Friday, March 19, 2010
2010 CSPA Conference ~ Write on!
As a speaker and teacher, my main focus is content development. Today's technology allows for communication to be instant, mobile and global, but the digital age is only as good as our writing. Audiences still want strong story development, rich language, and engaging narratives. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are popular but highly personalized. In my view, journalism will remain in high demand. People will always want community information that is clear, balanced, in-depth, succinct and relevant. Look at how so many people in Iran have taken great risks to post information and upload true video to the web. Deep down, people care about the truth that journalism delivers. So I encourage students to focus on interviewing skills, story development and language usage that is efficient and engaging. This groundwork will provide excellent reading material, narratives for video or slides, and framework for larger multimedia projects.
As an attendant of several sessions, I learned about affordable equipment and on-the-go application. A high definition camcorder recommended is the Aiptek A-HD 720P ($120). This hand held device records H.264 video at 30 frames per second directly to a media storage device. Short films can be easily dropped into any editing software. The Canon PowerShot D10 ($280) is recommended for underwater video and 12 megapixel still shots. This would be great for stories about diving or swimming. The Zoom H2 Ultra ($140) is a portable digital audio recorder most recommended for great sound. You can take this device anywhere for the high quality audio you may need. The Zoom is equipped with its own omnidirectional mic. It can be used with lavalier mics for unidirectional needs. It can even be plugged directly into a soundboard. So for those who want to pursue multimedia journalism, these affordable tech toys can add great video and audio to your news stories. By all means, keep your writing in mind. The best stories will be well-developed.
I also got a chance to meet a professional journalist who feeds the New York Times blog site with city content he obtains using a small hand held video recorder. Here are three great examples of how multimedia journalism can take us right into the genuine experiences of others: