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Chips Quinn Scholars Program | Promote Your Page Too
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I will be looking for opportunities to add multimedia elements to my story ideas and stories. I’ve written before that I appreciated the idea that multimedia is more than video + audio, that it’s about interactivity and intimacy and a different perspective and story than what I can provide. I’m now thinking about panoramas, maps, time lines and quizzes and how they can enhance my story. I’m also thinking about how to bring readers into the story through Twitter feeds, comments and user-generated content.
Journalism is all about perspective, and the multimedia presentation has widened mine or given me a new one.
It was great to learn about the ethics of filming video news stories. Until now, my only experience with video involved very “produced” stories, with lights, a shooting script and actors who could do multiple takes of whatever I needed. I didn’t know that during breaking news stories, you can’t ask a character to walk through a door again if you didn’t get that shot.
That’s why it was great to start the video unit with the world-champion stories. It eased us into the process and let us iron out any technical difficulties we had. We could even tape extra b-roll if necessary. It basically gave us a safe environment to learn the basics before going out to report a real story.
The experience I have gained in using Final Cut video-editing software is invaluable. I have always wanted to use it at work, but since I was not on the video productions team, I guess they didn’t feel I needed to learn. I want to give my fellow co-workers trainings as well as help incorporate video projects into my university’s (and high school’s) publications. In my newsroom, which doesn’t really use multimedia, I would love to redesign the Web page to be multimedia friendly and then make projects for Web site.
Luis C. Lopez
I had a week-long session with professionals. Not just professionals, but “pro’s pros.” The pacing taught me about the urgency with which we’ll be expected to operate in a newsroom. I now feel comfortable in turning stories quickly.
I’m glad that I was placed with a group of students who do quality work on a consistent basis. On paper, I feel I was the least-qualified in multimedia skills, but working through the training showed me how far my potential could be stretched.
To Anne: Thanks for your patience and feedback.
To Jack: You put the fear of God in me, in a good way. You taught me more about integrity and professionalism in journalism in one week than anyone else could teach me.
To Val: The best for last. You are truly a “pro’s pro.” Thank you for sharing some of your wisdom to inexperienced and scared journalists. In another life, I would love to have you as my photo editor.
I’ve learned multimedia skills as a result of this week’s training, but I’ve also learned that I am capable of much more than what I was previously aware of.
Our multimedia instructors equipped us with the tools necessary to produce multimedia pieces, then gave us the freedom to produce our own projects. They gave us the opportunity to succeed.
Because I learned how to produce pieces, I have more confidence about approaching editors in my newsroom with multimedia story ideas. I feel that this confidence is going to improve my newsroom’s coverage and help our readers to be more engaged in our publication’s stories.
So I’ll admit it. Before starting multimedia training I was terrified. I had little to no multimedia experience and was worried about the expectations in Nashville.
However, during each session and under the tutelage of the most amazing, patient and helpful instructors (shout out Val & Anne!), I was able to learn some helpful tips, get some constructive feedback and nail down the basics of multimedia reporting.
I’ve always been a paper and pen kind of girl and love the smell of newsprint. After this experience, however, I’m eager to step out of my archaic comfort zone and embrace new forms of storytelling. I’m excited not only to pitch print versions of stories in my newsroom, but also to ask for the opportunity to do more multimedia reporting. This experience has made me much more confident in my skills and energized my passion for this industry.
I learned so many things during the last few days. One of my biggest take-aways from the week was that multimedia has to have an angle. Similar to a print story, a multimedia project needs to focus on something. If you are shooting a video of a protest, it is not enough to get a couple of shots of people yelling. You need to find an angle and a point to the story.
I always thought that multimedia was supposed to mirror the print story, but really it is supposed to tell its own story. I learned so much about how to find an angle and stick to it.
One thing that I will do differently when I return to The Daily Princetonian newsroom is to have a much higher standard. I’ll be starting as executive editor for multimedia there in a few days and one of the things many of our speakers and instructors stressed was audio quality. I hope that our audio equipment will come in and that we’ll be able to demphasize that audio is often more important than the visual package.
At Newsweek, I hope I will have opportunities to create multimedia packages. If not, I hope to take the initiative to pitch stories and create as many video stories as possible. I feel more confident about my multimedia skills and hope to be able to contribute my new skills there this summer.
Diane S.W. Lee
Shooting and editing video always seemed daunting to me. I was intimidated by all the steps involved, such as getting the gear ready, shooting different sequences and editing the video.
During past internships, I didn’t get a chance to produce video stories so I would spend my free time shadowing photojournalists. I watched them work their magic using Avid or Final Cut but never really understood the process.
I finally got the chance at The Freedom Forum to learn how to shoot and edit video, not by shadowing others but by doing it myself.
Working in teams, we produced three video stories from start to finish. I learned to organize video footage and interviews into folders. It also helps to separate your work flow into different steps, like working on the audio first and worrying about the video footage later. And the most important lesson: Always save your work. The Final Cut program froze on me twice, so that’s one lesson that will stick with me.
I also learned that the video we shoot needs to be of good quality, that we need to shoot tons of B-roll, that our story must have a focus and that it must have transitions. And it must make sense! We may use video, audio or photos to tell stories, but we have to just that — tell a story. We are storytellers, after all.
I finally understand what it takes to tell a good video story and am confident that I can shoot and produce my own such stories. But doing so will take a lot of practice.
I am thankful for the opportunity to learn from the pros, our multimedia instructors Anne Bailey Medley and Val Hoeppner. This was my first foray into video, yet they expected nothing but the best from me. I’m grateful for their patience and their willingness to answer questions and provide feedback. But the learning doesn’t stop in Nashville. It will continue when I’m at The Bulletin in Bend, Ore., where I plan to incorporate multimedia storytelling into my print stories.
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