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Blogs > Ivan Lajara

Daily Freeman Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about journalism, living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What skills do you need as a modern journalist?

This photo was taken with Google Glass lol

Digital First Media friends and other journalists, members of the community and fans of journalism are invited to take part in a Twitter chat Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time, to talk about all things journalism.

Today we're talking about a recurring favorite that changes with the times, as technology changes and newsrooms continue their permanent evolution (disruption, alas, is forever): What are, currently, the necessary skills for a journalist looking for a job or reporters or editors aiming to upgrade their skills? Is it better to be a jack-of-all-trades or a specialist in a niche? But even within a niche, what basic digital tools must a journalist possess or be familiar with? What resources can a journalist use (for free, preferably)? Bring your links and #realtalk.



If you want to be in the post chat archive, post a comment in the container or a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

With Facebook Spaces, all your 360 content is now in VR, but is that a good thing?

Lot’s of people, or #foreveralone?
First impressions about Facebook Spaces for Oculus Rift:

TL;DR: Facebook Spaces, the recently released virtual reality app for Facebook-owned Oculus Rift, is basically a bit like AltspaceVR, but with Facebook bolted in.

That is to say, you get to go to a ‘space’ where you can hang out with your Facebook friends in virtual reality with an avatar.

The space you occupy in Spaces is a virtual table where you get to share photos and videos and chat and play with friends who also are logged to Oculus at the same time. You can draw in 3-D and you can take virtual selfies, (which I will never ever call ‘vrelfies’ so don’t even). You drag your photos and videos to the center of the table to display them. If they’re in 360 degrees, they’re spheres, and when you drop them in the middle of the table, the photos surround you, as do the videos.



There is an option to hang out with Messenger for those who don’t have an Oculus (aka, most people) and, from my limited experience, this currently means you’re going to be mostly hanging out by yourself. This is an interesting contrast to Altspace or Rec Room, because, in those platforms, everyone has a VR device, but they’re strangers. #foreveralone




CONTENT: All your 360 photos and 360 videos work in VR in ‘Spaces’, but this means the quality of images and movement in video ARE now an issue for those who would experience the content like this. That means that awesome ‘Star Wars’ racer video from a while back doesn’t look good if you’re inside it while in ‘Spaces.’












LIVE: 360 FB live streams don’t work in VR if you try to watch them later. And since quality is lowered for a live feed, it’s just not compatible and won’t be for the foreseeable future.



The 'space' tries to render those videos into a cube but it doesn’t know how to place the video in the six panels. But even if it got fixed, I don’t see this working properly until the platform can support live streams in at least 2K, and that would only work if you had a strong data or wireless connection.

SEARCH: You basically have to ‘save’ a bunch of 360 videos and photos that are not yours if you’d like to find them, (unless you’re not a big publisher *shakes fist at cloud*). Your profile stuff is there. I manage some pages with 360 content and could not get to the photos and videos, so I had to "save" things within Facebook to be able to access it in "Spaces."

JOURNALISM/OTHER USES?: I can certainly see groups with common interests having a ~meetup~ in such a space that could be streamed out with Open Broadcast Software for the rest, which would, again, would be a bit like AltSpaceVR. It would have to be more of a lifestyle or fun side of the news spectrum, as it would be awkward and unnecessary for a cartoon journalist to interview a source.

Also, can’t find a ‘stach for my avi.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How and why to do 360-degree video

A post shared by Ivan Lajara (@ivanlajara) on


Digital First Media friends and other journalists, members of the community and fans of journalism are invited to take part in a Twitter chat Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time, to talk about all things journalism.


Today we're talking about what the why, how of 360-degree (and VR) video. Should small newsrooms invest on such tech? What kind of stories would benefit from this? How would you go about it? What are the best tools to use for 360/VR video for a newsroom with limited resources? What about live-streaming?



If you want to be in the post chat archive, post a comment in the container or a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The cloud is broken



How dependent are we on technology? How do we act when we lose access to television or the Internet or our cell phones? It's a question I like to return often, especially when we lose power or services and the only input I get is the turbulence of my thoughts.

I also remember having to go to the library and having to physically comb through index cards and rows and rows of books to find things. You might be nostalgic about the process, but it wasn't an optimal search experience, in that it took a long time to find what you were looking for.

So I'm a fan of technology, but I also try to be in touch with what it means to us, and how it shapes what we do and who we are.
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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Journalism lessons from Steve Buttry

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Floating cats in the age of dogs



There's a hidden gem on Hurley Mountain Road, but if you get too close and are not careful, you might hurt yourself. Such is seemingly the current state of online discourse.

There is a difference between staying informed and driving yourself crazy, and information overload can result in unbearable stress and unnecessary and unproductive conversations, if you can even call them that.

So limit your social media consumption if you're finding yourself engaging with things that are not the original purpose of your visit to the networks. I get paid to do all news all the time and it can be exhausting.

What can you do? Glad you asked.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

DFM chat on the why and how of live video during breaking news


Digital First Media friends and other journalists, members of the community and fans of journalism are invited to take part in a Twitter chat Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time, to talk about all things journalism.

Today we're talking about what the why, how of live video during breaking news. What are the best tools to cover breaking news with video? What do you do when reception is spotty when there are large crowds? How do you repurpose those videos for later viewing? Are there circumstances where live video is not recommended? How do you juggle ALL THE THINGS when you're the only one doing story/video/photos/etc.?

If you want to be in the post chat archive, post a comment in the container or a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.




