Saturday, May 14, our Interactive II class successfully covered six events throughout the five boroughs! Together, we developed an idea to cover six diverse cultural festivals and block parties that reflected changes to the 2010 census. I covered the 36th Annual Ukrainian Festival held in the East Village and attempted to gather data related to changes in the City’s Ukrainian population.
Our class had a great production team and it helped that we put together all of our skills and worked together to make sure the live coverage went smoothly. Last semester in Interactive Fundamentals we were exposed to several live broadcast tools such as Blog Talk Radio and COVERITLIVE, but we never had a chance to utilize them for a real news event. This time around, it was great using COVERITLIVE in real time because I had a better understanding of it’s capacity.
Additionally, using my phone as the main transmitter of digital information and social media during the broadcast really proved the versatility of a smartphone. I tweeted, emailed pictures, updated Facebook statuses and transmitted live HD video, all from my Droid X smartphone. Incredible!
However, while the broadcast was a success, it did have its hiccups. It would have been great to have a second person on the field so as to fully utilize available technology. For Example, I made a decision to use mostly video to cover my event, but I wish I could have also had the time to take photographs. Overall, the experience allowed me to practice reporting under deadline using an interactive platform.
When the class came up with the idea to connect these little cultural festivals and block parties into one big cover it live party, I hoped it would work out, but couldn’t envision it going smoothly. Still we forged ahead.
I was a producer along with Gosia, and from the first day we managed a google spreadsheet and doc that everyone could access. That worked well, along with Gosia sending out deadlines for emailing pre-produced content. I created an interactive map with our locations and other festivals going on in the area to help with promotion and emailed several local news orgs/bloggers in areas we were covering.
Our last meeting was a real work-horse day, really nailing down details and how we were communicating to key reporters to start streaming. It was slightly complex because we’d be communicating with reporters on the phones they were also using to stream with. But it ended up working – 15 minutes before streaming time, I’d text them, 5 minutes before streaming time, they got one more text – they start streaming withing 2 or 3 minutes with an understanding that they’d be live in 5 minutes.We had some fail-safes also – copying the embed codes for video-streams, the coverit live module, back-ups in case phones weren’t working., etc.
Day of, first thing Gosia did was set up a screen to see everyone’s stream – brilliant. Also we had 1 call sheet with numbers and times each person would start. I edited a tease with stand-ups the reporters sent in. That was our first and only major snag aside from one non-working phone because managing the download of the teases was more complex than I thought. I would encourage more time for things like that (we had about an hour or so), and testing beforehand. During the event I was tweeting, linking, commenting, communicating with reporters. As we discussed in class, we could just think more about the viewer experience – at times we may have given too much to look at and there was never enough promotion…facebook and twitter only go so far.
But in all, I think it worked brilliantly. Proud moment. Unprecceeddeennnttteddd…
Here is Frank Kaufman the featured artist at the LIC Art Open.
The cover it live experience was such a great opportunity to use technology to tell stories LIVE! Originally I had my doubts that everything would go smoothly but I was surprised to see how great it turned out. Everyone worked together and I must say we had great producers to guide us and organize all of our material. I was covering the Long Island City Art Open featuring Fran Kaufman, the famous jazz photographer. THere were great visuals and there were so many people who agreed to do interviews. The issue for me was my audio was not working and I did not get the message until after I went live. I thought I had this great video with all my interviews lined up with great piano music in the background but unfortunately all the beautiful noise was muted. I think next time I would use my flip cam and edit a few videos and send in just in case the audio is not working so I have something to work with. I liked the idea of the photo slide shows. I thought Debra’s looked great. Overall I was very pleased with the outcome of the cover it live event. I think for me I will test out the materials more before I go out in the field just to make sure everything is working and make sure I have a plan B just in case something goes wrong. I definitely want to do something like this again, and next time I feel a lot more prepared.
We didn’t have much time to promote our event in advance because the event we initially planned to cover was canceled at the last minute. However, we did everything we could to promote the public hearing in the 48 hours prior to the event. On Thursday, May 12, Tierney created a Facebook page describing the hearing and promoting the Changing New York site where we would be live blogging and streaming the event. We invited CUNY journalism students to this event page, which can be viewed in the screen shot below, or at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=117344308344245#!/event.php?eid=225418234139092
A few hours before the hearing, Shannon searched Twitter for hash tags already in use for the event. News organizations such as Patch, NBC, Fox had tweeted about the event and planned to cover it, so Shannon tweeted at them to tell them to check out our coverage of the event. She also tweeted at parents and local education groups who had tweeted about the event. Shannon did her own tweets about the hearing three times in the hours leading up to the event and once during the event. An example of the tweet can be viewed below or at http://twitter.com/#!/new_girl_friday/status/69121180837220352
Patrick emailed the PTO from P.S. 9 and the media contact at Brooklyn East Collegiate about our coverage of the hearing and they sent our information out to their listserv about the event and a listserv for public school parents.
Geoff told Gotham Schools, a nonprofit education news outlet, about our coverage of the event. They retweeted it, and several of their followers retweeted it also. Overall, we had 27 retweets. See below for an example, or view at http://twitter.com/#!/RJIcollab
Above, you can take a look at the wrap up coverage of the pajama clad protest for rent regulation in front of Governor Cuomo’s Manhattan office on Monday, May 16.
Rent Stabilization Laws are set to expire on June 15, 2011. Check out the Rent Guideline Board’s website for upcoming hearings and final vote.
A gray day and a light rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of hundreds of protestors who were on scene calling for Cuomo to honor his campaign promise of keeping rent regulations intact in New York City. You can get a load of videos from the event (via iPhone and UStream) courtesy of An Phung and Jackie Amezquita embedded in the CoverItLive spot up top. While you’re there, you can check out the conversation from the live site, moderated by Brooks Newkirk and Ian Chant, with a surprisingly able assist from a 4G hotspot in a convenient cookie shop. And don’t forget to check out the latest addition to our coverage – a Flickr gallery of photos from the protest courtesy of Roxanna Asgarian.
If you’re wondering what happens next with rent control (and if you pay rent in New York CIty, you probably should be) you can follow @realrentreform on Twitter or visit their website here for updates on the state of rent regulation in the city and more info on what’s happening. Current regulations expire on June 15, so be sure to stay tuned as this one is going to be developing.
Join us on Wednesday, May 18 at 5:30 p.m. as we live blog Brooklyn’s Community Board 2’s land use committee meeting, where a number of changes to the face of the neighborhood you live in will be discussed and voted upon. For the full meeting agenda, please scroll down to view the document in .pdf form.