Category Archives: Readings

Bull, A. (2010) Multimedia Journalism: a Practical Guide (Chapter 14). London: Routledge.

– Hyper-local: live, work, play in that area
– Professional combined with students, bloggers, citizens, and residents
– What local papers used to be
– What is hyper-local possible? Searchable, GPS or journalists/readers, personalisation
– Geotagging is information via geography
– It allows the putting together of a local paper via the hands of the readers
– Geotagging automatically via GPS
– Hyper-local fails unless there is news / facts behind it
– Collaboration is key
– No papers ‘own’ a town anymore
– Journalism, in and of itself, is a networking platform
– Maps can be more than a map
– Can be the underlying , linking structure
– Mashups: combining data from various sources into a simple intergraded tool


Bull, A. (2010) Multimedia Journalism: a Practical Guide (Chapter 11). London: Routledge.

– Video cameras
– Manual focus: always on your subject even if someone walks by
– Manual exposure: camera will not adjust to sudden light
– Shots: wide / long / medium / medium close up / close up / big close up
– Angles: high / low / eye level
– Five shot rule
– Simple shooting: the person, the thing, the person with the thing
– Second style of video developed by the web: capturing the moment
– The ‘moment’ means the quality is less important i.e. 7/7 bombings
– Video as a means of the audience experiencing what the reporter is experiencing
– Video as the future of journalism
– Raw, unplanned footage means the audience feels a part of it
– Professional and amateur footage can work side by side

Bull, A. (2010) Multimedia Journalism: a Practical Guide (Chapter 5). London: Routledge.

– Online video can be anything from professional to CCTV
– More advanced would be a package
– Text-plus report is text with added video
– Package: interviews / voxpops / PTC / relevant video / stills
– Multimedia allows live-footage which is incredibly simple
– A video camera is not essential
– Tripods are important
– Video is useless without sound
– Smartphones have no zoom
– Tripods for smartphones are available
– Avoid distracting backgrounds
– Leave 5-10 seconds after pressing record
– Keep quiet no matter how much you wish to comment
– Shots: pan / zoom / establishing / detail
– Lead space: the space between the subject and the edge of frame
– Cut away / noddy
– Don’t cross ‘the line’
– Shoot to edit: what do you need to tell the story?
– Video is not telling but showing
– Styles: text-plus / package / features / bulletins / studio based / live
– Can broadcast live from your phone
– Qik / Flixwagon and register your phone for embedding
– Learn to speak well: volume / pitch / rhythm / speed / don’t be stagey
– Video publishers will often compress for you
– 1MB per minute
– YouTube allows embedding
– Video is great for driving traffic

Bull, A. (2010) Multimedia Journalism: a Practical Guide (Chapter 4). London: Routledge.

– Recording for broadcast can be a simple by-product of journalism
– 1,000-1,500 feature could mean 10 minutes plus with a subject and this is appealing to fans
– Dramatic sound can be powerful
– Poor quality isn’t always bad
– Audio cannot stand alone
– Audio news package is normally on the radio
– Sound is a signifier: if you hear a cow you expect the reporter to be on a farm
– A podcast is different to a news package in the way it is distributed
– Podcasts are not just on the web or blogs but available independently
– Subscribe to podcasts
– RSS use feed readers
– RSS can be text, audio or video
– Useful for specialist journalists
– Allows distribution independent of the site
– Podcasts can be very informal and shambolic
– Podcasts can be weekly or daily depending on the subject
– Recorders: one touch recording / 20-30 hours / MP3 is best / USB connector / mic and headphone ports
– 3 interview approaches: don’t record the first time / record straight away but have a structure laid out / halfway house which is probably the best
– Audio can be a voxpop, interview, discussion, voice piece, audio diary
– Creating a podcast: topic and plan / what is it about? / what will it achieve? / simple is good
– Audacity is great
– Listen back to clips
– Always export in MP3
– Podcast Generator / Poderator / Podbean for free RSS distribution

Bull, A. (2010) Multimedia Journalism: a Practical Guide (Chapter 10). London: Routledge.

