Spring Break: Journalism Edition

Mike: Hey man, you want to head to Daytona Beach for the break?!?!!

Jeff: Nah man, I can’t. I’ve gotta follow some leads!

Mike: Ahhhh, man I know what you’re talking about– the ladies!

Jeff: No… I mean for an actual story that I’m writing.


That’s how Spring Break goes for a lot of journalism majors. They don’t listen get to listen to the ocean, and they can only get a tan if the fluorescent lightbulbs above their desks are greater than 60 watts.

They do have the option of writing outside now since the weather is getting nicer, but we live in the Midwest. So although the weather is getting nicer, it’s not getting any more consistent.

And being journalism majors, they are sure to check social media constantly for any breaking news stories or hot, new information. Unfortunately, this also means they are constantly seeing pictures and videos of all their friends on the beach, in the city, and just generally more fun places than a desk.

But that’s ok. Because although there might be some haters out there, we all know that we are doing something that matters.


Halfway Home

We are halfway done in J2150. It is weird seeing that typed out in front of me, because it still feels like we just started. Some similarities between Week 1 and Week 9:

  • I don’t know anybody’s name
  • I can’t spell “Perreault” correctly the first time
  • I’m painfully alone

However, a lot of things have changed. I can now work a camera. I know how to edit video. I learned how to give my female friends beards on Photoshop.

It has actually been a lot of fun going out, interviewing people, shooting video, taking pictures, then coming back home and trying to make a compelling story with everything I have. It’s a story I have power over; I completely control how it is seen and interpreted. In J2100, I felt that way with the stories I wrote as well, but there is something different about seeing all the video and pictures come together in a creative, informative way.

Also, quite frankly, this class kicks the shit out of what my friends in the business school have to do.

“Oh man, I have a Calc II test at 8:00 p.m. tonight.”

Wow, that sucks.

I have to go interview really interesting people and edit footage.

Not to mention, I have gotten in great shape from carrying tripods and cameras around (see: The J-School Workout).

It is nice to be in a class where I can so quickly see how much I’ve learned. This is how you work a camera; five photos are due by the end of the week. This is how you white balance a camera; interview with b-roll is due next Wednesday. I’m excited to see what the second half of this class will bring.

The J-School Workout

Kings Men

Do you constantly find yourself out of breath when interviewing someone? Are your arms fatigued after you finally put the camera down? Do you dread walking across campus with a tripod?

Well, my out-of-shape journalism friends, fear no more. There is finally a way to mold your gray, mushy body into the build of a young Cronkite: the J-School Workout.

“But Ben, what is the J-School workout?”

I’m glad you asked. The J-School workout is a set of plyometric exercises designed to tighten up your bod while doing everyday, journalism related things.

The Camera Kit Curl

  • Check out a camera kit from downstairs
  • Do a set of curls from your legs to a 90 degree angle (the angle that looks like an uppercase “L”)
  • Do a set of curls from the 90 degree angle to the top of your chest
  • Do a final set of curls from your legs to the top of your chest

Note: If you want quicker results, upgrade to a heavier kit– just lie and say you are a doctoral student or something to get it

Tripod High Knees

  • Check out a tripod
  • Hold it above your head and start doing high-knees
  • Pretty self-explanatory

Note: Start alternating between dipping the tripod behind your head and in front of your face to develop those rippling triceps that are oh so important for journalism students

The Pack Mule

  • Go to every single place on campus where you can check something out (Journalism Library, Info Desk, etc.)
  • Strategically hang everything from your body
  • Start walking up and down the steps of Gannett 88

Note: Oats are a nutritious part of any journalist’s diet

After these exercises are mastered, you will be ready to move on to J-School Workout: Capstone. Check back to see when this workout is published. Until then, go hard for the written word.

Music Major Work Load

If you’ve ever been to a Mizzou football game, then you’ve heard the marching band. For the marchers that are music majors, the songs don’t end with football season. J2150’s Ben Brown shows us that music never really stops for these students.

