Tag Video

Twenty Tips to Improve Your Multimedia Piece

Of course, one 20 point list would be a little overwhelming, thankfully MediaStorm’s Eric Maierson split it into two … over the course of 18 months …

The first list talks about dissolves, movements, letting your visuals breathe and a little on music.

The second one starts with making sure your edits serve a purpose–and that sentence and graf are really enough to be a powerful entry on their own, but it goes on to talk about how to handle your subjects on-screen and typography.

Both are worth spending some time on, bookmarking and coming back to later on.

(Thanks to Syracuse University’s Tom Kennedy, via Twitter.)

Reading to Get Ready

It was be very nice to be approaching the end of one semester and spend the remaining week concentrating on just these students, just these projects. But we wrap up, take a short break and then launch right into what comes next. Whatever that is …

So I’ve been spending the last few days thinking and reading, trying to get ready for the spring mentally. (There were grand plans to compose the spring syllabi, but, well, you know – turkey, tryptophan, stuffing and gravy.)

Running this site costs a little bit of money, but not much, so sometimes these links are "affiliate links," meaning if you make a purchase, a small commission may be made to support the site. The intro class will get ripped up and redone as I’ve decided to work with a completely new text book. Joe McNally released The Life Guide to Digital Photography recently and it looks like a better fit for what I want to teach as well as how I want to teach. That means a new syllabus, new presentations and new assignments. (I really need to make these major changes for fall classes so I have all of the summer to get them ready … for those reading ahead, I’m sorry if it’s a little more chaotic in January.)

In addition to two sections of that class, I’ll also be teaching the Documentary Photography class–perhaps the most erringly named course I teach as it’s now about 70% video. (This may be its last time under that name, I think the department agreed to rename it “Visual Journalism” or something like that, to fit in with our new major and emphases that go into effect next fall.)

Which leads me to two pieces that Mindy McAdams, the Flash Goddess down at the University of Florida, sent out on Twitter this afternoon. The first is a blog entry she wrote that looks at how audiences are using online video and how journalism organizations are not really getting it.

The second is a piece over on The Online Journalism Review by Aaron Chimbel that talks about using simple video cameras (the so-called “Flip cameras,” even though I prefer the (now discontinued) Kodak version) for online journalism. Those students heading into the Doc class should read that now because we’ll be drawing a lot from that come January.

So what will the Doc class be like? The last few years the video has been centered on some beautiful Sony HDV cameras with all the toys–three mics, tripods, lights. I think we’ll start with the more portable Kodak Zi8s, learn the basics of shooting and editing with them. That will let us get over the technical fears faster and move on to storytelling. (We will transition to the big Sonys, don’t worry–but we’re going to focus on the story more than the gear. I’m tired of gear, figure it out.)

More as it develops …

How to Fail at Video

I just love this … Glen Canning on how to fail at video, in massive ways.

(Thanks to … well, everyone on Twitter who posted this today.)

Video for the Small Screen

Do past thoughts on video still apply for mobile platforms? It would seem so … and a lot of those still apply to desktop- or laptop-watched video, too.

(Picked up from Richard Koci Hernandez’s Twitter stream.)

DSLR Video Tips

UGA PJ alumnus Jake Daniels sent this link along to a SportsShooter.com tech tip on how to get better video from your DSLR camera. Some excellent tips in there, and I think I need to track down one or two of those items for my own kit.

On Online Video (podcast)

Up next in our series of podcasts is a talk about the role of video online and how traditional print publications are, can and should move towards it. Guests include Walt Stricklin, Director of Photography at the Birmingham News, Dave Labelle, author and former photojournalism professor, Minla Shields, the former Senior Editor for Planning at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mike Haskey, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, John Curry, Visuals Director at the Augusta Chronicle and Jon Samuels, staff photojournlaist at WXIA in Atlanta.

One of the most interesting aspects of this conversation was the student input in the second half, particularly when asked about their online news video consumption habits.

