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new mission

This semester has gotten off to a fantastic start. I’m enjoying my classes and so far I’ve been able to keep up with the goals I’ve set. My 1st goal was to spend less time at KOMU, and of the time I do spend there, make it worthwhile doing what I really enjoy – sports reporting, videography, and producing. I’ve definitely been able to do this so far in the semester. I’ve shot, written, and edited about a package a week either for the Sports Show or for a nightly sportscast while usually shooting highlights or going to a media day once or twice a week. BY “less time at KOMU” I mean not working any exhausting/time consuming live truck or PA shifts that destroy my sleep schedule/health/grades. Last semester I worked about 10-12 hours a week on live truck, and while it was nice to have the extra money, I really suffered from sleep deprivation and academic frustration. So far this semester, I’ve been able to enjoy my classes a lot more because I’m not on the verge of falling asleep in all of them!

My 2nd goal was to maintain my grades and ensure I graduate! So far, I’ve definitely succeeded. I’ve done well on my first few assignments in some of my more writing-intensive classes, so I’m excited about hopefully finishing my undergraduate career on a good note.

My 3rd goal remains working at building personal connections and an online presence. I’ve begun to go back through all my business cards of people I’ve met and email addresses I’ve gathered to stay in touch with them and try to retain them for future reference. A site like Linkedin is very useful for this as it saves me the trouble of getting business cards for some people. But, I’ve found getting in touch with people on Linkedin can be tough as they often don’t check their messages on it, hence the need for personal correspondence outside of the site. I’m hoping the connections I’ve made throughout my 4 years at Mizzou will help in the job hunt as I’m not particularly worried about future geographic location. As far as an online presence goes, I need to build my own website. I purchased the server space for brianmortensen.com, so I just have to go about actually building the site and such. I’d really like to learn Adobe Flash, and I’m strongly considering a free training session on campus for it in a few weeks – just not sure if it’s worth missing a class for it! And with that, I’d love to build a really cool brianmortensen.com with tons of flash and fun stuff like that, but we’ll see.

My 4th goal is to really nail this capstone project. I’m working with Will Maetzold, Cassandra Novy, and James Steward on expanding KOMU’s online high school sports coverage. So far I’m thrilled with what we’ve done. Will and I would like to shoot a few “Opening Drive”-type shows throughout the semester and add it to the KOMU.com sports page. So far we’ve both been swamped with work outside the station to really get it off the ground, but I know we’ll have plenty of chances to get a good few shows in. We need Scott Schmidt to make graphics for us – that seems to be the main holdback – and if we accomplish that, anchoring, producing, writing, and creating the show will NOT be difficult. I can harken back to my “old” days of MuTV when I anchored “Tailgaters” and basically wrote a script the night before we shot the show with a really basic outline – some intros and outros for prompter, some local readers, then guided chat with my co-anchor and guests. I’d like to follow that same format but instead of a ≈ half hour show, we’ll keep it short – around 10-15 minutes hopefully.

The capstone also has us expanding our video coverage. I’ve begun to take all the high school highlights and stories from the sportscasts and upload them to Vimeo. I then embed them in a blog post as basically a daily post on komusports.blogspot.com. I then add tags for all the athletes and teams featured in the video. The video quality on Vimeo is about 100 times better than KOMU.com, so it’s definitely worthwhile to get them on a different site for embedding. I’ll also put the Blumberg Off the Bench packages on the blog if it involves a high school athlete. I invested the $40 or whatever it costs to get a Flikr pro account – and it’s definitely worth it because another part of our blog will be to post pictures from games we attend. If we can’t shoot a highlight, I’d really like each of us to get to one local game a week to just get some pictures, stats, and storylines to include on the blog. We’ll also have a “weekly links” type section where we find stories in local papers – such as the Fulton Sun or Columbia Missourian – and link to them. It would sound something like, “The Missourian’s Joe Smith has a preview of the Hickman-Rock Bridge boys basketball game tonight, and why fans should expect a quiet night from Ricky Kreklow,” or something like that. I think I’ve laid the foundation pretty well – we just have to get down to doing the work!

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