Sarah Espanol – COM 466

Just another site

Living Proof Diabetes Can Be Managed June 8, 2011

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Sarah E @ 1:33 am

What is diabetes?  The Center for Disease Control defines diabetes in the most simplest terms.  Diabetes is described as a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal.  Glucose is one of the simplest forms of sugar.  Our bodies get glucose from the food we eat.  Our pancreas produces a hormone called insulin.  Insulin helps the body use glucose for energy.  If someone has diabetes, their body doesn’t make insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes correctly.  This results in sugar to build up in their blood.

There are 3 different types of diabetes.  First, Type I diabetes is when the body produces no insulin and requires insulin injections to control blood sugar.  Second, Type II diabetes is when the body isn’t producing enough insulin or the insulin that is produced is not being used as it should be to get glucose into the body’s cells.  The third type is gestational diabetes which is caused by hormone changes during pregnancy.

Most of us have a family member or knows of someone who has diabetes.  What most of us don’t know is that diabetes is a lifelong disease.  There is no cure for diabetes but it can be managed.

Diabetes affects approximately 25.8 million people in the United States.  This represents 8.3 percent of the United States population.  There are a large number of complications if diabetes is left untreated.

Please visit  which contains interviews with a woman living with diabetes for over 20 years, a medical physician and a child who participated in the 2011 Beat the Bridge fundraising event.


A Twitter Virgin’s Experience June 6, 2011

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Sarah E @ 9:04 am

My digital journalism class incorporated the use of the social networking website Twitter throughout the quarter.  We were to seek and follow various types of individuals that worked in the field of journalism ranging anywhere from reporters to photographers each week.    In addition, we had to have a minimum of 5 tweets per week of content related to journalism.  We also used Twitter as a mechanism to promote our projects we worked on throughout the quarter.  I knew very little about Twitter and never bothered using it before.  This part of the class was a whole new experience for me.

There were some very significant historical events and natural disasters in 2011, many of them happening over the last ten weeks.  I started using Twitter on the heels of these events such as Tunisia and Egypt uprising to overthrow their president, Libya fighting for democracy, United States dropping bombs Libya, Japan’s 9.0 earthquake and devastating tsunami.  Natural disasters were happening here at home in Joplin, Missouri with a massive and destructive tornado as well as Mississippi river floods.  These were common topics discussed every day on Twitter.

The most significant event I experienced on Twitter was the death of Osama Bin Laden. The president was scheduled to make an announcement but wasn’t going to speak for a bit.  I immediately pondered on what it could be.   Surprisingly, my first instinct was to go check my Twitter account to see if there were any leads as to what the special announcement was about.  As suspected, Twitter was going crazy with activity and speculation on what the announcement was about.  This was fascinating at the time and over the course of the next few days this event was the prime focus and topic of discussion on Twitter.  Eventually it felt like there was overkill on the subject with fabricated stories and pictures.  This was a good illustration of how the media can take one topic and become obsessed with it until the next topic arises.  This was rather annoying and is one of the things that frustrate me the most about the media.

I’m still personally having mixed emotions about Twitter because I see the drama that it causes amongst our youth today and quite frankly adults too.  However, on a professional level I do believe the use of Twitter with respect to the journalism world is a must to keep up with the pace of this revolving digital world door.  My experience with Twitter has been very eye opening with respect to how prominent it’s used in the media.  I think it’s a great way to promote your work and try to reach out to a large number of people.  I do like the fact that it feels like one stop shopping and I can go to one central place to look at many news organizations, specific individuals and topics of interest.  I was drawn to Twitter more and more as the quarter progressed due to my limited time schedule.  Ironically though, I often found myself sucked into Twitter spending long periods of time on it when I really should have been doing other things.  This was something that turned me off about Twitter.  I had a couple of news websites that I faithfully visited every day on the internet.  By the end of the quarter I was no longer visiting these sites.  I’m surprised how my habits completely changed so subtly.  It really made me think our culture is changing right before my eyes.

I don’t think Twitter is just a fad that will die out, I believe it’s here to stay and has become more acceptable in our society as an avenue of communication.  It will be interesting to see where the state of Twitter is at in 5 years.  I do plan on continuing to use Twitter but with a more specific focus on healthcare as it relates to my current professional career.


Twitterholic May 26, 2011

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Sarah E @ 11:19 pm

Friday Follows:

1.  @richardpbacon – Over a million followers.  Works for BBC radio.  Looks like he actually talks to his followers, I like that.

2.  @TerryMoran –  Co-anchor of ABC News Nightline.  Immediately impressed with his tweets rooting for the Bulls!  Too bad they lost. 

3.  @KenRoth – Executive Director, Human Rights Watch.  A must follow.  Check out the website –  Intense photos, video, audio. 

4.  @mitchellreports – Andrea Mitchell – NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent/anchor MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports.  Tweets on a wide variety of topics.

5.  @AdamSerwer – blogs about civil rights, human rights and criminal justice.  Reporter/Blogger for The American Prospect.


