Online Journalism

Audio breaking in to the visual and text based journalism market

March 5th, 2011 · Comments Off on Audio breaking in to the visual and text based journalism market

First we were forced to switch from the type-writer to the computer. Then came the transition from the print media to Internet media. Now we are being thrust in to a world of photojournalism, blog journalism, Twitter journalism, and most importantly: audio journalism.

You might be asking yourself what is so great about audio journalism. Why does Jim Stovall say, “audio journalism is important because it is the dominant form of information distribution on The Next Big Thing in Journalism: mobile journalism.” How can someone possibly say that audio is more intriguing than videos or photographs? In this post, I hope to help you navigate the confusing world of audio and understand why it is so important format to journalism today.

Audio has many great benefits that many other formats do not have because of how flexible it is. As National Public Radio has shown us over the years, audio hosts are able to make a true connection to their audiences. These connections may be a result of the fact that audio offers the following:

  • Presence: allows a reporter to “literally bring readers to the story”
  • Emotion: “tone of voice, expressions, intonation and pauses can enhance the message
  • Atmosphere: “natural sound helps pull the listener in close”

Because audio has benefits that are incomparable to other forms of media, it is no wonder that Karin Hogh says, “audio can be as powerful in journalism as written articles of even TV and video.

In order to start making use of this powerful media outlet, you will need just two things:

  1. A digital recorder: ranges in price from $30 to $300; when researching one to buy, keep in mind recording quality, digital file format and compatibility with your computer, ease of use and ease of transferring files.
  2. Software: allows you to manage and edit sound files. When using audio, make sure you record in WAV format and that the software is set to capture data through a microphone input.

After you record your interviews, voice overs, or natural sounds, it is time for you to begin editing. The most basic thing you need to remember when editing is to keep the parts that are most important to telling your story. Listeners will lose interest by repetitive or unimportant information. Once you have perfected your sound clips and compressed them in to an MP3 player you are ready to upload them to the internet. The following offers a list of how your sound clips can be used:

  • Stand-alone audio file with news story or blog post
  • Podcast, or a file that can be downloaded to a mobile device or played on a computer
  • Vodcast, or sound file with video
  • Audio accompaniment to a photo slide show

Once you have perfected the basic skills of audio reporting, you, like so many others, will understand why Stovall says, “reports and journalism students must stop thinking about sound as an exclusively radio format and adopt it as a reporting tool that can be used to effectively deliver information to readers or listeners.”

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts Twitter’s most popular

March 5th, 2011 · Comments Off on Twitter’s most popular

Top 10 twitter this week

Charlie Sheen

  • has taken over Twitter and now has 800,00 followers! And that was just in 24 hours! All because 2 and half men stopped.

Justin Bieber

  • is so famous, I do not see what the big deal is about this kid. But he is ranked #2 for Twitter’s top 10. March first was his birthday, mostly with lots of birthday wishes for him, but a lot of mean comments from fans about him and his girlfriend.

83rd Annual Academy Awards

  • twitter users commented more on the Oscar winners than the hosts.


  • Top competition for England’s 92 clubs. Arsenal and Birmingham City faced in the final match. Birmingham won, winning the 2nd trophy for their team.
  • LMAOTwitpics- is a Twitter account that posts crazy and funny pics on twitter, with funny captions. I guess this stuff is funny its the #5 thing on Twitter.
  • cumanNANYA- Indonesia for “just asking”.


  • OMG now has a lobsteroll for a seasonal menu item! Not to get our hopes up this is only available in New England and Canadian Maritimes.
  • Vina de Mar festival- an annual musical show in Chile. Broadcasted this year for the first time on TV.
  • NBA- trading season is here and fans are angry and excited to see who gets who.
  • Jane Russel- passed away in her home at the age of 89. She was an actress that used to be famous.

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

Briggs Chapter 10

March 5th, 2011 · Comments Off on Briggs Chapter 10

Managing News as a Conversation

Blogs have become a journalism conversation

You can converse through comments.

