Online Journalism

Chapter 9 — Data-Driven Journalism and Digitizing Your Life

March 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on Chapter 9 — Data-Driven Journalism and Digitizing Your Life

“Unless you are a so-called early adopter, you probably find it impossible to keep tabs on all the latest and greatest tools and services available online.”

Briggs advises first and foremost:

  • Organize your e-mail
  • Find the right personal productivity tools

Data driven journalism:

  • Every story is a field of data
  • Telling stories with data

Tags: briggs · Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

JournalismNext (8): Telling Stories with Video

March 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on JournalismNext (8): Telling Stories with Video

The digital video revolution

  • A versatile form of journalism
  1. Two journalists, one goal
  2. Perfection not necessary

Plan your video and go

  • Use different approaches for different projects
  • Try storyboarding
  • Mix your shots
  • Build five-shot sequences
  1. Close-up on the hands
  2. Close-up on the face
  3. Wide shot
  4. Over-the-shoulder shot
  5. Creative shot

Voice in video:

  • Learn effective video interviewing
  • Use a stand-up, even if you don’t want to
  1. Content
  2. Write a script and warm up
  3. Be stable, breathe easy
  4. Don’t be afraid to talk with your hands
  5. Control your story with voice-overs

Gear up and get out there:

  • Array of camera choices
  • Video camera shopping questions
  1. What media type?
  2. Do I need high def?
  3. What software will I be using to edit this footage?
  4. What accessories do I need? (Tapes and batteries, microphones, tripod, headphones, lighting)

Shooting good video:

  • Focus
  • Zoom
  • Exposure

Aim for solid, not spectacular clips

  • Be selective in shooting
  • Avoid panning and zooming
  • Hold your shots
  • Be silent when you shoot
  • Framing and composing

Get good audio:

  • Built-in mic
  • Wireless mic
  • Shotgun mic

Working with digital  video files:

  • Keep it short
  • Choose your editing software
  • Practice visual storytelling

Publishing video online:

  • Do your own compression
  • Seek viral video distribution

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

JournalismNext (7): Making Audio Journalism Visible

March 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on JournalismNext (7): Making Audio Journalism Visible

Audio journalism — a microphone, recorder and free software (plus a computer and internet, of course) are the only tools needed to create an audio form of journalism.

Why is audio journalism important?

It has characteristics that cannot be matched by other forms of media such as:

  • Presence
  • Emotions
  • Atmosphere

How do news organizations use audio?

  • Reporter overview
  • Podcasts
  • Audio slideshows
  • Breaking news

The basics of audio journalism:

  • Interviews and voice-overs
  • Natural or environmental sound
  • Imported sound clips, including music

Get started with audio:

  • Recording interviews
  1. Choose your location
  2. Gather natural sound
  3. Prepare your subject
  4. Watch what you say
  5. Try delayed recording
  6. Mark the best spots
  • Doing voice-overs
  1. Write a script
  2. Warm up
  3. Find operative words
  4. Keep it conversational

You can use a digital recorder, your computer or an external microphone to help.

Editing digital audio:

  • Understand digital formats
  • Get ready to edit
  • Editing with audacity
  • Try advanced editing techniques (fade, cross-fading, established music, segue, transition)

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

Chapter 8 — Telling Stories with Video

March 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on Chapter 8 — Telling Stories with Video

Briggs’ eighth chapter explains:

  • Capturing quick video highlights, not documentary projects
  • Managing digital video on your computer
  • Using common software to edit video
  • Choosing online video hosting services
  • Driving audience to your video

“The best way to build a solid video story is to think about it the same way you would think about writing.”

  • Use different approaches for different projects
  • Try storyboarding
  • Mix your shots
  • Build five-shot sequences: Close-up on the hands/Close-up on the face/Wide shot/Over-the-shoulder shot/Creative shot

Being a film major at GMU, this is definitely the most chapter that I found the most interesting. It didn’t really teach me anything, per se, but it’s still beneficiary.

I really liked that Briggs pointed out to “aim for solid, not spectacular clips” – I can definitely see how this would apply in good pieces.

Tags: briggs · Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

Briggs chapter 9: Date-driven journalism and digitizing your life

March 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on Briggs chapter 9: Date-driven journalism and digitizing your life

In this chapter, Briggs discusses how information in our lives is going to keep growing as time goes on.  So, it’s time to digitalize your life.  What does that mean exactly?  Well, in short, it has something to do with keeping all of your information in order and making sure you are constantly updated with the new information being passed around.  It’s quite possible no one will ever know for sure.

Quite often people may get the feeling of frustration that somewhere out there exists the cool new thing you need to help you with your latest task.  The problem is that it just doesn’t seem worth the time and energy to try out new products.

Hey people, here’s a little advice: in most cases, the return is worth the investment. Since a lot of applications are new things are for free, there are no barriers in trying new things!  All journalists have the skills to go out and search for these new things, so go get them!

Information, information, information.  Data, data, data. My head is already spinning.  Every profession, and every industry is going through data overload.  Most of them are learning how to leverage them over time.  So how does this relate to journalism?

Just think of all of the information that passes through newsrooms every day.  With all of the information they get, where does it go?  How do you manage all of this information.  The answer is that these news organizations and journalists store their information electronically with spreadsheets and shared databases.

Overall, this chapter talks about managing your information and using that information wisely.  The possibilities for data-driven journalism are endless, so you will want to use this after experiencing the power and ease of working with structured data.  Remember, information is passed around everywhere, so keep it in order.

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

Briggs chapter 8: Telling stories with video

March 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on Briggs chapter 8: Telling stories with video

In this chapter, Briggs discusses everything there is to know about visual journalism. This type of journalism is all about telling compelling stories that connect an audience with subjects, people and issues.  As wide of a range this subject may cover, video journalism is very easy to learn.

Chapter 8 is all about the following points:

  • Capturing quick video highlights, not documentary projects
  • Managing digital video on your computer
  • Using common software to edit video
  • Choosing online video hosting services
  • Driving audience to your video

One thing that is very important to do when using visual journalism is storyboarding.  This is what we are currently doing with our multimedia project.  Storyboarding is a visual sketch of the story, separated into different parts so it ca be organized.

Most of all, storyboarding helps you gets you to think about the focus of the story: What’s the main idea you want to get across to the viewer?  That is key when starting a storyboard, because you don’t want to miss the focus of the story.

Also, when shooting the video, be selective in shooting, avoid panning and zooming, hold your shots, be silent when you shoot and make sure to frame the picture and compose.

It is best to start small rather than to start big when shooting a video.  You don’t want to do too much, so before heading out on an assignment, it’s a good idea to get comfortable with how to shoot and what to shoot.

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts