A.J. Feather

Journalist, Developer

I'm a Missouri native currently seeking a dual masters in computer science and journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Every week I also host an awesome podcast called "Integrate" with my friend Mikah, which you can find at Integrate.FM.

Before moving to New York, I obtained undergraduate degrees in journalism and economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia. In Columbia, I hosted a weekly show called "Talking Politics" for KBIA, the local NPR member station and produced, wrote and anchored video for Newsy.com way too early in the morning.

There has never been a political column I did not enjoy reading or an Apple product I did not enjoy using.

Semester Wrap-up

During this semester in J2150, I’ve learned a lot about the use of multimedia in journalism and storytelling.  We started the semester using still cameras, moved on to audio, learned about video, and finished up with a semester project combining all of the three plus a text story.

I had quite a bit of experience with video and audio before taking this class.  In high school, I worked at Niche Productions and Learfield Communications, which taught me the basics of editing and producing both audio and video.  However, there were a number of gaps in the learning process.  I hadn’t heard of the rule of thirds and making sure the interview subject didn’t hold the mic were new concepts to me.  Now that I have noticed these things, they make complete sense.  I can’t even look at a video or picture without noticing whether or not the rule of thirds is being followed anymore.

I think the biggest area of improvement for me in this class wasn’t an assignment per se.  It was figuring out how to complete each assignments objectives, while making sure to follow all of the rules laid out for us in a way that would result in a better grade on each assignment.  Yes, the grading was fairly relaxed, but I think even individuals with a ton of experience can learn a lot from this class.

During the final project, I was put in charge of designing and formatting the website.  This wasn’t necessarily a completely new concept to me, but I’m by no means an expert.  We decided to use Wix.com because it makes it easy to build a good looking website quickly.  Wordpress and Squarespace are nice, but for our purposes, Wix worked. It removed the need for working with HTML almost totally, which saved a lot of time and gave us access to a lot of widgets that would help us post content more effectively.  That said, the website went through a number of redesigns based off of what we thought looked the best and what our professor believed looked the best.

 Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 6.48.39 PM

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 6.48.39 PM

Overall, J2150 gave me a well-rounded education, and I look forward to putting together a project like this every week in J4804, Convergence Writing and Reporting, this summer.