//
you're reading...
Documentary

Watching the Watchmen: A look at the documentary process

Greg Colgan takes a picture of Paul Owen taking a picture of Greg Colgan taking a picture.

Greg Colgan takes a picture of Paul Owen taking a picture of Greg Colgan taking a picture.

Part of the goal of this website is to document the process of this entire class. And while the documentary team has been updating all sorts of content about the tablet groups and the class aggregator work, we haven’t really shown you what we’re doing.

The documentary group is responsible for chronicling the work we’re doing in this class, not just the what, but also the how.

So here’s our look at the people who are bringing you updates on the projects that make up the Western Journalism online journalism class: who we are, what exactly it is we’re doing and how we’re going about it.

For more photos of the documentary group, check our set on our Flickr photostream. As always, there are all sorts of photos from the whole process available on there for your enjoyment. You can also keep up with what we’re doing on our Youtube channel, where all the documentary videos have been grouped into a handy playlist.

As journalism students, we have all kinds of equipment available to us, from dSLR cameras to high quality audio recorders, and from flip and iPhone video to the professional-style video cameras we use in our day-to-day work.

Sarolta Saskiw is on top of it while filming the Tyee tablet group.

Sarolta Saskiw is on top of it while filming the Tyee tablet group.

For this project, we’re trying to stick to smaller equipment because it enables us to be less obtrusive when documenting other people’s work, as well as giving us a certain amount of mobility. It’s a lot easier to jump on a table and get a shot with a flip camera than it is with the big, shoulder-mounted stuff we shoot our TV features on.

Sarolta Saskiw is a good example of this. Sarolta is one of the documenters in charge of keeping track of what the Tyee Tablet Group is doing. This week, she was following a pair of students recording some audio off the Internet to use in their tablet. Getting the shots she needed while they were working with computers and the switchboard in the radio lab required a little athleticism, and some positioning that may not have worked with a larger camera. So, here, she’s filming just on her iPhone.

For the first couple of weeks of the project, most of what we were doing was following the discussions other groups were having about what they were going to do. Now that they have begun to sort that out and get down to actually doing the work, we have had to start shifting the way we’re presenting content, as well.

Now that the planning phases are over, we’re going to start trying to bring you more content about the specific projects people are working on, how they’re doing it, why they’re doing it, how it will work for the reader, and  everything else.

Jenn Shenouda films a piece on Ariana Wardak and the work she is doing for the Rabble tablet team.

Jenn Shenouda films a piece on Ariana Wardak and the work she is doing for the Rabble tablet team.

Jenn Shenouda is the other person following the Tyee team. Here’s she’s talking to Ariana Wardak about Ariana’s work on an interactive map of local farmer’s markets. From this filming session, Jenn is working on a piece that will explain that portion of the project.

Alaa Yassin and Jenn Shenouda review the first cut of their introduction video for the online journalism program.

Alaa Yassin and Jenn Shenouda review the first cut of their introduction video for the online journalism program.

This week, Jenn was also working with Alaa Yassin on filming an introduction video for the whole project. Jenn was working the camera while Alaa was on screen, discussing the optics of the project and interviewing various project leaders to try to give our visitors a better understanding of what the class is about.

Alaa Yassin asks Matt Dusenbury the hard questions while filming an intro video for the Online Journalism project.

Alaa Yassin asks Matt Dusenbury the hard questions while filming an intro video for the Online Journalism project.

Alaa’s also been working with the Rabble tablet group to track what they’re doing. This week, that involved talking to Rabble project lead Matt Dusenberry, as well as recording during their group meeting.

Greg Colgan checks his work while documenting the Rabble Tablet group's meeting.

Greg Colgan checks his work while documenting the Rabble Tablet group's meeting.

Greg Colgan has been working with Alaa to document the Rabble group. Most of Greg’s work has been with the still camera, taking pictures and writing posts about what the group is working on.

Dan Rankin shines like the big bright video-editing star that he is.

Dan Rankin shines like the big bright video-editing star that he is.

Dan Rankin has been doing something a little different from these four members. Being the proud owner of a Flip camera, Dan has taken on extra movie editing duties because of his familiarity with the software. Dan is also one of two people covering the group responsible for aggregating our own journalism work. Being the most widespread group with the vaguest target, this has meant spending a lot of time working with them while they figured out how they would accomplish it. So Dan has been doing double duty, editing video for others while shooting his own.

Paul Owen mugs for the camera because Greg Colgan made him.

Paul Owen mugs for the camera because Greg Colgan made him.

The last Documenteer is Paul Owen (that’s me!) I’ve been working with Dan to keep track of the aggregation group.  Like Greg before me, I’ve mainly been shooting still photos, including the ones making up this set, which is why there are almost none of me in it. I’ve also played a big role in building this website, setting up widgets and the category menus at the top and other fun stuff like that, as well as helping others learn to use the wordpress blog.

Advertisements

About Western Journalism

We're members of the University of Western Ontario's master of arts in journalism program. Our blog represents a common theme in stories through our third term.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: