Weeds for one person may be blossoms for another where digital news-gathering is concerned

Peter Erikson
Peter Erikson looks blankly into the camera while shooting a picture of himself on Photo Booth for a class assignment on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 on the third floor of the Humanities building. Credit: Peter Erikson

Essay

I learned a number of things in this course, chiefly among them how to interview someone and edit the audio. This was the most fascinating aspect of the course. Also gratifying was going out and shooting action video and b-roll and learning what goes into a good blog post. The course really forces you to go out and find subjects willing to speak and be the subject of your work. I was dreading the assignment about finding a hobbyist of some sort, but my wife suggested going to nearby Park Elementary School in Mill Valley, where our children go, and participate in the garden clean-up. I did it last year as well because it really gets your blood circulating. Clearly out the weeds in order to help the multitude of fruits and vegetables grow is one’s chief assignment. I was the person person to get to the site aside from the coordinator and I struck up a conversation with her about the work about to take place and her role in it. She was from Italy and had learned the craft of gardening there. To get an especially good feel about what was going on, I ripped out weeds just like everyone else. Then I shot the video. This is the assignment of which of most proud, so why not take another look at it?

Chart

The Social Life Of Health Information, 2011, provides a set of data concerning adult Internet users and their viewing habits about health care. The highest number, 59 percent (or 80 percent of all users) have sought information online about any of 15 health topics, such as a specific disease or treatment. A far smaller number, just 25 percent, have read someone else’s commentary about medical issues on a news group, website or blog. Some 19 percent have watched an online video about health or medical issues, and 18 percent have sought out online reviews of certain drugs or medical treatments. Meanwhile, 13 percent have searched online for others who have similar health concerns. The findings are based on a national telephone survey conducted in August and September 2010 among 3,001 adults. That only 59 percent of adults search online or info health topics, treatments or diseases seems shockingly low, as most everyone “Googles” what ails them. Perhaps many people did not want to divulge this information. It’s easy to see why only 25 percent have perused online commentaries or explanations, because this info can be imprecise. If I did a report on this topic, I would possibly ask different questions, which would most likely indicate that almost all users, more like 79 percent search for health data. I might ask an administrator at Marin General Hospital for their opinion, since they have a site open to its users about such subjects. I would interview the person, make maps of how people in different areas answer the same questions and shoot video of some users searching the Internet for health answers.

Flickr Royal wedding photo

Royal Wedding

A couple of people who came to watch the royal wedding extravaganza in England show the sentiment of what many presumably felt while being humbled during the festivities. Credit: Aurelien Guichard.

The Royal wedding

Our question here today is: What did you think of the media coverage of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton? Let’s listen to the responses of eight seniors, Kelly Goff, Chris Haire, Caitlin Olson, Thomas Garcia, Meghan Dubitsky, Kelsey Avers, Eric Green and Ryan Smith. I enjoyed them so much that I had to include more than just five.

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