Category Archives: Journalism

Side Hustle- Sports Podcasting

Having the same conversation over and over can be tiresome, especially when you’re talking in circles.

One of the most common debates in sports is, “Moss is better than Rice,” or vice versa, and it usually gets nowhere.

That’s why in 2014, Garret Greenlee created a Twitter and YouTube channel where he could prove his sports-related thoughts through facts.

“I got sick of having the same conversation with people like, ‘man this guy’s good, or this guy’s good,’” Greenlee said.  “I just created an account and thought whatever happens, happens.”

The accounts grew rapidly.

After four years, Greenlee’s Best NFL Matchups had more than 20,000 followers on Twitter.

Only problem was, he had no idea what email he used when he made the account.

“I was following people way too fast, so Twitter thought I was a spam account,” Greenlee said.  “They sent an email to the account I had with it, but I had no idea what that email was, and I lost the account forever.”

Greenlee had to start all over.

Lucky for him, he had a couple friends with similar accounts, and they gave him a shout out to help build his new channel, Football Analysis.

“I only have 1,500 subscribers on YouTube right now.  Not ‘only,’ like I’m grateful for them, but I want to get to the point where I’m at 30, 40, 50, 100 thousand subscribers and do a giveaway once a month of a signed whatever,” Greenlee said.  “I do appreciate the support, but I want to get to a point where I can use this as a side income just for talking about what I love, which is football.”

Greenlee’s set up.

How does Greenlee make money with these videos?

“You have to have 1,000 subscribers,” Greenlee said.  “But within the past year, you also have to have four thousand watch hours of your content. So that took a little bit to build up.”

Four thousand hours may seem like a lot, but with browse features, you can reach more people than just your subscribers, which happened to Greenlee a few times.

“I have a couple with 30 thousand, 20 thousand views and that really gets a lot of the hours at almost the snap of your fingers,” Greenlee said.  “So, in reality you could have one video that has 60 or 100 thousand views, and you get your four thousand hours, then the rest of your videos combined could have only 500 views.”

Since the interview, Greenlee has reached the 2,000-subscriber mark with his new account.

The content is starting to pay off.

He explains this in the video.

Andy Carlson, a Winona State graduate and creator of the Purple FTW! podcast, said a Vikings vs Ravens blizzard game in 2013 sparked his interest in talking sports.

Carlson looks at all the players on the Vikings roster and analyzes the national media coverage of the Vikings, while adding his own twist of humor for his 23,000 subscribers.

“There will always be a market for fan content,” Carlson said.  “People want niched down perspective over national media jabronis.”

Here is a clip from a recent video.

With this being his side job, Carlson said he always finds the motivation to release numerous videos a day.

“The viewers who continue to make us part of their day (motivates me),” Carlson said.  “If we can be a nice little five minute break from life and give some info and some entertainment. Worth it.”

Carlson offers monthly memberships for $4.99 and $24.99 on his YouTube channel that offers extra benefits such as one-on-one chats and free merchandise.

Teespring has teamed up with Carlson and Purple FTW! to sell this merchandise that includes t-shirts, mugs and stickers.

Purple FTW! merchandise for sale on Teespring.

“It’s a very decent side hustle,” Carlson said.  “Merch is fun, and everything helps keep the production lights on.”

With the quarantine giving people more free time than ever, podcasts and YouTube may be a good pass time to listen to, or maybe even try.

Football Analysis Link

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjoHPnySKcDbxzaF2R8YM2Q

Purple FTW! Link

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6Xt29Fi1ES6C1fEtWFUFIw

New Winona apartments to upstage other housing options

The residential scene in Winona caters to different groups of people, predominantly college students from August to May.

A new downtown apartment complex called Main Square Winona is aiming to be the updated hub for business professionals and the wealthy in town.

From a third-floor balcony, a view of Winona’s downtown amenities can be seen.

According to Tom Hoseck, Main Square Winona’s lead property manager, the complex will have two primary buildings: the Landmark on Main and 5th Streets and the Cornerstone, which is on Main and 4th.