– Automatic options: portrait / landscape / sports / close ups / night photography
– Manual modes: focus / slash / shutter speed / aperture / depth of field
– Shutter and aperture balance: the amount of light / the depth of field you want / the subject / what the subject is doing
– Slide shows with commentary were born out of multimedia journalism
– Hybrid way of story-telling
– Deceptively simple
– Audio drives the story, still just illustrate
– Audio: speaking naturally / can just be subjects / actuality will add to the piece
– Stills: establishing shots / shots of subjects doing their daily business / detail shots to bring in as much interest as possible
– Don’t just throw together random photos
– Let the opening image sink in
– Duration depends on detail
– Windows movie maker / iMovie / Soundslides (£30)

Thornburg, R. (2011) Multimedia Reporting (Chapter 8 p194 – 239). Producing Online News. CQ Press Washington

–          Multimedia is the convergence of storytelling tools

–          Multichannel distribution is one product over various forms of media such as a radio show over FM, XM Satellite radio, podcasts and the internet or a written story in print and online

–          Parallel reporting is when two forms of media tell slightly different stories on the same topic, such as copy and a video

–          Backpack journalists have emerged as a jack of all trades in the multimedia world

–          Digital camera: sensors, zoom, megapixel, iso, aperture, shutter speed

–          Storage media: Flash cards, secure digital cards, JPG, compression

–          Video: Batteries, tripod, microphone

–          Top 10 photo tips: working camera, one subject, take lots of photos, act natural, move around, don’t centre the subject, be aware of the background

–          Interview programmes: ProTools, SoundForge, GarageBand, Audacity

At this point I began to skim read as a lot of what is said in this chapter I have covered in previous years of either college or university. The reading was very basic and I felt it was for someone first starting out, where as I am at a more advanced level.

Thornburg, R. (2011) Editing News for Searchers and Scanners (Chapter 5 p103 – 133). Producing Online News. CQ Press Washington

–          People don’t read the same way online as they do print

–          2007 Poynter Study showed print readers are twice as likely to read a story methodically

–          Online news producers need to “get ‘em and get ‘em what they want”, fast

–          For all the webs demands, concise and precise writing is still key

–          The headline is the most important thing for online writing

–          Search engines put extra emphasis on headlines when using algorithms

–          Headline must do three things: stand on its own; integrate as many keywords as possible; work well not only when published, but months after

–          Keep headlines brief as they have to travel all over the web and fit into tiny spaces (only 60 characters will display on Google News)

–          The headline is not what you think the story is about, but what the reader is likely to type into a search engine

–          However, don’t trick search engines as they are clever and you will lose the trust of your readers

–          Keywords should go at the left

–          Famous names do well as keywords

–          Timeliness is import online as although it is instant, people will still search it for weeks to come

–          Try to steer clear of verbs if the piece might last, people don’t tend to search them

–          Today’s biggest constraint is time, so make what you write short

–          Omit needless words

–          You can always leave quotes and extra information out

–          Be concise and precise in order to serve your audience as best as possible

–          Subhead should provide extra information that cannot be found in the headline

–          Readers may read the subhead and nothing more

–          The lead (first paragraph) should begin with one or two active sentences

–          The lead is extra import with online as it may be reprinted on search engines

–          It should emphasise the news values

–          Paragraphs should be short, but one paragraph to one topic

–          Page length is important

–          A journalist should tell the truth fully and fairly, but with online, you also have to include SEO data high up in the story

–          Metadata – data about data

Thornburg, R. (2011) Basics of Web research; Cultivating Links, Cultivating Sources (Chapter 6 p135 – 166). Producing Online News. CQ Press Washington

–          Internet is littered with filth and lies

–          On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog

–          Journalists must ferret out lies and ensure their report is fair, accurate, complete and transparent

–          Don’t accept Google searches at face value, no matter how fast you need to be

–          Online audiences want the latest information, and they want it now

–          Know how to pose a good question

–          ‘The’ is pointless in a word search as so many websites have that word

–          Searching: nouns are better than adjectives; made a specific term if you want a specific result; use quotation marks; who, what, where and when do better than why or how.

–          Google is king, followed, if not way back, by Yahoo.

–          The Web is square one, but as journalists we must dig deeper

–          Home your search by using quotation

–          Use a – before a word in Google to exclude it

–          Good reporters clearly say what they are seeing, but wonder about what they are not

–          Find sources on social media

–          Used to be pubs and city hall – now Twitter and other social media

–          Google and Technorati have blog search options

–          Amateur multimedia can be useful, by providing pictures or video from someone who was there

–          Collect emails and a few details about certain people for future sources

–          By putting bits about yourself on social media, you show yourself as a real person and trustworthy

–          WhoIs links owners and sites

–          Network Solutions gives names and numbers

–          Websites reflect the people or organisations that created them

–          Information on a website may only be true when it was printed

–          Look at the sources used – are they credible?

–          RSS – Really Simple Syndication

–          Many sites publish RSS automatically when they post new information

–          RSS can be found with the icon