Vlogging Tips

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hello fellow BNR students. As all of you know one of the requirements for this class is to do a vlog. The main tip given for this assignment is to look at the camera and not the screen, so when your vlog is viewed it doesn't look like you purposely didn'took at the camera or didn't know where it was. Such as in the wonderful example Brian Steffen showed us of Michele Bachmann. I have a few more tips that can help you have the best vlog ever.

1. Choose a topic and stay on topic. Vlogs are not ment to be long. Address the points you want to in a timely and organized fashion.

2. Quality beats quantity. It is better for you to have a few quality videos than a large sum of boring videos.

3. Articulate, if people can't hear or understand you they are not going to want to view your vlog.

4. Avoid the use of ummm and like. It is plain and simple-just don't say them.

5. Avoid unnecessary distractions. This includes a distracting background scenery or noise.

6. Lastly, just like this blog it is important to add lables to the vlog describing what your vlog is about. It gives people a higher likely hood of being able to see your vlog and possibly getting more subscribers.

I hope these tips help and feel free to comment with more tips.
Photo Credit: Via Creative Commons


The Issue of Ethics

When journalism involves crime and justice, the issue of ethics is often called into question. Confidentiality is frequently one such issue. A journalist may be caught between protecting private information for a source and breaking this trust when ordered to give up information to a court judge. When a source trusts the journalist with information that breaks the law, the journalist must decide whether or not to turn the source in to police officials.

Journalists also call into question the issue of ethics when using a victim’s emotions in order to boost attention to their article. A crying victim may create an emotional response in readers and cause more people to read the article, but may stir up emotions of the victim as well because the image captured was so personal and private. Journalists may also make events more overdramatic then they are in order to boost sales.

When dealing with victims and the families of victims, journalists must also be careful. They should be respectful and understanding of what the victim and those affected have gone through, and must know what lines should not be crossed. At the same time, they need to be able to gather the facts and information necessary to build a good story.

Many other issues regarding ethics and reporting crime exist. I think today’s news sometimes pushes the borders of ethics more than it should. Personal, private, and sometimes violent images and videos are available for all to see. Hardly anyone has any sort of privacy, partly because private matters are always being leaked onto the internet.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons


Journalism Schools Adapting to Changing Times

In this fast changing world of journalism, editors and reporters have to adapt with the times. The same thing goes for journalism schools.

With the industry changing and embracing more personal forms of journalism, not to mention shifting from print to Web, journalism schools are changing their curriculum as well. J-schools are putting more emphasis on the new media and opinion journalism.

"Journalism should have a greater ambition than simply reporting facts without analysis or context," Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, wrote in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Journalism schools are thriving in this world even though the news industry is shrinking. The question is, how are they changing to accommodate this financially struggling field?

Susanne Shaw, a professor of journalism at the University of Kansas, says the numerous changes in the journalism industry are causing many schools to consider changing their curriculum. She thinks the focus is more on multimedia including Web-based video and audio.

"Most schools, I think, are trying to include courses to prepare students to do it all," Shaw says.

The nation's first J-school, University of Missouri School of Journalism, is considering a new curriculum track dedicated to opinion and advocacy journalism. Students need these skills in order to have the flexibility to go down any journalistic path they choose.

According to the Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communications Graduates, the percentage of journalism graduates writing and editing for the Web increased by 35 percent from 2006 to 2007. This nearly tripled from 2004 to 2007. Overall, about 56 percent of J-school grad were doing Web editing and writing.

For all you journalism majors out there, you may have to think twice about which J-schools to attend. You need to make sure you have the necessary skills to prepare yourself out there for the real world.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons


Chick-fil-A Accused of Being Anti-Gay, but Where’s the Proof?

In a recent article published in The New York Times there are many questionable issues brought to the table.

The article discusses issues surrounding the food chain Chick-fil-A and accuses them of being anti-gay marriage. As many know Chick-fil-A is an evangelical Christian company and is known for being closed on Sundays.

In the article, published on January 30, the Times attacked the food chain, accusing it of being anti-gay marriage. Although this could be a good guess based on most evangelical Christian views, they produced no solid sources to back up the accusation.

The argument against Chick-fil-A is extremely weak in the first place. The issue that served as the initial basis for the story was a stretch. In the article, Chick-fil-A is accused of being anti-gay marriage after people got upset when a Chick-fil-A provided food for events of organizations known to oppose gay marriage. Not only were these events not sponsored by Chick-fil-A themselves, but the events weren't centered around the subject of gay-marriage. Not only were these events not sponsored by Chick-fil-A themselves, but also the events weren't centered around the subject of gay-marriage rights to begin with.

Near the end of the article there were finally a few sources mentioned, but none were truly reliable. Most of the information ended up coming from the everyday person who is most likely not a reliable source for the article.

Checking the facts is not only an important part of journalism, but arguably the most important part. This article may hurt the image of the Times when readers question the sources of their information.

Photo credit: Rick, flickr.com via Creative Commons


Journalism Through Social Media

Social media is all the rage these days with websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Youtube, and yes even Myspace. There are some basic guidelines to follow on each of these websites in order to be a successful journalist on any of them, but I am going to focus primarily on the website that I personally am most familiar with, Twitter.

