Quarantine Diary Day 39

I was doing my standup (sit down) shot.

As the semester approaches its end, I start to think about what I accomplished in this semester, and where the road will lead to in the future. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I suddenly got tons of time to reflect upon myself, to scrutinize my work, and to write this self-reflection blog.

I walked away with solid technical skills and professional broadcast experience from class Journalism 445. I become more independent, and know to act accordingly to different situations more swiftly. 

I was able to complete three packages, one VO, and one news update for this semester. The first package I did was coronavirus' impact on campus. At that time, the administrator of Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Julie A Pryde told me the coronavirus situation in Champaign-Urbana is fairly optimistic. Nobody had been tested positive for COVID-19 and it is safe for people to go to public areas without a mask on. Ironically now, we can see how quickly the pandemic struck our area with 120 cases and 6 deaths as of April 30th. Looking back at the package, I wish C-UPDH's misinformation didn't get aired. If people had known early on that they need to be cautious and wear masks in public spaces, maybe less people would get infected. 

I was interviewing Wei Hu, a Chinese student from Wuhan.

On the bright side, I was able to interview a Chinese student from Wuhan. Being cyber-bullied by her identity, it is a difficult time for her to deal with COVID-19 while convincing her friends to wear masks. She clarified the rumor that not all Chinese people eat bats. The majority of Chinese regard eating bats as gross and unbelievable. I felt lucky to have reported this international topic from a local angle. Narrowing it down, we see how COVID-19 is affecting local health centers, Chinese students, and the rest of our life.

Footage of the Cat Show

I also had the chance to shoot the Cat Show as my third package. Approximately 150 cats on the show''haven't seen so many cats in my life. I have no knowledge about how to breed cats or judge them. Worse, I cannot even name a breed. The only way to familiarize myself is to talk to people. Knowing I only needed three interviews, I still talked to six participants, two judges and one organizar of the event. Knowing I only needed a minute and half of footage, I still stayed at the event for three hours, until my hands were all sweaty. I push myself to always go beyond expectations, carry more footages and interviews than I possibly needed. In this way, I can pick the best shots instead of filling my track with mediocre ones.

In the middle of the semester, classes were switched online, posing huge obstacles for the rest of journalism classes. Thanks to the plans A, B, C Professor Collins gave us, we were able to continue learning in another form''reading news article and gather interviews.

I was adding Chinese subtitles for my vlog. This is a shot of our trunk full of groceries.

Facing a pandemic unlike any other semesters, our news shows had to pause. However, grounded at home doesn't mean we can't do journalism. I decided to start a vlog series recording my quarantine life. It's a bit hard to carry cameras around, so I take Professor Collins's advice to use a phone to record my daily routine. My video shows what I cooked, how I exercised and what I did at home. The longest time I stayed at home was ten days, without even leaving my door to throw the trash out. I normally only go out for grocery shopping when supplies run out. I would wear a mask and gloves to the County Market and swipe the food for next month all in. I would buy a total of approximately 400 dollars of groceries, which takes forever to get them from the car to my room. It is an unusually hard time for all of us, so I hope people who watch my vlog feel less anxious when they see someone is also experiencing the difficulties as they do. 

Professor Collins' TV2 instilled passion for broadcast journalism in me. I started to make videos not only in a classroom setting, but also a real-world environment where I build my career on. UIUC has been an amazing journey and getting to know you all definitely is the best experience I have. As I continue my education in Northwestern Medill next semester, I hope to learn to fuse data-driven insights into serious reporting. My career goal is to develop a more well-rounded news app. One in which people are no longer only recipients of, but also contributors to the news flow. Most importantly, it also analyzes the trend in already distributed news, to reveal commonalities among related events, which further helps the government unearth underlying issues, and implement measures to combat tragedies like COVID-19 pandemic. 

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