Two Missouri School of Journalism Students Participate in PBS Newshour’s InaugBlog

By Celia Darrough

Columbia, Mo. (Feb. 27, 2013) — Two Missouri School of Journalism students joined 15 other college journalists from around the country to cover President Barack Obama’s second inauguration in a new way – on PBS Newshour‘s InaugBlog.

Lukas Udstuen
Lukas Udstuen

Lukas Udstuen, a convergence journalism senior with an emphasis in international journalism, worked as a videographer for InaugBlog. Charles Minshew, a second-year convergence graduate student, worked as a reporter.

As part of “Vote 2012: College Tour Inauguration Multimedia Short Course,” the team created more than 40 pieces of media content in four days on an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. in January.

Charles Minshew
Charles Minshew

Udstuen and Minshew talked about their work and experiences in a presentation in early February at the school.

The two found that there were both trials and triumphs during their time in D.C.

Some of Udstuen’s accomplishments included finding a family of undocumented immigrants willing to talk to him for a video on immigration debate and finding Debbie Suer, a 58-year-old woman in her ninth semester of college with a 4.0 GPA.

While covering what seemed like a simple volunteer event at the D.C. armory, Minshew had to rush to the area where a special guest was expected. Vice President Joe Biden arrived, and Minshew was there to take the story to a higher level.

Obama Swearing-In Ceremony
Lukas Udstuen took this photo during Obama’s swearing-in ceremony while working as a videographer for PBS Newshour’s InaugBlog.

While the experience overall was successful, the duo still had to tackle occasional problems such as editing video in a different workflow, getting to the inauguration at 4:30 a.m. just to find obstacles and road closures, and navigating a new city in general. Of course, lessons were learned along the way, and some that Udstuen and Minshew identified are the following.

  • It’s easier to find sources and pitch stories on location than it is from Columbia.
  • Pre-producing and pre-reporting are valuable practices because this gives the reporter more time when actually on assignment.
  • Be interested in people; always listen to them. Be a little nosy, but respectful, too.
  • New technology might cause concerns the first time it is used, but valuable insight is gained on how to use it in the future.
  • Have a travel plan when reporting a large event. Knowing where you are going to be at what time helps you navigate a crowd.
  • Expect to be delayed and turned around. Show up early.
  • Expect the unexpected – the story will change.

Udstuen and Minshew’s stories can be found here:

Updated: July 13, 2020

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