There are some simple rules to follow when it comes to Twitter.

Make sure to follow other people. That is the main way to increase followers on Twitter. Also, make sure to reply to people. By starting a conversation, a new follower could be gained. Don't have a whole conversation though. This can get annoying for followers who follow both parties, because they will get all the updates in their feed.

Make sure to get to know the lingo, as well. For example, replies are typically called "@replies", direct messages as "DMs", trending topics as "TTs", and understand how to use hashtags. Using hashtags and trending topics are another way to increase followers. Other ways to make a Twitter more successful is to show that there is actually a person behind the account by posting a profile picture. Don't be afraid to use links as well, to news stories, pictures, videos, or even to posts on other social media websites.

A few other tips for being a successful journalist on Twitter is to make sure your Twitter is not on private. Although it may seem more secure, it also hinders the ability to communicate and get the word out, because no one but a follower will be able to see the tweets. Also,

There is obviously a lot more to Twitter than just the few simple things that I have mentioned. Twitter is changing with each tweet that is sent out, helping keep the world connected and informed. A lot of rules and helpful tips can be found over at The Journalist's Guide to Twitter, and make sure to check there if any questions arise, or comment below.
Photo Credit: androinica.com via creativecommons.org


Be Smart By Using a Smartphone

The social media craze these days can thank the mobile medium for its large explosion onto the scene of reporting. Smartphones are a new way to report news in a quick and exciting manner as well as having media consumers a new, immediate option for being caught up while being on-the-go.

MediaShift came up with five ways which describe how the trends of mobile consumers are analyzed. Before I get into the characteristics, I can say that as a smartphone owner, these five characteristics are very close to how I use my smartphone in terms of obtaining information. When trying to be a news savvy, owning a smartphone is a necessity for future reporters (or current media personnel, for that matter) to know what is up-to-the-minute.

A savvy news-hungry smartphone user should be an impulse user, demand for fast news, be more contributing and less about consuming, follow news on multiple platforms (apps) and make news a high priority in one's daily life.

A BlackBerry or a smartphone is a must need for those who want to get into the news industry, or for that matter, to be always caught up with the latest information.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons


Freedom of Speech Gone too Far?

After posting rude, unprofessional comments on Facebook about his teacher, a California high school student was suspended by his high school.

Donny Tobolski is the student from Mesa Verde High School that vented his frustration on Facebook saying Mr. Cimino, his biology teacher, was a "fat ass who should stop eating fast food, and is a douche bag."

Harsh words there, kid, but not too threatening.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has already said the student's free speech rights were violated and the school broke federal and state laws.

We've come to another case where the battle for freedom of speech is debated. Just what exactly is saying too much and how much is going too far when posting something on the Web?

Now, a federal agency last November already declared that Facebook updates were protected speech. In a similar case, an employee named Dawnmarie Souza was fired for making belittling comments about a supervisor in a Facebook status update.

Again, the comments were very rude and malicious, but it wasn't anything horribly threatening.

So, just what is the general feeling on this sort of thing? I think we can all agree it's a bit immature and disrespectful, but it is freedom of speech, isn't it?

Tell me what you think. Do you think Mesa Verde high school should have the right to discipline students for any opinions they put on the Internet?

Personally, I know I've expressed my mind through Facebook on rare occasion. Not to that extent, but I do believe freedom of speech is something that can never be taken away. At the same time, there's a certain professionalism we should hold when using the social network called the Internet.

Photo credit: sodahead.com from Creative Commons


Alternate Forms of News Media

As the news skyrockets from Egypt, journalists are adapting to the lack of Internet by using satellite phones in order to update the global community about the violent protests in spite of Hosni Mubarak.

Twitter is one of the top media forms being used among journalists in order to recall current events to the public. Ben Wedeman, a reporter in Egypt for CNN, has been tweeting newsworthy updates by using quotes from sources he has conversed with as well as commentating on his own observations.

The next source of media being used is Facebook. Nicholas Kristof, a journalist for The New York Times, has been covering the news through his Facebook page by reporting his observations and personal reactions of those experiencing the intense streets of Cairo.

Another form of media that journalists are relying on consists of Live Streaming and YouTube videos. Since the Egyptian authorities have closed the Cairo bureau and revoked the press credentials, Al-Jazeera journalists are calling in anonymously to report protests to the news organizations Live Stream. Also, Russia Today and other news organizations have been posting videos that show acts of protesting through YouTube.

The last form of media being used is the Tumblr Curation. Tumblr has created an Egypt page which allows journalists to post updates, videos and pictures from Ciaro. This page allows viewers to sort through the most relevant and current posts pertaining to the media.

News media can be reached anywhere at any time through a various amount of sources, allowing society to always be up-to-date with the most current events around the world.

Photo Credit: Metaprinter, Creativecommons.org



What does the abbreviation app mean? This abbreviation did not exist a couple years ago but has a very profound impact on our lives today.

