langstaff

The Outbreak in "Contagion" can be a reality.

Last night my family and I, went to see the new movie “Contagion”. First of all I myself am a huge ‘germ-a-phobe’ maybe not to the extreme, but nevertheless I may or may not have like 10 bottles of hand sanitizer in my room, car, and maybe in my back pocket right now.  Last night I had come across a CTV news story done by Pauline Chan about how experts say that an outbreak like the one demonstrated in “Contagion”.

Now if you have seen this movie, than you will definitely understand that it doesn’t take an expert to clarify that this can happen. The movie, itself definitely shows you how an outbreak like this can happen, and how fast it does. But this story made it essential to prove to Canadians, how much we do travel whether within Canada and internationally. As Canadians we love to travel. let’s just leave it at that.

The scarey thing that CTV’s Pauline noted was that this movie’s outbreak did not come from nowhere, it was based on an outbreak from Malaysia in the 1990’s. The expert they used in the news story claims that they directors and writers tried to make it seem as real as possible. And the expert was right, because they really opened the audience’s eyes, not to mention my own, of little things that we had absolutely no recollection of. For example, how many times we touch our face in a waking minute, or how many things and people we touch in the process. Gross. 

Despite how common and popular this story is going to become in the next little while, using real experts to confirm this, may be a strong leap forward for Canadian hygiene and health.

Thank goodness for hand sanitizer.—>  

519 Online Crunch Time

The 519 Online newsroom has been a busy place in the last couple of weeks. Especially for me, after hosting the show last week, and finishing my long feature story this week in addition to completing to reporting stories. Needless to say I have been a busy student journalist. Despite the pressure during this stressful time, I would rather be doing what I am doing, than any other profession or program. I absolutely love what I am doing in school, so that alone makes the work very easy and fun to do at the same time.

Now this week for 519 Online, Chris and I will be reporting on an event in Cambridge called “Flight of the White.” This event is held at the Butterfly Conservatory where thousands of Rice Paper butterflies will be showcased. This will be really exciting because I have never seen a white monarch butterfly before. After Rachel proposed this story I immediately thought of how great the visuals will be for this report, It will be a fun experience for both Chris and I. And here Chris can use and practice is camera skills. I am really looking forward to this piece.

This week I also had to do an additional story, because unfortunately this newsroom cycle for first semester didn’t include alot of my own reporting pieces, so over the weekend I did a story on women’s hockey, and the struggle for third year midget players to continue their career or pursue an education. During the filming process for this story I attained a lot of great visuals, and I am really excited to put them all together. This weekend I really did feel like a videographer, with shooting, interviewing and reporting all by myself, finding the right shots and opportunities to get great footage. It is definitely an awesome feeling knowing you did something like that all by yourself.

This week’s 519 Online show will definitely be a colouful one, see you all this Thursday at www.519onlinenews.com

Four Football players killed in drunk driving accident

CTV National News

The above story done by CTV National News on the drunk driving incident that killed four Edmonton Football players was very strong and very well done.

This story actually gave me an emotional response, through the interviews and footage the reporter did really made the public including myself extremely effected by it. In fact I believe that this story was a local story for CTV Edmonton and got picked up by the CTV National News. The Interviews he got with the friends of one of the football players, and interview with the football coach in particular were critical for making this story as great as it was.

This story was well done especially how they included the football player who is in critical condition in an Edmonton Hospital leaves the viewer with wanting to know more and to follow the story.

Photo of the four football players killed in drunk driving accident courtesy from CTV National News..

Watch on courtneylangstaff-blog.tumblr.com

This story gave me chills. 

At first I was thinking that perhaps showing all of this intense and gruesome footage of what smoking can do to you, was extreme and unnecessary. Then I realized that that footage of tumours on the tongue and of Barbara Tarbox made this news story very powerful.

The government of Canada is using very disturbing pictures to put on packages of cigarettes. Photos of Tarbox on her death bed are one of them. I think this news story was very well done; they incorporated sources like archived footage of Tarbox speaking publicly on the affects of lung cancer and of smoking. In addition to her daughter, and husband speaking on it, and representatives from the Canadian cancer society talking about the affects of cancer and using these photos to what they hope will result in people quitting smoking

The story was in fact focused around Barbara Tarbox, however I feel the story could have even been more powerful if they had some feedback from young smokers or to get the reactions of ‘streeters’. Overall this story was very powerful and am sure it will represent a motivation for some people to quit smoking.

An update from 519 Online News

Last week was 519 Online New’s second official broadcast of the semester, and our show was very colourful and very strong. 

This week my role was to be the editor, and Dan also edited with me to show me the ropes of Final Cut Pro. I learned a lot of cool things about Final Cut, learned how to use the chroma key to work with the green screens. Learned how to incorporate lower thirds, and add graphics. It was a really fun experience to be behind the scenes and work in post-production.  

We had four great stories, they were all very strong. Chris & Alyssa’s story on Shark Finning was fantastic because they got permission to use footage from the popular documentary “SHARKWATER” and that made the story awesome to watch because the visuals were amazing. We also had great footage from the Occupy Bay Street protest last weekend, in addition to covering the Grand River Film Festival.  The story was our best yet, and I know that each week our show’s are going to get better and better.

