Hearst Winner Shares Storytelling Inspiration

Joe Valdez
Joe Valdez ('19)

Joe Valdez ('19), a broadcast/digital graduate, placed in the top 20 this year in the prestigious Hearst Media One Multimedia Narrative Video Storytelling Contest for his story about Pride and Glory Pro-Wrestling, a nonprofit serving Denton County charities. Valdez, who now works as a reporter for News 12 in Ardmore, Oklahoma, completed the project as part of a multimedia class at UNT.

How did you develop the idea for your story?
"The multimedia class was themed around "transformers" in Denton County. I was taken by the fact that the charities Pride and Glory supported were able to continue providing services in Denton County, including counseling and veterans services, with some even gaining funds that would last for months.

How did your time at UNT help you as a multimedia storyteller?
"Studying at the Mayborn cemented the fact I wanted to be a storyteller. Then I stumbled into photography through Hatch Visuals. Honing my aesthetic eye through photography shaped my videography, and then everything involving pace, sound mixing and writing came naturally as I progressed in my broadcast classes.

What would you consider essential viewing for anyone interested in telling multimedia stories?
I was hooked by a story by Lisa Krantz of the San Antonio Express-News titled "A Life Apart: The Toll of Obesity." Cinema like Manchester by the Sea, The Shawshank Redemption and countless Quentin Tarantino movies also provided inspiration.

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