Quick Showcase: My Broadcast Pieces

Look at my work and critique me!

Those of you who have followed my post know that I am pursuing convergence journalism at the University of Missouri with an emphasis in television reporting. This semester saw me continue my work at KOMU — the NBC affiliate station in Columbia, Missouri.

I’ve spent my time at the station producing newscast and reporting. One thing my time at the station has taught me? That I have a long way to go and a lot of learning to do. But more importantly, that all critiques are good critiques — and one way or the other, offer something to learn.

So for my final showcase of the semester, I’d like to display the work that I’ve produced for KOMU. This may not be A+, reel ready work, but at the very least serves as an indication as to where I currently am in my journalism education. So as always, please comment with critiques and help me get better!

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Talking Journalism: The Twitter Cleanse

Becoming a professional doesn’t necessarily mean you have to abandon your personal page.

And I didn’t want to! I spent years developing my personal Twitter and it served as the ultimate depiction of me. The real me. Maybe not the professional, journalistically-neutral me, but it was my voice, and it took me a long time to become comfortable and confident in my postings. More importantly, what about the following I’ve gained! It may not be much but it is an audience and the idea of starting from scratch seems unfathomable.

Regardless of how much I loathed the idea of getting rid of my Twitter page, my professors and mentors made three things clear: journalist require objectivity and your twitter page should reflect that, employers will be turned off by unprofessional content and you don’t want one tweet from your past to ruin all aspects of your future.

But various recruiters I’ve spoken to have highlighted one crucial tidbit that gives me hope: while maintaining professionalism is key, employers are interested in seeing that you have the ability to personalize your account and interact with your audience. Translation: funny/ witty memes, gifs, likes, and retweets aren’t completely out of the picture. If anything they can make your appear more marketable.

So what do you do? How do you act professional whilst maintaining your voice and keeping an audience? Well, rather than completely abandoning my account, I opted to clean it up. I call it “The Twitter Cleanse,” and here’s how you do it.

Step One: Be realistic with yourself

The cleanse can only do so much. If you have thousands of tweets and know that a majority of them contain foul language (you know exactly what words I’m talking about), are extremely politicized or feature explicit images or videos, creating a professional account that will provide you a fresh start may not be the worst idea. (Or you can skip to Step Four.)

Step Two: Take a look at your media

We tend to forget that every meme, gif or image we ever tweet out is embedded into our media tab. Those of you who pair your tweets with some form of media may have thousands of files to sort through. Media content that is funny and witty (but not tooo witty) can stay! Content that’s political, makes references to things that are controversial, explicit or offensive should be deleted. Use your best professional judgment to determine what needs to go. Is a meme about Trump really worth it if it threatens your career?

Step Three: Utilize Twitter’s “Advanced Search” feature

Have you ever seen someone get Twitter famous only to be dropped hours later because  an offensive tweet from their past was drudged up. They were probably a victim of an advanced search. This tools allows users to search for keywords in tweets from specific accounts. What’s best about this feature? You can use it to find and delete your own problematic tweets. Look below

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Once you press search, Twitter will pull any tweets meeting your search criteria. Don’t hold back when searching terms. Remember that all it takes is one offensive tweet to put your entire career as risk. Don’t end it before it starts.

***Make sure you’re searching “any of these words” and not “all of these words.”

Step Four: Wipe it Clean

If you do the advanced search and realize that your past self lacked a filter, you may just want to delete your tweets and start fresh. While some of your tweets may hold a special place in your heart, deleting them ensures that they can’t haunt you down the line.

There is some good news though: you don’t need to delete your tweets individually. There are programs that delete your tweets in bulk!

Tweet Delete is one program that allows you to utilize an “auto delete” feature, delete tweets that are a certain age (i.e delete all tweets older than two years), and, if you really want to, wipe out all of your tweets.

Step Five: Change Your Name

Finally, an account with professional content can be completely invalidated by an unprofessional twitter handle. What worked in high school, or even college, may not be the best in the professional world.

(This step is the hardest for me I love my current name.. but alas it must be done)

Once this step has been completed, sit back, open your eyes and take a look at your new and improved, cleansed, professional Twitter account. Don’t forget the amount of stress and anxiety this process caused you. Now that your account is clean, it’s crucial that you leave it that way. Put a conscious effort into actively monitoring the content on your account and ensure that nothing that can jeopardize your career is posted.

You can still have fun with your tweets! Just think before you tweet.


Quick Showcase: Convergence Journalism

What exactly am I learning at the University of Missouri?

As I’ve mentioned in previous post, I am a convergence journalism student at the University of Missouri’s “J-School.” This sequence has provided me with a broad set of skills that allow me to pursue various realms of journalism, ranging from broadcast news reporting and production to digital writing and advertising.

A recent conversation with my mom pointed one thing out to me though: No one really knows what convergence is. They know what journalism is. They know what broadcast journalism is. But very few know what convergence journalism is (with the exception of it being known as “the hard one” among other journalism students).

So here’s a quick video I made that solves this problem by giving you a glimpse into the convergence sequence. Let me preface the video by saying I wanted it to give you a real look into one of the program’s most hectic days “Deadline Day.” Things are loud and as a result some parts of the video may be harder to hear than others. But it’s okay, I promise you’ll get the point and still leave with an understanding of convergence. Take a look!

