Online Journalism

Tech Blog – Mark Potts

March 30th, 2011 · Comments Off on Tech Blog – Mark Potts

In today’s class, we got to hear from Mark Potts,  and I have to say, with all due respect to the others who have spoken to us, I think he was the best guest brought in to COMM361 this semester.

Within an hour or so, Potts shared approximately three to four dozen different and helpful websites that provided great resources or simply examples of particularly well-done and unique storytelling techniques. But I think what I appreciated most was his unconventional opinions on news resources, namely touting the merits of Wikipedia and downplaying the importance of Twitter. The only thing missing was a boxing match between Potts and Professor Klein, who seemed horrified at the suggestion that Twitter was not a big deal. (For the record, my money would be on Klein–he’s the one grading me!)

Potts also acknowledged that Storify does not work for every story, because it asks a lot of the reader to mentally fill in the transitions between quotes. (He once wanted to write a story consisting entirely of quotes but it never panned out.) He stressed the importance of community bloggers, the ones who aren’t doing it for the money but for the passion of helping out their community, suggesting that mainstream news sources could benefit from using these resources–as he put it, “Do what you do best and link to the rest.”

It might seem as though Potts’s visit was pretty rushed and contradicted what we’ve been taught by Klein and other guests, but I found it refreshing and I think it provided a lesson that one man’s trash is another man’s journalism (for lack of better phrase). In other words, every single journalist operates differently. The method and tools that work for you might not come in handy for everyone else. In the increasingly complex world of social media and online storytelling techniques, it’s important to give these new tools a fair shot but it’s also just as important to know your own strengths and what you’re capable of producing. I highly recommend that he be a guest in all future COMM361 classes.

Tags: Comm361 · Student Blog Posts

Skype session with Kevin Anderson

March 29th, 2011 · Comments Off on Skype session with Kevin Anderson

Courtesy of his Twitter; Kevin Anderson: Digital strategist and freelance journalist with more than a decade experience with the Guardian and the BBC. Helping create the future of journalism. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER!

On Thursday, March 24, 2011, Anderson skyped in to chat! Being half way accross the world didn’t stop him from making his 3:30 p.m. EST Skype sesh.

Valuable advice given to aspiring job-searching journalists: Go to WordPress.com or Tumblr, set up a blog, start writing and taking pictures. The costs of doing that is almost nothing. Use your moble phone and take pictures of videos. Think of the best ways to tell stories with graphics and data. You need to show you didn’t need that first job to make the initiative.

Anderson said, “With BBC, I did interviews with military bloggers. One of the most powerful radio programs is I got three soldiers together talking about their experiences. With a joint interview, you can usually get more out of them; you can have them talking to eachother. They all conversed and shared their stories. I still get shivers when I think of that radio program.”

Storify has been a hot topic in the Online Journalism classroom the entire semester.  He did raise caution with one aspect of the site. “Its grat to collect material, but make sure you use the text tool to add content to what youre making,” said Anderson.

Professor Steve Klein responded with, “So in otherwise, bridge the material with good old fashioned writing.”

“Absolutely,” said Anderson.

Twitter. On the topic of media giant Twitter, Anderson said talked about maps and locations. In all seriousness, he said that he includes his location in his tweets so he can map them later. Although, don’t do that in Syria because you don’t want to encourage an air strike.

Relating to online journalism and storytelling. Anderson wrapped up the Skype sesh with, “You couldn’t tell the horror without the Japanese tsunami without the videos. And that is a small example of it. You can’t tell the story of the revolution in Egypt without the voices or the people submitting their videos online.”

Tags: Comm361 · Storify · Student Blog Posts

Skype session with Burt Herman

February 22nd, 2011 · Comments Off on Skype session with Burt Herman

CEO of Storify

This is Burt. This is the website he co-founded.

Courtesy of bertherman.com: He is an “Entrepreneurial journalist stoking media revolution. CEO and co-founder of Storify, building the future of journalism. Founder of Hacks/Hackers, bringing together journalists and technologists.”

Great introducation on Burt- now for the BIG news! He skyped with us today from somewhere on the west coast. My guess is Silicon Valley since he is a technology superstar.

He talked about how storify can be a tool to simplify the process of telling a story online. “We have this amazing situation where everyone can be a reporter on the ground” Burt said.

Storify knows that a tweet, is a tweet. A video has certain tags on it. This information is much richer than it would be if you simply just copied and pasted in links.

Professor Steve Klein asked, “How do you stay plugged in? Telling stories is constantly changing becasue of all of these newer online platforms.”

Burt Herman responded with, “I’m hungry to always search new sites out. I get emails everyday from places like mediabistro, mashable; I have tech friends. I do look at twitter, but i do confess, it’s not always a news good source for me. Sharing your idea is the best  thing to do. Nobody is going to steal your idea, because they wont care about it as much as you do.” Mark Zuckerberg would.

Tags: Comm361 · Storify · Student Blog Posts