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On Backpack Journalism (podcast)

Continuing with the conversations we had during our March photojournalism workshop, this one on “backpack journalism,” also known as “mojos” for mobile journalists. Most refer to it as “one man bands.” We hear from Walt Stricklin, Director of Photography at the Birmingham News, Jon Samuels, staff photojournlaist at WXIA in Atlanta, John Curry, Visuals Director at the Augusta Chronicle, Minla Shields, the former Senior Editor for Planning at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and joining in later, Dave Labelle, author and former photojournalism professor.

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6×6 – 36 Tips to Make You a Better Multimedia Storyteller

Stolen, quite simply, from Richard Koci Hernadez’s Multimedia Shooter siteAdam Westbrook gives you six tips in six areas that will help improve your skills and your stories. The video section sums up what I try to teach so nicely I may not need to teach it anymore.

Getting Online Video to Work

Two posts online this morning, each linked in content … first up is the Poynter Institute’s Regina McCombs talking about what works in the online video realm. Her assessment mirrors my favorite response to students, “It depends.” Based on the questions that lead to that post, Chuck Fadley at MiamiHerald.com talks about what has worked there, which comes down to hard news and sports helping to generate half a million views a month.

McCombs asks …

Why don’t features — or any video stories — work more consistently? Producers have a lot of ideas: lack of placement within stories. Lack of marketing. Lack of sales staff training. Lack of listening to our readers. Poor navigation. The list goes on. Unfortunately, a lot of it is a guessing game.

I’m going to repeat part of that: Lack of listening to our readers.

You can read every report on how important online video is. You can go to every online conference. You can train your staff to do video. But if you don’t talk to your audience, you won’t know what they want. And that’s a bigger shift than most publishers and editors think it is. Yes, they focus group. Yes, they read letters to the editor. Yes, they allow comments on the web site.

But journalism is not mass communication any more.

Whoa … let me say that again: Journalism is not mass communication anymore.

That phrase denoted the idea of one message being pushed out to a large audience. We report, we write, we edit, we publish – you read. It’s a one-way medium. That’s not the way it works anymore – journalism needs to move towards a more interpersonal communication model where there is more feedback, interactivity and conversation.

Some places are doing it, and some are doing it exceedingly well. But if you want video to work in your community, you have to have a conversation about what they want to see in video, what they want to see in photos and what they want to read.

And that … well, that’s hard to do.

YouTube Creates Link to Media Sites

The New York Times is reporting this morning that YouTube has signed a deal with several media companies, including National Public Radio, to help handle video from “citizen journalists.” Citizens can click a link on the media sites and send their “news” reports to them where they can be reviewed by editors for possibly publication on the site.

My first, knee-jerk reaction was, “Dear God, please, no.” My second reaction had something to do with career possibilities in the quick foods markets. The third reaction? Well, let’s just say it involved some level of fascism and religious intolerance …

My dislike of the term “citizen journalist” borders on the obsessive. Isn’t almost every journalist a “citizen journalist?” Okay, perhaps those working for the august Canadian Alien Daily Evening Item up in Idaho aren’t U.S. citizens  … but still.

And then there’s my belief that journalism is something practiced by a group of people, in some organized fashion, and not by any individual. An individual can report what happened, but a journalist puts it in perspective – and that perspective comes form having multiple people involved in the process. (This is not a wildly popular differentiation, to be honest, and I haven’t worked all of the loopholes into it yet.) If folks started using the phrase “citizen reporter” I might not have as many convulsive fits. (Stress the might, I’m still not crazy about implying journalists are not citizens.)

Regardless, in the story is this line:

When users go to the Web sites of Politico or The Chronicle, for instance, they will be able to upload to YouTube and flag their video for review by the publication’s editors, who will have the ability to approve or reject the submissions. [Emphasis mine]

Ahhh … there’s how you can make it work – have editors look at it. This is the first step to making user generated content (another awful phrase) work. Of course, it means editors now need to be trained to deal with untrained reporters, which is a whole other post.