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Podcasts – Telling The Story
40 minutes | Jan 19, 2022
86: Greg Bledsoe, solo video journalist, Family Geography Project
When I started this podcast nine years ago, I assumed at some point I would interview Greg Bledsoe. At the time he was the reigning two-time NPPA national Solo Video Journalist of the Year. He was one of the most talented photojournalists in the country AND one of the most talented writers in the country. → The post PODCAST #86: Greg Bledsoe, solo video journalist, on the Family Geography Project appeared first on Telling The Story.
51 minutes | May 12, 2021
PODCAST EPISODE #85: Reshma Kirpalani, documentarian, “Inside the COVID Unit”
Last spring, when so many of us were frightened and nervous at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the world of journalism and the world as a whole felt chaotic and upended, Reshma Kirpalani leaned in. She cold-emailed a hospital group in south Florida to see if she could obtain access to its COVID unit, through videos shot by its employees. She received that access and embarked on a half-hour documentary ... that ultimately turned into five half-hours of an episodic series. She convinced her bosses at the Miami Herald and its parent company, McClatchy, to enable her to focus entirely on this project. And just as she was about to start putting it together, Kirpalani learned she had been laid off. McClatchy decided to eliminate Kirpalani's video team. For Kirpalani, it meant the end of not only regular paychecks but also the documentary she had poured nine months into producing. Or, at least, it would have meant the end ... if she hadn't fought to finish it. Kirpalani convinced her bosses to let her stay on for three more months. In that time, she produced an unforgettable and necessary document of the early stages of the pandemic - and how those grueling weeks impacted the lives of the health care workers who couldn't avoid it. The project, titled "Inside the COVID Unit," can now be seen on miamiherald.com. And it's riveting. I've watched - and produced - numerous stories on the pandemic, but few if any moved me like this series. It puts on full display the initial chaos of those early months, which weighs over every impossible decision faced by the health care workers profiled here. Kirpalani's commitment shows throughout. She captures moments that are equally brutal, frustrating, raw, and heartbreaking. She has an intuitive sense of narrative and context. More importantly, she does it all with extraordinary empathy - the quality that most enables this series to stand out. Kirpalani is my guest on Episode 85 of the Telling the Story podcast. When I listened back to this interview, I immediately wanted to hoist my camera and tell a meaningful story. I'm in awe of storytellers like Kirpalani who embrace their work with such devotion. It's what I seek in my own stories, and it's what I appreciate in the journalists I admire most. → The post PODCAST EPISODE #85: Reshma Kirpalani, documentarian, “Inside the COVID Unit” appeared first on Telling The Story.
34 minutes | Apr 7, 2021
84: Emily Chan, restaurant owner, on being the subject of a story
I've done 83 episodes of the Telling the Story podcast and, in the process, interviewed nearly as many talented storytellers and journalists. Episode 84 is different. This time, I interviewed someone on the other side of the camera - someone who was the subject on an in-depth story I produced late last fall. Her name is Emily Chan. She's the co-owner of JenChan's restaurant in Atlanta. I did a five-minute story about the restaurant last year, spotlighting hers to represent the challenges faced by so many in that industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. I spent six shoots in two weeks with Chan, and I was able to tell a compelling, all-encompassing story as a result. Last month I learned the story had won an NPPA Best of Photojournalism award for Hard Video Essay. When I posted about it on Facebook, Chan responded with a lengthy comment that included the following sentences: "This interview still haunts us...and not in a negative way; it simply captured our vulnerability - which is truly every small business owner's vulnerability during this past year. I went back and watched it last week and it was painful; it still is. We are still fighting week to week and we still see the light at the end of this tunnel. Thank you for sharing our story so thoughtfully and carefully." We shouldn't need reminders of how our stories impact those we interview, but this was a big one. I decided it could be a subject of further exploration. Chan is my guest on Episode 84 of the Telling the Story podcast. → The post PODCAST EPISODE #84: Emily Chan, restaurant owner, on being the subject of a story appeared first on Telling The Story.