  • not so simple, sometimes mean and ugly


  • provide transparency
  • enable an immediate feedback
  • spread awareness of news coverage through word-of-mouth marketing

New conversation is important:

  • feedback
  • keeping the reader involved
  • keeping the public in-tune and make sure its understood
  • tips
  • links
  • additional insight

Make News participatroy-best way

Keep conversations accurate and ethical

  • set guidelines for participants
  • dont write anything on a blog or a personal web you couldn’t write in the Times
  • don’t embarrass yourself by facebook and myspace.
  • dont recruit friends or family to promote or defend your work
  • consult your editor before “friending” any reporting contacts
  • monitor offensive postings
  • always correct errors

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

Briggs Chapter 8

March 5th, 2011 · Comments Off on Briggs Chapter 8

Telling Stories with Video

Impact of digital video:

  • youtube
  • the only way to learn is to do
  • make your mistakes as quickly as possible
  • can tell a better story than writing
  • perfection is not necessary
  • great sometimes takes too long for what the story deserves
  • quick and unpolished video content on news sites often draws bigger audiences
  • very common to not be perfect anymore

Plan your video and Go

  • Use different approaches for different projects

Breaking News:

  • you rarely know in advance what the story will be
  • you only know news is happening
  • for breaking news you probably wont get to breaking news, like a crash or a shooting you wont be there

Full documentary:

  • you have more control so its easier
  • a lot more planning
  • recommend story boards

Highlight clips:

  • especially in sports
  • constant movement of the subjects
  • lighting and zoom can be challenging

Storyboard- a visual sketch of the story, separated into different parts so it can be organized.

  • pictures help define
  • realistic expectations
  • forces you to think about eh focus of the story
  • the main idea you want to get across
  • no artistic talent is necessary
  • you can always update your storyboard after the fact

Mix your Shots

Build five shot sequences

  • close-up on the hands- shows the needle applying ink to the woman’s skin
  • close-up on the face- shows the man’s concentration
  • Wide shot- shows the two together and a view of the room where this takes place
  • over-the-shoulder shot- shows the view that the tattoo artist has of the process
  • creative shot- shows the room from behind a table (another look at the main subject)

Each shot should be steady

Learn effective video interviewing:

  • the interview- basic form
  • simple process
  • easy to mess up if you don’t plan
  • first step is to select the right location
  • have several questions pre-written
  • dont speak during the interview while the person is talking no “uh-huh” or “I see” or “really”

Shooting good video:

  • Focus- camera will focus automatically, better than you most likely can
  • Zoom- set the zoom before you begin
  • Exposure- most cameras have automatic exposure, gives you the perfect lighting in most cases
  • Aim solid, not spectacular, clips- hold shots, be silent while shooting, avoid panning and zooming.
  • Keep it short and sweet

Publish Online

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

Briggs Chapter 7

March 5th, 2011 · Comments Off on Briggs Chapter 7

Making Audio Journalism Visible

“Somehow audio has been considered the ‘invisble’ medium,” Karin Hogh “However, if done right, audio can be as powerful in journalism as written articles or even TV and videos.”

Audio Journalism

  • Presence: On location, a reporter can literally bring readers to the story. Being there boots credibility and interest.
  • Emotions: has tone and voice, experssions, intonation and pauses the words of the reporter or the sources can enhance the message.
  • Atmosphere: natural sound- whats happening around you. this helps pull the listener closer.

News and Audio:

  • Radio of course.
  • Reporter overview: simple audio overviews by reporters that accompany their articles.
  • Podcasts: episodes on a subject help build audience but can be time-consuming and hard at beginning.
  • Audio slide shows: adding audio to photoes tells a better story.
  • Breaking news: a quick audio report from anywhere by mobile phone, to be put on the web.
  • Can be the atmosphere that paints a picture quickly

Getting started with Audio

  • We all know how to talk- paint a picture with the audio
  • recording interviews: use them to make quotes and and a more entertaining way of reporting
  • chose your location well
  • prepare your subject- dont go in not knowing what you want to ask, be prepared to ask
  • write a script
  • keep it conversational -nice and easy

Step by step do it and follow directions

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

Briggs Chapter 6

March 5th, 2011 · Comments Off on Briggs Chapter 6

Visual Storytelling with Photographs

That old saying…”A Picture is worth a 1000 words”… that is this chapter.

