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.

Updates, plus Beyond Bootcamp ethics panel video clips on Knight Foundation blog

I’ve been going almost non-stop since Beyond Bootcamp ended Saturday night, so I haven’t had much time to reflect completely or summarize my thoughts yet.

Me riding in the back of pick-up while taping the Special Olympics torch run on Jan. 13. We were driving on the McArthur Causeway over Biscayne Bay. Photo by Andrea Ballocchi
Lauren Whiddon, a photographer and me riding in the back of pick-up while shooting video of the Special Olympics torch run on Jan. 13. Here we are driving on the McArthur Causeway over Biscayne Bay. Photo by Andrea Ballocchi.

So, what have I been up to and what’s coming up?

  • Monday: GRE
  • Tuesday: shooting the Special Olympics torch run on Miami Beach and in downtown Miami, cutting footage back at UM
  • Wednesday: conference calls about CoPress (two; one by phone and one by Skype) and ONA (phone), as well as being interviewed on Skype for a non-UM journalism professor/newspaper adviser’s master’s thesis
  • Thursday: working on getting my ideas added to a new undergraduate journalism class starting in the fall; livestreaming a panel discussion after a screening of One Water (the screening and panel are part the University of Miami’s Global Business Forum)
  • Friday: Bryan Murley and I are recording a CoPress podcast with Publish2 co-founder and CEO Scott Karp (@scottkarp)

Also, an update on the videos from my Beyond Bootcamp livestreaming: the School of Communication post them soon and, hopefully, offer them as video podcasts on iTunes. I’ll be sure to blog and tweet the link when they’re online.

In the mean time, check out the videos Kristen Taylor (@kthread), online community manager at the Knight Foundation, posted: