I have to say that I really enjoyed chapter 8 of Journalism Next. I mean to be completely honest everything mentioned in chapter 8 I had to learn the hard way when I purchased my canon 60D last year. In the chapter Briggs talks about being overwhelmed when first shooting video and boy was I ever. The problem with finally buying your dream camera is the new found freedom to shoot any and everything. The camera had so many options and functions that I literally took the whole day reading the manual.
I remember my very first shoot. I went to Piedmont park with my new 60D, I had my monopod foolishly swinging it around like it was a rig. I was moving the camera constantly. I was zooming constantly. I just didn’t know what I was doing. That evening when I got home I uploaded all my clips into imovie and began to edit. I quickly realized that most of the clips were unusable. The problem was the clips just felt nauseating. It was too much movement, my eyes didn’t have time to adjust and concentrate on the points of interest. I later noticed that all the static clips I took just felt aesthetically better. I eventually was able to put together a small video from that shoot, but I didn’t like the result. I had learned an very important lesson that day. I didn’t have to move the camera unless I was tracking a subject. I got better result when I composed a shot, set the camera on the tripod, and let the action unfold. It’s funny because this is some of the first advice Briggs gave in chapter 8. Later in the year I did another video where I used what I learned from the first shoot and got better results.
I like the fact the Briggs mentioned that the only way to get better was to practice. You really have to allow yourself the chance to make mistakes. Every mistake I have made when filming I learned from it and was able to get better results. Another point Briggs made in this chapter that struck me was when he mentioned getting 5 angles to shoot to help the edit. This is something I’m just learning and it’s so true. I tried my hand at creating music videos, but I haven’t quite gotten the results that I wanted. What I’ve learned is that I wasn’t getting enough angles of each verse to make the video flow like a song. I would get maybe two angles and I would be stuck in post using B-roll to bail me out.
Also exposure and audio is key. You can have a superb video with horrible audio and lose your audience. In my case I need an external mic to get better audio since the on camera mic is total crap. I haven’t even dared to do a interview because of this. At the end of the day the camera is a tool. It doesn’t matter how much it cost, how big it is, or how many lens you have it’s all about the fundamentals. A person can use a iphone and make a better news package than a person using a Red Epic if they know the basics.
There are so many blogs online sometimes its hard to find the good from the bad. I know personally I have my own preference for what makes a good blog. Me personally I like a simple interface, I can’t stand blog sites with a million widgets and links. Sometimes it can a bit confusing, after all I just want to express myself for the masses to see. A good blog should captivate and grab your interest from the start.
One of my favorite blogs is Twitter. I mean it’s super simple, you only have 140 characters to express yourself, and it’s entertaining. The accessibility is what makes it one of the best. Even if you never seen Twitter you could easily pick it up. Also the fact that you can network and market yourself is a big plus. Look at Katy Perry she has over 63 million followers, that’s a lot of influence. The best thing about Twitter is that it really doesn’t matter if you’re famous or not, you can have an audience who listens to your opinion.
My next favorite blog is Facebook. Ah..yes Facebook. Maybe I love Facebook so much because she was my first social media love. I mean it’s hard to forget about your first. Now don’t get me wrong she isn’t perfect. Over the years she has became more and more intrusive. She knows things about me I never told anyone. Somehow she knows everybody I have ever known in my entire life, which is kind of creepy but I love her the same. It’s comfortable. Facebook was one of my first experiences with blogging and social media. I have the biggest following on Facebook and that’s part of the reason I like it. I’m more intimate with the people on there as oppose to Twitter. I don’t like some of the privacy issues, but oh well I think it’s a part of the territory. Facebook doesn’t have the best interface, but I’m so familiar with it that it doesn’t matter.
Alright enough about the good blogs I have to go to the bad. The thing about a bad blog is mainly the website itself. I have seen blog sites with good content, but the website was horrible. One example would be Mediatakeout. The website constantly tries to redirect you to other sites or apps. It’s so bad most of the information is not accurate. It’s your basic gossip site, which wouldn’t be that bad if it function correctly. The last blog that I feel needs improvements are company blogs. It doesn’t matter which one they all are horrible. I just feel like corporate blogs are force. I don’t feel like it’s genuine. I just feel like they’re trying to collect and analyze my data; which most do. A corporate blog is a joke. I mean think about it it’s hard to voice your opinion when money is involved.
The first chapter of Briggs’ book basically talks about jargon and the way journalism has changed over the years. With the newer generation being raised on technology most of the terms that Briggs talks about are fairly simple. One in particular that I didn’t know about was RSS. I have always seen this on the internet and on certain apps, but I never knew what it meant.
Briggs explained a RSS as a news feed that can be tailored based on your interest. The first thing I thought about was Flipboard, which is my favorite app. These types of app have essentially replaced traditional news for me. I like the freedom to be able to chose the news I want to hear.
Most of ch.1 in the book was straight forward to me. Briggs talks about html’s and server, but mostly he broke the chapter down for people who my not be familiar with digital journalism and computers. One thing I did like about the first chapter was the terms and the definitions that Briggs gave to explain the way digital media works.
The second chapter of Briggs’ book talks about blogging and the significance it has had on journalism. Everybody has that one website or blog that they go to everyday online. For me its World Star Hip Hop, which is more or a RSS feed. I go there everyday for entertainment mostly. According to Briggs the communities of blogs can often become bigger than the blog itself. A lot of social movements start off on blogs and social media and become an agent for social change.
In the chapter Briggs talks about a blog by Curt Cavin who started a blog about race car driving. Eventually his readers organized a meet up where they generated $8000 for a charity, which shows the power behind blogging.
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