Monday, April 27, 2009

A Final Goodbye

For my last blog, I thought it would be only appropriate to give a reflection on my experiences during Border Beat this past semester.  It is hard to believe this semester has already flown by and it is time to graduate.  When I knew I would have to keep a blog for this class, I was nervous because I had never kept a blog before and I found it hard to believe I could write about one topic relating to the border for an entire 15 weeks.  However, I chose a topic that interested me and therefore the blogging process was simple.  Each week I enjoyed finding new and interesting people to write about and share their experiences with all of you.  These people were from various parts of the world who have all come to the United States for a new life for one reason or another.    

Each blog became more complex because at the same time I was learning valuable multimedia information and techniques in Border Beat.  I can honestly say that this class taught me more than almost any other class I have taken at the university.  Also, the information has been valuable and important to the world of journalism.  I learned tools such as Soundslides and Final Cut Pro, which are key concepts to know in the journalism industry today.  Online is the future to journalism,  and I am so happy I took this class to learn all the different aspects that go alone with online journalism.  

Not only have I learned key information, but I had an unbelievable time along the way.  I was able to visit places throughout Arizona I would  never have been to if I had not taken Border Beat.  In the beginning of the semester I was nervous about writing eight stories along with two special projects.  However, I did something a little different to make the stories more fun and interesting.  I traveled to Bisbee, Ariz. with Laura, another Border Beat reporter, to do a story on a Panama hat maker.  We spent an entire day in Bisbee and therefore we did a four part series on the store and the man behind it all.  It was fun, interesting, and turned out to be a really wonderful series.  I did the same thing with Laura towards the end of the semester when we visited Ruby, Ariz., the second most well preserved ghost town in Arizona and only five miles from the Mexico border, where we met with the caretaker of the town and spent the entire day learning about Ruby and its history.  Again, we did a four part series on the town, its history, and much more.  

As for the special projects, those were fun as well.  I was able to go to a free trade coffee corp. in Douglas, Ariz., and spend the day learning to roast coffee.  Here Laura and I produces a four part multimedia project about the coffee corp. For my second special project two other reporters and myself went on a Mexican Riviera cruise and was able to write some fun stories and put together video and slideshows of our experience on the cruise.  It has been a fun, yet a challenging semester.    

If I can give some advice to future Border Beat reporters, its to have fun and learn everything.  If there is an opportunity to come in and learn Final Cut Pro with John, then do it.  You will be so happy you did.  Learn and practice everything you learn.  When you learn soundslides, utilize the tool in your stories so you have it down.  Also, produce  stories that are interesting to you.  Write about topics that you have an interest in or else you won't have nearly as much fun or learn as much.  I  learned a lot because I was interested and engaged in the topics and stories I was covering.  Lastly, ask Jay for advice and story ideas because he always has some really interesting stories to cover and his advice and critiques are extremely valuable.   

I feel privileged to have been a part of the Border Beat team.  I learned a great deal about the United States- Mexico border and became friends with many of the other reporters.  Each person was able to contribute to this truly wonderful online publication throughout the semester.  I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog about those individuals who have come to the United States from various places around the world for a new life.  Thank you!
   

42 comments:

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