Students ask public to submit photos for digital media project

Mark Hammontree

Residents throughout the city of Tuscaloosa will be able to take part in an online media project on Friday as part of Dateline Alabama’s T-Town 24.

“T-Town 24 is supposed to be capturing the life in Tuscaloosa for an entire day – just different aspects of the community coming together in picture form,” Alex Rice, the social media coordinator for Dateline Alabama, said.

The completed product of the project will feature a single photo taken at every hour of the day on Friday beginning at midnight and ending at 11:59 p.m. The initiative is a special project of Dateline Alabama, a student-run digital media outlet that is organized as a course and sponsored by the journalism department and is the only all-digital news outlet at the University, managing editor Casey Voyles said.

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In addition to reporting on news and features daily, Voyles said Dateline also wants to create unique projects that go beyond traditional articles. A brand new website will be created to showcase the 24 selected photos which will include only a short description.

“There’s not going to be an article accompanying it at all,” Kirsten Fiscus, a visual journalist for Dateline, said. “So, our cutlines have to be longer to give descriptions of what’s going on, where we are at that time and kind of why it’s important in the community and why we should care, basically.”

Fiscus, a senior majoring in visual journalism, said Dateline staffers will be going out into different parts of the city to take photos at each hour of the day. Fiscus will be shooting at Tuscaloosa News when they print their newspapers at 3:00 a.m. Friday morning before heading to the Capital School to photograph students preparing for their classes. Fiscus will also be shooting the final time slot of the day at a drag show at Icon in downtown Tuscaloosa.

But the Dateline team will also be accepting submissions from local residents and students and is inviting anyone to take part in the project in an attempt to showcase an aspect of the city that UA students are not typically exposed to.

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“We’re trying to get different people involved. We even have an elementary school that is going to send in photos to us,” Rice, a senior majoring in journalism and political science, said. “So we’re really just trying to capture a different side of Tuscaloosa life, not just be focused on what students are doing on campus but also focus on what normal people are doing in the community on a daily basis.”

Voyles said the photos will be collected and edited as they come in Friday and that the group hopes to have the 24 chosen photos with the credited photographer and a cutline up on the webpage for people to enjoy by Tuesday, March 4. Voyles said submitted photos have the chance of being a permanent part of the T-Town 24 product.

“The best pictures, no matter if it’s the staff who takes them or other people in the community that take them, we’re going to the best top 24 pictures to actually feature in the big project,” Voyles said.

Anyone interested in submitting photos for the project can email images to datelinealabama@yahoo.com with the time and location where the image was taken. Photos can also be submitted via Twitter or Instagram to @DatelineUA.

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