My Life, My Town: A Review

This blog is part of a multimedia journalism class. In J2150, I’m learning how to tell stories across multiple platforms. I’m learning how to take still photos, record audio, shoot video and utilize social and mobile media.

Right now, we’re focusing on individual forms of media, but will soon produce cross-platform content. A great example of cross-platform content is a collaboration by producers KBIA and photographers and photo editors at the Columbia Missourian.

The project is called ‘My Life, My Town: Teen Voices from Rural Missouri’. According to their website, the objective is to “document a slice of time in the lives of teenagers from small Missouri towns. These are the youth who make up the hope and future of rural life – if they decide to stay. Our hope is that getting to know the children these villages raise will provide a unique look at the day-to-day joys and struggles of rural life.”

I find this venture compelling for because the perspective and the storytelling format are unique to me.

The subject matter intrigues me. More than 25% of Missouri’s population lives in rural areas. Born and raised in St. Louis, my experience of this state is narrow and vastly different than the experience of most living here. Gaining some insight into the daily lives of people living in rural Missouri, as opposed to suburban and urban Missouri, helped me better understand my fellow Missourians.

The combination of audio, still photos and video intrigues me. I listen to NPR and already recognize the difficulty and complexity of telling an engaging story through audio alone. As a broadcast journalism major with a passion for documentaries, I love documentary-style filming of this project. A photography virgin before J2150, I’m gaining appreciation for the eye, instinct and intellect it takes to compose a single shot that captures a moment comprehensively and beautifully. I’ve rarely seen storytelling in this format, particularly the still photo + audio storytelling, though I enjoy the various combinations of all three. 

I think ‘My Life, My Town’ is a really special, well-done undertaking. One of the reasons I aspire to be a journalist is because I want to tell untold stories. I love meeting new people and learning new things, and I want my work to be engaging, informative and educational. This project does just that.

The skills and principles I gain in J2150 may equip me to meet these goals. I look forward to learning to produce multimedia content, hopefully at the level of quality of ‘My Life, My Town’ . 

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