The abbreviation app stems from the word application which is not only a computer program like it used to be but an iPad and cellular device program. One new app that has been impacting the journalism world is called "Readability".

Readability,mobile and web app, was created in 2009 by Richard Ziade. This app, which is a simple browser add on, allows newsreaders to open an article and feel comfortable while they are reading the article.

While reading online articles it is easy to become distracted by all of the pop-ups, rewards, and advertisements the website tries to offer the reader. Readability erases all of these nuances and simply allows the reader the story at hand without any distractions.

Each newsreader can customize their reading article to fit their needs. This helps the reader to enjoy the material which will increase their need for journalists to create new articles.

If the reader does not have time to read the article, don't worry. You can save the article to the app and then access it later whether that be online or offline.

The first version of this app was free of charge but the new version is one that will credit the publishers and writers by paying them 70% of all member fees. Each time an article is clicked on the writer or reporter will be given a payment for their work.

I believe this app is a great and affordable way to keep the news on demand for consumers. Consumers will find this app easy to use and it keeps the journalists happy by providing them profit for their work.

Photo Credit: Matthew Chung,http://is.gd/IHNorn, creativecommons.com


Get started early

Have you ever entertained the idea of getting involved with your school newspaper? Whether it be taking pictures for articles, writing the articles, or even working as the editor of the paper, getting involved with your school newspaper can give you a step up as a journalist.

Getting started early with a school newspaper, whether it be a high school newspaper or a college newspaper, can help journalism students become better educated on what their future careers will consist of. Not only will students learn how to go out into the public, get interviews, and take notes, but journalism students will learn how to make a story out of the information they gather.

Being able to put on your future resume that you worked on your school newspaper is also an important plus to working for a school newspaper. It will give your future hiring editor the ability to contact credible references, take a look at your actual work, and not to mention let them know that you have experience with working on a newspaper.

Writing articles in the paper can also help exploit your skills. Like a student from Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School in St. Paul, Minnesota, Sean Simonson. This student wrote an article for his Catholic high school supporting gay rights. This article not only sparked interest in his high school, but sparked interest with the nation. Now is article is known, and read, by people across the United States.

Getting started early is very important to journalism students everywhere. One way in which students can do so is by getting involved with their school newspaper. It is important to do so because it will give you a step up in your future profession, by helping the student establish a future job as a journalist.

Photo Credit: DRB62, Flickr


Everyone is a journalist

TechCrunch recently had a post by Alexia Tsotsis about how the journalists of the future are "you."

Tsotsis talks about how people "are functioning as defacto news aggregators" using currently available tools like Twitter and Facebook. However, much of this information is useless due to the sheer number of tweets and the tiny piece of the picture they provide. That is, unless, it can be organized in some way.

When people (mostly independent of the larger news networks) put a lot of effort into curating and making sense of the hundreds of tweets coming in, they often provided a more concrete picture of what was happening in Egypt and even Tunisia than the large networks who didn't put a lot of stock in those sources. (She notes that Al Jazeera was one of the few mainstream sources covering it well).

This article struck me not only because we are doing many of the same things as these people with our weekly Twitter assignments but because this is the first time we are actually able to witness these tools being used in this way in great numbers and over a long period of time.

People are even using YouTube to get information and direct video of riots with a speed news networks would be hard pressed to replicate.

Accuracy is a real problem, but then others can call Twitter users out on inaccuracy almost as fast as they can post news. The "real" media shouldn't disappear by any means; someone still needs to check the facts with a high degree of accuracy. This does mean that we have the capability to get more news, and even better, real news, out there with nothing more than our eyeballs and the click of a mouse. We are reaching the point where it's nearly impossible to keep the truth from getting out, one way or another. That should be every journalist's goal.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons


Journalist: A Risky Job

Since Dec. 29, 2009, two French journalists are held hostage in Afghanistan. It will be 400 days this Wednesday february 2nd. that Herve Ghesguiere and Stephane Taponier, great reporters for the French public channel FRANCE 3 were kidnapped.
In December, a video sent by the captors showed the two captives alive and calm but emaciated.
While the French governement has at various times issued statements insisting that negotiations for the release of the two mens were progressing, they remain captive and their families have spoken to the media for the first time about their frustrations in December.
"When the foreign minister Michelle Alliot-Marie speaks of a 'short time', we say to ourselves it's imminent." Taponier's father gerard told Agence France Presse. "And then Christmas is already gone...we are still hoping for good news but it gets you down."
Families and colleagues of the two journalists have called for a rally this Wednesday at 2 p.m (local time) in front of the National Assembly in Paris. This rally will only be a moment of contemplation. It will not have any speeches, nor speaking but only a simple moment of communion to support the two journalists-hostages.
Journalist is not an easy job. Sometimes while covering a story you face the risk of being arrested like some journalists in Egypt, or even killed like many journalists in China, russia or Irak.
The freedom of speech and information is, unfortunatelly, not an universal right. Some countries, all over the world, are still controling what is on the news and do not hesitate to use the force to persuade reporters not to critizise governments or not to deal with governments' actions in some regions of the world.
Photo credit: Agence France Presse (AFP) via Creativecommons.org.


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