From Dark Room To Digital

The most recent task we have been assigned in class was the photo slideshow with an interview over it. It was something I hadn’t really seen before and so seeing Johnny Andrew’s material like this really stood out to me. He worked with photo and video together, and combined the two types of journalism we have learned through the textbook into one piece.  I thought it was a really effective way to tell a story.

Be creative. Do it with passion. Improvise. These were some of the key points I took from Johnny. Textbooks don’t usually inspire, but through the images and videos Johnny captured and composed I really got a sense of desire to do the same. The compositions were unbelievable and it opens your eyes to other kinds of Journalism. It was clear to see he even had fun/ expressed creativity in more simple photographs. The mail women with the police dog and the flying letters. His creativity made for a really great photo.

He also talked about how he got started. He illustrated the change in the industry: a point mirrored in our textbook. When he started out he sent out portfolios to 12 different companies, there were multiple responses which resulted in two job offers. He highlighted that today this most likely wouldn’t happen.

He emphasized that we need experience. “Don’t make everything a huge project.” This was another piece of useful advice. Practicing different types of shots, his example was attaching a camera to a skateboard, will help you grow. It will show potential employers your ideas and what you can do. When I think of doing things to get experience and/or learn, I am usually bogged down with the idea it had to be something big. It was useful to hear someone with experience in the field say sometimes the smaller things, like practicing shots, will go a long way.

I have never really been into photography. In the text book it doesn’t go into as specific detail about actually taking photos as Johnny did. I liked finding out how in some photos he has had to go back to reposition things in the shots for 25 minutes. It takes time and work to get the right shot, or one that you are happy with.

My favorite photos were the street ones. He talked about different kinds of journalistic photos: documentary, street, sports. He said he dabbles in them all. The street photos, to me, had so much character in them. They were really unique images and they were the photos that most stood out to me. It made me realize, with regards to filming and photography, it’s an area I would be more interested in. I preferred the more real/ raw look of these photos. I didn’t like the modeling photos as much.

“It’s a ticket or passport to meet people you would never meet.” Meeting people and finding out things I would have never otherwise known is really what got me interested in Journalism. I like the idea of your camera/ job or story being this ticket.



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Writing For Electronic Media

Gerd Ludwig, an internationally re-known photograph journalist, has covered the Chernobyl accident aftermath for years. He recently issued a gallery of images named “The shadow of Chernobyl” on “The Big Picture.” It shows the devastating effects the incident had on the surrounding buildings, environment and people. The collection of images initially interested me because they were so unique: you see a paint splattered room and collection of men in masks. As I scrolled through the images the light hearted “artistic” room disappeared. The photos turned from pictures of run-down buildings, left personal items and a desolate town into a horrific reality. Victims struggled to survive with severe cancer and deformities. A severely disabled child sits in a mental hospital, abandoned by his parents. The Chernobyl disaster is not recent news but the damage is still gravely visible on the faces of those suffering.

This style of journalism, photojournalism, is a really effective way to get this story across. I saw this article and thought about it most of the day. The photos are so graphic I found it very interesting and upsetting. The photographer put his life at great risk to take these pictures: the area still has an enormous amount of radiation. His compassion to tell these peoples story is really admirable.

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The news story I found covers Pakistan floods through photographs. I selected it because it shows how effective this type of journalism can be. A picture can be worth a thousand words and this is shown through this article. The nature of the article, showing devastation in Pakistan, is effectively shown through pictures. They are emotional images that description really couldn’t do justice. The captions along the bottom provide the little details necessary for readers to fully understand the image. It relates to the chapter because the chapter because the textbook encompasses all of these. It talks about the effectiveness of photographs, how important they are to news stories and how a skillful photographer can really capture emotion through the image.

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Context Review

Journalism has been around since humans were created. It has adapted as humans have developed to the stage it is at today. The way in which we communicate events and news has taken a dramatic change in the last 10 years with the explosion of the internet. The method of distributing and displaying news dramatically changed after the creation and growth of the internet. But there will always be a need for journalism. There are fine lines that define a journalist. This is because of the internet and consequently the ease of broadcasting to a great number of people. Anyone can post news and so multiple people technically can qualify for the title. The text as a whole exemplifies these ideas.

This theme is created through each chapter. The fight to be the larger news organisation is now online. Sites need high visitor numbers to attract advertisers and generate an income. Websites use html coding and CSS to attract users with design, ease of navigation and quality of information. Sources previously could not be accessed easily by the reader. Coding allows the use of hyperlink and video. Reliability for stories can now be assessed with the click of a mouse.  

One of the main factors that are leading online journalism is the number of users. Everything the text speaks about is successful because the web connects the whole world. The web is available to anybody with a connection source. Information can be created and posted to the world by anybody. This creates a massive bank of information.

There are different ways this massive amount of information can be used, displayed and distributed. Techniques like crowd-sourcing, pro-am journalism and open source reporting are ways of harvesting and displaying it while also getting input back from your audience. Journalists can gain feedback from readers or spectators of news worthy events to help write stories. Opinions about events can be offered in a large scale through crowd-sourcing. Gaining insight from the public, like many instruments for journalism, has always been around it has just progressed to a much faster, bigger level. Before Journalists had to hunt for this input, now it is available in an instant.

Different types of sites display different types of journalistic information. In class we considered twitter, a source for news that allows posts no longer than 140 characters. Breaking news headlines can be posted on twitter within seconds of the event happening. The use of hyper links allows a more detailed to be accessed. And the use of “re-tweeting” and “following” allow a domino effect release of the story.  This is just one example of how news can be distributed with new online methods.