While Landmark is housing with one, two- and three-bedroom units, Cornerstone also has space for retail offices.

Amenities like a fitness center, rooftop terraces and meeting room will be shared between residents, Hoseck said.

Speaking about the draw for living at Main Square, Hoseck mentioned proximity.

“Living here gives people everything they could need within walking distance,” Hoseck said. “Plus, we’ll be adding conveniences for residents like an orthodontist, hair salon and a walk-in clinic. We want people who live here to feel like they never have to leave.”

A complex marketed as luxury must live up to that in rental prices.

An average one-bedroom rental in the Landmark building runs $1,300 per month For the Cornerstone building, a one-bedroom suite begins at $875 a month.

In a city that’s predominantly college students, how do these rates stack up to dorms?

And would the apartments appeal to college students?

According to Paula Scheevel, Winona State University’s director of housing and residence life, the dorms are a better price.

Unlike the price of the new apartment complexes, the rates of dorms were decided by the original cost to build and maintain the dorm.

In WSU’s Quad, which is a building made up of four separate other dorms, an average room is $2,800 for the academic year.

While college students pay off all charges in chunks, the average rent would come out to $350, per the housing and residence life yearly budget.

They also have stipulations through the MinnState system that all dorms must be built to withstand 100 years of residents and be paid off in 20 years.

Because Scheevel has been in her position for 16 years, she also has data on retention rate in the dorms.

“Thirty percent of people who live in res halls are returners, and that adds up to about one third of the overall student population,” Scheevel said.

She expounded on why she thought the university had those numbers.

“It’s ultimately about the value of the dollar. Our convenient location, dining plan and community in res life makes it a top choice.”

In terms of how the dorms stack up to the new apartments, Scheevel said she didn’t think Main Square Winona aimed to be for college living.

Paula Scheevel posing in her office space for housing and residence life
Paula Scheevel, director of housing and residence life, stands in her domain in Kryzsko Commons where students can apply to live on campus and inquire about other aspects of campus life.

“To my knowledge, the complexes are geared toward those who are well-off and looking for housing not directed at college students,” Scheevel said.

To live in the Cornerstone, which is the cheaper of the two luxury complexes, for one school year, it would be a 150 percent increase over residence halls at the university.

And that’s just an average dorm room cost.

By comparing the cost of Main Square Winona to the most upscale dorms on campus, Kirkland-Haake, an average room in the four-person complex is $3,650.

Calculated out, monthly rent from a dorm to this luxury complex would increase by 91 percent.

Depending on where you live, you get what you pay for.

Question is, who’s willing to pay that much?

Finding A Voice

I wake up, It’s Thursday.

The Winona State University women’s basketball team leaves today at 3:30 p.m. for games in Marshall, Minnesota and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

I, being the radio guy, cannot miss the bus as the men’s team does not arrive before the start of the women’s game.

Time to pack my bag and prepare for the fourth weekend on the road this season.

I’m a bit nervous as I’ve never really got on talking terms with any of the players.

They all do their thing while I sit there quietly and mind my business.

I’ve covered the WSU basketball teams for three years while working at the campus radio station, 89.5 KQAL, so you’d think I’d have a better relationship than this.

It’s just not the case.

I get to the bus stop, say hello to Coach Scott Ballard, and take my seat.

I’ve debated sparking conversation, but I don’t feel like the team is interested in my small talk, plus I feel like they discuss basketball enough as it is already.

Hours later, we arrived in Marshall.

They eat their team meal together at Texas Roadhouse or Pizza Ranch, I usually eat off to the side, then we head to the hotel for the night.

I’ve said two words since the start of the trip.

Team meal at Pizza Ranch in Marshall, Minnesota.

Being secluded and keeping to myself isn’t what I’d like to be doing, it just happens.

The nerves of saying something stupid or sitting where someone else wants to sit triggers my anxiety.

My boss and longtime radio professional Doug Westerman explained that it’s not unusual for radio personal to be introverts off the air.

“They just want that high energy ‘Hey everyone! Blah blah blah we got a great day in store for you!’ then all of sudden you’re walking down the hallway and they give you a nervous ‘hi.’”

