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October 1, 2010 in Educational opportunities
Collegescholarships.org is once again offering a $10,000 scholarship to a student blogger. This is the fourth time they’ve done so. Deadline for applications is Oct. 21, 2010.
Some details below the fold. More info here. Also, there is info about past recipients of the scholarship.
Also, you might check out some of the other scholarships they award, several of which are related to new media (including a new Twitter scholarship).
Colin Mulvaney writes an excellent post on his blog: Video at newspapers needs to improve – that I want to highlight because it’s as good a summary as any of the ways that newspaper-produced video needs to go to reach the storytelling heights that still photojournalism has reached in the past.
He identifies the following problems with much of newspaper video:
- Bland Videos
Some of these problems stem from the obvious fact that newspapers are still trying to figure out what works for online video, and still photographers are still learning the basics of video storytelling. And when some of the best newspaper videographers get shown the door, or land in academia (Hernandez and Gitner), or must shift careers for personal and geographical reasons, and others (like Mulvaney himself) get pulled off video duty, figuring out what works and indwelling those skills within newspaper staffers just gets that much harder.
A lot of this mediocrity is doubtless self-inflicted. Stories that work in print don’t work so well in video. Stories that benefit from video don’t always get the time they deserve to get it right.
But the greater point is that people (especially student journalists) who want to be videographers for newspapers need to spend a lot more time honing their craft. That includes paying attention to broadcast videographers. While I firmly believe that web-based video necessarily is different from broadcast video, the fact is that broadcast videographers have a lot to teach in terms of video storytelling.
Some of that honing of skills should come through classwork. But a newspaper journalist might only get a few weeks of video training in an intro class. The rest must come from practice and DIY learning (including some of the workshops Mulvaney mentions in his post above). To that end, below are several sites I’d recommend for more advanced DIY training:
Edit Foundry: Shawn Montano’s site hosted by NPPA focuses very sharply on the depths of video editing. What I like about the site is that Montano breaks down a concept – say, Video editing transitions – complete with detailed commentary across the entire video, along with screen grabs.
News Videographer: Angela Grant continues to explore videography from a newspaper veteran’s viewpoint, despite her career developments. An excellent resource.
Mastering Multimedia: Mulvaney’s blog is another excellent resource, which takes a more theoretical approach to multimedia storytelling. Even though he spends less time shooting video, his thoughts are worth the time to absorb.
Multimedia Shooter: Originally set spinning by Richard Koci Hernandez, this site is chock full of tutorials, advice, and inspiration. Not just about video, but a range of multimedia (see Multimedia Rules to Live By and Seven Steps to Train Yourself).
I’m sure there are other excellent sites around the web that focus on video gathering and editing. These are some I’m familiar with and enjoy reading. There are also some excellent sites (Mindy McAdams, among others) who devote some time to video, but also examine a much broader vista of multimedia and online journalism.
Got a favorite site for learning video techniques? Please let us know in the comments.
Rob Curley spoke this weekend at the Associated Collegiate Press gathering in Phoenix. It was the first time he’s spoken in public in 18 months, he said. His keynote speech was interesting, but the better session was a Q&A that followed. During that time, he talked about some of the plans the Las Vegas Sun has for the future, and some of the ways they are leveraging a small staff (about 20 writers) to cover Las Vegas.
Toward the end, a student asked Curley how to best prepare for the future of journalism. Curley’s answer was interesting: Learn to write well.
You can listen to the full answer below. It’s about 4 minutes long.
Recently, I was on a plane flying back to St. Louis from a two-day workshop at The Daily Toreador at Texas Tech. (I say 2-day – thanks to the airlines and the weather, it was a little less, but that’s a story for another time).
Thinking back on it, I just realized the feeling I usually get when I do these workshops – it’s like opening Pandora’s box. Because I never just talk about audio or video. I always walk through all the other free and easy to use online tools that are available to tell a story online.
I’m so used to seeing all these tools and seeing possibilities to use them that I guess they almost seem mundane in a way.
but when I unpack them in front of a group of students who have never seen an online timeline, or known how easy it is to create a map or edit a piece of audio, I get a glimpse of the magnitude of the vista that is out there for some young journalist who wants to explore online storytelling. It can be intimidating.
That’s why I always repeat the advice I first gave several years ago – pick one thing and learn how to do it well. Don’t worry about the entire river, just find one current to surf for a while. After you’ve got a handle on that, then move to something else.
Everyone will settle on something different, but the crucial part is to get going.
This weekend, I’ll be in Phoenix for ACP’s National College Journalism Convention preaching the multimedia gospel again.
