When I decided to study the MA in online journalism I did it with the firm intention to become a journalist 2.0 and fight me fear to everything related to new technologies.
So far, I experimented with every aspect of online journalism.
I started improving my profile in the social media and discovering how to use every widget and how to approach successfully to my followers, and above all create a professional network to contact with other colleagues.
Then, I decided to experiment with something completely new for me: data journalism. The own concept it was like Chinese for me.
But, little by little, first with easy data tool like Excel and then with other websites and programs like Infogr.am I realized how easy and useful is the data production and visualisation for nowadays online journalism, to add an extra value to those articles that featured just written content or that need from some easiest way to explain numbers and more numbers.
This training in data journalism provided me some good techniques that I put on practice with a data project with the BBC the past month of December.
But it was just time to move to visual content, the most demanded content on the Internet.
I must admit that I never thought that I could like video production because I’m not too much creative to make something newsworthy and beautiful at the same time. But It’s surprised me how much I’ve enjoyed the past month experimenting with online video.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MAKE A GOOD VIDEO?
First of all, good equipment. It is true that now you can do good videos even with your mobile phone, and I’ve actually experimented most all the time with smartphone and tablet to record and edit video for social media or my blog, but if the phone that you use is rubbish ( just like mine) it going to be so difficult to produce something close to professional.
For example, I bought a microphone that supposed to work with smartphones, but it was impossible for mine to recognise the wire, and then I read an online article that said that the brand of my phone isn’t compatible with microphones.
However, this helped me to experiment a lot with post production video, and figure out how to add audio recorder with another device to the video imagines from a camera.
Also, you need to know some basics of shooting, but I share some good tutorials through my weekly posts, and websites like Reuters or BBC have really good video tutorials too.
But not every good video have to be a shooting. Sometimes can be just photos or subtitles with music, as long you communicate something. In this way, I realised how useful gifts are to add visual value to a publication.
And of course, you need to know basic if some edition program, mostly Premiere or iMovie. And this is the part that I’ve enjoyed the most.
Some people aren’t patience enough to be hours editing a video, but for me, it has been the best part because has helped me with my creativity lack that I though that I won’t overpass, and I think that now I almost control every aspect of Adobe Premiere.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART OF THIS EXPERIMENTATION?
Communities of practise.
The first thing that I did was to create my Twitter list os video expertises, above all in Birmingham, but also all UK and USA.
This was in part useful because I could contact the video journalist that I interview for one of my posts. But besides that, I wasn’t actually able to reach anyone else.
It was almost impossible to get someone through a forum, and even though you were able to find a forum, post where between 2-4 years old, or if you wanted to start a discussion nobody replied back.
Also, I tried through social media and my post to get some feedback from viewers too, and even though I got some shares on Twitter and new followers working on video journalism, that was all, any other interaction or immersion on a specific group.
NEXT STEP: MY ASSIGNMENT PROPOSAL
So, now that I experimented a bit more what is being a video journalism and produce and edit video is time to really work and go further with this project.
My idea was, through a number of weekly posts ( maybe each two weeks depending on how much time it takes me) focus exclusively on human stories through interviews.
The past few weeks I’ve been studying how mediums produce their ideas, and in particular, BBC3 have a really personal way to tell individual stories, and that appealing aspect that attracts more and more people every day is what I will like to explore for my next assignment.
To accomplish this task, I would like to focus each interview about a social problem that it will be newsworthy or trendy during the 1-2 period that I will use to do research about the topic and look for the right person (in Birmingham) to talk, and at the same time, try to experiment with professional cameras and new ways to shoot and basically, tell the story.