Teaching Examples

Backpack journalism, illustrated
September 25, 2006, 12:57 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

In advance of a guest lecture about foreign correspondents and technology, I asked the students to familiarize themselves with Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone. Here are the instructions I gave them:

(1) Open the menu “Show all hot zones” and look at TWO (or more) of the locations from that menu.

(2) In each one of the locations you pick, you must watch at least one VIDEO and view at least one PHOTO ESSAY (these are clearly labeled when you choose a hot zone and go to its anchor page). So you need to watch two videos from two different locations, and view two photo essays, also from two different locations. The videos require Windows Media Player. The photo essays require the Flash Player.

Maybe even more educational, I told them to study What’s in Kevin’s Gearbag? This page provides pictures and brief descriptions of the devices Sites carries that allow him to be a “sojo” — a solo journalist in all kinds of war zones and other difficult locations.

Sites’s year in the hot zones, sponsored by Yahoo! News, has concluded. He learned two important lessons, according to his online report:

First, that the world is indeed filled with conflict, pain and suffering, and that amazing people overcome it everyday.

And second, that in war, it is not the combatants, but the civilian population that ultimately pays the highest price in death, injury and the legacy of destruction.

Hardly profound, you might complain. And yet, isn’t that the job of the foreign correspondents? To remind us, so we never forget these essential facts. To show us what we might too conveniently ignore. To help us understand the world, and our place in the world.

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Dear Mindy McAdams,
due to researching the net for informations about “sojos”, I just found your site. My name is Sebastian Hoek and I am a student of industrial design. Currently I am working on my graduation project wich has the topic “multimedia journalism”. There I want to focus on the Sojo and their workgear. As a product designer I try to gather knowledge about the work and work-conditions of a multi media journalist, to figure out where there is the need of design. Not like most people think, my intention is to “make something look nice”, but I want to figure everything that allows me to valuate if there has to be a whole new structured gear or, if something already existing, has to be extended by an additional structure.
Getting into the topic more and more, i have the impression that
-special for a sojo- it is hard to coordinate in between handling the camera and working in front of it the same time.Like in Kevin Sites clips I notice, he only holds the camera infront of him by himself. Because of that he is limited in his maneuverability wich has a big effect on the professionlal appearance and he cant use his hands for other things. Thinking of other situations for example shooting an interview, it is psychologically better, if the person who speaks, doesnt hold the camera the same time. I would like to ask if you can give me more inspirations of problems that a sojo has to face.
I would be glad to get a responce.
Best wishes from Shanghai,

Comment by Seb

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