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Monday, April 30, 2007

Wikinews sends reporter to province political party leadership convention

How exactly do you get original reporting from a political convention a thousand miles away from the nearest Wikinews contributor?


On the off-chance that he'd find someone, Wikinews contributor Nick Moreau emailed the journalism course co-ordinator at Dalhousie University, asking for volunteers willing to report from the 2007 Nova Scotia Liberal leadership campaign.

Gillian Cormier stepped up to the plate, interviewing all four candidates ahead of time (Kenzie MacKinnon, Mike Smith, Diana Whalen, and eventual winner Stephen McNeil), and then attended the convention Saturday. Her reporting was filed on the site yesterday, but published this morning.

See Stephen McNeil becomes leader of the Nova Scotia Liberals

(Some of you may be asking, but where's the interviews? Due to time restraints, they will be added to Wikimedia Commons at a later date as sound files, and both Whalen and McNeil's interviews transcribed to Wikisource.)

Our greatest thanks go out to up-and-coming reporter Gillian Cormier. Cormier had interviewed one of the candidates before, for NovaNewsNet. She's been very dedicated throughout the process.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Capturing Cage

As Wikinews readers may have noticed, one of the most recent stories concerns the spotting of Nicolas Cage in Washington D.C. It was more or less a lucky deal on my part. I was going on my school's trip to Washington D.C., it was our second day there and it was about 9am EDT. Originally, we were supposed to go to the White House as first thing on our schedule.

However, due to light rush-hour traffic, the teachers realized we would be arriving early, so instead they decided to squeeze in the Lincoln Memorial and the Korean War Memorial as a fun little surprise, I noticed there was one or two guys with a lot of luggage against the wall, open and scattered and I noticed a shirt with the word "dc film fest" or something to that effect on the back of one man, I thought some indie film was being shot.

Anyways, I took a couple shots of the Memorial from the small road that circles around the Memorial (which was closed off mostly due to construction, my guess is they're most likely installing the hydraulic security gates that are seen outside the government buildings, I saw one outside the Thomas Jefferson Memorial so this is my guess, of course, I could be wrong. Pardon me, I'm deviating.

Continuing, we started to pass up the steps to go inside however we stopped by park rangers, DC police and security guards telling us the Memorial was off-limits for about 15 minutes due to filming. So we went to the Korean Memorial, on the way over some of the kids in my group mentioned they asked the guards what movie it was and they responded "National Treasure 2."

I wasn't exactly believing it at the moment, I scoffed it off, and we went to the Korean Memorial and stayed there about 10-15 minutes and got a few shots on my camera (My grandfather served in Korea, so the memorial holds a special place in my heart.)

After 15 minutes we headed back and again some of the kids asked what movie and they confirmed that it was National Treasure 2. We waited about 2-5 minutes and we heard a shout that it was ok to come up from the director or someone and we headed up. We heard cheers and people around we were whispering about Nicolas Cage, I panned and scanned and I thought I saw him walking around but it was really just someone else, though from behind he looked like him.

Anyways, I went in and looked at the foreboding seated Lincoln standing in front of me for about 30 seconds, I stared at it and got some pictures of the text inscribed in the walls. I should have stopped to look at Lincoln more and the large stone seat he sat in, but I was too starstruck on finding Cage. I spotted some members of my group and nestled in between him, there was another school with a larger group that more or less completely encircled the film crew.

I got a picture of him from the back and then came on down to the street level again as it was almost time to go. Then I noticed I had a really clear shot of Nicolas Cage from straight and I pushed the optical and digital zoom on my Samsung Digimax to it's max of 5 megapixels and began snapping away, due to the fact the zoom was so close a lot of the pictures came out to blurry (I don't have the money for an SLR, not even just a Nikon D40), but the one that used in the article was the clearest, though my classmate got a nice closeup shot of him which makes me a tad bit jealous, but hey, he admitted himself that mine was better since it was from head on and captured much more of his face.

Then when I got home, I recalled all I could from memory and just to make the article a tiny smidge longer, added some local news sources to be on the safe side.

And that's how I captured Nicolas Cage.

There's a moral for us citizens reporters and photojournalists:

"Always take your camera because you might not know what you might see!"

A picture is worth a thousand words and that holds true on Wikinews , a article full of text does not convey the event entirely and without a photo or at least a symbol or logo, it leaves something missing from the article.