Weekly Commentary: Backpack journalist extraordinaire

I had two posts this week, both coming in the same night in an unquestionably stereotypical manifestation of the “backpack journalist” theory behind convergence. I posted-up with a camera on the baseline for the Mizzou Tigers men’s basketball team’s contest against Colorado. Once the game ended, I went to the press area and began trimming my 550 pictures down to a “loose edit” of 50 or so, to be trimmed down again to 10-20 solid proofs. Before I finished round one of this process, I put down the recorder in the interview room and captured quotes for my story.

I wrote the story in the middle of photo editing. The timeliness of a game synopsis is more important than a gallery of photos, we decided in our meeting last Wednesday. I used a photo by Karen Mitchell alongside the game story; the powers-that-be allowed her to photograph from the stands so her image represents a different angle than my gallery and slideshow will capture.

It took five hours to complete production of both, and although I can’t say I would enjoy a career that demands I produce both on a nightly basis, I at least proved to myself that I can do it. This provides flexibility for the site as well as myself personally.

We have made earnest promises to ourselves to delve into research in the immediate future. At present, we are exploring a way to enhance the brand image of the blog as it stands now. JJ Stankevitz and Ross Taylor set it up without any real knowledge of design, so an upgrade may be a nice change.

We have also tossed around the idea of a production quota, such as a daily post for everyone or specific days for specific people to post. At this point, we hope an obligation to post never arises, but we have seen traffic dip significantly on days when we do not post any new content, for obvious reasons.


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