Looking Back on The Storyteller Project

Ever since the start of this blog I had always wondered where my writing would take me, and what it would show me about myself. I found out that I’m very interested in North Korea, particularly Kim Jong Un, and the country’s relationship with our own. I’ve interviewed DJ’s, traveled out of the country, and created podcasts all in the name of journalism. This blog has allowed me to touch a part of me that I always thought had resided within me but was never acted upon. Being able to offer my viewpoints and to tell my stories to a limitless virtual audience is an opportunity that I am very thankful to have received. My ability to communicate my thoughts has been refined as a result of this blog. It’s almost therapeutic, to a degree. They say writing often is the only way to really improve. I’ve found this to be true. I hope you all have enjoyed reading my posts as much as I enjoyed writing them.


Trump Versus Kim: 10th Blog Post Special

It’s no secret that Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are not fans of one another. Trump has heavily criticized both the regime itself and the nuclear tests it conducts on what seems to be a semi-regular basis. Recently, however, there has been a new move made in the chess game against North Korea. Trump has declared the Communist regime a state sponsor of terror. The North Koreans were on this list for quite some time until George Bush took them off in 2008 to ease nuclear negotiations, and remained off said list through all 8 years of Barack Obama’s presidency. But now they’re back on, and it really shouldn’t surprise anyone given the tumultuous relationship that Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim have. In my upcoming story, I plan to explain how this move affects both countries now and in the future, and how it affects our nuclear negotiations with the regime.

Article link provided below.


Newsy: It’s Pretty Good

There are many news sites out there. From the great names of CNN and FOX to the local entities of the Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg Times, there are just as many perspectives on news stories as there are organizations that report them. But Newsy is different. Newsy is the next step in media presentation. Every news article you come across on the site contains a video and a transcript of said video. The greatest thing about this site is that they do an excellent job of summarizing the points of the story they are reporting. All the information can be heard or read and absorbed in less than a few minutes. As our society continues down the path of technological advancement and we begin to access more information faster, our attention spans and patience for finding that information will consequently shrink. But companies like Newsy are adapting to this trend. Being behind the 8-ball on this emerging social feature is sure to put this company at the forefront of online news service.

On a Local Level

When one considers it, news outlets resemble tourist destinations. Everybody is familiar with the main attractions such as NBC, CBS, and CNN. And while those sources are comfortable and familiar, the real interesting stuff comes from the smaller, lesser known places. The places that the locals tell the tourists of. Hyperlocal news outlets are these small alcoves of wonder. Tiny websites and apps trying to make a name for themselves in the realm of media. The three sites I explored were TRVL, Floridian Voices, and Gossip Extra. TRVL is a Dutch travel magazine editorial whose platform exists exclusively on the iPad. They are a monthly magazine with subscriptions as low as 99 cents per month. Floridian Voices is an op-ed website where citizens and journalists alike can submit and post pieces that can be read by anyone in the country. The site is run by a former editor of the Tampa Tribune. Finally, Gossip Extra is a gossip site run by another former editor from a news publication in Palm Beach, Florida. Things that these hyperlocal outlets have in common are that they are not institutionalized, and that they rely on ad revenue and syndicated releases to make a profit.

An Eye in Another World

The camera is one of man’s greatest inventions. To be able to capture light from a single moment in time and save it is an underrated achievement of modern man. Combined with the essence of journalism, we are able to tell some very compelling stories. Photo journalism is both present analysis and past reflection. It is time travel and meditation all at once. For my photo journalism project I want to write a story about a location. I want to delve into the history of a town or city or some natural feature, perhaps. In terms of visual aesthetics, I would choose a seaside town in the Mediterranean, or maybe Greece or Italy. Greece in particular because the stark white buildings contrast beautifully with the cool blue waters of the Mediterranean, not to mention that it is a place of significance for human development. It is the birthplace of many ideas, philosophies, politics, and the house of many treasured monuments to the achievements of our past. Perhaps Greece might be the perfect subject for my photo story…

(Re)writing History: Service Journalism Idea

When most people hear the word advertising, they usually think of billboards, TV commercials or annoying YouTube and Facebook clips that always interrupt your videos. But to me, advertising runs deeper than that. It is both an art and a science to make someone want something. All the math, art, science and writing that goes into advertising is incredible. For my service journalism story, I want to write a historical piece on the “Golden Age of Advertising” which lasted from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s. I would like to study the magnitude of the materialism that came about during this time, in addition to examining how advertisers got a whole nation to buy, buy, buy. What sort of psychologic means did they use to target and capture their demographic? What was the rise, the fall of it? All these questions are burning inside my brain. Hopefully I’ll write a decent enough article to answer them.

