Feedback sought on RGMP

I need to take a break from blogging for about a week while I go off and run some journalism training. In the meantime, I would really appreciate it — a lot! — if some of you could give me some feedback about this series, “Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency.” Is it good for you? Is it good for someone you know? Is anything missing? Is anything unclear?

I have five more installments planned, including three about online video.

Previous posts in this series:

24 Comments on “Feedback sought on RGMP

  1. 1a – browser/blog add-ons – such as delicious, google notes, press this etc – which allow 1 click tagging/archiving/posting of web pages and articles.

    For aggregation tagging is many times more efficient than categorizing.

  2. Honestly — it’s brilliant. Beautifully put together, you cover so much in relatively short posts.

    I’d love to see this piled together as a printable PDF — nicely formatted and so on. Would be a must-have resource for any online journo.

  3. I’m with Dave and Kelly. This will be a great series to keep and pass around to people just getting into multimedia, like your seminar worksheets.

  4. I deeply appreciate all the love … really, I do!

    Now let’s hear some criticisms, and/or suggestions for more topics!

  5. I love your list. I’ve blogged it twice already. I would add more about video and maybe an advanced lesson on taking your blog from a free site to hosting it yourself.

  6. I really believe that your blog is like taking courses on line, very useful, indeed, thank very much, I dont miss any of your posts.

  7. I love your RGMP. I’ve used it to prepare my online journalism course in Spain. It’s clear, smart, simply and useful. I usually tell my students that technology skills aren’t the key for their works, and your guide is perfect because simplify the process and privilege the content. Sorry for my english. Thanks a lot!

  8. Mindy, great stuff.
    I’d also like to see an installment on advanced search, particularly using Google to search specific domains and top-level domains, and using boolean operators in proprietary databases. (And a library card for those who think they don’t have access to any proprietary databases.)

  9. Mindy, I really appreciate the time and effort you put in doing these posts. I do believe multimedia is a great way to tell a story. Now I have a problem that I have been unable to solve. I have multiple audio files (recorded at different moments) that I would like to “seam” together in Audacity and eventually produce one single audio file to be worked in Soundslides. Is it possible to do that (with Audacity)?
    Thank you in advance. Virginie

  10. Mindy, great series so far, but I’d like to some posts on the value associated with each of these skills when it comes to making money. Working with journalists myself I find it’s easy to get them excited about the possibilities of multimedia, but when it comes to the hard metrics of why it’s important they sometimes shut down. Obviously most understand this is the way things are going whether they like it or not, but some hard metrics would hopefully help the cause.

    Also, when you do talk about video I think a post on the importance of quality vs. quantity is needed. With so many cheap HD cameras out there, everyone thinks they can make video, but it’s simply just not the case.

    Looking forward to what’s next.

  11. @Virginie

    Not a problem at all. Go ahead and import all your audio files into Audacity. If you can, organize your audio tracks top down, starting with what you want to use first. This way you won’t get confused. From there you can trim away parts you don’t want to use, while creating a linear audio track. Unlike video editing however, there is not a single timeline for the finished project, but when exported everything will come out as one track. When you’re done just export the project and import it into soundslides.

    Hope that helps, but if you’ve got more questions please feel free to drop me a line.

    Cheers,
    Tim

  12. I would add some basic video technique. Using a simple camera, like the flip, shooting technique, basic editing in iMovie, etc. Otherwise, great start!

  13. Dear Mindy, I enjoyed your blog more than one year ago and thanks to your posts, among other things, I knew Soundslide (and Audacity too). I’m an italian free lance journalist (so, sorry for my bad english!) and sometime I used Soundslide to tell a story or to make a reportage (oh, I really would like to show you someone of my works and ask your opinion, but they are in italian; anyway here a simple slideshow just to tell a trip between rome and barcelon http://www.cossolou.net/download/roberta/Roma_Barcellona_2009/
    here, about a old lady who lives in a hospice
    http://www.cossolou.net/download/roberta/Mariuccia/
    here, a reportage about a petrolchemical factory http://robertapietrasanta.blogspot.com/2008/12/4-dicembre-2008-eni-chiude-il.html)
    Now I would add some video between photos. Do you have some special advise for that?
    Thank you for your effort and your clearness!
    Roberta

  14. I think that including software-specific items on your list (#10 in particular) is probably the wrong approach.

    I think your list should focus more on skill-sets than on particular software.

    Until the training budget (& the reporters) were cut, we were getting reporters coming back from seminars all fired up about doing soundslides, and their results were all terrible, because none of the classes dealt with visual story-telling.

    Learning to operate one of the most idiot-friendly pieces of software in the multimedia world is not hard.

    The goal should be to learn to tell stories visually, with audio that complements the images, edited with a pace and rhythm appropriate for the piece. Dumping a folder of pictures over top of some bad audio does no one any good.

    The visual skillset needed to layer images and audio to produce powerful stories applies to both video and slide shows and doesn’t depend on any single piece of software.

  15. Pingback: AgWired » Blog Archives » Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency

  16. @Chuck Fadely – I agree with you 100 percent that it’s much more important to learn storytelling skills than to learn how to use software. However, without in fact making the visual stories (using some type of software to do so), the student has nothing but theory. In the workplace, they find they have no clue how to put that theory to work. So journalists have got to learn to use some kind of tools for producing visual and audio stories if they are to practice.

    The storytelling is actually the subject of my next RGMP (No. 11), if I ever find time to write it! I think Soundslides specifically is the best tool to use to learn how to tell documentary stories.

  17. Either you or someone on the audio reporting page recommended
    NPR
    Sound Reporting
    The NPR Guide To Audio Journalism And Production
    ( Jonathan Kern )
    ISB# 978-0-226-43178-9

    ( sorry for not digging your page up & identifying which, but I’m reading the book, and it’s awesome, though “heavy” )

    That, combined with “Shut Up & Shoot” ( Antony Q Artis ), give SO much leverage to anyone wanting to get the sense of good, low-$, effective work…

    Thank you VERY much.

    BTW, for anyone wanting to do video work, who isn’t in Mac, try Adobe Premiere Elements 7: it isn’t crippled to 4 clips/tracks, as almost all other affordable MS-Windows apps are, instead allowing 99 clips/tracks, so *editing together a piece* becomes possible.

    It does AVCHD, though one may be better off using “Neo Scene”
    http://www.cineform.com/products/NeoScene.htm
    to convert from AVCHD, so one doesn’t have to upgrade the CPU/mobo/RAM/etc

    I agree with so many who’ve commented here & elsewhere: learning by DOING, the same as the way children do, and one grows one’s own way, and *understanding*.

    A basic set of tools, and *doing* stuff with ’em, .. who was the woman who said her videojournalism developed because she was forced to edit her own material?

    Yeah, exactly.

    Storyboarding, too, is underrated.

    It forces one to work out the overall story, and that matters very much.

    Cheers!

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  20. RGMP is incredibly useful–especially for a soon to be J school grad. I find the examples and details to be very helpful, and the links are great!

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