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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Then and now, a center

I went through the old library earlier today, looking for some old images and testing some new technologies.

 I was able to live-stream video in 360° to Periscope while moving around and was also able to do a static live-stream for more than 30 minutes without the need for a battery. These are developing technologies that can be useful during a potential breaking news situation, and I want us to be ready for when that happens.



Nothing exciting, other than the ability to do it (and getting tangled in my own cables).

***

After that successful experiment, I was also able to find a collection of quintessential anti-war protests from way back when, containing local demonstrations about Vietnam, the draft and the Contra affair.

One particular image's location was instantaneously recognizable for me (and I imagine for many others).

So I went ahead and did a slide in case you couldn't place it. 


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Thursday, January 5, 2017

That news problem

Don't you sometimes wish, in this world of instant news where everything looks the same no matter where it comes from, that you could get a reliable, filtered summary of the day's news at some point during the day?

Thinking of a way to do this, as a sort of evolution for Yesterday's Internet, Today!, I glanced upon two emails I get daily. The first one is the epaper email in the morning, that you should be getting if you're a subscriber. It's basically the paper as it appears in print, which comes in handy if you're away (you might notice that all the pages are in color as well). 

"But those are yesterday's news!" astute Yesterday's Internet, Today! readers might say. And you would be correct! What if you want what's happening up to now, but in email form, and without a subscription maybe? Why, there's an email alert for that! And a breaking news email alert if you don't want to wait. 

There's also text alerts,  and Android and iOS apps

And you can keep up on Facebook and Twitter. Or maybe you just want to get away from it all and simply get nice photos from Instagram. And we do that too.

So perhaps the problem is not so much that we don't do this but that we haven't told you about it well?


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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The final countdown


Relive the countdown!

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Livestreaming in 360°

It begins (crudely, but hey)

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Hillary Clinton at Mohonk Mountain House

If only there was a news organization that could over-analyze this.

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Ulster County Comptroller vs. Executive lawsuit highlights

The Ulster County Comptroller sued the executive in a bid to stop county budget from taking effect. (SPOILER ALERT: A judge said nope).

The full suit is embedded with the story, it's more than 90 pages and with more than a hundred accompanying documents, which you can see here.
We also used Documentcloud in this instance because it makes the text in the PDF file searchable, and we can also annotate parts of it that are mentioned in the story.

Thus,

You can click on the tabs so you can navigate the full document. Here is a note I added, which is mentioned in the story.
Here's another one:

What else are you seeing?

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Greenkill Avenue bridge, before and after



Here's a couple of 360° images of the Greenkill Ave. Bridge over Broadway in Kingston.

The first one, at night, is when they were working on the beams, from Monday night. The drivable part of the bridge was already gone.




This next one is from almost the same spot (the sidewalk was closed so I couldn't get to the precise location, but close enough). It is from this morning.




Big difference!



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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Lights. Lights everywhere.

The Senate House State Historic Site on Fair Street in Uptown Kingston is hosting its Festival of Lights and Snowflake Festival on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. which is also a good reminder that the Freeman is seeking submissions for its annual Holiday Lights tour. We always try to add a few surprises and Easter Eggs to the map, and submissions are starting to come in. Submit!

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

DFM chat on combating fake news



Digital First Media friends and other journalists, members of the community and fans of journalism are invited to take part in a Twitter chat Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time, to talk about all things journalism.

Today we're talking about what can newsrooms and users! do to combat the spread of fake and misleading news in your communities. There are lots of ~takes~ about the rise and spread and who's to blame and woe is us, but what concrete things can journalists and news organizations do when these pests appear? Bring your ideas, tools, and the Talk Such As That Is Real.

If you want to be in the post chat archive, post a comment in the container or a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Worry, and be happy again



There’s an outpouring of ~feels~ permeating the American landscape, so I’ll spare you the lamentation and vindication takes. There are plenty of those on your Facebook feed, including those that say that your Facebook feed is part of the problem. But the important thing, as things are with all cycles, is not how we feel or even what does it mean, but what are you going to do with the information that you have?


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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

'ULSTER COUNTY IS ALL RIGHT' and other Freeman front pages from more than 100 years ago

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Here's the Freeman front page when the Cubs won the World Series in 1908


'VICTORIOUS CHICAGO.'
Via Telegraph!

Also of note, 'CALF WRECKED AUTO."

Closer look:



VICTORIOUS CHICAGO.
MOB OK ENTHUSIASTS WELCOME TOT CLUB HOME
By Telegraph to The Freeman

Chicago, Oct. 15. — Exultant over their victory in winning the world's championship the Chicago team of the National League arrived home from Detroit early today and was met at the station by an enthuastic (sic) crowd. The players, who wore accompanied by members of the national commission, reported having met with ovations wherever the train stopped on tho way home. When the train pulled into the station here a mob or baseball enthusiasts rushed through the gates and carried a "welcome home" to the individual players. Some of the players announced their intention of preparing for fishing and hunting trips, although they are scheduled for an exhibition game to be played here with the Detroit team on Sunday. In this game the players will appear an (sic) individuals and not as clubs.

Check out Hudson River Valley Heritage Historical Newspapers for that edition and others.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

360°-mapping the Mid-Hudson Valley

We have been recently (and no-so-covertly) adding 360-degree images to Google Maps, not just from streets, as the tool is usually used for, but events and inside buildings and off-road locales.
Case uses will come as we get them.

In the meantime, here's a football game.


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