Making audio journalism visible

Audio journalism is important and relevant for a variety of reasons, the primary one being that audio can lend itself better in situations where the subject may not want to be revealed on camera. It can help build a more textured and layered experience for audiences, and moreover, can add to the presence, emotions and atmosphere.

News organizations use audio in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:

  • Reporter overview
  • Podcasts
  • Audio slide shows
  • Breaking news

This chapter not only informs readers of how to get a good audio clip, but also points them in the direction of good recording technology and what it takes to stay current in today’s ever-expanding technological realm. Editing techniques are also discussed, giving readers the appropriate information to prepare, record and edit good quality sound bites to fit their needs.

For those of you who are tired of using the typical Powerpoint presentations, the digital revolution and bloggers have come together to create a unique and visually pleasing alternative. Prezi is one of the latest digital platforms released, however, the unique spin is that it uses a blog to host presentations.

Not only is this application user-friendly and very conducive for creating professional quality presentations, but moreover allows audience feedback via internet comments and links. For an example of a recently-developed “prezi-tation”, click here.

Visual storytelling with photographs

The digital age has allowed photography to transform into a craft that used to be reserved for professional photographers only. Now that film is not the primary medium for capturing images, memory cards and advanced point-and-shoot cameras allow anyone to play the role of photographer. Some of the benefits of digital photography are:

  • Being able to take many more pictures, and viewing them as you work.
  • Uploading pictures to the internet and having the ability to share them with others.
  • Saving money from not having to purchase film.
  • Having the ability to crop and edit photos.

This chapter provides in-depth explanations of how to take a good photograph, and how to edit them appropriately. Likewise, issues of copyright and fair use are addressed. Taking excellent photographs isn’t as easy as it looks, but the best way to improve photography skills is to practice.

For those aspiring journalists who want to keep up with and utilize social media, meet your new best friend. Storify allows users to create multi-platform media stories using a drag-and-drop method, so that even the most technologically illiterate can use it well.

However,  the unique twist is because the creators of Storify took a few weeks to actually divulge what it could be used for, creatives everywhere have taken it upon themselves to explore any and all possible functions. Mandy Jenkins explores the topic further on her blog,

Going mobile

MoJo, or mobile journalism, is the latest trend to hit the media scene. Essentially, new smart phone capabilities  accessed via the Android or iPhone are suddenly replacing the traditional media kit used by journalists in years past. For instance, in the new media age there are two types of journalists — the gearheads and the light packers.

Gearheads are those individuals who are so enthralled with new media that they feel the need to carry it on their person, almost all of the time. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Laptops
  • Internet Connection
  • Camera
  • Video Camera
  • Tripod
  • Audio Recorder
  • Headphones
  • Microphone
  • Cell Phone

All a light packer needs is a smart phone, which is capable doing all of the above functions in a single piece of equipment – and in today’s age, functionality and cross-platform capabilities are key.

The only thing to keep in mind is that mobile journalism should be an accessory to a larger, more researched piece. This gives readers the capability to not only be updated on facts, but additionally allows commentary and further research after the event has occurred.

Hate having to stop and pause your video game for meaningless things like food and sleep? Have no fear, with the advent of the new Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, you can bring your video games with you everywhere you go! For more information and commentary on the prodct, click here.

Microblogging: Write Small, Think  Big

Microblogging – or the transferrence of news via small snippets of information – is done primarily on the internet, with Twitter being one of the main microblogging hubs.

Not only is it a good way to share links to stories, share personal information and aid in image management, but in building this community of “followers”, the journalists are able to moniter what audiences are getting what information.

This chapter in particular talks about why microblogging is important, how to build a community of followers and how to effectively use Twitter as a whole.

Crowd-Powered Collaboration

Collaborative publishing is the recent trend of the public becoming actively involved in journalism, via the internet. However, many scholars and professionals in the field are  skeptical as to whether this is actually “journalism”. Either way,  the reality is that now journalists have the ability to work with the audience and create a better product. For better or for worse, collaborative publishing is here to stay.

  • Crowdsourcing – This  is a phenomenon where online communities hone in on and perform a task better than a  small group  of paid professionals.
  • Open-source reporting – This is the use of honest and transparent journalism, so that the online audience and the media outlet will maintain a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • Pro-am Journalism – This is the most direct form of collaborative journalism, allowing media consumers to post messages on the actual media site.

Claudia Holland’s lecture on copyright, fair use and creative commons brings an interesting governmental decision to light. In recent days, popular television streaming websites have been seized by the U.S. government, in an effort to eliminate illegal downloading. However, in an age where the internet allows access to almost any form of media, one must ask, is this even realistic? Find out the whole story at

This media pyramid illuminates the different types of media that I consume, as well as the media sources that supply my daily intake of news and information.

Similar to the food pyramid, the top tier showcases what media I am exposed to the least, while the bottom tier symbolizes the media that I am most exposed to.

Here is a quick (and more visible) outline of my media pyramid:

Newspapers -The Washington Post and The Washington Times

Radio – 99.5, 101.1, 94.7

Internet Magazines –,

Television – BBC, CNN, Fox, The Colbert Report