? Just why?

Because I can make a difference.

For as long as I can remember I have known I was going to go to the University of Kentucky. For my three years at UK I have been working for what is one of the greatest newspapers in the country. It has been an honor to work for this publication. And it’s the greatest honor I have ever received to be named editor-in-chief.

The reporter working on the announcement story asked me if I ever dreamed that I would be sitting there, upcoming editor-in-chief of the Kentucky Kernel. If that was ever my aspiration. I just told him the truth. No. My goal has been to do the best at whatever job I was doing. I always saw myself as a behind the scenes work horse of the Kernel.

Some of my friends/coworkers really questioned me when I said I was going for editor-in-chief. Some even discouraged it. That’s their own feelings about it though. I feel I can do something for this paper. I can not only leave my mark, but help the Kernel communicate better to our audience.

But with my vision of the Kernel going to a new Web site and a new print design, I know there is a lot to be said about what WE will be doing. I can’t do this without the help of our staff. I am accountable, but we are all responsible to get the job done. And I think we are all very capable of that and more.

I am so honored. I thank everyone from the meeting for approving me to help guide the Kernel next year. I thank everyone who I have worked with over the past three years to get the experience necessary to take on the job. And most of all I thank all of those who will be working with me next year and have given me their blessing.

While tonight was a big night for me, this isn’t about me. It’s about what we can do together. I’m very excited for what we’re going to accomplish next year. I hope you are too.

D-Day

Posted in Diary on April 7, 2008 by lenscapremoved

It means decision day.

Or maybe destruction. I guess today could even end in despondence. I guess.

I haven’t decided. Well what I mean by I haven’t decided is that the Kernel board hasn’t decided. Today is the day I interview for editor-in-chief of the 2008-2009 Kentucky Kernel.

It’s an honor to be a candidate. It’s nearly torturous to be the only candidate, because I have been told that they have extra time to pick through and really, really make sure I am the one.

I just want it to be me. Sure, I am the only candidate. But I want them to be comfortable, excited if possible, with me as editor, not, “Shucks, I wish someone else had been around.”

So I’m not sure how much deciding or destruction will be going on. I’m sure there wont be much despondency. But I do know there still is a decision even if I am the only candidate. The decision to allow this chump to run a paper. To run one of the best college newspapers in the country.

Really only one feeling keeps coming back to me. It’s one of anxiousness, butterflies, excitement all among others. But most of all, it’s just another D-Day.

It’s a daunting task just trying to think about what comes with this job.

I could do that for a while

Posted in Diary, friends, Kernel, Photo lesson, photography, photojournalism on March 31, 2008 by lenscapremoved

New technology

For the past month I have been putting much of my photography emphasis on learning video.

To some I suppose it’s not even the same thing, but I see them to be very similar. What I’m quickly learning though is all the ways they are not similar, and possibly why many photojournalists are not happy with trying to do both.

On Saturday when Hillary Clinton came to Louisville, I new this was a great opportunity to truly test out my new found abilities. I was very excited to use all of the Kernel’s new gear. What I had only thought about for a few short moments was how hard it would be to carry all of this gear.

Walking into the high school gymnasium, I looked at Juliann, the reporter for the story, and said, “It’s really here. That whole convergence thing is real. A newspaper photographer looks just like a broadcast cameraman.” It was a feeling I thought I wouldn’t experience for several years. But after only a few seconds of the feeling of awe, I was back into storytelling mode and not caring what my appearance was.

I am not ashamed to admit that most of my video did not turn out nearly as good as I had hoped. I felt like a new photographer when I was having focusing problems. But I toughed it out and managed to get enough to make a three minute mixed media piece for us out of what I shot.

Being in the presence of a presidential candidate

I was actually surprised at the liberty the media had at this event. After going through a security checkpoint that is only a bit tighter than what I go through to get into Rupp Arena, we basically had free reign. For the three hours I was in the gym waiting for Hillary to come out, I was beginning to feel as anxious as the crowd. Not because I just wanted to shoot the assignment, but because I realized the significance of the event I was covering.