How could someone be an introvert and be on the radio where you talk for hours?

Pat Broe, former KQAL Program Director and Sports Director, described the flipping of the switch from off-air to on-air as being trapped in a corner with no way out.

“There’s something about when that red light comes on that you have to start, you can’t do anything but be that person,” Broe said. “You’re trapped in a corner, you are live on air, there’s thousands of people listening to you, and you have to figure out a way to entertain them.”

Sounds pretty intense, but I found that to be accurate.

Waiting in the hotel lobby until the team leaves for their shoot around.

In the morning I checked out of my room at 11 a.m.

I sit in the hotel lobby until we leave for the game at 3 p.m.

5 o’clock rolled around and I plugged in the comrex, got my mics into position, and waited for my producer Ryan “Baby Shaq” Mandli to send the call my way.

“That’s going to do it for the Warrior Tip-Off Show as Buck Wallert is waiting in the R/A Facility in Marshall Minnesota, take it away Buck,” Baby Shaq said.

And I picked it right up with, “Welcome to the R/A Facility over here in Marshall Minnesota as we have a good match up in store for you tonight as your Winona State Warriors take on….”

Like that flip of a switch, I was in a zone.

Calling the Tip-Off Show before the women’s game in Marshall.

From saying two words in almost an entire day, to rattling off names, stats, and match up history, you would think I knew these players their whole lives.

Anything to paint the best picture possible for the listeners back home, as according to Doug Westerman, “radio is the theatre of the mind.”

Not talking at all, to saying thousands of words, then right back to not talking after the game bothered me.

It just didn’t make sense.

Mike Martin the original KQAL radio jock and now the guy who keeps the radio station going, met with me the next day and explained how radio gives you confidence.

“It makes you think on your feet, spontaneously, and being kind of a shy kid, you’re doing it in a room by yourself, so that kind of helps too,” Martin said. “You’re talking to people, but they aren’t right in front of you. You’re by yourself, but you’re not talking to yourself, there’s maybe hundreds of people.”

Thinking of the amount of people listening to me makes me even more nervous, do I sound okay? What if I say something I shouldn’t or panic?

And panic is just what I did the first time on air.

Pat Broe reflected on the first time we were thrown into the spotlight.

“It’s a day you and I will never forget.  I was producing and co-hosting, you were hosting, and neither of us knew what the heck we were doing.  TJ Leverentz and Tyler Jeffries kind of just gave us the keys and let us go and let us fail, and we did,” Broe said.  “I think we went to commercial 25 or more times; we didn’t turn our mics off one time, and there might have been a word that the FCC doesn’t like that got on the air.  Basically, anything that could have gone wrong went wrong.”

That was just over three years ago.

Now when I go on air, I have fun with it, take it and run.

Notes or no notes I was going to think of something.

“It’s so funny too, I thought I was prepared for that day, I thought I had enough information to put a show together, but I was not even remotely close,” Broe said.  “Now putting together a pregame show is easy.”

But it’s not always as easy as he says, when you’re having a bad day, you still have to be happy go lucky on air.

Martin explained this well when talking about his experience as a disc jockey.

“I had been just having a horrible bad day or something, and I was just grumpy…. Then I flip the mic on and immediately I’m cheering and I gotta play the role, I gotta play the radio guy,” Martin said. “Flipped the mic off again and went back into grumpy mode. This other guy in the control room with me said ‘how did you do that, how did you just change personality like that.’ And I’m just like ‘hey, that’s what they pay me to do.’”

I receive $20 for each game I call, as well as the free hotel rooms and couple of meals.

But, the radio has given me a voice, so I’d say I’m living the dream.

WAPS does not meet goals; no change for this year

The Winona Area Public Schools school board met on Thursday, Nov. 21, for a hearing about the Worlds Best WorkForce and regular business after.

Maurella Cunningham, director of learning and teaching at the district office explained the results from the 2018-19 WBWA plan and described the WBWA plan for 2019-20.