Quick Showcase: Celebified

Watch my videos and help me get better!

I’m a big fan of actively preparing for various milestones that you’ll eventually encounter in life. One of mine? I will begin working for an NBC affiliate news station as a reporter and, hopefully, anchor in a few months. While I am confident that my current journalism education will provide me with a solid base when I start, there’s always room to grow.

One thing that I’d like to improve is my camera presence. I don’t think that I’m necessarily bad, but like I said earlier, there’s always room to improve. So when the opportunity to anchor videos for Tasty Productions arose, you can bet that I jumped right on it. This experience, while not necessarily news, would help me refine three things that would aid me in anchoring and reporting: my ability to read a teleprompter (without you knowing that I’m reading a teleprompter), making sure that the tone of my voice matches the tone of the story and ensuring that my stage presence matches the brand of whatever company I’m working for (in this case Tasty Productions).

So, below you’ll find a few videos that I’ve done for Celebified. How did I do? What can I improve? Any tips/critiques?


Let’s Talk About: Kim K’s Halloween Costumes

There’s a fine line between admiration and appropriation but did the reality star cross it?

No, and here’s why.

Appropriation: the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture.

This definition points to exploitation. Culture appropriation occurs when someone does or attempts to profit off of a culture in a way that the members of said culture cannot.

What does this look like? Katy Perry dressing up as a Geisha in her 2013 AMA performance and relying on the archetypal, often sexualized view of Asian women to attract eyeballs. It wasn’t appropriation because her set featured floral displays reminiscent of those often scene in Japanese films and it wasn’t really even her hair and makeup that did it. It was the fact that she wasn’t admiring Japanese culture, she was admiring the white-washed, stereotypical view of Japanese and Asian culture. Something felt off about Perry’s heavy use of powdered makeup in an attempt to recreate the “geisha look” for her and her dancers.

Something felt off about the traditional Japanese music paired with her attempt to simulate the culture’s choreography. And worse, the fact that all this was done in a major award show performance — meaning, whether it came from advertising dollars or viewer eyeballs, she was profiting off of this. While I doubt this was her intent, the performance made people perceive the star as being a culture vulture: exploiting the trendy, cute aspects of a culture and leaving the rest behind; not having a genuine interest in the culture, but rather an interest in the money that could be brought in through the culture.

That’s how I look at appropriation. You, someone not in my culture, can do it and its cute, trendy, stylish and profitable. I, someone in my culture, do it and its percieved in a negative way, devalued or results in a loss of profits.

Need another example? Remember when Miley went through this phase?


I hope I don’t have to detail why this is viewed as appropriation. She did this, exploited black culture (think twerking, appearance etc), got her check and then returned to her wholesome, sweet “Younger Now” self.

I say this all to say, cultural appropriation starts with a motive. That motive can be making money or even as simple as being stylish or trendy. Cultural appropriation occurs when that motive is paired with exploitation. Neither Kim Kardashian’s Aaliyah or Selena Quintanilla costumes were examples of appropriation because there wasn’t a profit-based or exploitative element to them. They weren’t offensive either. Yes, she had a tan and make up, but not black face.


She posted them on social media for free viewing (although some can argue that still makes her money, but I digress). She may not have necessarily done a great job in honoring the late icons who hold incredibly high value in black and brown communities, but she didn’t appropriate from black or latino cultures. She dressed up for Halloween.

I know reducing it to just that may irritate people, but that’s what it boils down to. It wasn’t blatantly offensive or disrespectful. She didn’t cross any boundaries and didn’t exploit (in this instance). She just dressed up. In a costume. For Halloween.

Lesson Learned: A filter is a necessity

A recent experience triggered some major introspective thinking.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, a few weeks ago I was featured in Kids in College, a podcast created and hosted by two friends of mine. Topics remained relatively casual and unstructured — it wasn’t an interview or even a segment, it was a conversation. One that I was far too comfortable with.

Because the host of the podcast were friends of mine, the atmosphere was extremely jovial. We were just talking and having fun — so much fun that there was a tendency to forget that we were being recorded and that everything we were saying would eventually be published.

It was at this moment I learned one of the most important lessons of my working career: everything you say, especially in this day and age, will be heard by someone and have an impact.

When I listened to the podcast after the hosts published it, I panicked. To be completely transparent, I thought that my journalism career ended before it even started. Saying I lacked objectivity would be an understatement. I made opinions known on comments ranging from Cardi B’s new release to the alt-right. I ranted about President Trump before tackling Eminem’s politicized rap cypher.

Not all of the podcast was bad — honestly most of it was genuinely interesting, dynamic conversation. We gave our opinions regarding James Cameron’s planned sequels to Avatar, we talked about our middle school experiences and expressed our thoughts about the Justice League.

Buuuuut future employers won’t care about how great the podcast may have been. They’ll care about the two or three subjectively controversial comments I made. They’ll remember that I, an aspiring journalist, felt completely comfortable disclosing my personal, biased opinions.

So a lessons learned: If you don’t have a filter, get one. If you’re being recorded — be aware and act appropriately. And finally, remember that EVERYTHING you say, will eventually be heard.