OPB to air “NW Stories” on Dec 22 @ 9 pm

NW Stories Behind-The-Scenes: UO Students Re-envision Broadcast Journalism from SOJC on Vimeo.

Oregon Pubic Broadcasting will be airing NW Stories, an experimental video documentary series about intriguing people who share a connection to this region, produced in partnership between students at the UO School of Journalism and Communication, OR Media, and OPB.

Over the summer we had the special pleasure of working with a crew of 7 talented students and SOJC alumnus Mychal Sargent, the voice of the program, to pursue these stories. The web versions will be rolled out over the next couple of months on OPB’s website, with radio announcements driving people to the site.

With NW Stories, our approach was to find and profile six fascinating people who represent the ethos and eccentricities of the Pacific Northwest. 

Our subjects included: Josephine County’s Sheriff Gil Gilbertson, who struggles to protect a community that votes down measures supporting law enforcement; Elaine Davison, who leads a group of ghost hunters; Tim Lewis, a rebel documentary filmmaker who fights for environmental causes; Jessie Wharton, a motocross racer who stayed in the sport after surviving several life-threatening injuries; and the winners of an epic Tillamook County relay road race, in which contestants must carry pigs while driving Model T Fords.

Journalism student Fahmo Mohammed gets to know Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson and his horse on a shoot in Grants Pass, Oregon.
Journalism student Fahmo Mohammed gets to know Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson and his horse on a shoot in Grants Pass, Oregon.

You can catch the entire program, which includes all of the stories, on OPB on Monday, December 22 at 9 pm. Find your local channel here.

Visit to www.opb.org/news/series/nwstories to watch more behind-the-scenes videos showing the NW Stories team in action. If you like what you see, please “Like” NW Stories on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @NWStoriesOPB.

Have an idea for a profile subject? Send your tips to Maya Lazaro, our production coordinator, at mlazaro@uoregon.edu.

Tinker Tour Comes to UO

Behind the scenes of the Tinker Tour documentary. Alan Sylvestre interviews Mike Hiestand, an attorney with the Student Press Law Center.
Behind the scenes of the Tinker Tour documentary at the UO School of Journalism and Communication. Alan Sylvestre interviews Mike Hiestand, an attorney with the Student Press Law Center.

Free speech advocate Mary Beth Tinker visited the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication today from 4-6 pm to tell her impassioned story of how as a young teen she fought for her right to freedom of speech and expression all the way up to the Supreme Court.  Her visit was part of a larger campaign called the Tinker Tour, which seeks to educate students on their First Amendment rights. Through the organizing work of SOJC senior journalism student Alan Sylvestre, who co-founded the an informative web series Need2Know through the OR Media class, the tour was brought to the UO.

Tinker’s story demonstrates the importance of protecting students’ freedom of expression in public schools. It was 1965, and the United States was embroiled in a war with Vietnam.  Des Moines, Iowa junior high school student Mary Beth Tinker, along with her brother and their friends, decided to peacefully protest the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands to class. She and four other students–including her brother–were punished with suspension by school administrators for their actions.

And the punishment didn’t stop there. Tinker’s family endured harassment by the public, receiving death threats for daring to stand up for their right to peacefully express their dissent.

The case was brought to the Supreme Court in 1969 in the case Tinker v.s. Des Moines Independent School District. In a historic move, the court ruled that First Amendment rights applied to public schools, and that neither students nor teachers “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” The Tinker Test, derived from this ruling, is still used in courts today to determine whether a school has violated students’ First Amendment rights.

Sylvestre has teamed up with Iowa State University student Logan Kahler to produce a documentary about the tour, using footage collected from this event and previous stops along the way, as well sit-down interviews with Tinker and Mike Hiestand, an attorney for the Student Press Law Center, which provides legal assistance to student journalists.

Students tell stories of tax-starved Josephine County’s public safety crisis

Northwest News Network, a consortium of news organizations managed by OPB, is featuring series of stories on Josephine County, produced by SOJC students. During fall term a team of students from a group of students from the OR Media class made several trips to Josephine County to understand and document how the public safety crisis in timber-dependent southern Oregon counties was affecting residents. These stories were published as a collection at www.rogueterritory.org.

Beyond feature stories and videos, the website includes profiles of county officials, photo stories, audio interviews, and a timeline of the history of Josephine County. Visit www.rogueterritory.org to learn more about the struggles this county and others like it are facing.

Global Excellence Map Participant Information

International Student Banquet and Flag Dedication 2008

The Office of International Affairs’ Global Studies Institute is creating digital interactive maps of the world to be featured on a website and on large touch-screen displays dispersed throughout the IAAF World Junior Championship event venues this July. Click on a country, and a blow up will reveal short video features on UO faculty research and other faculty engagements in that country. When the big track event is over, we will repurpose (and continually update) this wonderful repository of information on UO’s global reach to support UO promotion, marketing, development, and public outreach.

Thank you for participating in the global excellence map project. Below are some guidelines regarding how to prepare for your sit-down, on-camera interview.


OR Media is a video production team housed within the UO School of Journalism and Communication. We are comprised of journalism graduates employed by the school to strengthen partnerships with regional media outlets and other programs, mentor undergraduate and graduate students in video production and professional development, and produce videos for our partners. We are proud to be a partner on this initiative, and look forward to getting to know more about each of you and the type of work you’re doing at this university.

You can learn more about the team here.


Click here to schedule your interview after you have finished reading through this guide.


The interview will last approximately 10-15 minutes. You will be seated on a stool in front of a green screen while an interviewer asks you 3-5 questions about your work.

Please come prepared to talk about your projects and research. Because these videos are meant for a general audience, think about how you might explain your work to a layperson. You might also be asked to describe your experiences being engaged in global study at the University of Oregon. If you speak a second language, you may be asked to briefly speak in that language on camera.

To help you feel better prepared, below is a list of general interview questions we will be asking. If you don’t feel these questions quite get at the heart of your work, feel free to suggest questions at the beginning of your interview. You are welcome to discuss the projects, programs, courses, or research you feel most comfortable talking about–in this sense the interviews will be fairly open-ended.

For each interview,we will be asking questions along the lines of: 1) what is it that you do, 2) why that topic interests you, 3) why is it important to study or teach that topic, and, if you involve students in your research/projects, 4) why is it important that students study other countries/cultures/languages? In addition, we have been asking faculty to answer what they think makes the UO a great place to engage in global study and projects. Questions may change depending on what you choose to discuss during your interview, but these should give you a general sense of what we’ll be asking.

Finally, if a faculty member feels comfortable speaking in a language other than English, we might ask you to say “Hello, welcome to the University of Oregon” or the equivalent in that language. This is completely optional and by participating you are not required to do this.


The interviews will be conducted in Allen Hall room 115, the studio we will be using for this project. Please arrive 10 minutes early to your interview so that we can avoid scheduling delays.


-We ask that you don’t wear anything white to your interview as white clothing will blend in with the backdrop we are using. We are no longer using a green screen for this project and have switched to a white backdrop to simplify post-production editing.

-Avoid checks, stripes, and other distracting patterns.

-Solid colors are best.

-Jewelry is fine as long as it isn’t distracting.

-Glasses are fine as long as they are non-reflective. We have experienced some trouble with glare when faculty wear reflective glasses to their interviews, so from now on we are asking faculty to either switch to non-reflective glasses (or alternatives such as contacts), or to remove their glasses for the duration of the interview. You will not be asked to read anything during your interview.


For these videos our producers will be supplementing your on-camera interview with “b-roll”; that is, footage that visualizes or illustrates what you’ve talked about during the interview. If you have any large, high-resolution photos or video footage that relates to your work in any way, please send those materials to Maya Lazaro at mlazaro@uoregon.edu with the subject “Global Excellence Map Materials (Your Name).” If you have an existing Dropbox account, you can also share them with mlazaro@uoregon.edu. Please clearly label all files with your full name so they are easy for us to organize and access later.

If you have hard copies of your materials (for example, if you have photos or video saved to a thumb drive) please bring them with you to your scheduled interview.

If don’t have any footage or photos available we will use stock footage in its place.


Have questions or concerns? Please contact Maya Lazaro at mlazaro@uoregon.edu.

You can visit our Contact page if you’d like to contact our producers.

We look forward to working with you soon!

Students launch Need2Know, an informative web series that breaks down complex topics

In addition to being a production team, OR Media is also a course offered within the School of Journalism and Communication that gives students the opportunity to work individually or in teams on video and multimedia projects under the guidance of experienced producers. This fall, a group of students enrolled in the class collaborated to create a new web series called Need2Know. Each webisode tackles a different popular issue in the news, providing an overview of the issue in easy-to-understand terms and using visuals to illustrate important concepts. The project came about in response to the growing amount of information made digitally available to audiences looking for just the basic facts, and was heavily inspired by the Washington Post article “9 questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to ask.”

So far the team has produced two webisodes–their inaugural episode covered the changes instated by the Affordable Healthcare Act, while their second episode is focused on the conflict in Syria. They encourage interested viewers to send in topic ideas they’d like to see covered in future episodes.

Visit their website at www.need2know.tv.

Register-Guard Storytellers Website Launches Today!

OR Media is working in partnership with the Eugene Register-Guard to produce video profiles of local Register-Guard advertisers as part of the outlet’s “Storytellers” ad series. The ads will be displayed throughout the year on the RG’s website and are hosted within the newspaper’s online business section. Business profiles thus far have included Hirons, a local gift shop and pharmacy, and Eugene Pediatrics, a clinic whose doctors treats their patients like family. Visit the website here.

More Storyteller videos to come soon!

OPB to air OR Media and SOJC student work on Oregon Lens

Oregon Public Broadcasting will be airing over nine videos produced by current and former University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication students, including Hearst award-winner “Up in Smoke” (Flux Magazine), “Football is Family—We Are St. Paul” (OR Media), and “Across the Goal” (OR Media). The Up in Smoke story package will be distributed regionally to news outlets via OPB‘s new regional partnership initiative. Congratulations to Associate Professor of electronic media Dan Miller and his documentary students, whose Emmy-nominated and award-winning films will also be broadcast. The projects are entitled “We Refuse To Be Enemies” and “Walking Tributaries: The McKenzie River And Its People.” The air dates for the videos are listed below:

Wednesday, August 28 @ 10 pm
Oregon Lens 1503

1) “Football Is Family: We Are St. Paul” – Erik Bender, Jordan Bentz
2) “Across the Goal—UO Hockey” – Iris Bull, Erik Bender, Jordan Bentz
3) “Up In Smoke” – Erik Bender, Tommy Pittenger, Austin Taylor
4) “Fake It ‘Till you Make It” – Ariane Kunze
5) “Walking Tributaries: The McKenzie River And Its People” – Leilani Rapaport , Dillon Pilorget, Jasmine Vasquez
6) “We Refuse To Be Enemies” – Brandy Dominguez, Colette Levesque, Summer Luu, David Zupan
7) “The Discipline of Dance” – Iris Bull, Erik Bender, Sasha Riddle, Nora Alvarez
8) “Hardcore Ministry” – Alando Ballantyne, Erik Bender, Christopher Drachkovitch, Tommy Pittenger
9) “La Vida” – Ariane Kunze

“Bowling For Life,” another video by SOJC graduate student Ariane Kunze, will be shown on Friday, August 30 @ 10 pm in Oregon Lens 1505.