In the 2018-19 school year, the district met two of their seven goals detailed in the 2018-19 WBWA plan.

Those two goals were to decrease the reading proficiency score gap between white students and students of color and American-Indian students and the district was able to raise enrollment in preschool.

The five goals not met included the four-year graduation rates from Winona Senior High School and the Winona Learning Center.

The goal for Winona Senior High School was to increase graduation rates from 93% to 94%. The rate ended up decreasing from 93% to 91.9%.

Another goal was to close the gap between white students, students of color and American-Indian students on the math proficiency part of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments.

“In Math, the difference in percent proficient on the MCA assessment between white students & students of color and American Indian students will decrease from 26.7% to 20%, for all grade levels tested,” the 2018-19 WBWF plan read.

Other goals not met included kindergarten letter sounds, third-grade reading level increase, and average ACT scores increase.

Cunningham described WBWF goals for the 2019-20 school year.

The basis of most of the goals did not change from the 2018-19 WBWF plan to the 2019-20 WBWF plan.

For example, the goal to close the gap in math proficiency MCA scores between white, colored and American-Indian students stayed the same. The only part that changed was the starting point to reflect the increased gap from the previous year.

“In Math, the difference in percent proficient on the MCA assessment between white students & students of color and American Indian students will decrease from 25.3% in 2019 to 20% in 2020, for all grade levels tested,” the 2019-20 WBWF plan states as the goal.

The only goal that changed was the four-year graduation rates.

For the 2019-20 WBWF plan, the goal is to have an increase in four-year graduation rates at the Winona Senior Highschool from 93% to 94% and an increase from 13.2% to 14% at the Winona Area Learning Center.

One goal was added to the 2019-20 WBWF plan.

The new goal is to have high school juniors who take a college or career readiness assessment to have scores no lower than 85%.

The board will hear a revised version of the 2019-20 WBWF plan on Thursday, Dec. 5.

Superintendent, Annette Freiheit reads through various changes to different school policies. These changes were mostly grammatical or were not what the school was doing.

School Board Chair, Nancy Denzer said she looks forward to seeing the plan written in a meaningful way.

“I really want to see some SMART goals and things that we can achieve and I really want to see the whole Worlds Best Workforce written in a way that is meaningful,” Denzer said.

SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

In the regular meeting, the school board heard from speakers on a variety of topics.

“We want staff members to present not necessarily administrators,” Denzer said.

Teachers from each school in the district came to speak about the progress of the new Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. They reported that students and faculty and staff have been receiving the program well.

One presentation Denzer said she enjoyed was a report from staff members about the progress of a new program called Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports.

Each school in the district has at least one teacher heading the program in that school. Each is seeing tremendous results in the beginning stages of implementation.

The school board also discussed the process of adding a student chair to the board.

School Board Clerk Michael Hanratty brought the idea to the board after attending the annual conference last year and meeting other district’s student representatives.

“He got excited about it and wanted to do it,” Denzer said. “So we are going to shepherd it in and see what happens.”

The next school board meeting will be Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. at Winona City Hall.

Parking causes issues for Friendship Center

The Friendship Center in Downtown Winona needs more parking as it is the number one complaint from members.  

The issue comes mostly because the Friendship Center serves the senior citizens of the area, many of whom have a harder time walking long distances or making it across the street in the time allowed. 

Roxy Kohner has been a member of the center for almost 11 years. She said sometimes she will come to the center an hour before an event to wait out a close enough parking spot. 

“I have driven by and without a place to park I had to turn around and go back because there wasn’t anything within the walking distance that I can do,” Kohner said. “I have also staked out parking. So I have come an hour ahead of time and I will park and do something in my car till I can watch and see someone pull out.” 

Malia Fox, director of the Friendship Center, said this is the most frequent complaint the center gets. 

A report from 2018 state there is adequate parking for the City of Winona. 

The report titled “Parking Study: Downtown Winona” was created by Walker Consultants. They studied an area of 42 blocks between the Mississippi River, Winona Street, Broadway Street and Kanas Street. 

Walker Consultants found that in the study area there were about 4,030 spaces available of which about 3,205 spaces were for public use. 

