Future of journalism: Multimedia training projects from KDMC

The Knight Digital Media Center’s offers regular Multimedia Reporting and Convergence Workshops– intensive, short course multimedia training for mid-career journalists. In five days, participants find a story or topic then learn how to move from the storyboard to the production end of incorporating  audio/video recording and editing, Flash graphics, digital cameras, Photoshop and web design concepts to present it. I was impressed with what the participants created in the January 10-15, 2010, particularly Fourth Street Studio Home:

At the 4th Street Studio in Berkeley, artists from around the world have gathered to share inspiration and gallery space. The studio provides work areas and a place where patrons can watch art being created. But it’s more than a studio and shop. For this family of artists, it’s a second home.

It’s design is clean and moves with fluidity, with the character, Gera Hasse, as a solid foundation for telling the story of this studio. The video quality is terrific with interesting angles, good use of still photos and compelling interviews. I liked how the map was incorporated at the end to allow an opportunity for interactivity.

More projects from the Multimedia Workshops.


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Day trip in Chinatown, PM warehouse get-down

Graffiti in San Francisco's Chinatown

Georgeous mural at North Beach, with some kind art installation hanging overhead.

An overall fantastic weekend of glorious weather and adventures in San Francisco and Oakland with friends. On Saturday, Chinatown kicked off their new year celebration with their annual Flower Fair. We walked the streets elbow to elbow, playing with trinkets in the overflowing stands and stores, people watching, and trying to decide whether we wanted Chinese food or just head next door to North Beach to find a quaint Italian cafe. Chinese food won that round, but my choice of a “spicy bean cake” dish (in other words, slimy tofu) was anything but victorious.

Upon entering the mysterious warehouse party in Oakland.

Later in the night, it was off to Oakland for a night for aerobatic performances by hula hoopers, jugglers and “hella” good dancers moving to the grooves of several DJs throughout the night. All kinds of paintings, photographs and sculptures adorned the hallways which flooded into industrial loft apartments. A strange night of interesting characters for sure.

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Day hike at Half Moon Bay

Complete gallery viewed here.

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They just keep on coming…

Finally. Peace and quiet in my office at Society of St. Vincent de Paul after a day of non-stop meetings, orientations, client intakes, police sirens, Job Club class, emails, setting up appointments and data entry in between. Earlier today I was on the verge of just melting into a pool of mush underneath my desk. I knew how stressed I was when while in Job Club class, I had to read a sentence multiple time over before its meaning registered.

But, alas. The day is coming to a close, and though I still am up to my eyeballs in new paperwork from orientation and data entry of transitional employees from the past 2 years, I feel like a lot was accomplished. I am trying hard to not to overlook those moments when I helped make someone’s day just a little bit better. I understand how important it is to crunch data and numbers for the organization that funds our Transitional Employee program, but I am also aware of how it affects the way I interact with clients. Showing of all of our hard work here is imperative, however I try to not let it be at the cost of building authentic relationships with the TEs–or even just walk-in clients who just need some brief, yet compassionate advice, or better yet, to know that they are being listened to.

Tomorrow will present an entirely new day of new clients with new problems. Half-way through this job, there have been a fair share of moments where I felt like just shutting down. But I never seem to do. Perhaps its the reminder that all staff here at SVdP work so hard. Maybe I secretly thrive off the chaos and continual changes. But mostly, I think I hold it together by reminding myself that it’s my responsibility to be here, for my mentors, teachers and family that raised me to reach this time in my life. But all and all, when the day ends, I’ll be returning to a nice home in a good neighborhood where I can expect a warm meal on a table surrounded by a supportive community. The volunteer paycheck may not be very attractive, but I’m learning to live with just what I need.

Here’s” a story recently published about the work I’ve been doing.

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Clients at SVdP lack bank accounts

Whenever I get to the “do you have a checking/savings account?” portion of a client assessment, I can usually anticipate a no in response. I have yet to stumble across one client out of the 60 some assessments I’ve recorded as having a bank account. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) surveyed of 54,000 American households and showed that “7.7 per cent were unbanked, which translates nationally to 9 million households – approximately 17 million adults”. In California alone:

  • Nationally, as many as 28 million people are unbanked
  • One in five Californians does not have a checking account
  • Nearly half of Californians do not have a savings account
  • The average unbanked worker will throw away more than $40,000 over a lifetime to cash checks and pay bills (from http://www.bankoncalifornia.ca.gov/)
  • SVdP works mostly with minorities and the FDIC survey reflected that, “21.7 per cent blacks do not have bank account, while 19.3 per cent of Hispanics are unbanked.”

    FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair acknowledges “Access to an account at a federally insured institution provides households with an important first step toward achieving financial security …” In addition to helping clients to achieve long-term employment, opening a bank account is an important step in budgeting and transitioning into a life with more security, especially when layoffs are ever-common.

    An article by a California Assests Fellow for the Bank of the America backs up this claim:

    The un-banked poor pay more to conduct their financial lives. Check cashing outlets typically charge between 2-3
    percent of the face value of a check. So, someone who makes $30,000 a year can pay $900 a year just to get their
    salary and pay their bills. But there are more profound costs to being un-banked, costs that aren’t readily
    Families without accounts don’t have a safe place to keep their money. They walk around with wads of cash in
    their pockets. Or they keep it at home in a coffee can. Robberies are more prevalent around check cashing
    outlets, according San Francisco police reports. And if people’s homes are broken into or there’s a fire, they may
    lose their life’s savings.
    Also, a bank account is the first step to financial security for many families. Without an account, it’s harder to get
    well-priced car loans, credit cards, or mortgages–the exact financial tools needed to climb up the economic
    ladder. Many families stay stuck on a different path–going to the pawn shops, pay day lenders, rent to own
    stores—where the interest rates can reach several hundred percent.

    To address this concern, the California Governor’s Office stepped in December 2007 to bridge  financial institutions and community groups statewide. “Bank on California,” is a key collaborative voluntary initiative working with the Governor’s Office. The initiative works to:  

    • Develop and market starter accounts with features that work for unbanked consumers.   
    • Educate Californians without bank accounts about the benefits of account ownership and encourage them to open accounts.
    • Help Californians build their money management skills. 
    • Form diverse coalitions of financial institutions, regulators, city mayors and nonprofits in key markets statewide to market the accounts to unbanked Californians.

    I am still locating how effective this initiative has been, or at least stats depicting its significance since implemented in 2007. PLease share any information you may have on this topic.

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    Flooding, lightening and rainbows, oh my! Get ready for Day 3 of rough weather in the Bay Area

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    January afternoon surfing in San Francisco

    Ocean Beach surfers running towards the waves

    View more of my photos from a January afternoon at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach.

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