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Monthly Archives: October 2015

Story ideas grow from World Expo 2015

MILAN – The 2015 World Expo is drawing to a close after a six-month run. This year’s theme – Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life is expected to attract more than 20 million visitors by the close of the fair Oct. 31.

USpavilion

With so many people coming to the fair and presumably taking an interest in global food supplies, sustainability, security, and yes, the culinary preparations, now is a good time to consider food as a theme for news coverage.

But, where to begin?

Based on my long day of touring the fair and collecting materials from the Expo press office, I’ll offer some suggestions. Most journalists know you don’t have to work for a mega news outlet to explore these ideas. Let international outlets handle the larger themes if you want. Localizing is a preferred technique for small staffs with limited resources. You don’t need to visit Milan to interview experts about food shortages. Authorities at local universities can fill that gap. Neighborhood supermarkets or even farmers markets are a great way to utilize local sources to illustrate a larger theme, like the growing demand for spices.

So, let me break it down into big and small issues.

Full Course Topics

Food Security – Whether it’s climate change, water shortage, desertification or war, securing food sources and sustaining them were at the forefront of much of Expo 2015.

“The lack of food affects the populations in economic, cultural and social terms,” Brazilian journalist Antonio Passaro said in the most recent panel discussion at Expo 2015. One such story idea is to take on the United Nations’ Zero Hunger initiative. Another is exploring why food shortage solutions in a country often target the oldest members of society.

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Panoramic, 3D photo apps put to test for journalists


360 Panorama shot inside the Ohio Union at Ohio State University. Hint: To view on a computer, click with one finger while swiping left to right with another, then releasing.

 

Think of the possibilities.

You’re in the middle of an intense news scene that words alone cannot describe. A fire has engulfed a block of houses, or a multi-vehicle crash shuts down the interstate.

Or maybe you’re writing a travel piece and stumble into a breathtakingly beautiful landscape. Or maybe the town’s star football player just got a new tattoo or broke his nose.

Two-dimensional photos are great. Yet what journalist hasn’t come across a scene that could be captured much better in 3D or panorama?

Time was (just a few years back) your photo staff would have to rent a GigaPan mechanical device to rotate a series of cameras, then spend hours calibrating and testing it. Kiplinger has one of those in storage.

But now a number of apps allow you — Reporters! Photographers! Anyone! — to capture surprisingly good-quality 3-D and panoramic images with simply a few taps on your smartphone.

After hearing a lot of buzz at recent journalism conferences, Kip decided to check some photo imaging apps out. We asked a photographer to test drive several. To be sure that they’re basic enough for everyone, we wordy types gave them a whirl, too. Big surprise: The photog liked them so much he decided to use them on assignment for his newspaper.

What we found:

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