Inviting Videos To Watch May 23, 2011

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Sarah E @ 11:07 am

All of these video clips listed below captured the 5 shot method.  They all have close-up of action, close-up of person’s face, medium shot of the person doing the action, over the shoulder shot and some type of other shot.  I felt all 3 of these video clips were good with how they told the story by the various shots and invited me in to feel like part of the story.

1.  Seattle Times video clip “Mahjong at Legacy House”  – As I was watching this clip I felt like I was actually sitting at the table playing mahjong.  This video has close-up of hands, medium shot of hands with face in it, shot of feet, face shot, wide shot, over the shoulder shot and a shot of the action from above looking downward.

2.  USA Today video clip “More Kids Taking Chinese as a Second Language” – I thought this one was good because the topic seemed like it would be difficult to present in video but was put together very well.  I felt like I understood the story that was trying to be conveyed through the various video shots.  This video has a wide shot of the back of the kids facing the teacher, medium side shot of the kids on their faces, close-up of kids hands as they are writing, close-up of their school paper, medium shot of teacher hands pointing to their work on the screen, face shot of kids, close-up of lips as kid is speaking and a couple symbolic shots of the Chinese and American flag as it relates to the story.

3.  BBC video clip “Can Bowls Charm a Younger Crowd?” – As I watched this video I felt like I was actually there and playing.  This clip invited me in to feel like I was a part of it.  In the first 25 seconds you get a quick variety of shots; medium shot of person doing the action, shadow shot of person doing action, close-up of feet, close-up of balls with hand in it, wider shot with more people in it while person is doing the action, close-up shot of the ball as it is rolling and a shot of where the ball lands facing the people in the background from where the ball was thrown.


4 Follows And A Man Who Credits Self As Inventing Concept of Video Journalism May 20, 2011

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Sarah E @ 1:17 am

Follow Fridays for Twitter:

1.  @rosenblumtv – Michael Rosenblum – Credits himself as inventing the concept of video journalism.

2.  @AaronSasson – NBC cameraman.  Talks about what he’s shooting.

3.  @d0minicb – Dominic Boudrault – Timelapse cinematographer.  His latest work on his website is awesome.

4.  @Mr_Vestal – Micah Vestal – He feels that video often lose their meaning because they use outrageously complicated visuals.  Interesting.

5.  @ScottKarlins – Larger followers base than the other video folks I added.  Lots of tweets and tweets about video equipment.


Raise Money For Juvenile Diabetes – Can You Beat The Bridge? May 18, 2011

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Sarah E @ 5:54 pm

This past Sunday, May 15th, Seattle had record-breaking rainfall.  That same day, the 29th Nordstrom Beat the Bridge fundraiser to beat diabetes went on without a hitch.   While the weather could have shunned people away, there was still a great turnout.  This particular event had 4 different activities to choose from for participants.  There was an 8k run, 4 mile family walk, one mile fun run and a diaper derby for toddlers.  The Nordstrom Beat the Bridge fundraiser is an annual event to help raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).  Diabetes is treatable but there is no cure.  JDRF provides education and research on finding a cure for diabetes.  People of all ages and walks of life were in attendance who helped raised close to a million dollars.

Please click on the photo to the right for a showcase of photos of the event as well as an interview with a child who participated.

(SoundSlides and audio of Beat the Bridge event.)


Reflections On SoundSlides

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Sarah E @ 11:33 am

I attended the Beat the Bridge fundraiser on May 15, 2011 which benefits juvenile diabetes.  I also participated in the 4 mile walk.  The walk started at the Husky stadium and walked through the UW campus returning back to the stadium for the finish.  The visual story is a reflection of the experience along the 4 mile walk.   My goal was to gather interviews during the walk from parents and children.  I was hoping to get photos of the event and the different people attending along with the experience of the event itself.  I have to admit I had some major challenges with this project.  The biggest issue was the weather.  The rain was coming down so hard during the entire 4 mile walk and event.  I was concerned with my equipment getting wet so the shots and interviews did not turn out as expected.  Another issue was the somber mood.  People were in a hurry to finish and get out of the rain.  No one was interested in standing in the pouring down rain to do an interview.  I interviewed a couple of parents during the walk but the audio sounded so terrible that it was unusable.  A lot of water got on my equipment so I’m not sure if that contributed to the audio sounding really bad.  I also had people looking at me strangely when I was taking pictures.  I was trying to get close-ups of children but it was very difficult because the parents would give me very awkward looks.  No one else was taking pictures of the event so I stood out quite a bit.  The event had professional photographers with identifying gear on so I looked strange taking photos as a participant of the event.  Lastly, it was challenging to interview children and get good responses. 

Given the dreadful weather conditions, I think I met my goals on the photo portion as best as I could.  I do think there would have been better photos opportunities if the weather hadn’t been so terrible.  I wanted to do more close-ups of kids but it’s really hard to take pictures of children without glaring eyes from the parents.  If I could do anything differently I would’ve tried  to observe the event rather than participate in it to try to take more close-up photos of people.  Another thing I may have done differently is to have a back-up plan or an alternative story in case something happens like the weather that could hinder my ability of accomplishing my goals.