Wall Street Journal rolls out video network powered by smartphone-toting journalists | WSJ news release
Since news organizations are paying all that money for journalists to carry around iPhones, why not put them to better use?

The WorldStream page updates live as new clips come in every few minutes.

The Wall Street Journal is launching a new streaming-video product that does just that. The Journal today announced WorldStream, which will “consist solely of footage captured on smartphones by Dow Jones and Journal reporters and editors … Each video is under a minute, and all footage is reviewed by an editor before being posted to the stream.” Read more


5 ways journalism educators can teach students to use multimedia in breaking news coverage

As wildfires ravaged her state, Colorado College journalism lecturer Diane Alters emailed a list of fellow educators for suggestions on how to give her students breaking news reporting experience — and also keep them safe in the process.

The query offered the perfect opportunity for what I like to think of as “small multimedia wins” in teaching.

Journalism schools across the country are embroiled in important but lengthy discussions about reforming curricula, updating courses and funding technology. Meanwhile, new forms of journalism roll on, and our students can get left behind.

While I stay involved in the larger structural debates, I look for small and immediate ways to incorporate digital reporting tools and publishing into my classes. Breaking news events like the Colorado wildfires provide an ideal moment to stick with notebook reporting and text stories and also round out coverage with multimedia. Read more


10 tips for using audio more effectively in multimedia stories

Sound can make or break a multimedia production, whether it’s an audio slideshow, a documentary video or an interactive narrative. Unfortunately, audio often gets short shrift. Visuals and interactive elements tend to command our attention, and just getting the story right can become an all-consuming task. Sound, it’s hoped, will somehow take care of itself.

If audio weren’t critical to the quality of our productions, this approach might work. But, there’s a reason radio has been called the most visual medium. There’s something about sound that puts our imaginations to work, making us more active participants in the story we’re hearing.

As storytellers, how do we make this happen? This guide offers 10 tips for better audio in multimedia stories. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to sound. Read more

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Why contests need to do a better job of recognizing changes in multimedia journalism

I recently had the privilege of serving as a juror for the World Press Photo’s multimedia contest in Amsterdam.

This was, by far, one of the most organized contests I’ve attended. (For eight years I oversaw judging for the National Press Photographers’ Best of Photojournalism on the Web contest, so that’s saying a lot).

More than 250 multimedia stories were submitted, with “Afrikaner Blood” by Elles van Gelder and Ilvy Njiokiktjien coming out on top. This strong piece about racism in the new South Africa was a clear choice for the jury. Less clear was the very definition of multimedia, a term that has almost as many meanings as there are contests honoring the best of its practitioners.

Why we need contests for multimedia journalism

I’m a big fan of designer Bruce Mau’s “Incomplete Manifesto for Growth,” which lists 43 tips on how to have a successful life as a visual creator. Read more


Stupid game lets you destroy parts of NYT story about stupid games

The New York Times
The Times has figured out a great way to increase time-on-site (and destroy our productivity) by illustrating a story about our obsession with “stupid games” with a game that lets you shoot and destroy parts of its website. Don’t like that navigation? Fire away. Find Maureen Dowd irksome? Take aim at her story on the “most popular” list. Tired of that Facebook plugin telling you what your friends are reading? It’s just a few shots from oblivion. And look at all those video-game characters just begging to be blown up! Some parts of the Web page can’t be destroyed, such as the article tools.

The Times’ Samantha Henig writes in a blog post, “Surprisingly, even the ad sales department was O.K. Read more

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Decision-making guide: Should you upgrade to new Final Cut Pro X editing software?

Apple released a new-from-scratch version of its Final Cut Pro X editing software last week, and reading the critiques and reaction to the critiques has been very entertaining. If you think it’s all too inside-baseball, even Conan O’Brien’s editors shared their feelings about the new FCP X.

The reaction includes a lot of hope that the biggest problems with previous versions — especially file management and transcoding — got solved, and a lot of anguish that things that didn’t need fixing got changed.

Critics note these downsides to FCP X:

  • It requires learning new software because it’s changed so dramatically.
  • It’s missing professional features.
  • Audio editing in layers is more difficult.
  • Organizing materials is completely different.

My goal is not to review Final Cut X, but to point out some of the most useful critiques and share reaction from journalists and journalism educators so you can decide whether to make the switch now, wait or choose new software entirely. Read more

Then-Rep. Joe Scarborough practiced on the stage at the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia before his band's performance that night. (Ron Edmonds/AP)

How ‘Morning Joe’ picks its music & uses it to capture the show’s vibe, connect with audience

When you watch “Morning Joe,” you can’t help but notice the music. Every commercial break is book-ended with tunes from a mix of bands — the Rolling Stones, Smashing Pumpkins, Rilo Kiley, The Grateful Dead and Arcade Fire, to name a few. The music’s catchy, and it helps capture the show’s feel-good vibe.

But it’s not just the type of songs and artists that make the music stand out, it’s also the way they’re selected.

Behind the scenes, the “Morning Joe” producers are busy at work, listening to the MSNBC show’s guests to see if there’s a song or band that could illustrate what they’re saying. The show’s audio director, David Quanvie — or “Q” as he’s called on set — selects much of the music with the help of the show’s producers and hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. Read more


How The Miami Herald cultivates loyal audience for video, its second biggest traffic driver

Not long ago, some news organizations were beginning to give up on online video. It required significant resources, and it wasn’t generating as much revenue or traffic as they had hoped. News organizations that have stuck with it, though, have found that video provides them with a way to advance what they’re already doing well, increase time on site, and engage users in ways that traditional narratives can’t.

The Miami Herald is one of the media outlets that has had noticeable success with video. Last year, saw about a 25 percent growth in video traffic, making it the second biggest traffic driver behind articles. I talked with the folks who run the Herald’s video efforts to find out more about their strategy and what other news organizations can learn from it. Read more


How journalism educators can integrate more multimedia into their teaching

Every teacher knows that pit-of-the-stomach moment when you head into a new term and ask yourself the tough question: What can I be doing to make this course better? The nerves accompany the question because more work always seems to accompany the answer.

Those of us who have taught journalism over the last decade have felt course prep work expand exponentially as online and social media tools change the world of reporting and audience engagement. We have all the same fundamentals of reporting, writing and ethics to address. But then we look toward an array of digital media so dizzying it can make you nauseous.

Well, put away the Pepto-Bismol. Each month this year, I’m planning to write a column to help you “tech your teaching.” Specifically, I’ll offer tips to bring multimedia tools into your classes. Read more


Financial pressures push NPPA to change BOP contest days before deadline, consider entry fees

Faced with the financial pressures of serving a smaller membership, the National Press Photographers Association is moving the judging for portions of this year’s Best Of Photojournalism contest online and will consider future changes, such as entry fees.

The announcement comes a few days before the contest deadline.

One advantage of moving online for the still photography and multimedia categories, said NPPA president Sean Elliot, is that big-name photojournalists can be enlisted to judge entries in their areas of expertise. It wasn’t cost-effective to fly them to Poynter, where the judging has been held for several years, to review a segment of the entries.

NPPA is not alone in struggling to keep members and demonstrate its value amid momentous change in media. When I surveyed journalism associations in 2009, I found that just one, the Online News Association, had increased its membership:

“This has forced soul-searching upon journalism associations.

Read more
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