Common was in town and I was super up-close. Loved it!
Last week I pitched a story about sleep but after much thought, I realized I really wouldn’t have enough time before the end of term to do all the research, including sleeping at sleep clinics. But I did come up with a great idea.
On Monday, there was the anti-police brutality march and I was there from beginning to end, shooting photos for my photojournalism class. I took about a hundred photos and some of them are actually ok! After learning a lot about sound slides with Lisa Lynch in class, I was thinking my final project could be a soundslide of the march. I have my eyewitness account of the events that took place, I got the phone number of a protestor who was there and couldn’t give me an interview right away because he was busy getting arrested. I also have some ambient noise, as in the crowd.
I really think this could make a great soundslide. While the beginning of the march was relatively peaceful, it got a bit crazier and crazier until shit hit the fan. I was a bit careless about getting too close and had several confrontations with policeman. They didn’t care if I was student, a journalist or a protestor…everybody was the same to them. I’m looking forward to.
Original photographs, original sound bites, original editing. Looks exciting.
Next week in class is “story pitchfest” which involves, you guessed it, pitching a story to the class. But this isn’t a regular, “I have a story to pitch for your magazine”, pitch. It’s for online class and involves pitching a multimedia package, such as the one above (Globe and Mail’s Talking to the Taliban…hey, a png file!). My pitch won’t be as extreme as that, I’m not going to do a “My one-night-stand with Osama Bin Laden” (although would be hilarious and gross and widely read about). But as you can see, a multimedia package involves written articles, videos, discussions, perhaps a podcast and photos. It tells a whole story from conflict to resolution. I want to pitch a story that I could actually do, not a war story or a natural disaster thing. So what should I do?
Things I like: reading (not so exciting), playing video games (could find a potential angle there), playing sports (ooohhh, following a team? Been done), sleeping (boring). BUT there is a story in everything! I might find just a multimedia package about me sleeping boring but it’s not entirely boring. I could uncover the science of sleep with me as the subject. I could go to a sleep clinic and get footage of my sleeping (a little creepy) with the signals overlayed on the screen (in fast forward) of the various stages of sleep I go through. THAT would be cool. Hmm. I like this idea. Things to keep in mind (quoting directly from Webs: “Remember to think about what equipment you might need, and include that in your pitch, as well as possible sources, possible further avenues of research, and possible hurdles. How might you build interactivity into your piece? Who is your target audience? Are there any legal issues you can think of?”
I’m excited. From one-night-stands to actually sleeping. I think that’s my story pitch idea right there.
So for my online magazine course, another prof in the journalism department, Lisa Lynch, came in to talk to us about Multi-Platform Journalism. It’s basically what all journalists will have to get used to: working across many platforms.
What does that mean exactly? Well, let’s use a local example. Frank Cavallaro is the weatherman for CBC Montreal. Of course, weather people are becoming more and more than just somebody to let you know if it’s going to rain or not. They interact with the hosts, and if you actually watch CBC News from 5:30 to 7:00, you’ll see more of Frank than any other reporter or anchor! But Frank is a multi-platform weatherman. He is not only seen on your television, but he is heard on the radio as well. Frank is always on the go. That’s multi-platform, sort of. Radio to Television is still broadcast but Frank also occasionally writes for local papers…about the weather. He is a versatile man, that Frank.
Journalists are going to have to do this more and more. If you’re a print journalist, be ready to write for the Internet (vrery different than how it’s written in a newspaper), upload your interviews to a site and sometimes even film. My week at the CBC showed me that, you may be known as a reporter for CBC News Radio, but at the same time, you are grabbing a cameraman and feeding back to the TV news, or writing something for the CBC website.
The ultimate multi-platform journalist? One that writes a story for the paper, for the website, records interviews for radio, videotapes the event for TV, tweets, Facebooks and YouTubes, as well as eating, going to the bathroom and sleeping…ALL AT THE SAME TIME. It’s possible, I’m sure. There’s a YouTube video of that stunt somewhere.
The Apple iPad came out last week and all over the journalism world, people are asking what effect this while have on our jobs. The Kindle, the Sony Reader, and the iPad are all available to the public, will this help print journalism or cause problems? Well, depends on what you mean by print journalism. Emphasis on print? Well, obviously the readers won’t help there. But when it comes to distribution, I think more people will be reading thanks to these puppies and that can only mean good things for the newspapers that offer subscriptions.
Many professionals have their own opinions. Read about it here and here. My take on it is simple: We are constantly adapting. Every minute, some new technology is created and we adjust to it. Journalism is not dying, folks. Every couple years, journalism has to re-adapt to what’s going on around it. When radio was created, nobody thought we’d still be reading newspapers. When TV arrived, radio was dying…decades later, radio is still around. So maybe print journalism has hit a rough patch, yes. And maybe the future does not include a tangible, recyclable paper in our hands. But journalism—the distribution of news—will not die. People need it. We just can’t be stuck in the past. We have to less stubborn and constantly changing to keep up with the faster world that is technology. The iPad (with it’s dumbass feminine hygiene-esque name) will not KILL journalism. Well, unless it mutates and grows hairy arms and legs and kills every living human alive. Then yes, if the earth is no longer, neither is journalism.
Natalie and I had a week to put together a package, which is generous because CBC or CTV reporters usually have less than five hours! Nonetheless, I still managed to complain, haha. Here is the end product, no supers included as it will be made into a newscast and production does that. As our prof said, it needs work, ha!