Parking continues to be a problem for the Friendship Center despite the findings in the Walker report.  

Across Fifth Street from the Friendship Center is the Main Street Square Development. The construction workers and equipment take up many spots that are closest to the center, which has caused more lack of parking.

Winona Major, Mark Peterson, said parking has been an issue for the center since it started 40 years ago. 

“The complaints are very real which is why the city has been looking at a solution to solving the problem,” Peterson said. “The past couple of years the city has seriously been considering moving the center.”

There will be a meeting on Nov. 13 to discuss parking further. 

There was talk from the city about knocking down the old middle school auditorium and creating a parking lot there. 

According to Kohner, that would not fix the problem.

“That is a band-aid because many of us have limited mobility. So even if we do have parking you’re talking two blocks away,” Kohner said. “I won’t be able to go two blocks either. I can go a block if a stretch it, half a block is perfect.” 

One quasi-solution the center had was making a deal with Wesely United Methodist Church which is next door to them. The Friendship Center can use the church’s parking area as long as the church does not have an event going on. 

The parking the church said the center can use is not reserved for the Friendship Center. It is public parking. 

The center has a membership of 1,000 people with an average daily attendance of 125. They also have staff coming in and out of the building every day. 

According to Fox, the Main Street Square Development across the street has hindered their membership. 

“In the last 6-8 months that this development has been occurring, we are watching our numbers drop for the first time in 25 years,” Fox said. 

Deep Fakes

Until recently, photographs, video, and audio were considered a trusted form of communication and storytelling.

Then, photo editing technology and software was developed and photos were no longer considered to be fully trusted.

Some photographs have been altered so well it’s almost impossible to tell.

But videos can’t be faked, right? Wrong.

New technology is proving that to be false.

Deep fake technology has been developed to superimpose someone’s face onto another’s.

According to the computer science department chair at Winona State University, Mingrui Zhang, the idea behind the technology has been around for more than ten years.

It’s mostly been used for entertainment purposes such as the popular children’s movie Toy Story.

“It uses generative adversarial network (GAN) which is based on neural network algorithms,” Zhang said. “It is like any unsupervised neural network it learns from the subjects.”

According to a research paper by Robert Chesney, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, and Danielle Citron, a professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, “Harmful lies are nothing new. But the ability to distort reality has taken an exponential leap forward with ‘deep fake’ technology. This capability makes it possible to create audio and video of real people saying and doing things they never said or did.”

This technology could pose as a threat to privacy and security, according to Zhang.

“It may bring up legal and ethical concerns,” Zhang said. “Those are also what computing education society is facing. The social implication of technology,”

Much like on the social media app, Snapchat, there is a feature that maps out a user’s face and can put photos of friends faces or other filters onto a user’s face.

Snapchat is similar to deep fake technology. Flaws can be detected rather quickly and the users can tell it isn’t someone else.

With deep fake technology, it is more complex but the results are better.

“For example, you want actor B to behave like actor A,” Zhang said. “You take video of actor A, the software will analyze the video and construct the skeleton of A, and A’s motion. In filming, wrapping the skeleton of A with the skin of actor B will make the audience think that B is in action. That’s how AVATAR was made, but the process is too expensive for average person. But with help of a machine learning algorithm like GAN, faking is possible for everyone.”

An issue where deep fake technology arose was in the porn industry. Users of the technology were placing celebrities faces onto others in porn videos.

This is an issue of consent and the well-being of those celebrities. They did not give permission to have their faces in those videos.

“Deep fakes make them available to average person. It started for entertainment, could be used to fake someone’s action who has never committed,” Zhang said.

Chesney and Citron wrote more on the effects of deep fakes.

“Deep fakes have characteristics that ensure their spread beyond corporate or academic circles. For better or worse, deep-fake technology will diffuse and democratize rapidly,” wrote Chesney and Citron. “. . . technologies—even dangerous ones—tend to diffuse over time.”

With that in mind, the porn industry may not be the only industry that is affected as it is hard to contain this type of technology.

