Behind the camera: Normalizing the sex industry.

When we started brainstorming stories for our third project we talked extensively during the pitch session and continued the conversation through our group message and landed upon a story by the end of the day.


No one really expects to hear about a student who’s side job is working in the sex industry, which made the story automatically compelling. There were also problems that came from telling the story. While it did raise interest from the people I talked to on campus and off, there weren’t really any extra sources.

Mustang News had previously done a story on Porn, in which they talked about the unspeakable topic. This was a different take on the sex industry, coming from an on campus student.

This project brought a unique challenge to us in that it wasn’t fitting into a lot of the demands on the syllabus addendum. We were planning on doing a story on a girl who performed on camera to make extra money. There wasn’t an academic component or multiple sources who could speak on the subject. We had one girl.

Olivia takes photos of our subject in her room where does her webcam modeling.
We decided as a group that our angle needed to be objective and we needed to wait before making any assumptions about our subject and the story in general. There was a lot of similar preconceived feedback that we’d gotten from talking to students, community members, etc. There is a stigma that can come when you mention the sex industry and we were here to tell her story and take on the stigma

Going into the interview there was a consensus that we here to facilitate her story being told and allowing our audience to take what they would from it. We met with her for about an hour and she shared her story. We agreed to withhold naming names in this situation because of the subject matter.

She talked to us about the industry, the clientele, her experiences dancing and walked us through the website which is just one of sites on the internet. was the site she used because she liked the variety of options that came with it.

The website allows user to rename anonymous, comment, tip and watch videos of their choosing.

It’s helpful to have all of the group attend the interviews because each of us had different questions that came up during the interview. Also we were able to help on the areas that were our own specialties even though we weren’t using them for this particular project.

Cecilia also interviewed Jane Lehr, Associate Professor & Chair Women & Gender Studies about the subject for an additional perspective.

Cecilia taking notes on the story.
We had two memory card issues, one dying battery, and four iPhones that we used to get everything for the story. It taught us a lot about having back up plans and back up plans for those back up plans.

Madison improvises with an iPhone after encountering technical difficulties during the filming.
The project allowed us to continue our theme of really good ideas and adapting that to few sources and little resources. We’re seeing that it’s important to have that initial interview with the primary source. We’ve seen our stories evolve on each project from our beginning plan to where the source takes us.

This has affected the way we do the print, multimedia, public relations and broadcast. I think that our last project will probably also come together in the second week even though we are already planning it, it’s just part of the trend.