A dam removal story now on the Knight Center’s Great Lakes Echo news site is a great example of the kind of remote sensing reporting MSU journalism students will do this fall in JRN 472, News eye in the blue sky.
The story is an audio report about the removal of two dams on Ohio’s Cuyahoga River. It’s accompanied by live video of the dam removal process.
It’s a creative report for a number of reasons.
First, it gives listeners something to watch while they listen to the story. Often online audio listeners are multi-tasking, listening to the report while they surf the Internet, clean the kitchen, drive the car. Multi-tasking isn’t necessarily a bad thing, particularly if it means the story would not be otherwise consumed.
But in this case they are given something directly relevant to what they’re listening to, and it is live while it happens. That can’t help but bring greater exposure and attention to what the reporter is reporting.
Another great thing about this unmanned camera work is that it forms an archive of the dam destruction. Readers can look at previous posts to see the dam before and during the process. It’s fun to skip through the video to watch it come down.
This is just one kind of remote sensing reporting we’ll be exploring in JRN 472. (Yes, we’ll fly a drone, but we’ll also look at the use of satellites, robotic fish, wildlife tracking collars, buoys and other devices that can extend a reporter’s nose for news.)
And we’ll be looking at the ethical, legal, privacy concerns they raise.
Read more here and here or contact instructor David Poulson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517 432 5417.
The course fulfills a 400 level journalism lab requirement and offers the opportunity to produce news stories that are published on Echo.