Final Project

Synopsis

I wanted the first impression of this website to give viewers a familiar setting as if they were visiting a site designed to report news and stories on sports and mixed martial arts. The theme of the story was centered on a narrative

A photo of two mixed martial artists sparring

Wilson Heis spars Masio Fullen at Alliance Training Center, March 3. Photo by Chris Madaffer

showcasing a human side to mixed martial arts and the routine a fighter endures every week. I felt capturing the fight culture in San Diego county and Tijuana, Mexico was vital to parts of the narrative because of the fact that mixed martial arts had been illegal in California until 2005. As a mixed martial arts fan, I wanted to give readers a new angle which shed light on not just the process of training in mixed martial arts but the challenges of weight-cutting and to me, this painted a serious picture but not one that would overwhelm the narrative.

Developing the Story

I followed the code of ethics set by the Society of Professional Journalists. The four principles listed are ones I’ve learned through past journalism classes and throughout the process of crafting my story, I made sure to respect the privacy of the individual I was interviewing as well as keeping the context of quotes and information in tact so no information is diminished and credibility is maintained.

Creating this story and getting back to the routine of a reporter was a familiar feeling that had been absent for too long. It was nice to get back to starting an original story and along the way came some challenges. Mostly there existed the challenge of not using a fancy camera to record video but my smartphone was able to get the job done because of applications like Videolicious and sharing devices such as Google drive. Technology wasn’t an obstacle as much as getting additional quotes and narrative pieces for the story. I say this because there was an opportunity to go back to Alliance Training Center for a final time but since the gym was in transition of moving to a new location, it was too difficult to meet with any new fighters or trainers because of the constant going back and forth between old and new location

 

Opportunities came sooner than I expected as I was able to set up interviews with a fighter and some coaches because of the great coordination I had with one of the agents who represents the professional fight team at Alliance. Applications like Videolicous, iMovie and SoundCloud allowed me to safely store, edit and upload multimedia content quickly and efficiently. The advantage of a smartphone in this prevalent era of digital journalism saved me time.

Digital Media Experience

Before this story package, my knowledge of digital media in journalism was very basic. I had never sent out a tweet, worked with HTML, style sheets or used analytic devices to monitor website traffic. Data collection was an enriching experience because it was a method I never thought I would integrate into my role as a journalist. I was aware of websites like FiveThirtyEight that used data collection to strengthen their stories but using Google spreadsheets and discovering source codes was eye-opening because it presents effective methods of gathering data. This semester also marked the first time in years I had ever tried using formulas in Microsoft Excel and the knowledge learned in class added a depth to my narrative when it came to presenting data I collected.

WordPress was a site I was familiar with since I had used it when writing for a school newspaper in community college

A screenshot of Madaffer’s infographic title page

but I didn’t have the chance then to customize my own WordPress site and distribute content to my liking. My experience with HTML and CSS style sheets allowed me to customize parts of this website in the sense I was lifting the hood of my car and doing maintenance. Piktochart was beneficial to representing findings in my data and weaving them into the narrative near the end. I was aware of applications that simplify creating charts and videos but that tool in particular was great for me.

Storify and Twitter are both applications which I still have much to learn. I feel I’m getting the hang of Twitter and how

CCO Public Domain

to effectively follow certain digital media personalities but Storify was so foreign to me that I wasn’t able to effectively create my idea for a narrative on that specific platform. But, practice makes perfect and I’m still young in this field with an eagerness to challenge myself and conquer goals.

The multimedia in my work is mostly expressed through images and video presentations. The pictures and video I

a picture of words placed together on a wall

CCO Public Domain

captured while crafting my narrative helped put everything in motion but in the future I’m going to share my narrative on my podcast website as well as discuss it on my podcast in a way that audibly, a listener can experience the gravity of the story.

 

 

The most enjoyable moments for me was interviewing some of the striking coaches at Alliance Training Center as well as being able to sit it on a meeting with the owners of the gym and members who have questions. My interview with UFC fighter Cat Zingano was short and sweet but I’m a fan of hers and it was surreal to be able to interview an athlete I’ve watched compete over the years. Lastly, the best part was when I was invited to participate in a kickboxing seminar at Alliance and it was an incredible time. I grew competing in varsity sports throughout high school but one thing I’ve never attempted is fighting and the physical stress and getting my ass kicked was something that sparked a new motivation. I left the seminar telling myself I want to eventually train in mixed martial arts when I can afford it.

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