Class Notes

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Immersive Experiences v. Media Experiences

Last night, at the end of the day. Spent an hour with the CNN crew. Anderson Cooper (?)

“Being a journalist for a long time, someone tipped me yesterday that CNN was going to be at a local diner (East Bremer Diner) in Waverly – Gary Tuchman was interviewed.” Put together a small video that documents behind the scenes workings of a news crew. They were discussing voters/voting. Not many people are over 18; smaller community; public place, which is different from home, quasi-public place, but the media doesn’t have free & uninhibited access to a place like that. Restaurants are more like malls; can’t just pull out your camera and film something without permission.

“I take special attention to go the extra mile and pan around to see what the environment looks like.”

Every time this team approached people, they were turned down. Almost every table they went to didn’t have people from Iowa or they were too young. You’ll never know how many times a journalist was turned down when reporting when you’re watching story.

A media crew doesn’t have a right to just walk on into a restaurant. Being a journalist doesn’t mean going in with a hidden camera, so they use big obvious cameras. But you have to have consent from others. It hurts restaurants’ business because people leave when they see big cameras. But on the other hand, sometimes if people are curious they pack the place. You have to make decisions that will impact your business.

Transaction when you’re a reporter. Think about the other person. They’re random. When you’re  a journalist you simply ask people if you can talk to them. But they are not required to talk to you if they don’t want to. There is no proper etiquette for dealing with journalists because you’re a random source. Nothing stops you from telling them to go away, because no one will ever know.

“Also, when you’re transacting with people, they can lie to you, misbehave, give a fake name; you’re not held by any code of professional or other behavior. You’re not even obligated to talk to them. The best thing to do with a journalist is, if you don’t want to talk to them, just say that you respect their work but aren’t interested in talking to them.“ And, don’t be rude. They’re just doing their job.

Why is it so expensive to produce a news story? Because they have to pay insurance, food & lodging, and for the time that was not productive, etc. Go to CNN at 6 p.m. tonight to see what they did/got. Estimated cost is $20-30,000.

Why are they there?

They found a twist. Bremer County, IA is the place where, for decades, people have correctly predicted the next president. No one who has gone into the white house wasn’t predicted by Bremer. There is a cute story that connects you to people. Yesterday they didn’t get much product.


Casey Allbee & Marcus Weymiller

Left Cedar Falls around 7 this morning to go to Waverly IA, met Anelia at the Waverly Newspaper site. Went a couple blocks down the street to Wartburg’s campus. Were videotaping the whole thing. Went into private bus, got to shake her hand, Anelia interviewed Carly Fiorina. Republican presidential candidate. Got pictures of her, some people took selfies, high school student came with who was a big Carly fan. Was a cool experience. When we got off the bus, we went to the newspaper site. Cold this morning, she was covered in a hawkeye blanket. She was out of her element. Cool to sit with her. Anelia had good questions – took Carly a while to figure out what she was going to say. For example: asked Carly what Carly would say to her grandchildren about running for office. “Really thought a lot about those questions, but wanted to stay away from the main questions. The access that she gave them; the quarters were tight and close; interesting to observe her. She felt different than the lady on the stage. Was very genuine and authentic. Smallest bus on the camping trail. Not like having a plane like Trump.” Felt like they were barging in on her bus. Felt different. She felt like an ordinary person. When she was talking she felt like a regular person. Didn’t expect for it to feel so real. She kept talking about journeying from being a secretary to being a CEO of a top company, and now she’s trying to become commander in chief – ambition is worth noting & is commendable.

“Nothing that is worth attaining is easy to attain. If you have to work hard for something, it’s probably worth having. The easy things are things that anyone can reach out & grab it. It is very rewarding.”

Journalists have to pierce through the wall of people’s existence. If you’re trying to communicate a message, you have to dig deeper. Biggest challenge: will others find your story meaningful? If you’re the only one who cares about it, you’re an advocate.

In the U.S. you don’t have to have a license to be a journalist, because we have free press.


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