58 minutes | Mar 19, 2021
83: Ed Ou, visual journalist, on finding detail in documentary
On his first day covering Twin Cities protests after the death of George Floyd, photographer Ed Ou briefly became the news. Ou says he was set up with a group of journalists as curfew hit. He says state troopers fired tear gas, rubber bullets, and concussion grenades. Ou was hit in the head and received four stitches in the hospital. That night, he still filed a report for NBC News. And days later, after many journalists had left, Ou found a story unlike any I've seen from that time. Earlier this month, NBC News released online Ou's half-hour documentary, "The Intersection: Fatherhood at the Heart of George Floyd Square." It's a beautiful work of journalism, and frankly, the less I say beforehand, the better. But it's embedded right here: It's the latest gem in a spectacular career that has taken Ou to multiple continents and earned him national honors. Ou is my guest on Episode 83 of the Telling the Story podcast. → The post PODCAST EPISODE #83: Ed Ou, visual journalist, on finding detail in documentary appeared first on Telling The Story.
37 minutes | Feb 17, 2021
82: Lynsey Weatherspoon, photojournalist, on capturing heritage and history
Quick confession: I honestly don't remember when I first heard about Lynsey Weatherspoon. It might have been last spring, when one of her photos of the George Floyd protests in Atlanta went viral. It might have been in the fall, when she popped up taking portraits of major political candidates across Georgia. I'm not sure how she came into my orbit, but I'm glad she did. I've been inspired ever since. In this past year, Weatherspoon has documented some of the most important moments and people in Atlanta and America. She took what the Guardian called one of "the best photographs of 2020," and she contributed to some of the most esteemed media outlets in the country. All the while, she has remained someone who in her words is "called upon to capture heritage and history in real time." The third word of her bio is the hashtag #queerblackgirl, and she makes sure to amplify voices of each of those communities. She operates with intention, both in her assignments and with the impact she looks to make on the world. Weatherspoon is my guest on Episode 82 of the Telling the Story podcast. → The post PODCAST EPISODE #82: Lynsey Weatherspoon, photojournalist, on capturing heritage and history appeared first on Telling The Story.
60 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
81: Tomas Hoppough, Scripps, on docu-style storytelling as an solo video journalist
After conducting this interview - and then listening back to it - I felt fired up to go out and tell a story. I wanted to pick up my camera, put on an N95, get in my car, and do something great. That's the result of 45 minutes chatting with Tomas Hoppough. He's a solo video journalist with Scripps National, but that hardly describes the variety and quality of his work. He travels roughly every other week, mostly alone, with mirrorless cameras and lenses and the goal of two longform stories per trip. He succeeds in that goal, and then some. He produces docu-style pieces that are vivid in both characters and aesthetics. Tomas is my guest on Episode 81 of the Telling the Story podcast. In the podcast, I mention several of Tomas' stories. Check them out here: Rising in Minneapolis: a powerful series of pieces with photojournalist Drew Snadecki in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd Guns Down, Gloves Up: a half-hour special turned in less than two weeks after a powerful program in Virginia → The post PODCAST EPISODE #81: Tomas Hoppough, solo video journalist, Scripps National appeared first on Telling The Story.
36 minutes | Oct 1, 2020
79: Tiffany Liou, WFAA-TV, on MMJing during a pandemic
The "origin story" is a superhero movie staple: how one everyday individual discovered extraordinary powers and realized her or his destiny of defending the city, country, world, or galaxy. In the journalism world, Tiffany Liou has one of the most inspiring origin stories you'll hear. She didn't go in J-school. She took a job in marketing. But she felt a pull towards news. She picked up an internship at a local affiliate but never quit her day job. She did both, overnighting as an assignment editor on the other side of the Bay Area. Eventually, she left the West Coast for a producer/MMJ position in West Monroe, Louisiana. That's how she started. Now she's an accomplished storyteller at one of the top storytelling stations in the country, WFAA-TV in Dallas. Liou is my guest on Episode 79 of the Telling the Story podcast. In this episode, we discuss Liou's origins in the field, but we mostly dive into her life today: as a solo video journalist during a global pandemic. It's changed and challenged all of us. Liou's perspective is one many will understand. She is also one of 16 interviews for The Solo Video Journalist, 2nd Edition, my updated how-to book for MMJs that was just published and is available for purchase. I finished the book just before COVID-19 took over our lives, but its core techniques and lessons remain relevant and even critical in our current world. Being a solo video journalist means living in a continual state of adaptation, and this is no different. → The post PODCAST EPISODE #79: Tiffany Liou, solo video journalist, WFAA-TV appeared first on Telling The Story.
