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!

55 useful Web sites

Graphicdesignr writes about visualizing data and highlights free and easy-to-use multimedia tools. His “55 websites you should know about” list is full of useful tools and suggestions for the journalist. Among the recommendations:

“Mashable: Social networking news; there’s something for everyone.”

Social networking and bookmarking:
“Facebook: who isn’t on Facebook these days, Join networks by city, school, employer, and interact with other users.”

RSS aggregators:
“Google Reader: Subscribe to and read blogs and news content.”

Blog platforms:
“WordPress: My favorite blog publishing system. Customizable in design and function, and easy to use.”

Other categories include Web editors, videos, photo editing, photo storage, timelines, slide shows, graphics, maps, and Geocodes.

Journalist Web sites growing in popularity

Rather than worrying about polishing their resumes today, many journalists pay more attention to updating their Web sites.  As Tony Rogers writes in “More reporters are creating their own Websites”:

Given the turmoil facing the news business, more and more reporters are starting their own websites or blogs, driven by the need not just to archive their work, but to create an online presence – a brand – for themselves.

John Tedesco, an investigative reporter for the San Antonio Express-News, told Rogers that “It’s important for journalists to have their own site to promote their work and have a kind of calling card on the Internet….When someone Googles your name, your site pops up. People can learn more about the kinds of stories you work on and find your contact information.”

How does your “social media footprint” compare?

Boris Epstein is CEO and Founder of BINC, a Professional Search Firm that specializes in the Software Marketplace.  He poses a question that more employers are starting to consider:

If all else were equal, like education, work history and general skill set, and I had to evaluate the social media footprints of two candidates to determine which one of them I would contact, which one would I contact and why?

With the amount of information available online to employers, job seekers should not only be conscious about what they post, but should also be actively networking and leaving their own “social media footprint”. The practice is not limited to the unemployed, establishing and maintaining your online persona is a good habit to get into.

Companies today are looking for well-rounded people that can integrate well with their team both professionally and socially. Epstein highlights key points and outlines his criteria for comparing equally skilled job candidates.

Think tank stresses journalism’s need for context

Martin Langeveld, a former newspaper executive, participated in a Washington, D.C. think tank that dealt with the future of news. “The Future of Context” discussion was mediated and organized by Matt Thompson, a fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri.

The theme of Thompson’s discussion was obviously context, meaning, journalism must embrace the ubiquity of user-generated content and the necessity of the link to sustain itself.

Langeveld noted several points of insight introduced by participants in the D.C. discussion. The self-inflicted technological lag being felt by print newspapers was one of the more obvious observations.

Journalists must nurture discussions with their audiences, according to Steve Yelvington, a strategist for Morris DigitalWorks.

“Newspapers in the past couldn’t tap into conversations very well, but now we can. By focusing energy on making people part of the conversation and building community, we raise demand for our product.”

Journalists’ guide to Twitter

Leah Betancourt of offers a rundown of the many ways in which journalists have been incorporating Twitter into their work. Betancourt surveys how journalists use the microblogging site to gather information, see what other journalists are reading and talking about, follow groups, track topics in real-time by keyword and much more. Essential reading for today’s journalist!

Changing media landscape seen in coverage of G20 summit

When the G20 summit was held in London in early 2009, coverage was not limited to the usual journalists. EditorsWeblog reports:

As twenty of the world’s leading political figures convened at London’s Excel centre something unprecedented was happening in the media world – with coverage going digital in a way never before seen.

What’s more was that the key players providing the coverage were not just your usual brigade of journalists but also consisted of the general public who, by using social networking tools such as Twitter, provided an additional news element to this year’s summit.

Bloggers, NGO representatives, charity workers, casual onlookers to climate change campaigners caught up in the day’s events – a variety of people contributed to the coverage, helping to build a more complete picture of what was happening on the streets of London.

The article offers lots more information about this shift and the rapid embrace of new media tools by traditional journalists.

Good tutorial for adding audio clips to stories

Here’s a great little tutorial to help students embed audio clips in their online stories: “How to Embed MP3 Audio Files In Web Pages With Google or Yahoo! Flash Player

Social networking sites become journalists’ tools

Kelly McBride of PoynterOnline reports on how journalists can use social networking sites to get the latest news as well as who is talking about.
Social networking sites, like Facebook and MySpace, were originally created for friends to share common interest and in touch with one another more often. These sites have grow so big and attracted so many people with different interest that they can be a source for breaking news and potential sources.
Drawbacks to using social networking sites is the information must be independently verified because people may make things up or exaggerate stories, especially when they are in social setting.
“Balancing the personal and professional turned out to be the thorniest issue,” said McBride. Journalists must use “restraint when it comes to making political statements and revealing your own biases,” on their profile page on either Facebook or MySpace.

According to an article by Kelly Wilson, many journalists are creating profiles on the popular networking Web site Facebook, which was once intended for college students. Lori Schwab, at the time the executive director of the Online News Association, is the main subject of the article. She believes that Facebook will be a great resource for journalists young and old. Wilson writes:

Across the board, social sites are a way for people to interact as they never could before (or at least, never could with such ease). For journalists that means contacting others for ideas and support on tough assignments or connecting with editors for advice and job opportunities. Many organizations have gone a step further to create groups only for members of their news outlets’ networks.