Joel Kowsky

30 Day Story – Old US Rt 66

Posted in J4980 by jkowsky on December 11, 2010

Mile 236 – Springfield, Mo. A moasic of the US Route 66 shield is seen along College St. as Old Route 66 meanders through Springfield’s surface streets.

Commissioned on November 11, 1926, US 66 traversed the United States from Chicago to Los Angeles as a major thoroughfare for nearly 60 years until the modern interstate system fully took hold in 1985.  Missouri is home to 317 miles of the original 2,448 mile route.  Despite being decommissioned as a US Highway, RT 66 has lived on as a piece of Americana.

After decommissioning, there was a resurgence in popularity in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s with Route 66 associations being formed in the states the route passed through.  These groups are committed to preserving landmarks along the historic route.  Signs denoting “Historic Route 66” can be seen along the entire 2,448 mile route.

Missouri’s 317 miles are home to Route 66 institutions such as Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in St. Louis and a Steak n Shake that has kept it’s 1960’s configuration in Springfield.  Small towns that were bypassed by the modern interstate system sit as reminders of a bygone era in America’s transportation history.  Scenic views not seen from Interstate 44 greet those who venture down the old, winding asphalt ribbon.

Mile 130 Looking West down Old US 66 as it parallels Interstate 44 to the East of Devil’s Elbow as the sun sets after a thunderstorm moved through the area.

Mile 180 - Lebanon, Mo. The neon of the Munger Moss Motel glows as a becon for travelers against the night sky. The motel opened in 1946 and featured 14 cabins with garages between the rooms. The motel is still going strong and rents out rooms to travelers year round.

Mile 0 - St. Louis, Mo. Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, at 6726 Chippewa Street, opened in 1941 along one of the US Route 66 alignments through St. Louis. The location was a popular stop on the way to and from the Ozarks and remains a popular destination for those traveling down Old US 66.

Mile 137 - Devil’s Elbow, Mo. The Big Piney River and the bluffs along it have been described by the Missouri State Planning Commission as one of the states “Seven Senic Wonders,” The original two-lane steel truss bridge was bypassed in 1941 in favor of a straighter four-lane stretch that was laid out just north of Devil’s Elbow.

Mile 180 - Springfield, Mo. Steak n Shake on St. Louis St. maintains the chain’s 1960’s configuration right down to still having carhops.

Mile 255 - Halltown, Mo. Whitehall Mercantile, housed in a building dating back to 1900, houses a weath of antiques and collectibles. During the heydays of US 66, Halltown was known as the “Antique Capital of the World.”

Mile 130 Looking East down Old US 66 as it runs along side Interstate 44 through the countryside just East of Devil’s Elbow.

30 Day Story – Works in Progress

Posted in J4980 by jkowsky on December 6, 2010


A few frames from my essay on Rt. 66 in Missouri

Munger Moss – Lebanon, Mo.

The Mother Road


Ted Drewes – St. Louis, Mo.

CPOY – Multimedia Project

Posted in J4980 by jkowsky on December 6, 2010

Between picture story and Rick Shaw’s multimedia editing class I have seen quite a few projects from this years CPOY.  This years projects are a definite improvement over last years.  Once again North Carolina dominated this category with three of the four projects that placed having come out of the larger projects produced by their program.  The judges brought up some very good things, like in the project about the high school girls how the intro was kinda off putting.  How if you’re going to show a black frame, your audio has to be spot on and compelling.

The discussion about the adoption story was interesting.  Discussing how the story held up, but was knocked down because of the editing and the content.  The audio is pretty bad, in my opinion, it jumps around way too much in terms of quality.  Upon listening to it, some of it seems like it’s stereo and some is mono, it’s just off-putting.  The content that you use has to be good, this content falls short.  It’s quite long too, though not as long as some of the other pieces.

It’s so tough to figure out what good multimedia is.  Is good multimedia a project that we, as journalists, will sit down and watch all the way through, or is it the hastily put together one that we might look over, but the viewers of a website eat up?  Because of this, this category always seems to be kind of all over the place.  This years projects were good, but are they the type of projects that someone perusing an organizations website would sit through from start to finish?

Fatal Fall

Posted in J4558 by jkowsky on November 22, 2010

This graphic, found in an LA Times article that posted online Monday afternoon, compliments a story about a 2-year old who fell from one of the luxury boxes at the Staples Center following a Lakers game Sunday night.  The graphic is straight forward and very helpful to anyone who has never seen what a luxury box in the Staples Center looks like.  The graphic provides an accurate representation complete with people enjoying beverages and one talking on their cell phone.  They even took the time to put coats in the closet, I think someone had a little too much time…  I think this graphic falls short though.  The article describes how tall the glass at the top of the ledge is, but I don’t see that anywhere in the graphic.  The only representation of height is the cross section showing that the box was approximately 30 feet into empty seats.  But where are the empty seats in the graphic?  The seats in the boxes were probably copy/pasted, how hard would it have been to put seats in the stadium area?  To compliment an article, this works ok.  As the only thing that you see about the incident, it falls short.

CPOY – Domestic Picture Story

Posted in J4980 by jkowsky on November 15, 2010

I sat in on the final few rounds of judging for Domestic Picture Story in this year’s CPOY.  There were a lot of strong stories in the category this year.  It was good to see August’s and Charles’s stories in the mix and making it to the final round and being awarded gold and silver respectively.

Having not been able to attend the initial in and outs for the category I can’t speak to the content of the stories that were outed, though I’ve heard that nudity was quite rampant in many categories.  If it furthers the story, then I don’t have a problem with it, but if it does nothing to further the development of the story and is just nudity for nudity’s sake, then it doesn’t belong.

Having seen both August’s and Charles’s stories before, I’m going to focus on the story that shares gold, Growing up fast in Athens.  This story is well shot, and it seems like the photographer spent a good deal of time with the subject in order to gain the access that they were able to achieve.  However, the edit that was chosen makes it seem like the story was shot in one or two days.  Editing is one of, if not the most important aspect to putting together a story.

I agree with the choices of the judges in this category.  Initially I was a little confused as to why they had voted out Charles’s story even though it was stronger than the others they were consider, but was glad to see it brought back in.



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