Digital Photography:

  • Take as many pictures as you want
  • immediately see what you have taken a pic of
  • upload to share whenever and with whoever
  • don’t buy film
  • easy to edit pictures on a computer

Get to know your camera!!!

Shooting Mugshots:

  • most common used my journalists
  • Use the right lighting; avoid noon sunlight
  • photograph when there is an overcast- if possible
  • use a flash as a last resort
  • pick the best background
  • stay away from walls to avoid flash shadows
  • make sure there isn’t anything lie a lamp or a pole coming out of the person’s head
  • More time leads to better photos -DONT RUSH
  • Make the best of your pictures

Digital Pictures are easy to work with:

  • quick
  • easy to crop
  • tone and resize any picture
  • having the right photo for your story is easy to find
  • easy to edit
  • don’t add things to pictures, it can be misleading and untrue

Photographs on your Computer:

  • Edit a copy of the picture…never the original to avoid damaging and not being able to get the original back if you mess up
  • Crop the photo to what makes the photo only
  • resize to fit the story and the space needed
  • make sure tone and color are perfect
  • save a web version
  • keep it simple- dont go over board doing things to the photo

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

Briggs Chapter 5

March 5th, 2011 · Comments Off on Briggs Chapter 5

Going Mobile

Learning how to:

  • What kinds of stories lend themselves to mobile reporting
  • What technology you need
  • How to use selected mobile publishing services for text, photographs, and video
  • How professional news organizations use mobile to complement their existing publishing platforms.

Mobile Journalism

Journalism is not journalism until published. mobile journalism makes this immediate.

Mobile media is a tool everyone can use, it is as useful as a swiss army knife. It has so many purposes.

The audience is going mobile so journalism must go mobile as well.

  • Makes easy to cover things more effectively and clearly
  • need a tool to capture and produce content
  • away to connect to the internet so you can publish it


  • iphone
  • blackberry
  • nokia N95
  • full backpack with a camera, tripod, audio recorder, microphone and a laptop with a 3G wireless internet card.

Bottom Line:

  • Keep it simple
  • dont lug more equipment than you can handle to cover the story
  • dont ever try and use a device your not familiar with
  • be perpared

Choose your Story:

  • Go somewhere interesting
  • first hand is always interesting
  • audience expects to see it here and now

Gearhead- job is to be out and about and report minute to minute

Light packer- traditional journalist, just enough equipment to get the job done.

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

Briggs Chapter 4

March 5th, 2011 · Comments Off on Briggs Chapter 4


“its a great way to she a link to the article you’ve written,” Alana Taylor.

  • Microblogging is an instant messaging journal.
  • Can be done by texting, instant messaging, e-mail, digital audio or by posting to the web.
  • Compared to being in a big room with lots of people you like and that like you and everyone is discussing on the topic.

Twitter is the most popular.

  1. ability to maintain constant connection with others with out direct communication
  2. ability to maintain constant connection with many people at once unlike e-mail or the phone
  3. each update is significant and important information to someone

It is important because:

  1. keeping the public updated
  2. different ways to be “intouch” with the news and events of the world
  3. can be a form of emergency information to the public
  4. its effective for immediate breaking news
  5. its away to broadcast what we’re doing
  6. its away to keep people safe

Microblogging is away to:

  • Keep the public as a unity
  • its immediate so the people are constantly being updated and can be up to speed on the world
  • its away to keep faithful followers; by giving back without taking too much.

Build your Network:

  • Find people to follow
  • follow others and they can follow you back
  • new posts will appear on your twitter and update your followers and your friends, others can see this and then follow you too
  • When you find others with good information follow them and share with your friends, they can see this and then will follow you

Having nothing to say:

  • You can not have nothing to say
  • Twitter only has 140 characteristics available…
  • This forces you to post the most important info
  • Include a link so if they would like they can see the whole story

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts