Saturday, February 24, 2018

Guest blogger: WSU pj student on the First Amendment, utilitarianism

By Megan Kusulas
Wayne State University photojournalism student
   The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” 
   As a college student majoring in journalism, freedom of the press directly effects my career because it allows me to freely pass on information to the society while being protected. 
   Freedom of the press does not only influence how we write, but it also influences the photos we take.
Megan Kusulas: Recipient of this week's Golden Camera
As a college student, this is important to me because the First Amendment allows me to take photos of the university or about the university to highlight the truth of campus events. 
   It allows student and professional photojournalists to document and share information with the public without being persecuted. For example, it protects against being thrown into jail if photographers do not give up sources, reveal information about the government or shoot controversial pictures.
   There is a sense of pride when it comes to delivering the truth to citizens, which the First Amendment allows. 
   As an aspiring photojournalist, I am lucky to live in a country that does not have strict laws on the press, but also follows ethical standards, which are very important to this industry because they create a reliable source of information. 
   While the United States has laws to protect the press, there are no laws to protect photojournalists from ethical issues. As a visual journalist, it is important to know how far is appropriate to go, in order to get a good shot.
   There are three ethical decision-making foundations: utilitarian, absolutist and the Golden Rule.
   Utilitarian approach is sharing photos whether they are good or bad, to better society. Absolutist is the idea that everyone has the right to their own privacy. The Golden Rule is putting yourself in the subjects shoes and deciding if you would want the photo published.  
Of the three ethical decision-making foundations, utilitarian relates to me most. I have a strong desire to spread the word about important issues in order to inform society.
   I think utilitarian is the best way to approach photojournalism because it spreads importance of the issue at hand. By this, I mean printing a photo of a tragic car crash if it would change the way viewers think, therefor, helping to prevent car crashes.
   With this power of the media, I feel I have an obligation to the public to take photos of important moments. I feel it's my duty as a journalist to share information that it is critical to help society. 
   Truth is a very important component of photojournalism, which is why the utilitarian approach to shooting photos is justifiable. I want to use my photography skills to document emotion in a story, which could change the way readers feel about a certain topic. The utilitarian approach to photojournalism is a strong way to evoke the emotions of readers and leave more of an impact.
   Overall, the First Amendment and ethical standards are guidelines that bring society accurate news. As a collegiate photojournalist, I am excited to join the field because I can influence society for the good with photos I take.

Voices of Storytelling podcast show premieres on Owens' OCCR station

From left: Lori King, Kurt Steiss and Drew Scott in the Outlook Student Media Center. (Photos by Adam Jaquay-Williams)
   Soon there will be a new page on the top bar menu called Voices Podcasts.
   This new podcast page will symbolize a new, dynamic trend of listening to stories, rather than viewing or reading.
Kurt Steiss 
   On that page, there will be a growing collection of podcasts on movers and shakers at Owens, including the president and the athletic director. These podcasts will be produced by my OCC Visual Storytelling students, called Voices of Storytellers. Though the podcasts are class assignments, they will also be published, giving the Broadcast Technology students a chance to build a portfolio in sound.
   I am also kicking off my own podcast next week. Called Voices of the Media, it will feature photographers, journalists, and radio and tv personalities, like Toledo Blade reporter Sarah Elms, who will discuss the topic of reporters who shoot their own photos and videos with a cell phone, and DJ Denny Schaffer, from Q105.5, WQQO-FM.
   These podcasts will air on the OCCR station Thursdays at 2 p.m., and also the Owens Outlook online student newspaper. So, please subscribe to the OCCR Soundcloud and the Owens Outlook if you are interested in what our guests have to say!
   It is now time to introduce the first podcast of this semester, recorded and produced by Visual Storytelling student Drew Scott, featuring his guest, Toledo Blade photographer Kurt Steiss:

To view Kurt's portfolio, go to his website

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Owens Visual Storytelling students collaborate on OCCR station jingle

   As the faculty adviser to the Owens Outlook online student newspaper for half a decade, I've experienced a regeneration or two. But we keep getting back on our feet.
   So it's with excitement that I announce we are in yet another rejuvenation, but I'm confident this one is the beginning of a golden era for students who will walk through the Outlook Student Media Center door for years to come.
   Back in Room 156 (a great space we used to share with student government, then were moved out to two other locations) in the Fine & Performing Arts Center on the Perrysburg Owens Community College campus, we now have a media center manager, Rob Thomas, and an OCCR radio manager, Herbey Adkinson. These two gentlemen will help keep the center going.
   The biggest change is that the Owens Outlook is now sharing space with the OCCR station, and eventually with the new television component. This is possible because of the new Broadcast and TV Technology majors.
   As part of this new collaboration, we are rebranding, which is why these students in the video were recording a new jingle for our show, Voices of Storytelling podcast, which debuts on the OCCR station next Thursday between the 2-3 p.m. hour. It will be a weekly 15-minute podcast, recorded and produced the Visual Storytelling students.
   There is much to do: rewrite the student media policy manual; redo the student staff application; rebrand the media center and its components; recruit, recruit, recruit; train, train, train. Then what we do best - write, photograph and broadcast! 
   So stay tuned for what's to come, and listen to that jingle on our OCCR station!