How to Not Give Someone Advice on Interview Preparation

Writing is easy.

But it gets hard when you have to run your ideas past someone else. Maybe you can’t take criticism well. Maybe you over think the comments made. Maybe you just straight up don’t care at all. Whatever the case may be, I knew I had to get a second opinion somewhere. I decided to consult my friend Max, a seasoned reporter with a bit of an attitude problem, at the local cafe.

“An interview huh? What’re you writing about?”

“I want to interview a local DJ on the marketing of music as well as what it takes to perform at clubs.”

“Sounds boring. But, it’s your story. You gotta think about your audience though. Who’s gonna read it? Why would they care enough to not just totally skip over your article?”

“Well, people are coming down from music festival season so they’re all star-struck and want to know how to be like the people they saw live. A lot of those people are college students too, so it will definitely garner some attention.”

“Alright. You’ll need people to ask, and questions to ask them.”

“ I got two guys lined up to talk to: Eryck Crespo (my subject) and Truong Nguyen (the third-party). My interview will get me most of my questions, and I’ll probably just ask the other guy what he thinks when he sees people perform on stage or something.”

“Jesus Christ, the coffee here is awful. Why did you recommend this place?”

“It had good reviews on Google…”

“It’s the internet dude. People lie. Ah, whatever. So besides talking how else would you get info?”

“Well I guess I could Google something if I had to, but it’ll mostly be from the intervi-where are you going?”

“Meeting. We’ll talk later!”

“But you didn’t even pay!“

“Don’t care!”

Conception of An Interview

Preparing for an interview can be a stressful process. From creating questions to tracking someone down, interviews can be dizzying but extraordinary opportunities to discover information. In preparation for my interview, I first had to think of what kind of story I wanted to pursue. Mead? Agribusiness? Social movements? The possibilities were endless. I ended up choosing something that was of great interest for me: music. More specifically, the kind of music that one finds in the nightclubs that I find so much joy in attending. I wanted to find out how one gets to play at these venues, as well as what it takes to maintain the brand the becomes associated with the artist. I chose local club DJ/Producer Eryck Crespo as my primary candidate for the interview. Having seen the man perform myself, he felt like the most natural choice in pursuing a story of this nature. Additionally, he has performed at clubs in Tampa and Orlando, and has even performed at Imagine Music Festival in Atlanta. Setting up the interview, however, has proven difficult as of late. At this point in time, many Floridians (myself and Mr. Crespo included) were caught in the middle of a particularly nasty hurricane that has left many without power. This has hindered communication between us, but power should be restored by the end of today thus solving the issue. I hope that I can make this work. I’m looking forward to this interview very much.

Interview Outline

Nightclubs. You either love them or loathe them. But for some, they are a way of life, a means by which to express themselves. Those people are the club DJs. The ones who put on a show for the hundreds of people who come together every weekend looking for nothing more than a good time. But what exactly does it take for one to become and continue to be the life of the party? [Subjects name] and I sat down to find out.

  1. How would you describe the initial event that began your interest in music?
  2. What does it take to come up with and maintain one’s brand/image?
  3. How would you describe the process of landing a gig at a club?
  4. What do you feel when you’re on stage behind the decks?
  5. What’s one stereotype about DJs that you just cannot stand?
  6. Why do you think so many DJs produce their own music in addition to playing sets?
  7. Describe your production process. What goes through your mind as you try to piece a song together?
  8. How does one get their music to reach a large number of people?
  9. If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
  10. What advice to you have for fellow up and coming producers/DJs?

Getting Down With The DPRK: How and Why I Would Interview Kim Jong Un

There are many people in this world. 7.5 billion, to be exact. And if I had to choose one person out of those billions of others to interview, that person would be Kim Jong Un. While I do admire James Franco’s performance in the film The Interview, my own interview would be more information based. I’d like to interview Kim Jong Un because I feel that there is a need to know just how the mind of the leaders of one of, if not the only, totally communist regimes left in the world. How does he think? Why does he act the way he does? Allowing the dictator to explain himself to the world would prove helpful for North Koreans and North Americans alike. Some questions I would ask Mr. Kim would be: Why so fearful and hateful of the West? Why cling to Communism instead of Capitalism? Is there internal pressure from leaders to maintain the status quo? Is Democracy ever a possibility within your borders? How do you justify the existence of labor camps and explain the numerous human rights violations your regime is accused of?

These questions and more would allow us to better understand Kim Jong Un. Hopefully, a chance like this or a similar one comes along in the near future.