Online Journalism

Chapter 9: data-driven journalism and digitizing your life

March 20th, 2011 · Comments Off on Chapter 9: data-driven journalism and digitizing your life

We live online. If we live online, we need organize ourselves online.

There is a lot of information out on the internet. The more info, the better we have to learn how to filter it. It’s a personal and professional challenge, but you have to keep up with the web.

How much data can you handle?

Tips to survive the internet:

  • Organize your email: limit the time dedicated to your email. If you can’t reply an email in less than 2 minutes, file it, and go back to it later.
  • Backpack: good resource to organize calendars and to do lists.
  • Think about it: once your information is online, you will always be able to find it!

What you need to manage + right tools = personal productivity

Briggs offers a list of things you need to manage online (email, social media), and suggests tools to manage them.

You can start off by organizing your contacts. Tip: whatever you get an email from a possible source, enter it to your contacts and add as much info as you can get. Next time you need to get in touch with that source, you will know where to go.

Remember organized data can make your life easier.

  • It adds to your story, and help the reader to make sense on the content
  • It provides easy access to data to the readers,
  • It’s easier to share organized online data
  • It’s useful for investigative reports

Last note? Building spreadsheets and maps will help your readers to visualize the subject. Make use of those resources that are out there!

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

Briggs Review 8: Video journalism

March 20th, 2011 · Comments Off on Briggs Review 8: Video journalism

Video journalism is an important way of telling a news story, whether its breaking news or a documentary, but there are a few different approaches. The biggest question one might ask is how much the quality of the video matters, and the answer is not much: “…the audience for video has become extremely forgiving and is now open to all levels of quality…quick and less polished video content on news sites often draws bigger audiences.” Sometimes the less polished videos are the most authentic ones and the audience knows it and is drawn to it.

Here, for example, is a video clip of the Japanese tsunami of 2011:

Click here to view the embedded video.

It is a bit shaky and not the best quality, but it is a professional video clip from CBS. It is the content that the users are most interested in and not the quality, especially when it comes to breaking news.

The difference between producing breaking news stories and documentaries is the time you have to plan your story. With breaking news it is important to simply get to the news scene and get footage of witnesses, first-hand accounts, and the overall environment of the incident- even if it means using a cell phone to record video. If it is a documentary, then you will want to take your time on it and make a storyboard. For both documentaries and interviews you will want to create a script.

Here are some tips for recording video:

  • It is good to shoot a variety of ranges (wide, medium, and tight), but do not overuse zoom (aka don’t record while you are zooming) as it makes a video look more amateur.
  • Shoot video like you are taking a still picture. A tripod is a good idea.
  • Sound is important! Make sure the audio is loud and clear- nobody will watch a video if they can’t hear what’s going on. Also, have a variety of sounds in your video, like ambient (background) noise, natural noise, voiceovers, etc.

One important thing to remember is that you should always be flexible and record what may not seem important now but could become important later on.

Tags: briggs · Comm361 · Student Blog Posts · video

Briggs 10: The Socialization of News

March 20th, 2011 · Comments Off on Briggs 10: The Socialization of News

THE DIGITAL AGE has socialized news, which means that the people who read the news are now the people who also take part in it. “[...] information wants to be analyzed, shared, synthesized, curated, aggregated, commented on and distributed. Even journalists feeling overwhelmed by new technology can see that more interaction with the audience carries big benefits.”

There are, however,  problems with having your audience be a part of your writing: News commentators are generally not constructive or respectful and there are either too many or too few of them. Forums are evolving, however, so that newsrooms are accepting more responsibility for the comments, commentators expect more from each other, and technology is improving.

It’s not just on a News websites page that this occurs either, it is also social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter which provide feedback from readers. Lending socialization to other sites has created more sources for News.

Social media is the next big thing and any organization or journalist that ignores this fact will be left behind; you always need to be where your audience is and social media is where they are today.

Tags: briggs · Comm361 · social media · Student Blog Posts