Reporting to Sulawesi: the preparation

journal, Journal, Journals

January 5th, 2019

It was started with a post in a Facebook. Here it goes:

"When you think you have enough with going to the field, but in the time like this, upon hearing disasters struck your country, your subconscious kept on telling you to write and report, to write and report and help people in need. You are sitting in your desk writing proposal for your professional project at your campus, but your mind keeps on wandering and focusing somewhere else. Journalism is not merely a job for some people, it is a calling. Once you are hooked, you will still have that feeling in yourself. It is eternal. Selamat bekerja teman-teman wartawan yg pergi meliput langsung ke Palu. Be safe."

Then, the next days, I met with one of my advisors, Matt Waite, on the campus. He asked me about the tsunami in Palu and out of nowhere the idea to make animated map related to the disaster occurred. So, I discussed the idea with him and he agreed that I should make it as my professional project. After that, I made an appointment with another advisor, Gary Kebbel telling about this dea. Gary thought that I did not need to go to Palu, but Matt suggested to go there and reporting first hand. In the end, it was decided that I would go to Palu. So, I wrote a new proposal for the Palu’s project and applied for the Hitchcock Fellowship to receive a grant for reporting. I got the fellowship. However, as an international student, I needed to sign some paper works to get the grant transferred to my student account. After I received it, I booked the plane ticket as soon as possible and emailed all of my advisors the progress. I also went to the Checkout division at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications (CoJMC) and meet with Susan to borrow some reporting equipment.

Here are the tools:

  1. lens/18-200mm
  2. sd card
  3. sd card
  4. wired-microphone
  5. zoom lens
  6. canon tripod
  7. canon EOS Rebel T5i
  8. 360 video camera

After discussing with Matt, he suggested that I should borrow the DJI Osmo video so it would be easier for me to carry on especially when going around the remote area. DJI is a Chinese technology company founded by Frank Wang which sells products like drones, flight controllers, gimbals and FPV goggles.

So, I went to meet with Susan again and borrowed extra tools such as DJI Osmo plus and DJI Osmo manual, as well as an iPad to be a viewfinder. I would not use both of them but I needed to test them first before deciding which tools I would bring to Sulawesi. At my apartment, I tried all of them and decided I would use these following equipment while reporting in the field for the sake of practicality.

  1. DJI Osmo + (learning to use this one was the longest. I watched the video tutorials from the CoJMC Tech Resources Page and YouTube and had a difficult time to figure out how to make pictures appeared in the Ipad)
  2. 3 sd cards
  3. Canon Rebel Eos T5i (I still had a problem when recording a video using this camera, it kept on adjusting the focus and made a sound like shutters. the sound was recorded. So, I needed to find a way to minimize the adjustment sound from the camera)
  4. Zoom lens
  5. Rode microphone

This weekend, I planned to make a detailed schedule for the reportage at Palu. It will only be a week of reportage so I want to make the most of my time every day doing something relevant and necessary for the information and data gathering.

During this week, I already made an appointment with two people, Ochan Sangadji from the Jakarta Post and Dewi from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) for assisting me with accommodation and place to stay.

On Sunday afternoon (USA time and Monday morning Indonesia time) I am gonna text the head of Palu’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) and make an appointment with him. I’m so excited to go to the field again after almost two years focusing on an academic thing!

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