This week, I am the producer for the show and we are doing a themed show on Halloween. We worked really hard to come up with good stories for the show and we wanted to ensure that all of our stories would not be ‘fluff’ so we have a good line up including two fun stories and two strong stories but they all some way are related to Halloween. I think this show will be the most entertaining and creative show we have had yet, because we have a lot of tricks up our sleeve for this episode. 

Our show is at 4PM on www.519onlinenews.com, we also broadcast our show on the vimeo website on Thursdays so check it out.

Also follow me on twitter for constant 519 online updates:  Courtney Langstaff

See you Thursday !

Hosting the Oktoberfest 519 Online News show !

In this week’s 519 Online News broadcast, my role was to host the show a long side Chris. For our first official broadcast with our TV Newsroom class, I felt overall our show was pretty good.

However, this was definitely a learning experience for our class, as we endured many challenges throughout the day.  Unfortunately our show was completed five minutes after our deadline of 4PM, but it did not get posted until around midnight of that night.

Now we did have a few contributing factors that resulted in our show coming in past deadline, one problem we had encountered was when our production team lost one of our stories due to a technical malfunction. This was a story that we had filmed the day of the shoot, in order to keep the our show current, the reporting team came in and were near completion of their package of the story and the computer at some point afterwards was unplugged, and the story was lost. This was the story that our whole class was waiting on to complete the show. It was unfortunate because that reporting team worked really hard that day, shot some really great footage, and lost the whole thing and then resulted in it not being broadcasted. That was a definite experience of what the news world is like today.  There are also many little factors, like being unorganized and not having exact time deadlines for stories throughout the day, they were not really enforced.  Also, another challenge I personally had was when our story ideas frequently kept changing throughout the day, which led to the delaying of completing our script for Chris and I, the hosts of the show, which ultimately was another contributing factor to our team missing the deadline.

Moving forward, we should have more strict deadlines set by producers of each show, and also a run sheet should be properly used so we can keep each story and reporter on track throughout the day. That way the producers can visually see what stories are incomplete and need further work. Extreme organization is KEY for news and any other kind of production of a story, movie what have you. This is one thing our group needs to work on, is being organized and having set deadlines and already have the story, and story line prearranged and planned before hand. And if the time comes during a news day when one story has to be cut from either missing a deadline, or simply if it doesn’t fit in the show, then we shall deal with it in a professional and organized manner.

I felt some of the graphics and set could be improved for the next time.. cause I personally felt like  holographic version of myself in cyberspace :)  And on a personal NOTE TO SELF.. Wearing glasses in a room full of massive lights.. is NOT the best idea..

BUT IT WAS A GREAT EFFORT FOR OUR FIRST SHOW! Now the audience can look forward to a great year of perfect and amazing shows!

Occupiers Evicted!

When 519 Online News traveled to St. James Park to cover the Occupy Toronto Protest the mood was very peaceful and quiet. Of course more and more people came into the park as the day carried on, but overall the protesters were very calm.

As of today, that is definitely not the case as the protesters occupying St. James Park have been ordered to evict the area. This past Monday judges had declared that everyone must vacate the premise.

The mood is really heating up, while some people have vacated the park, a few protesters have chained themselves to their remaining tents refusing to leave. As of right now there has not been any violence except around 11 AM this morning a woman was in fact arrested by Toronto Police.

The CBC wrote that “officers picked her up and carried her into a court services van parked outside the park. Police told CBC News she was charged under the Tresspass to Property Act, issued a ticket and released shortly after.”

When we travelled to St. James Park last week, our reporters were able to take a tour of their library they created and as of the latest eviction that is where the protesters are chaining themselves.

“The protesters in and around this library yurt have refused to move and promised to peacefully resist any attempt to evict them” wrote the CBC.

519 Online News Live on Election Night!

After a long eager wait our 519 Online News show finally went live and started out with a bang with our coverage on the Ontario Provincial Election. It took a lot of preparation and teamwork but our class with the help of our teachers we pulled it all together for the first time. 

It was an excellent experience for me to practice my leadership skills from being the producer for the Cambridge riding. Our “Team Cambridge” worked really hard to put together a great segment. It started out a little bumpy prior to going live due to our trouble with getting the wireless to work properly to use the FaceTime application.

On location we were set at a cafe in Saginaw Golf and Country Club in Cambridge, following the campaign of Progressive Conservative candidate Rob Leone. To our luck, and our prediction skills, Mr. Leone had in fact won the seat for his riding. And with that we were lucky enough to have all the excitement live on the show as soon as he was announced the winner. I loved being pushed out of my comfort zone by being the producer, because I loved meeting new people and finding great and colourful people for Steve the reporter to interview. Some of the people he interviewed included a former Cambridge City Councillor, and the evening host for the Leone campaign. 

Unfortunately, our live show had finished before we had a chance to interview Mr. Leone, he literally showed up as we were leaving the site. Moving forward I would like to see our class be more prepared prior to the show physically going live. For instance testing the technology and wireless connections, stuff like that.