This audio recording exercise is something that I did for my multimedia journalism class. It’s just messing around with some audio that I captured from the Gloria Steinem speech on Tuesday. I got sound bites from four topics she went over as well as a reaction from one of the audience members.
For this post I have to critique to audio slideshows. I have to say it was very hard trying to find audio slideshows to critique that pertained to the topic of my blog. However, both of these slideshows are about sports and sports is something that’s relevant to this blog so I believe these will do.
A Boxer’s First Professional Fight
This first slideshow is about a boxer who is embarking on his first professional fight. Photographer Tom Jenkins of the guardian followed boxing prospect George Kean’s journey through his victory over opponent Rick Boulter. The slideshow begins with Kean walking into the arena and details his night all the way until the gloves are taken off in the locker room after the fight. What I liked about this slideshow was that there was no one talking over the photographs. You just had the sights and sounds of what was going on in the pictures, and I must say that the audio matched up with the pictures perfectly. When Kean is punching the boxing mitts of his trainer in the locker room before the fight the sounds are sharp and crisp, while the sounds of the audience while he’s entering the ring make you feel like you’re there. The images are on long enough to let you get a good look at them, and while there aren’t any captions for this slideshow you can clearly tell what’s going on in the photos. What I like about this slideshow in particular is how it gives you the options to fast forward to specific parts using a menu, not unlike a DVD. The journalistic value of this piece is that the sights and sounds help envision the people watching the slideshow like they’re actually there at the event, which is something that I also find inspiring since I’ve always wanted to go to a boxing match. You can really see the detail and effort that’s put into one single fight, stuff that you don’t see on TV.
A Big Red Revival
This second slideshow deals with the University of Nebraska welcoming their new head coach, Bo Pelini, into their community. The story was by Chris Machian for The New York Times and was voiced over by Joe Drape. What I like about this slideshow is that it shows just how much college football means to the community in Nebraska. They take their college football very seriously, as it’s practically the only thing they got out there. The passion of the fans and the burden that’s placed on Pelini’s shoulders to do well is shown brilliantly in this piece by describing how Nebraska’s the only major university in the area and how Nebraska has a tradition for doing well. The actual slideshow itself details a luncheon event that welcomes Bo Pelini as new head coach, but a sense of tension can be detected even through just photographs and audio. This is done by explaining how the previous coach, Bill Callahan, failed to bring Nebraska back to relevance. From a journalistic standpoint the photos themselves are terrific; you got close up shots, wide shots, medium shots, and detailed shots of things such as a championship ring and a Nebraska shaped cookie from the luncheon. You can tell by the pictures and audio about the laid back atmosphere of the luncheon. What I find inspiring about this slideshow is how much Nebraska’s culture towards football resembles a lot of SEC schools in a way; it’s like their whole existence is based on how well the football team does. However, my question for my audience is this: should a town or community be so heavily involved in sports to the point where it struggles to function without it?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week you probably know about Michael Sam, or at least have heard of his name in the news. So who is Michael Sam? He’s a former Missouri All SEC defensive end and top NFl Draft prospect. That’s it? There’s got to be something else as to why people are talking about him, right? The fact that he’s one of the few college athletes to actually get a degree in this day and age? No. The fact that he helped Missouri to an SEC East title and appearance in the SEC Championship game? Nope, that was awhile back. The fact that he’s never been in trouble or has a blemish on his record? Nah, no one seems to care about that either. The fact that he came out and said he was gay? Hey we have a winner! But… why is that such a big deal though?
Michael Sam will now forever be known as the first football player to announce that he was gay. The timing of his announcement is curious since it’s right before the NFL Draft, and teams might shy away from getting him now. But why? Before this all came out he was hailed as a top defensive end coming out of college. Now teams might not even draft him, all because he’s gay? Does it bother the NFL and fans that much that a gay player can play what’s perhaps the manliest sport possible and dominate? Sam’s announcement has left polarizing opinions across the country about the future of gay athletes, but none of this should matter. People are acting like they’ve never heard or come across a gay person before. Many of them are just like you and me; in fact I’d say that many folks interact with gay people all the time and some don’t even know they are.
People need to stop looking at the fact that he’s gay (and proud of it) and look at the situation like this. Before his senior season he told the whole Missouri football team that he was gay, and the team had his back 100%. It was a situation that could’ve destroyed the locker room, but instead it only united the team together on route to an SEC East title in only Missouri’s second year in the SEC. If the players and coaches on that team could put the situation to rest as easily as they did then why can’t the rest of the world. Why can’t he be known for being a top tier defensive end instead of “the gay football player”? It’s sad because if he never came out then no one would know who he was outside of football fans. Michael Sam will be in the spotlight for the rest of his career now, but it will be for all the wrong reasons.