Ideas for the Final Project

The First: The Face of the US Postal Service

1. Mission Statement

What is the overall, overarching thing you’re going to accomplish with this project?

Last semester, we found out that the United States Postal Service was being seriously downsized. I want to put a face on that, find out if or how badly Columbia has been affected, and if the mail persons think they have a solution.

What will the reporting “show” when you are done?

The reporting will show the face of those affected by the downsizing of the United States Postal Service and might give insight to a possible better way to fix the problem, as well as who it hurts.

2. Question List

How long have you worked for the US Post Office?

Is it important to maintain a relationship with the neighbors where you work?

What can solve the problem with USPS’ lack of funding?

3.  make your pitch:

Explain your curiosity. Share opening facts and their connection to the story.

I was at a house in a local neighborhood when the mailman pulled up. As he parked, he got out and spoke with the first woman he gave mail to. He asked her questions; knew her. With the downsizing of the Post Office, it meant the mail people would be on more routes and some of them may have lost jobs. I want to know how that affects their lives and ultimately, the lives of small towns and neighborhoods.

Tell readers why the story is important and relevant. Support your claim.

Federal dollars were decided to be reallocated away from USPS. The US Postal Service has been around since July 26, 1775 (the day before my birthday!) It has been an icon in American History. To downsize it, and risk losing it is a huge deal.

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/12/06/how-to-help-the-post-office/downsizing-the-post-office-means-destroying-it

Justify the story. Tell readers why you care and why they should care.

Even though the story focus would be in Columbia, it would resound with the rest of the community. It’s a story for the whole country. The economic failure of a federal company is a huge thing– many people are employed at government jobs. These affect everyone.

4. Resource inventory

Identify specific essential resources to getting and communicating this story: People, Interviews, Sounds, Images (moving or still)

We need at least 2 post office workers and some neighborly people. We should probably follow around at least one postman/woman. Sounds could include: mailbox opening/closing, the mail truck- it’s sliding door, driving, mail sorting, chatting with people. All of those need to be images too. Find out if anyone personalizes their mail truck and if they trade every time, are there preferred trucks?

We need stats on what money was taken away from USPS, why it was losing money, how the downsizing is supposed to help.

The Second: The History of The Blue Note/ The Varsity Theater

1. Mission Statement

What is the overall, overarching thing you’re going to accomplish with this project?

Not many people know about the history of downtown. Everyone know’s it’s old, and everyone knows what’s down there now, but most people don’t know what happened in between. The Varsity Theater was replaced by The Blue Note, and I would like to find out why.

What will the reporting “show” when you are done?

Hopefully it will show the history of the “saving” of a historical landmark (the Varsity Theater) when The Blue Note bought it and why.

2. Question List

Describe the Varsity Theater.

How did the Blue Note end up at that location?

What is important about the progression from one music hall to the next?

3.  make your pitch:

Explain your curiosity. Share opening facts and their connection to the story.

While looking at the history of the Blue Note, I found someone’s post about how the Blue Note moved locations and “saved” the Varsity Theater. The building The Blue Note is currently in used to be The Varsity Theater- one of three downtown. I want to know why the original theater shut down and what prompted the owner of the Blue Note to buy it.

Tell readers why the story is important and relevant. Support your claim.

The story of the varsity theater appears to be untold. A quick internet search brought mention of it, but not much else. I think knowing where a community came from and where it is now will help to tell us where it will go.

Justify the story. Tell readers why you care and why they should care.

Certainly there are people in Columbia who remember the Varsity. The newbies here don’t. I think the music and theater departments at MU and the surrounding universities know or care to know about the fine arts history in this community.

4. Resource inventory

Identify specific essential resources to getting and communicating this story: People, Interviews, Sounds, Images (moving or still)

I’m thinking we need to first and foremost speak with the owner of The Blue Note. After that, we need to speak with older people in the community who remember the Varsity Theater. Then, we should speak with students especially in the fine arts departments and find out what impact the history of the Theater has on them. If the libraries around the county have historical newspapers, they may have pictures of The Varsity Theater for us to use. We need those as well as maybe filming a show in the Blue Note to compare atmospheres.

The Third: Weakest, but Zoos are Cool

1. Mission Statement

What is the overall, overarching thing you’re going to accomplish with this project?

Find out more about a lesser known part of the University. There is a zoology degree that can be earned at the University. Most people would not expect that to be an option in the center of the country.

What will the reporting “show” when you are done?

It will shed light on another opportunity for students at the University of Missouri.

2. Question List

How many people are involved in Zoology at the University of Missouri?

What opportunities does a Zoology degree provide?

Why is zoology important?

3.  make your pitch:

Explain your curiosity. Share opening facts and their connection to the story.

In speaker’s circle, I saw a notice for a trivia event the Zoology department was putting on. I was curious because I was unaware the University had a zoology degree option. I knew the vet school existed, but zoology is a whole different level of that. I want to explore what’s going on with the students who chose to come here and earn that degree.

Tell readers why the story is important and relevant. Support your claim.

It’s relevant because knowing more about the university one attends is obviously important. I’m interested in nature, and had no idea there was the option of earning a zoology degree here in mid-Missouri.

Justify the story. Tell readers why you care and why they should care.

They should care frankly just because that’s cool, and it would be awesome if the degree offered study abroad trips to places like the Berlin Zoo or the jungles of Costa Rica.

4. Resource inventory

Identify specific essential resources to getting and communicating this story: People, Interviews, Sounds, Images (moving or still)

Professors and students in this course program. Find out what they learn, how they learn it and if there ARE awesome trips, get pictures from those.

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