I enjoy the challenge of trying to make a photograph that is different from the one everyone else is going to make. I really worked this situation below, but just didn’t have a long enough lens to get the moment. I thought the younger child’s facial expression was so great and his body language was screaming that he was uninterested. I also really wanted to catch Hillary’s feet at the perfect moment when you could tell that this speaker was a woman. I think it’s even better that you can see the mom making eye contact with Hillary. But this is generally the type of photograph that just doesn’t work with the story, and never makes it to print. It did make it to our slideshow though. Check it out at the mixed media page.

bjl20080329-hillary-clinton-0116.jpg

Thinking about the future

If I ever worked for a bureau and was asked to follow a political campaign across the country, I decided yesterday that it’s something I would like to do. Maybe it’s because I have only recently truly started caring about politics, but I saw so many photographs that I wanted to take and think I could work better, now knowing what one of these events can be. This was so different from governor and mayor elections.

I think being behind-the-curtain with such a big name as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or John McCain could produce some really great photographs that you only get the chance to do if you’re assigned to that candidate. Pete Souza’s photographs of Ronald Reagan are fantastic.

I just can’t see myself being able to turn an opportunity like that down.

Sorry to be so depressing

Posted in Diary on March 23, 2008 by lenscapremoved

Sorry to those of you who thought I’m having a hard time through that last blog, but I’m fine. I’m just saying, there’s some stuff I would like to do, and there’s some stuff I know I probably don’t have time to do. You can’t have time for everything, so you have to prioritize.

Thanks for those  concerns though. I appreciate it.

Right hand on my heart

Posted in Diary, Kernel, Kernel Mixed Media, Mary Margaret with tags , , , , on March 21, 2008 by lenscapremoved

Things on my mind:

* How can I become a better copy editor? – I’m not doing so well in my copy editing class. I have a B, but that’s through the grace of Mike Farrell’s scoring system. I would imagine if I keep bombing these style quizes that I’m going to end up dropping my grade. I have a B in there right now, which is nice. Soon I will have to copy edit two 3 hour shifts, which will be a rough experience for me but a necessary one for any guy who thinks he’s going to be an editor of a newspaper.

* What are we going to do with our Web site next year? – My plan was to start building a new Web site for the Kernel over the summer, but now I’m confused and in limbo with this idea. Apparently the new College Publisher is really slick, and Sean Blanda over at Temple brought to light a few problems with their site, which is a WordPress. Even given a few new CP possibilities, I feel like I would have the most control over at WP. This is a tough decision and I feel some pressure leaning to stick with CP.

* Why am I in another funk on shooting? For some reason or another, I haven’t shot much in the past week and a half. I’m not sure why I get in these grooves. Maybe it’s just because I needed a mental break. I have been thinking about my expansion and how I need to be more than photo, and actually trying to figure out if I start a magazine what it will be. I’m nearly positive I want to run my own online publication.

Things on my heart:

* What next year holds is scary. Mary Margaret may be moving back to Louisville and I will be working more than most professionals (any). I don’t want to lose her to Louisville, even if it is an hour away. I’m really comfortable keeping her to myself. That’s selfish, isn’t it?

* I miss music.  I told Mary Margaret the other night that the only thing I that I love as much as photography is music. I loved performing and having a band and writing songs. Nothing feels quite like finishing a song and listening to it and being so pleased with everything, except maybe finishing a long, hard fought for mixed media piece.

But even with mixed media, you aren’t coming up with everything. That’s what I love about music, from every chord played to every lyric written it’s all yours. It is truly your creation, there was no storyline that someone presented to you. I hope I can start jamming a bit with Oost this summer. If I have any money left after buying a new computer I may buy a new bass.

* Am I going to fulfill my capabilities? A lot has fallen on my plate this semester, I hope I can hold up to the expectations of the Kernel, the Kernelites and my friends and family. I have made a lot of promises and set even more goals for myself and this newspaper.

It’s all ready time to start making those happen.