47 minutes | Sep 23, 2020
78: Neima Abdulahi, WXIA-TV, talks dominating on digital
The first time I met Neima Abdulahi, it was her first week at our station, WXIA-TV in Atlanta, and I was asked if she could shadow me for a day. But I quickly learned: Abdulahi is nobody's shadow. She grew up in Atlanta and returned professionally three years out of school. As a one-woman crew, she turned daily stories like everyone else, but she kept her eye on a grander goal: becoming a voice for the city she loved, the music she embraced, and the many cultures she represented. She produced a half-hour special about the Atlanta hip-hop scene. She did a longform story about Migos. She looked back with relentless reports on the infamous Atlanta child murders of 1979-81. This summer, she provided some of the most thoughtful and textured coverage of the death of civil rights icon John Lewis. Abdulahi is an example on how to develop and amplify your voice. But she hasn't just done so on-air. She has used that momentum to build up an online following, specifically on Instagram, that has allowed her to go part-time at WXIA while freelancing at places like VIBE Magazine. She approaches social media with a marketer's mentality and a willingness to experiment and adapt to the demands of her audience. She is my guest on Episode 78 of the Telling the Story podcast. I've been a huge fan of Abdulahi for a long time, and I appreciated her taking the time to share her story. I'm also excited that she's among the MMJs I interviewed for my new book, The Solo Video Journalist, 2nd Edition, which is now available for purchase. Both the podcast and the book are worth your time. → The post PODCAST EPISODE #78: Neima Abdulahi, culture reporter, WXIA-TV & more appeared first on Telling The Story.
39 minutes | Jul 29, 2020
77: Kainaz Amaria, Vox, on representation in journalism
I think many of us are reckoning with our roles as journalists - and questioning some of the supposed set-in-stone practices of the profession. We're thinking more about representation, and we're examining where we fall short as both individuals and outlets in covering the communities we serve. I like to think I've been on a constant path of reckoning in this area for many years. I continue to evolve, and so does the world - and the world of journalism. I try to use this space - the blog and podcast - to bring discussion and conversation where it might not always exist. I found a thoughtful conversation partner in Kainaz Amaria. She's the visuals editor at Vox, and she's the 2020 recipient of the NPPA's John Long Ethics Award, given to "an individual who has, through his or her efforts, upheld, shaped, and promoted ethical behavior in all forms of visual journalism." She works diligently to promote representation in both the stories she oversees and the journalism circles in which she runs. Amaria is my guest on Episode 77 of the Telling the Story podcast. She is also a speaker at the upcoming NPPA Virtual Video Storytelling Workshop, taking place August 7 & 8 online. I'm directing the workshop and am thrilled to bring on two dozen talented journalists to present about topics from COVID-19 to digital dominance. Amaria is one of three panelists speaking about representation in storytelling. Sign up now, and get ready to be inspired. → The post PODCAST EPISODE #77: Kainaz Amaria, visuals editor, Vox appeared first on Telling The Story.
31 minutes | Jul 24, 2020
76: Chris Hansen, KUSA-TV, talks creatively covering COVID-19
For five months, the Telling the Story podcast has been delayed by current events - both external in the world (COVID-19) and internal in my life (the arrival of my second daughter!). But it returns now - and with an all-star guest. Chris Hansen is a senior photojournalist at KUSA-TV. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, he was a standard-setter in finding beautiful, innovative, and thoughtful ways of shooting and editing stories. Since the pandemic - with numerous restrictions on where he can shoot video and how he can conduct interviews - Hansen has found new ways to persevere. Take this story, where he interviewed neighborhood residents on their front lawns with the help of their cell phones. Or this one, where he used the drone to capture and illustrate the emptiness of Denver's streets during a stay-at-home order: Hansen is my guest on Episode #76 of the Telling the Story podcast. He is also a speaker at the upcoming NPPA Virtual Video Storytelling Workshop, taking place August 7 & 8 online. I'm directing the workshop and am thrilled to bring on two dozen talented journalists to present about topics from COVID-19 to digital dominance. Sign up now, and get ready to be inspired. → The post PODCAST EPISODE #76: Chris Hansen, senior photojournalist, KUSA-TV appeared first on Telling The Story.
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