Free resource: Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency

Noted journalism educator Mindy McAdams has collected 15 of her blog posts on multimedia journalism into the “Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency.” The free 42-page PDF document is available in English and Spanish and is “fully linked and usable online in most Web browsers, or in Adobe Reader, or in Preview on the Mac OS.” Invaluable for the next generation of journalists!

3 steps to great online video stories

In “Three Ways to Become a Good Documentary Journalist,” Kurt Lancaster examines a recent New York Times video story about a young artist living on $12,000 a year. Lancaster believes the video succeeds because it reflects “three elements of strong documentary journalism:.” In his view, they are:

  1. Gives voice to the subject
  2. Takes us into the personal life-space of the subject. d
  3. Visually compelling. 

Lancaster’s analysis offers important lessons for anyone creating online video, no matter how much or how little training they have had in television journalism.

Video journalism resource

Ken Kobre, author of “Photojournalism:The Professionals’ Approach,” has created a great new resource for journalists shooting video. “The Kobre Guide to the Web’s Best Videojournalism” highlights video stories and offers custom video tutorials on a wide range of video journalism topics. Teachers and students can subscribe to a YouTube feed to stay current.

Using online video to create communities

Many people shown an interest in making videos or short films that help to inspire viewers about salient topics. The people are extremely passionate about getting these messages across to viewers some are willing to take time away from their day job. Mindy McAdams writes on her Teaching Online Journalism blog that “Jenny Douglas is another person who’s working for love, not money. KarmaTube is a site dedicated to finding videos that inspire.”
With the growth of the Internet, people find it easier to get meaningful points across to viewers. The Internet allows the video makers to collaborate and share interests with one another. Therefore, it is easier for people sharing common interests to promote what they believe to viewers.

Newspapers turn to video for “commemorative editions”

Anick Jesdanun reported for The Times that many newspapers created videos of the 2008 presidential inauguration for people to use a keepsake of the event.
What makes this story unusual is the newspaper industry typically assumes people would rather buy a paper newspaper for a keepsake. Now they have learned that some people might rather have a digital copy of the same information.
While most newspapers continue to print more paper newspapers as keepsakes, the Post planned to produce a DVD with the same historic inauguration information. DVDs cost less to produce than newspapers and more can easily be made upon demand, unlike print newspapers.
The article focuses primarily on print media but the use of digital media like DVD by the print industry is worth noting. This possible new trend may help newspapers survive as their revenues have fallen to record lows.

TV reporter uses Skype from the field

WTSP-TV anchor/reporter Janie Porter reported live from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on the run-up to a University of Florida Gators championship game. Rather than using a live truck for her feed,

Porter set up her own camera, opened her laptop, connected the camera to her computer, slipped a wireless connection card into her laptop, called up Skype and used her Blackberry to establish IFB (the device TV folks wear in their ears to hear the off-air signal).

Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute has the story, an interview and the video.

Advice for shooting video

While Bill Pryor’s “Top Ten Mistakes of Rookie Filmmakers” is geared to filmmakers, it offers solid advice for those new to shooting video. Even if you plan to shoot just short clips for online use, you’ll find Pryor’s tips very helpful. No. 1 on his list? Bad sound. “Remember it’s an audio-visual medium. Audio and video are equal.”