Leaving to cover Special Olympics World Winter Games in Idaho

I’ll be off the usual radar for 10 days as one of about 30 University of Miami students participating in the 150-student webcasting team at the Special Olympics 2009 World Winter Games in Idaho.

The games run from Feb. 7-13, but we’ll be there from Feb. 5-15. Students will be split across newsrooms in Boise, McCall and Sun Valley.

(Somehow I have a knack for taking trips that require really early flights, as evinced by the post time.)

The Job

Rich Beckman, Knight Chair of Visual Journalism at UM, is the executive producer for Special Olympics Live, a site we will update with photos and videos daily. I’m on Rich’s team in Boise and will be documenting the team’s efforts with other a couple other Miami folks and a couple students from Universidad de los Andes in Chile.

In addition, I’m in charge of social media for the site, which isn’t really “live.”

I’ll post some updates on my @greglinch Twitter account, but I’ve created @soilive to handle our general webcasting team coverage.

You can follow the hashtag #soi and/or subscribe to the RSS feed for a Twitter search of #soi. If you’re interested, you can also join the official Special Olympics community, where fans post blogs, photos and videos.

The Tech

I’m bringing my Canon Rebel XT (15-55mm and 75-300mm lenses), in addition to one of the broadcast department’s Sony DSR-PD150 to use for the video work. Other UM students will use thePanasonic AG-DVX100, which are shared between the visual journalism and motion pictures programs.

I typically use the Panasonic, but have a good amount of experience with the Sony, so I’ll be ready to rock once we’re wheels down in Idaho.

The Sony kit is in a huge Pelican case and comes with:

  • It’s standard shotgun mic
  • Sennheiser ME-66 shotgun mic
  • Sony ECM-44B wired lavalier mic
  • Electro Voice EV-50 hand mic
  • Sennheiser headphones
  • 50-foot XLR cable
  • Spare battery
  • DC charger

As you may remember, I was also part of a volunteer team from the UM School of Communication that shot the Special Olympics torch run in Miami in January.

Full disclosure: Special Olympics is covering all of our travel and lodging expenses for the World Winter Games, but we are not being paid.

CoPress announces hosting plan for college newspaper Web sites


(Full disclosure: I’m the CoPress community manager, as well as a core team member.)

In a major move to help college newspapers thrive online, CoPress has announced a plan to move interested papers to WordPress and host the sites for a low monthly fee, plus a minor initial setup cost.

Or, if you’re just looking for low-cost hosting sans WordPress, that’s also an option. If you go that route, you don’t pay the initial setup cost.

What’s the advantage? Well, when you consider how much money your college news site could generate if you sold all the ads, and therefore took in related revenue, choosing CoPress could pay for itself.

Not to mention the fact that you have complete control over your site. That, in my view, is the most attractive reason. I oversaw The Miami Hurricane‘s move from College Publisher to WordPress last summer and wish CoPress existed at the time.

But, whereas our situation allowed us to make the move on our own, many school papers don’t have a server or the technical know-how to make such a move. Or, if you do, you can avoid a possible headache (particularly in transfering your College Publisher archives) with a little help from your friends.

That’s where CoPress comes in – we can do all that. Check out the post about the hosting plan.

For more information, visit the CoPress hosting page.

Leave a comment on the CoPress post or e-mail hosting@copress.org with any questions. Also, you can follow us on Twitter.

I’m gonna mess with Texas: Dallas Morning News online, here I come!

Screen shot of dallasnews.com

Who shot J.R.?

Was there a second shooter on that grassy knoll?

What will George W. Bush do in his retirement?

I intend to answer those questions and more this summer as an intern at The Dallas Morning News!

It’s an online internship, but I’ll primarily be working under metro as a multimedia reporter. Split between breaking news and other projects, my role will include writing stories, shooting video and doing other kinds of mischief.

This will be my fourth news internship – third at a metropolitan daily. I plan start soon after I graduate in May.

I can’t wait!

What should I see and do in Dallas?

Read about my experiences at The Miami Herald last summer:

BarCamp NewsInnovation: Let’s bring one to Miami

I should have blogged about BarCamp NewsInnovation last week when I first heard about the idea, but thankfully Ryan Sholin wrote a post that reminded me.

And his post was spurred in part by this: Introducing BarCamp NewsInnovation.

Oh, how I love the interwebs.

The locations being proposed for regional BarCamps include Boston, Chicago, Denver, Reston (Va.), New York City and Silicon Valley.

“Where’s Miami?” you say. I dropped a line in the wiki saying I’d be interested to help organize one here.

I know there’s a lot going on this spring (BarCampMiami , Future of Web Apps and WeMedia), but the topic of News Innovation is just too good to pass up.

Who’s with me?

CoPress makes it to round two of the Knight News Challenge

Kevin announcing the news
Kevin announcing the news on Twitter.

About one week after CoPress submitted an application for this year’s Knight News Challenge, we found out today that we advanced to the second round.

I did a happy dance in my chair.

Kevin Koehler (@kev097), who toiled into the late hours of the night last Sunday to polish the application, announced the good news via Twitter (see photo).

A little background on the project, quoting our application:

CoPress is a collaborative project to invigorate online student media through community, software, and knowledge. A single organization providing Web support, we will fill a gaping need for college publications, providing the tools they lack to thrive in the digital revolution, and platforms for innovation.

For a more detailed overview, visit the CoPress about page. For all the juicy details, check out our meeting notes.

Also, be sure to check out our application, leave a comment and give us stars if you think we’re cool.

An updated and expanded application is due in a few weeks, so we’ll be adding more details before then.

Special congratulations to Daniel Bachhuber, our fearless leader who started the group and is just plain awesome.

UPDATE, Nov. 12: Check out the CoPress post on the news, We’re in: Knight Challenge round duex.