Multimedia Crash Course
This page accompanies a 2- to 3-hour presentation to journalists, mostly newspaper
- No-Fear Handout (PDF, 416 KB)
This is the same printed handout distributed at the workshop. Right-click or
Contol-click to download it.
Step 1: Audio
- Super-Fast Guide
to Audio Editing (PDF, 236 KB)
Includes instructions for how to download and install Audacity, a free audio-editing
program that works on Windows and Mac. You can print this.
- Editing Audio with Audacity, Part 2 (PDF, 193 KB)
Skills for your later audio projects -- including multitrack editing; fade-in and fade-out; noise reduction.
- BBC: Advanced Radio Tips
Don't let the word "radio" deter you -- these simple lessons (written
for school kids) are for everyone who works with audio, whether or not
you ever go "on air." It's one page that will help you gather and edit
better audio. Another
BBC page teaches us a lot about handling the microphone,
including when to use a condom (I'm not kidding).
- Audio resources page
Here are links to all kinds of tutorials and guides to interviewing for audio
(and radio) presentation, how to edit, tips, best practices, etc. This
is my own page that I update at least once a year.
- Tutorial: An MP3 audio player for any Web page
Play audio directly on the page, whether it's on your blog or on your newspaper's
Web site. The player is free. All you have to do is copy and paste, and
upload your MP3 file.
- Links to gear (under "Audio")
This is a page I update often to provide links to specific equipment through
Amazon.com. Make sure you check around to get the best price. I'm not promising
you that Amazon always has the best deal.
STEP 2: Soundslides
Download the fully functional demo version free: Soundslides
Works on either Windows or Mac. You can learn to use this program
and even publish audio slideshows without paying for it, but you should appreciate
that Joe Weiss quit his day job at the Raleigh News & Observer to support
and enhance this software full-time. If you start using it regularly, Joe
deserves to get paid.
Here is all that you need to make an audio slideshow:
- The Soundslides software.
- One edited, final MP3 file.
- Your photos, already cropped and toned, saved in the JPG file format.
Copy them into a folder before you begin, and make sure the JPGs for this slideshow are the only JPGs in that folder.
Read Tom Priddy's tutorial (PDF, 1.2 MB) for a great overview of how a professional photojournalist works with Soundslides in his everyday job (used with Tom's permission).
well-illustrated online tutorial that explains how to get started
with Soundslides (from PopPhoto.com; they also have a good interview with
video tutorial that introduces you to Soundslides (by Richard Koci
Hernandez of the San Jose Mercury News).
This blog post links to four recent examples that demonstrate the versatility of Soundslides. If you think video is better than a slideshow, check these out and then tell me what you really think.
Step 3: Video
- Make Internet TV
This free site can teach you everything you need to know, in small, easy-to-digest
truck explosion in northeast Spokane: This breaking-news
by a newspaper photographer) illustrates what you can do if you've worked
at the craft. Note that the fire started about 5:30 p.m., and Colin Mulvany
posted this video at 8:59 p.m. On top of that, the footage is edited
very well. Notice how many different shots he has and how informative
his interviews are. He's a real pro.
- A short sample from a point-and-shoot still camera shows that acceptable
video does not require high-end gear.
- Red Hot Rails
Click the Videos link at the top of this package from the San Jose
(Calif.) Mercury News to see how innovation has infused the daily work
at one newspaper. My favorite of the four: "Take a ride on the Alameda
- The Skater
From The Star, in Toronto, this QuickTime video about an Olympic hopeful
is worth the wait for the download.
- News Videographer
Angela Grant is a news videographer at the San Antonio (Texas) Express-News,
and this her blog, where she offers us links to and critiques of
online news video from many sources. It's a painless way to learn a little
bit every day. Just take your daily dose of Angela's wit and wisdom!
Cyndy Green spent 28 years as a TV news videographer. Now she teaches skills
on accessible, low-cost equipment to high school students in Stockton,
Calif. She shares numerous helpful tips and tricks for beginners in this
Do not start with a more complicated editing program, such as Final Cut
Pro. It's not necessary until you've learned what you're doing.
What About Flash?
As Richard Koci Hernandez said,
until you've made people cry with one of your Soundslides, you're probably
not ready to start learning Flash. (Unless you're a graphic artist -- then
you should skip Soundslides and go straight to Flash.)
When you're ready, start
here and advance to here.
Here are three recent Flash journalism examples:
Each of these is very basic and does not require a Flash expert to produce.
Where I Like to Buy Gear
- Amazon for audio
recorders, headphones, point-and-shoot cameras
- B & H for
microphones, video equipment, professional gear
- eBay for anything
and everything (used gear is okay!!)
My blog: Teaching Online Journalism