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MavCast News Story

Minnesota State University, Mankato student named to advisory council for women’s organization

Kerry Diekmann included in council for the American Association of University Women

MANKATO, Minn.-(Nov. 30, 2010) – Minnesota State University, Mankato doctoral student Kerry Diekmann is among 10 members named to the National Student Advisory Council for the American Association of University Women.

Diekmann, program coordinator for the university’s Women’s Center, is the only representative from a Minnesota school on the national council.

“It’s kind of a neat opportunity for our school to be represented,” Diekmann said.

The AAUW is composed of a nationwide network of more than 100,000 members and donors, 1,000 branches, and 500 college/university institutional partners. 

According to www.aauw.org, the mission of the organization “advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.”

Diekmann will contribute to the organization by providing information on student needs and thoughts on how to fight gender inequality in university and workplace settings.  She will promote the AAUW on campus and will have the opportunity to represent students at the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in June in Washington, D.C.

 Since the fall of 2009, Diekmann has been involved with the Women’s Center on campus.  She joined the office as a graduate assistant and has done a lot to help organize programs and events for the organization.

“I really believe in the mission of the Women’s Center,” she said.

Wanda Viento, director of the Women’s Center, wrote a letter of recommendation for Diekmann to be nominated to the council.  It was her first letter of this type, and she’s never known anyone from any school she’s worked at who’s been named to the council.

“I knew that she’d be a great representative on a national level,” Viento said.

 Viento emphasized the impact Diekmann’s nomination will have on campus by saying that the concerns of women at MSU will be heard in Washington, D.C., and that the school now has a direct link to an organization on a national level.

Diekmann is looking forward to the opportunity to develop and become more intentional in her leadership skills.  However, her most important goal is to continue to work for women’s equality now and in the future.

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MavCast Show Notes

  • 00:00  Music: fade in.
  • 00:13  Introduction with names and a thank you to our guest: Kerry Diekmann.
  • 00:27  Discussion of Kerry’s position on the National Student Advisory Council for the American Association of University Women.
  • 02:01  Discussion of the opportunities provided by involvement with the AAUW.
  • 03:29  Future plans/events at MSU related to the council position.
  • 04:35  Fighting gender inequality in the workplace.
  • 05:11  Kerry’s reasons for pursuing the council position.
  • 05:50  Origin of Kerry’s passion for women’s issues and fighting gender inequality.
  • 07:02  Discussion of National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in June in Washington, D.C.
  • 08:13  Kerry’s overall goals for work with the council and the Women’s Center.
  • 08:59  Reaction to being named to the council and when she received the news.
  • 09:35  Kerry’s future goals/plans.
  • 10:03  Thank you to the guest and our audience for listening.
  • 10:08  Music: fade out.
  • 10:20  End of podcast.
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Legal and Ethical Issues of Online Journalism

Chapter 11 of “Online Journalism” discusses the legal and ethical issues of the multimedia age.  As online journalism becomes more and more prevalent, it seems as though the lines of traditional ethics and news values have become blurred.  However, these ingrained principles have become more important than ever in this evolving news landscape.

Values such as honesty, accuracy and fairness are critical in a world where information can be produced and shared almost instantly.

Today’s multimedia journalist has to be a jack-of-all-trades, who understands the legal implications of all online content.  As a professional, the journalist must consider issues related to libel, obscenity and indecency, copyright rules, and the laws and ethics of linking, blogs, reporter’s privilege and editing images and sounds.

Over the years, legislators have tried to create direct parallels between the Internet and other mediums including print and broadcast.  However, the courts have thrown out many of these censorship efforts considering some “vague and overboard.”  As a result, the Internet, like print material, is given more freedom when it comes to obscenity and indecency than broadcast.

Despite this fact, the Internet is subject to many of the same laws as traditional media.  However, because of the ease with which someone can access and plagiarise information, most Internet content cannot be protected.  It is so easy to copy and paste material from the Web that many people don’t know that they may be committing copyright infringement.

The book mentions that a journalist should “assume that anything you encounter on the Internet is copyrighted, unless it is expressly offered for public domain use.”  This broad assumption is the ultimate safety measure for any journalist unsure about the legality of his or her actions.

“Online Journalism” goes even further to suggest that if a journalist has any doubt at all, they should not utilize the material.  Be sure you know for a fact that you can present the information in question.

