- One of the most important elements of multimedia storytelling is your storyboard. It's helps you do a preliminary sketch of what your story looks like and as you begin to put your piece together it helps you assess what elements you have and how it all will flow. I had never considered doing this before the class so I'm thrilled to do one soon.
- I'm not the only person who thinks to bring some form of a snack in their purse/knapsack when on assignment. Turns out a journalist should aim to bring basic notebook, battery chargers, equipment, etc alongside water and a granola bar.
- For multimedia stories, text should not be your end all, be all crutch. Text should be your last element to save room for your other photos, audio and video. If it's an analysis, first person account, political story, short update or op-ed, that's when text works best.
- When on a new beat, a reporter should try to sit down with their predecessor to talk about story ideas, challenges and what sources ought to be cultivated.
- If you haven't mastered the different lingo and jargon of the beat, don't be afraid to ask questions –– better you ask then look like fool in the long run or make an error in your story (increasing your lack of credibility).
- A publication's archive section is a gold mine for story ideas. You can look at past stories your publication did but also what your competition did as well.
In between other classes and working on a domestic violence story for the news service, I've been reading the different modules for the Poynter NewsU program. The seven modules focus on reporting techniques, multimedia skills, audio and photojournalism with all passed courses leading to a digital journalism basics certificate. Successfully passing two of the modules as of now ('Five steps to multimedia storytelling' and 'Introduction to Reporting: Beat Basics'), my six big takeaways so far is the following:
The Layton Blvd West community had its Quality of Life meeting to discuss some of the coming changes for the neighborhood. This includes more home renovations, small business outreach efforts and continuing to change the rest of the Milwaukee area's perception of the neighborhood. My assignment this time around was to capture some photos as well as any video.
Covering meetings is an interesting feat. There's a story in itself any time there's a meeting but trying to convey what was going on and making it exciting for the viewer is challenging. I saw major growth in my photography skills when it came to getting different angles and waiting for the perfect moment to snap a photo of a facial expression. I'm learning the art of patience. I'm also learning how important it is to hold the camera as steady as possible. Multiple times during the meeting my hand or arm moved and completely ruined what would have been a terrific shot due to blurriness. A tip my mentor taught me was to place my elbow on top of my other arm to hold the camera steady –– most helpful when I felt a sneeze coming on. Throughout the meeting I took some new risks to get different angles by going so far as getting on my stomach and and even crawling back and forth on the ground to move more easily. I felt like a real journalist.
This video was different than the other ones I've done as I used a combination of photos and video. At first I wasn't sure how it would turn out but I was pleasantly surprised at how easily I was able to put the photos in a unique sequence and how I breezed through editing the whole piece on iMovie. My only trouble was mapping out which video clips would work best, making sure I cut the clip at the right moment and making sure the voice-over transitioned smoothly into the photos.