The internet is essentially a giant information hub. News organizations sift through the information to find what we as readers consider important, write and distribute. Different types of sites allow for different types of distribution, but all are interlinked. A news provider, for example the New York Times, will use multiple websites to get their news out. They have a twitter page, online website and email for public contribution. They use methods like crowd-sourcing because it is easy and the direction journalism is taking.  Journalism fundamentals are still in place but how we get there and how readers find news is changing. If news organisations can navigate these advancing online resources news can be given in the fastest way possible. Quality writing and research still make journalism but speed, contribution and resources are magnified by these new media outlets.

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Use of Crowdsourcing

The article I have chosen is a report on the London tube strikes from the BBC.

Fits the categories because?

-It is a report that’s main source is through crowdsourcing – it is a prime example and is from 2010 showing crowdsourcing has actually been around for a few years.

What can student journalists and future media creators take away from this?

-Can be really useful, I was apprehensive about “anyone” being able to be a journalist, why am I in college, but this is a great example.

-The source is from all over London, there would be no other way to get this sort of information.  

-Crowdsourcing can be used for all types of media.

What did news outlet do right?

-Highlighted which information was from BBC journalists and which was from other sources.

-Different categories from different modes of transport.

-Pics, videos, reports

-Tweet info to report

Do Wrong?    

How to submit info, sites details were small, should be large so when someone first looks at the page they think/know how to submit info.

Changing the game?  

Especially with mobiles you can now get this info while you are out, tube lines open and close during strikes, travelling is a nightmare, this type of reporting is so useful.

-Instead of employing people to go see what is going on they have a live twitter feed with images, info and videos coming in.

Cool about this example?

Old example

-One of the most effective types of crowdsourcing. If the tube is closed it’s closed.

-Not opinion based.

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Informational Interview Question

1)Where did you go to school?

2)What was your degree in?

3)Did you have a lot of experience in radio by the time you finished your degree?

4) What has been one of your favourite things about working in radio?

5) What has been one of the worst things about working in radio?

6)How old were you when you got a job in an area of radio you wanted to be in?

7)What qualifications/experience did you have at this time?

8) What is one of the most valuable things you have learned in your career?

9) When you first started out in radio what kind of salary did you have?

10) Did you always want to be in Radio?

11) What other career paths did you look into?

12) Why radio?

13) What are some of the things you do on a daily basis?

14) What other places if any have you worked in?

15) What type of position should I be looking at when applying for a job?

16) Should I try an intern with a company/station before applying for a job?

17) What is impressive on a resume in this field of work?

18) A lot of talk about “dying radio” is it the wrong field to be heading towards?

19) What qualities do you think radio presenters absolutely need?

20) Do you think being from a different country would hinder someone’s chances of getting into American radio?

21) Is having a masters degree a great advantage over someone without one?

22) Have you interviewed people for positions at a station?

23) What impressed you about candidates?

24) What was something that put you off candidates?

25)How much experience do candidates with only a few years out of college have?

26) Is radio what you thought it would be before you really got in to it?

27)What surprised you when you first started out?

28) Do you prefer working alone or with other people in the studio?

29) How many hours do you work a day?

30) What types of things does your day consist of?

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Article Blog: Chicago Tribune Eyes Price Tag For Online News


About the Article

The article I have selected is about a newspaper, the Chicago tribune, and its move to start charging readers for reading their online content. This has not really been covered in the textbook yet but it has been a topic for class discussion. Online Journalism is now one of the main sources for news and while it is currently, for the most part, free, it won’t be like this for long. News organizations are beginning to start charging their users, and the Chicago tribune has joined the movement.

Making Changes

Online advertisement is currently a major money-maker for websites but this may change. In class we discussed how websites would start charging users. In this article Gerould Kern, the editor, said they “will begin to charge in a selective way.” The news come after a rival paper, the Chicago sun-times, has started charging users.

Reduce Costs and Increasing Income

The article also talks about ways the company has been trying to reduce costs and boost income. To reduce costs they have been making job cuts. This has been a topic I have touched in many of my communication classes.  We talked in class about how they would charge, perhaps a monthly charge or by page viewed. In the article they gave example figures from their sister publication the Baltimore sun. Users can pay either $2.49 per week or $49.99 for six months.

Courtesy of Flickr

To my Surprise

One thing that surprised me about this article was that Kern said advertisement revenue was decreasing. With more and more people seeking the internet to get their news I thought this may have been on the rise. He said it “now makes up only about 65 percent to 75 percent.” It used to make 80 percent.  His reason for this change was that advertising companies have more choices with regards to where and how they advertise.

For Students

It’s important for Journalism and communication students because no matter what type of media industry we decide to work in, the Internet is going to be a big part of it. Even with regards to keeping up to date with news, as online users we will have to start paying for a majority of online sources in years to come.

Second Article   

A related article I found was on the BBC website. It is titled “Murdoch signals end of free news.” There are a lot of comments made by Rupert Murdoch but one that stood out to me the most was: “quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting.” I think this sums up online media right now. So far almost all online news has been free to anyone with access to the internet and with news papers and news stations sharing almost all their content online they have been offering readers the chance to pay for news or get it for free.

The article covers an international perspective speaking about how different news organizations across the globe have been looking at tackling the problem of charging users while keeping visiting numbers high.

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