Tag Archives: obama inauguration

Obama Bus Blog Creates Viewer Interest, But Does It Miss the Story? (Literally–I Mean, Are We Missing It?)

One Obama Bus Breaks Down, Forcing a Passenger Relocation--and Delay

One Obama Bus Breaks Down, Forcing a Passenger Relocation--and Delay

The details of our epic bus ride from South Florida to–well, Washington supposedly–have been detailed on WPLG’s website, justnews.  In nearly 30 hours on the road, WPLG/Miami’s intrepid bare-bones crew of reporter Mark Joyella and photographer Mario Alonso have riden in a cramped bus attempting to file packages via DV cam and aircard-equipped laptop, with limited results, followed by a string of road trip rough spots, including an ill-planned search for a restaurant “just off the highway” near Savannah, GA, followed by a blown compressor aboard the crew’s bus (result:  no heat, just an ever-more-frigid interior temperature), a tire blowout overnight in South Georgia, and finally, a snowstorm in the Carolinas that ultimately coincided with the failure of the Obama Bus’ windshield wiper motor.  The last event forcing a third of the 130 Floridians bound for the inauguration–including Mark and Mario–to squeeze into the remaining two buses, now running against the clock.

The most recent mileage sign:  Washington:  161 Miles.  The time:  around 10 a.m.  The math:  Not.  In.  Our.  Favor.  Even if you were just trying to cross the city line by noon, when Barack Obama will put his hand on the Lincoln Bible and be sworn in, it’d be tight.  But the city is locked down.  Entire sections of the Capitol area are now off limits due to extremely large crowds, and friends have reported to us waits of up to two hours to board sardine-packed Metro trains, which remain the only way into town, since vehicular traffic–including Obama Busses–can’t drive in.

What makes all of this interesting from a local newser point of view is whether WPLG’s low budget effort will actually have a bigger return with the misadventure… the humor of the blog effort (and we’re getting some amusing “we’re pulling for you” emails and Tweets, along with many snarky comments about bus rides, slow drivers, and incompetent local news crews) has taken on a life of its own that may be more powerful, ultimately, than seeing yet another package amid the crowds in Washington.

If we miss the Inauguration altogether, can we go directly on to the expense account lunch at Hawk and Dove?

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Reporter Goes All Multiplatformy for a Chance to Cover Obama Inauguration

Yeah, I’m talking about me.  Look, I know I can write about multiplatform, convergence, hyperlocal and backpack journalism with the best of ’em.  And often, I’m harshly critical.  But to be honest, from my first day as a local tv newser, in Grand Junction, Colorado, I’ve never had to lug my own gear and shoot my own stuff.  I edited my own packages for a few years, but I was never, officially, a one man band.  

So tomorrow (actually, later this morning) I’m going to get a taste of the future.  (Or is it the past?  Or the present?  I get so confused lately as things in this business change so fast.)  A few days ago my news director asked if I’d like to cover the inauguration.  Now this was waaaaaay past the point of your standard have-a-hotel-room-and-sat-time-booked point.  I jumped with “yes” before I even knew the details.  Short version?  Ride up to DC on a bus with folks who want to witness history;  no hotel, no shower, not even a bag bigger than a ladies’ handbag.  Just me, multiple layers, a coat, (hopefully, God-willing, a steady supply of decent coffee) and a laptop.  I’ll Twitter and blog on the bus, and while I will have a solid, professional photographer with me, I’m bringing my old XL1S also.  

As much as I’ve criticized the cutbacks and convergence, I must admit I’m excited.  Not just your standard get to be there for the moment in history excitement, but the guerilla reporting excitement.  The “we don’t need no stinking credentials for edit space” excitement.  Down and dirty, figure it out as we go along.  

I’ll be Twittering and blogging throughout.  I hope to experiment with videoblog entries from the bus on our www.localnews.com

Washington Post Photo

Washington Post Photo

 

 

site.  I hope we can make this an ongoing conversation.  I only wish I was going into it on more than an hour’s sleep (and that’s if I get to sleep in the next ten minutes).

UPDATE:  tvnewser and webnewser report there will be other first time “guerilla” reporters on the Obama story:  ABC’s JuJu Chang’s “unwired” and ready to try a new way to report.  The story’s here.

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