Flickr photo Creative Commons licensed via adpowers
Flickr photo Creative Commons licensed via adpowers
The pitch: How would you like to learn new media skills while having a positive impact on the college media environment? Join us for a semester of new media opportunity as the intern for the Center for Innovation in College Media for Fall 2009.
Who you are: A bright, dedicated college journalist who wants to help lead the discussion of how technology and online media can improve college media. Internship is open to international students as well (i.e., those outside the United States).
What you’ll do: Help maintain the Innovation in College Media weblog by producing relevant content that highlights what college media are doing in a changing media environment. The possibilities for editorial production are limited only by your imagination and energy. Some of the possibilities:
- Podcast interviews with media movers and shakers.
- Reviews of college media online initiatives.
- Maps and databases of college media online sites.
- Live video streams of conferences and/or interviews.
- Round-ups of relevant new media writing.
- And more.
Skills: Social media savvy (Twitter, friendfeed, etc.), video and audio (soundslides, mogulus or ustream), blogging (WordPress), college journalism (worked as a college journalist, familiar with college media environment).
Location: Wherever you are. I operate from Charleston, IL, Chris Carroll operates from Nashville, TN, but you can operate from anywhere you have a computer and Internet access.
Start/End Dates: Start date is Feb. 8. End date is end of May, 2010.
Hours: As far as hours, it’s really open-ended. You can do some awesome work with minimal hours, or a lot of hours and a minimum of ROI (return on investment). Seriously, it’s all up to you. My goal is for you to succeed.
Pay: We don’t have a lot of money, but we can offer a $500 stipend and a heckuva recommendation letter from yours truly when you’ve finished the race. We’ll make a badge available as well that you can post on your blog or web site.
About the site: ICM is part of the non-profit Center for Innovation in College Media, and is read by numerous college journalists, advisers, and industry folks.
How to apply: Send a copy of your resume and a 250-word essay (or post on your weblog or web site, even better) explaining what ideas you have for the site to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include links to any multimedia you have produced in the past.
Be forewarned – I will be posting a poll for readers to vote on who is the best potential intern (results will be viewable only by me). However, the ultimate decision on the intern is made by the CICM directors. The winner’s name will be posted after they have been notified and accepted the internship.
Deadline for applications: Monday, Feb. 1, 2010
Editor’s note: This is a re-post of something I wrote in 2007. I was following some referral logs yesterday, and came across a post by Len Witt about students who want to be great writers. We’ve had a lot of readers come and go in the past three years, so I wanted to repost this for our new readers. As far as I can tell, this is still reality. And be sure to follow the conversation in Len Witt’s subsequent post. The comments are actually civil and thought-provoking.
Meranda Watling posted a comment on an earlier post that I wanted to highlight:
I’ve heard peers say they didn’t get into journalism to blog, to take pictures, to come up with multimedia, to do whatever. They want to write. The other stuff “isn’t that someone else’s job?” or today, another reporter (23-yo recent grad) commented, “why don’t they just hire TV reporter to do the video?” *sigh* Me? I want to hand them a white towel and tell them to surrender now and get out before they get left behind.
I have a confession to make: I was one of those kids. When I was in college – John Tisdale, journalism professor at TCU can attest – I didn’t learn photography because “I want to be a writer.” I focused on editing, writing and gathering information. I neglected the business aspects of the news media. I diligently sent photo requests to the photo department in my first job.
But after I got out of college, I spent time working at a small-town newspaper, where I had to learn how to lay out pages using QuarkXpress. I learned how to take and develop photographs in a darkroom (back when we had to use film). I delivered the papers and collected the change from the racks, and drove the pages to the printer in another town 40 minutes away.
I didn’t do this because I was some kind of “new media guy,” but because it kept me employed. It paid the bills, and made the paper successful. I learned a valuable lesson then – the most versatile journalist has the most job security. It’s served me well over the ensuing years. When the FW Star-Telegram special sections manager wanted volunteers to learn HTML, I was the only one who signed up. When photography was transitioning from film to digital, I was learning all I could. When they needed someone to run the offset press during grad school, I raised my hand.
A wise professor in my Ph.D. program once remarked that the last words he would hear from an employee was “that’s not my job.” I think that’s the right mindset for journalists in the 21st century. It is your job, damnit. Stop acting like a prima donna. If you’re going to be part of the solution to the challenges facing journalism, then you’re going to have to learn to do some “extra” things. Is that going to suck at times? Sure. But you can either buck up and help save journalism or you can whine and join the ranks of the unemployed.
Print (or broadcast, for that matter) isn’t always the best way to tell a story. And that’s what it all boils down to: telling stories.
Updated content: Based on the subsequent discussion, I should qualify that being willing to expand your “toolkit” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus on one aspect of your skills. Be the best writer/photographer/designer you can be. But don’t be defined by your unwillingness to try and learn new skills.