Chesney and Citron also wrote about how deep fake technology could affect journalism.

“Media entities may grow less willing to take risks in that environment, or at least less willing to do so in timely fashion,” wrote Chesney and Citron. “Without a quick and reliable way to authenticate video and audio, the press may find it difficult to fulfill its ethical and moral obligation to spread truth.”

Video posted on YouTube by: Bloomberg

Winona brewing continues almost 200 years

Winona had a brewery before the town had its own flour mill. The history of Winona breweries can be traced back 170 years.

That first brewery in the area was Gilmore Valley Brewing which started in the 1850s shortly after Winona was settled by immigrants. Later Gilmore Valley Brewing became C.C. Beck.

The Rochester Post Bulletin reported the first breweries had a few things in common.

One was that all of them changed owners and names a few times before they closed.

The other was that most of them were founded by a German immigrant.

Bub’s Brewing Company, which exists today but in the form of a bar restaurant, was started after the Gilmore Valley Brewing Company. The company does not make beer anymore.

Originally the brewery was named Weisbrod Brewing Company and was run by Jacob Weisbord.

Bub’s Brewing company was one of the original brewing companies in Winona. The company stopped brewing beer eventually. Today Bub’s is a bar restaurant.

Peter Bub, who would eventually own the company started as a brew master and foreman.

When Weisbrod died of Typhoid fever in 1870, Bub became the manager of the brewery.

Bub later married Weisbrod’s widow and became owner of the brewery, changing the name to Bub’s Brewing.

This was the only brewing company that was able to survive during the prohibition because they sold soft drinks and near-beer, which had an alcohol content of less than one percent, according to the Post Bulletin.

The brewery eventually closed because of lack of an advertising budget and struggle to find cans and bottles to fit the volume discount, according to the Post Bulletin.

The most recent brewery to open in Winona is Island City Brewing Company. The taproom and brewery opened in 2017 on St. Patrick’s Day.

There were some issues for partners ,Colton Altobell and Tommy Rodengen, when renovating their section of the building they share with Jefferson’s Pub and Grill.

Renovations started in May of 2016, according to the Island City Brewing Company’s blog.

Altobell and Rodengen started the process hoping for a fall opening date. The partners were caught in the licensing process for longer than they hoped.

In a video on the company’s blog, the two owners stated they wanted to be a part of the community and  by 2021 they wanted to be selling their beer regionally.

“As a member of the community of Winona we hope to exist as a landmark and destination in town. A place where families, friends and neighbors can gather to enjoy good conversation and enjoy fresh local made beers and house made sodas,” Altobell said in the video. “We hope to give back to the community too and be a part of Winona in every way we can.”

The brewery now hosts events like “The Battle of the Brushes” and a drag show with Winona State Full Spectrum, a LGBT club on the Winona State campus.

Altobell and Rodengen do not run the brewery. As of March of 2018, Douglas Irwin became the Chief Effective Officer (CEO) of Island City Brewing Company.

Irwin said in an email that his favorite part about running a taproom and brewery is the people who love it.

“I get to share my passion with many more people, and I get to do it as my job,” Irwin said. “The long days are worth it when you have strangers tell you that they love your beer and really enjoy your taproom experience.”

New Content Coming Soon

The Winona360 web site is primarily a vehicle for publishing journalism content created by Winona State University Mass Communication students.

In Spring Semester 2019, seven students are involved in the senior journalism capstone class, “Publication Practicum,” and will research write and edit journalism articles including text, video, audio and photographs and post them here for public viewing and comment.

Winona360 Site Updated

Community members in and around Winona, Minnesota, will be able to view a variety of interesting news articles on the newly updated Winona360 web site.

The site is a function of the Winona State University Mass Communication department and is populated with articles, photographs and video stories created primarily by upper division journalism students.

Students in the Spring 2018 semester’s senior journalism capstone class, Publication Practicum, are researching, interviewing, photographing, video recording and editing articles. They will upload their articles to the site and then hope to hear feedback from site viewers.

The site is located at a new web address: https://educate.winona.edu/winona360.