Like any legacy media, the principles of online journalism come down to being straightforward and honest with your audience.  The book breaks it down the best by saying, “As in all cases, the key is that we do not mislead the viewer, and that we represent the truth of a story as accurately as possible.”

This edict extends beyond online journalism to include other multimedia content and society as a whole.  If we could all adopt that philosophy, society would be more well-informed and less likely to be manipulated by damaging falsehoods.

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Flip Video Critique

When viewing the PR Week video covering N.Y. Fashion Week, the first thing the viewer notices is the rapid and shaky panning and zooming of the opening montage.  All of the unnecessary motion creates a blurring effect that can distract and disorient the viewer.  It appears as though the camera person had real difficulty holding the shot steady.

After the introductory segment, the video immediately jumps into the first interview with Jeremy Scott.  Throughout the exchange, the camera moves constantly as the operator is unable to hold a steady frame of his face.  She leaves no head room and cuts off some of his hair with the top of the frame.

The background noise also creates a problem throughout the interview.  It’s clear that the exchange took place backstage where numerous people are creating a substantial buzz in the background.  At times the subject’s voice is nearly drowned out by the din around him.

At the conclusion of this exchange, the video immediately jumps into the next interview with Naeem Khan.  There is no transition between the scenes, and the lack of b-roll material creates a weird, nonsensical jump cut.

This interview is conducted outdoors with the subject surrounded by dozens of onlookers.  Once again, the voice audio is corrupted by the noise and chaos of the environment.

The video is also suspect, as the subject’s face is poorly framed with the top of his head cut out of the frame.

At this point, the video again jumps headlong, without a transition, into a third interview with Paul Wilmot.  For this scene, the interviewer chose a quieter place to shoot her film (at least until music started playing toward the end).  However, the subject is rather far away from the camera, so his voice is weak at best.

On the plus side, the greater distance allows for better framing of the subject’s face.  The operator allows for head room and provides steadier camera work.  For all three interviews, the video provides good camera angles with eye-level shooting flush with the subjects’ faces.

Overall, the video isn’t terrible, but it could be improved in a number of ways.  For one, I would have tried to find a quieter place to conduct the interviews, especially for the first two. 

I would also try to focus on holding the camera in a far more steady manner.  The shaking and movement created distractions from the outset of the video.

Finally, I definitely would have rethought the opening sequence of rapid panning and zooming camera views.  The video, at times, is almost unwatchable, and for some of the viewers it might cause a case of motion sickness.

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“Souvenirs” the movie nearing completion

Traxler’s Hunting Preserve in southern Minnesota provides location for filming of war saga “Souvenirs”

LE CENTER, MN–(Oct. 4, 2010) – The low-budget, independent war film “Souvenirs” is almost done filming at Jeff Traxler’s Hunting Preserve just east of Le Center, Minn.

The film centers around a young boy’s discovery of his grandfather’s World War II souvenirs.  He then persuades his grandfather to recount his experiences during the last World War.

Later, “Souvenirs” follows the young boy as he takes the lessons learned from his grandfather and applies it to his own service in Iraq with the Minnesota National Guard.

Despite the fact that “Souvenirs” only has a six-figure budget, it has high production value, in part, because of a crew of World War II re-enactors.  However, the film also features veteran actor James Cromwell and his son, John. 

“I was skeptical … but he pulled it off,” John Cromwell said.  The film has “a production value worth 10 times as much as our actual budget.”

The fact that Traxler’s Hunting Preserve offered a rent-free location also aided in keeping production costs low, as did borrowed military hardware featured in the film. 

“Souvenirs” was the brainchild of Traxler, who developed the story with partner Kyle O’Malley.  Traxler was plugged into the world of war re-enactments due to previous mock battles on his game preserve.

Larry Fryklund, the World War II coordinator for “Souvenirs,” said re-enactors seek to honor veterans and educate the public.  Some even have military experience including Travis Jacobsen, who plays a Nazi officer in the film.  Jacobsen served in Iraq with the “Red Bulls” of the 34th Infantry Division.

The re-enactors in “Souvenirs” operate at different skill levels, but director Sam Fischer said “some of these guys came out of the game and’re amazing.”

Aside from a couple of days of shooting this winter, when snow is required for certain footage, “Souvenirs” is nearly complete.

The film is expected to be finished by March in time for a showing at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in April.

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– “Souvenirs” the movie

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