All opinions on this blog don’t necessarily represent that of those who work for the Kernel, or the Kentucky Kernel. While my opinions are the best ones, it should be understood that they are not ones that everyone else accepts. 

I’m hit and miss I guess

Posted in Diary, Kernel on March 3, 2008 by lenscapremoved

I can tell you’re losing faith in me.

Over the past week I’ve watched my hits go down, nearly ten per day. So I know you’re fed up of coming and not being entertained. The fact isn’t that I have been too busy. After several really stressful weeks, I am glad to say I had a nice relaxing week last week. No, I just don’t have the Internet at my house, or a computer for that matter.

I would like to say it will get better over the next few days, but I have mucho to do. Tomorrow is apartment searching again and teaching Britney how to manipulate Kernel Mixed Media, since she is the all ready chosen mixed media editor for 2008-2009. Wednesday morning is more apartment hunting and I get a take home test that I have no idea how I will be able to even answer (even with the help of wiki). Thursday is write two last minute papers and still get A’s. Then Friday is turn in the take home that I will have spent 5,217 times as many man hours on, and still make a worse grade than the two papers.

In other news, I’m the only candidate for editor-in-chief unless someone “comes from within the woodwork.” This makes me nervous. Not someone coming up. Just the job. I know I’m not as well polished as some of the editors in the past, but I have full faith in our staff to carry us through a great year. I think a great editor only takes you so far anyways. You have to have a committed staff, yeah, not a large one. I just wish I had another  year with a few of our most committed.

But alas, I don’t, and we will be making great papers with our small but determined group. My main goal is to be the best in journalism at online media. Um, did you read that right? Yeah, I said journalism. Not just college. I want to win a Pacemaker for our Web site and our online storytelling abilities.

Heck, throw in a few old fashioned wins while you’re at it. Whose in?

I finally realized.

Posted in Diary, Kernel on February 20, 2008 by lenscapremoved

According to Aristotle matter is of the purpose it has in relation to context.

In context to the Kernel, I have been a writer, designer, editor, mixed media producer and a photographer. My purpose has mostly been known as a photographer.

I would be lying to say that the best person to copy edit a story. I cannot say that I am among the great Kernel writers such as Sean Rose, Ben Roberts and Megan Boehnke. And I am surely not the best photographer, ever or even now. But from my experience in all fields of the Kernel I have gained knowledge.

Dave always says he’s not the smartest or best at anything, but his success was through surrounding himself with people who are better at what he is trying to accomplish. While I consider Dave to be one of the greatest moment photographers in the country, that is his stand. I have been surrounded by talent in my three years in this basement.

Adam Sichko was a part of my first spot news event. I remember him asking me to drive to Munfordville to cover an F4 tornado. I was helped by Crystal Little to write my first story. She helped me produce a great story about a radio station for the blind and I learned the value of thorough editing and strong leadership. Through Megan Boehnke I learned so much about the value of community and the significance in reporting the news to it. Keith Smiley has taught me much of what I know about great photographs and the value of thinking outside of the box. Sean Rose helped me to see the value of people skills in how he deals with his staff and how much they appreciate him and value his opinion. One of my best friends I have had at the Kernel, Julie Vachon, is constantly reminding me of hard work and dedication pays off with solid papers.

Then there are the advisers, who are the reason I am in the Kernel. Dave LaBelle is the reason I am hooked on photojournalism. Chris Poore has helped me value my opinion and taught me to stand up for it, as long as it’s with good reason. Jim Winn has helped me to find value within myself and revived photojournalism for me. Kelli Patrick is single-handedly responsible for my passion for design.

All of these people and dozens of others, have I had the excellent opportunity to work under and learn from. They have helped me find my purpose, not only in the Kernel but in journalism. It is only because of them that I feel I should step up next year, and be that person for someone else. I feel I can help to lead the Kernel to a new age, but only because of those I will have with me next year.

For all of these reasons, I plan to apply for editor-in-chief next year. Whether or not I get the job, I am confident that together, not through one or two, or just myself, we will be able to achieve producing great journalism and helping those in need. Whether they be our readers or our staff, I want to be a part of that process.