03/10/15                                                 MUSIC0310                                           Ben Brown

MUSIC0310                                              TRT 1:44                                              SOC

MUSIC0310                                              TRT 0:03                                              OC:“what we want to do.”

…our new Director of Athletics: Mack Rhoades”


Nobody ever has trouble hearing the band. But seeing all the work that these musicians put in? That’s a little tougher.

In addition to general education requirements, music majors like Grant Flakne participate in multiple ensembles and music theory classes.

“…a lot of things with different instruments. So I will run from one instrument to the next, and carry three instruments so I can do three classes back to back, and maybe make it home in between. “


During his final semester, he will take what he has learned and student-teach at a local school.

“Um, an average course load hour-wise is eighteen—and that’s average for us. Yeah before that, leading up to our professional semester we have to take multiple years of theory, multiple years of ear training and singing. And we have to take courses to learn how to play all the band instruments all the orchestra instruments…so yeah.”

“Wind ensemble, tuba euphonium ensemble, I’m in, oh, lab band. There are times that’s just like, ‘Man I’m doing all of this just to be a teacher.” But then again it’s like, ‘Yeah I’m doing all of this to be a teacher.’ Like, it’s kind of cool. It’s all about perspective really. You work hard every day, but it’s all, well for graduating, but you really want to get out and just teach. Like that’s just what we want to do.”


“Grant, who we talked to at the beginning of the story, said he was “fluent on six instruments,” and that he could play about 15 or 16. A very impressive and talented group of students. Ben Brown, J2150 (figurative).”

A Helpful Guide to Jump Cuts

Jump cuts: the bane of journalists everywhere

We spend all day in class Friday talking about jump cuts and how to avoid them. I thought I knew what jump cuts were, but it turns out I only knew a few examples. I’ve compiled a list here to help other journalists out there identify the different kinds of jump cuts. It would not be a bad idea to print this list off to reference while in the field. This list is not comprehensive, but it should serve as a pretty good place to start.

The Basic List of Jump Cuts

  • If you shoot a person from one side, then shoot them from the other
  • If the person you are interviewing doesn’t leave the frame in B-Roll before you cut back to their interview
  • If you are walking, and you try to get out of someone else’s way, but they try to get out of your way, and you both end up doing this awkward dance thing so as to avoid bumping into each other
  • If the background shifts with the same subject in front of it
  • If you meet your girlfriend’s father but give him a weak handshake
  • If your subject moves location without a transition
  • If you pronounce gif with a hard “g”
  • If you leap while crafting
  • If you chew with your mouth open
  • If the camera rotates so much that it would be able to see itself in the previous shot
  • If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow
  • If you are thinking about ordering an appetizer for yourself, then your friend, Cassie, says that it would be fun if everyone just went in on the App-Sampler to split because it is “a better value.” Then, like, five minutes after it shows up, she eats all of the mozzarella sticks.
  • If your eye is twitching, and you can feel it twitching, but people can’t see it

Journalists are discovering more and more jump cuts every day. If you are a journalist and discover a new jump cut, I encourage you to message me, and I will add it to the list.

Learning By Teaching

Music major Tim O’Sullivan is a sophomore in the University of Missouri’s School of Music. He is normally taught by world-renowned instructors. However, the conductors in his Tuesday morning ensemble are still learning their craft.

O’SULLIVAN: It’s just really cool to see my peers and, like, their personalities on a podium. You’re under the microscope; it’s kind of cool, like, you’re on the podium, you’re supposed to be directing all, whatever, 34 people that are in there. And you’re running a basic tune, it’s just really cool to see how they do and you also take into account, take it into your own learning, and try and prepare yourself for next year– whenever that comes around.

Being in it for their second year, they’ve watched a lot of previous people before them. It’s (the class) really considered kind of a hidden gem of music ed. You’re in front of an ensemble; you’re working with them; you’re doing things that you’re going to be doing every day. The upperclassmen, the second year people in there, they all are upper level music education majors. So this is their first real time– they get assigned a song at the beginning of the semester. They get about 20 minutes each time they’re up. They just work on their conducting patterns, and their rehearsal techniques, and all that kind of stuff.