Comments by Zoe Sheinkopf

Comment for "Climate change in Shishmaref Alaska"

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Review of "Shishmaref"

What an interview opportunity: the people who feel the effects of climate change already. This is interesting stuff! I would have liked to hear from an elder, instead of getting the elders' perspective from a young person. It would also be cool to hear ambient sound to illustrate the way of life that the speakers fear would be lost if the Shishmaref community was moved. Listening to the piece, I wanted a description of the village itself. That and some background sound would give the story more of a sense of place, which would make me even more interested in the problem being addressed: I would have a clearer idea of just what treasures are being lost to the rising sea.

Comment for "Audio postcard from Costa Rica: The Search for the Red-eyed Tree frog"

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Review of "Audio Postcard"

I love the tone of this story. It’s playful and engaging-- this is no preachy environmental story; it’s a description of an adventure in a beautiful, wild place. There’s an implicit message that if this kind of experience is going to be available to future generations, we’re going to have to put more thought into preserving our wild spaces. But the experience itself is the focus. The narration and the ambience effectively put the listener in the scene, as if the story is happening as it’s being told. The volume of the interview goes in and out in a few places, but overall this is a well-made and well-drawn story, and definitely deserves to be shared.

Comment for "Civics and Conservation Summit"

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Review of Civics and Conservation Summit

This is an interesting story about kids combining interests in government and the environment. It has a nice potpourri of voices, and Aviva Hirsch maintains a mature journalistic tone. A few levels problems aside, my main comment on this piece is that it doesn't seem to answer the initial question it poses: "Do people who can't vote still have a voice in creating laws?" The piece doesn't address how the students' opinions impacted the legislators at the Civics and Conservation Summit or how the kids' voices influenced laws, but how the summit inspired the students. It's still a compelling story. In the future it might be helpful to think of a focus statement (someone doing something for a reason), and then adjust it as the piece evolves, so that the thesis matches the story being told.

Comment for "The Truffula Trees and WE!"

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YEEB Review of Truffula Trees and We

I love the juxtaposition of an old and beloved story with a call to action. It's kind of symbolic of our maturing generation. Grace Tyler takes the listener from a place of childlike innocence to an awareness of our disconnect from nature, and finally proposes that we return to that original state of wonder. It's a wonderful message. The piece might have benefited from the establishment of a scene: a particular location in nature. That spot could have been used as an example for why we should appreciate nature, and it would have given the story a sense of place, which would have helped to ground Tyler's abstract argument.

Comment for "A tour of the Crystal River"

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Review of "A Tour of the Crystal River"

Water quality is an important issue, and the interviewees in this story are obviously knowledgeable about the subject. It was an excellent topic pick. I would suggest choosing one problem facing the river and those who care for it: perhaps focus on just the constraint of the river by the road, or just the impact of development on water quality, or just the threats to the riparian areas. Something that might help for future projects is the ‘focus statement’: you find the “main character” of your story, and frame the issue as “someone doing something for a reason”. It’s difficult to make it that narrow, but the technique ensures that your piece is telling a story. Choose a specific topic within your bank of problems facing the river, and cut some of the interview sound clips (I know the feeling of wanting to include all the good stuff they said!) It might be cool to add the sound from the river itself– at the beginning and end especially. These are good interviews on an interesting issue– the next challenge would be to find the most important problem, and tell that story.

Comment for "A Crazy, Convoluted Journey: Getting Water to Tucson"

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Poetic and informative

Ashley Brown’s narration is smooth, confident, and impassioned, but avoids preachiness. She gives facts on the difficulty of water transportation in Arizona, then juxtaposes them with the apparent entitled attitude of the Tucson Water employee. Everything revolves around the journey; ramifications are suggested, but the listener is allowed to draw his or her own conclusions.
This is both a thought-provoking piece of reporting and a melodic work of art. Ashley Brown fluidly matches form to content, reflecting the quality of the water’s motion in the quality of her voice and in her diction. When the water is flowing naturally, Ashley’s voice guides the reader down the mountain with it, and the script is beautifully poetic. Less euphonious human voices are added when the water meets human manipulation. But the interviews fit seamlessly: they forward, rather than interrupt, the journey. The way the voices are faded makes it feel as if we move past them, traveling with the water. There are enough facts to make the piece informative, but the focus never strays from the journey itself. This is a piece fit for broadcast, especially on shows looking for a fresh and original approach to informing the public about resource usage.

Comment for "Gay Fashion is the New Straight Fashion"

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What a gutsy piece! Mark Anthony Waters' story has a satisfying development: we get his observation, the research he did to investigate further, and his conclusion: the reaffirmation of his unapologetic individuality. It's a bite of "ghetto" (his word) culture, a personal proclamation, and a perceptive analysis of how people relate to each other. Definitely "swag".

Comment for "From Cafeteria to Compost"

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Since this piece was produced, Sehome High School started participating in the Food Plus compost program. Yay!