Learning podcasting is necessary for multimedia journalism teachers

This week for my master’s class Teaching Multimedia, the assignment was to produce a podcast. The thought of that was frightening for even a somewhat technical person.  When this assignment was given, the first thing that came to my mind was the first time a professor in college had us listen to actual radio for our assignment. I fell in love with challenging my senses to feel and picture this scene the reporter was painting. One of my favorite things to do on a long drive, or when I have spare time is listen to NPR podcasts.

With this latest assignment I was exposed to a new site called https://audioboom.com. I found this application to be like Pinterest in a way. You can select topics you like and listen to podcasts, or record your own.  I did however run into a problem with saving the recorded podcast, later to realize it just uploaded immediately to Audioboom.

In my podcast, I decided to give a shot at a D1 college lacrosse game this weekend: Denver vs. UNC. I recorded audio from the game and after I interviewed a player. Under the circumstances, I had to interview my son and not another player. I would have liked to interview a different player, but as you will hear it was fun to interview him for my first ever podcast.  You can find this podcast also here: https://audioboom.com/posts/5674958-grant-gravitt-d1-athlete.

There are many tweaks I could do to make this podcast better. In fact, I don’t care to post something this raw, but it was the first one.  In the next weeks lesson , I will be learning how to edit audio in Audacity. With this program, I can edit in the audio sound I recorded at the game here:  https://audioboom.com/posts/5673787-let-s-go-denver and also some more cheering that I also uploaded to Audioboom that day. https://audioboom.com/posts/5673784-game-audio-du-vs-tarheels.

I highly recommend giving Audioboom a shot. The interview I used a small lavalier microphone and clipped it to my subject and used my iPhone.  Uploading to wordpress.com was a little hard to figure out at first ,but I brought the file in through i Tunes and attached the HTML and the embed codes to the file.

The future for multimedia journalism is podcasting, so give it a try.


Experiencing shooting in manual

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Ever since I can remember I have loved taking photographs. In high school, I took photography and found a real passion for it. In 1986, my first job was developing film at a Caesar’s Palace photo lab. I moved on to get a job as a photographer at Sears Portrait Studio. Babies to this day are my favorite subjects to shoot. Sadly, I am embarrassed to say that I just bought the best camera money can buy and put that sucker on Auto everything.

Surely, my professor and some of you just gasped!

Having an eye for what makes for a beautiful photograph is fascinating to me. This latest lesson of stripping me down to manual was extremely humbling as a teacher of broadcast journalism.  The take away from this that I am now able to understand the camera and the settings a lot better, although I have a way to go before I teach a lesson on it.

Putting the camera completely in manual forced me to learn what ISO setting and what shutter speed and aperture setting I need for each shot. Googling my camera model and watching YouTube videos was helpful.  King’s Klass Blog was understandable http://owenspj.blogspot.com/. Lori King’s podcast of shutter speed and aperture was helpful. Particularly for me, blurred and panned action shutter speed.

I learned about metering before and understand that the meter inside the lens that shows up should be in the center. What I didn’t know was to meter off something grey.  I also learned about the MODE settings on top of the camera. The dial makes sense to me now and I encourage you to YouTube your model of camera.

The shoot itself was fun and a little frustrating, especially since I was thinking about the specific shots that were needed. This link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZVyNjKSr0M was helpful for composition. I found myself over the past few weeks looking at things compositionally, as in lines, light and what draws attention to my eye. In Denver, I was drawn to a little boy waiting for an autograph as the former National Champs walked off the field towards him. I was also drawn to a Native American drummer and the lines on his drum.

Shooting sports can be tricky. The ISO setting is the amount of light the camera needs and in Denver on a partly cloudy day outside I shot in a 400 ISO which worked very well. The shutter speed was set to catch the action without blurring parts of the subject. That was tricky and I need practice obviously.

The editing process was interesting as well. Last semester, I took Photo Editing in Photoshop so that was pretty simple. Photo Mechanic was a little frustrating but I managed to really like it.  I questioned why we use it but understand now that journalists need to know how to use Photo Mechanic.   The final process of posting to this blog and making the photo gallery was the icing on the cake. It is a really good feeling to see the work I put into learning something new and will continue to practice. After all…practice makes perfect.


Moving in the direction of multimedia

If you are a journalism teacher you better get with the digital progression of multimedia, or you are inevitably going to lose the battle.

Gone are the days of waiting for the daily newspaper, or the nightly news on television for our only means of news. News is being delivered via social media every minute of every day. You know this, I know this but what does this mean to us as journalism educators?

It means we need to know how to teach these kids to be journalists, at the same time, teach them how to sort through and process the 24/7 information overload.

So, how do we do this? It is my belief that we need to know how to sort through all of the media ourselves. We cannot be afraid of cameras, microphones, editing software and social media just to name a few. We need to immerse ourselves in the digital world of journalism world in order to teach it. With this course, it is just one step closer to exposing ourselves to this medium.

As teachers of journalism, I believe that to succeed in multimedia journalism we have to practice it ourselves. Exposure and use of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other sites will give us the confidence we need to support our students.
Journalism is changing rapidly but one skill that is always constant and remains generally the same is reporting skills. Journalists need to be inquisitive. They need to gather the who, what, when, where, why and how information. This skill will never change. The major thing that changes today is HOW journalists process and produce all of this information.

What I teach at Faith Lutheran High School, is the one-man-band approach. I let my students know that they have to be ready to produce a multimedia piece, especially when they graduate college and work in the “real-world”.  They will need to be able to shoot, edit, write, report and use social media as a platform. Our site is http://www.crusaderchronicle.com .

With this course, teaching multimedia I feel like I will learn essential areas such as photojournalism, blog spots and other resourceful tools that will help me better equip myself. By the end of the semester, I will continue to progress in the digital world so that my students can as well.






Live from Mrs. Gravitt’s studio

This is our makeshift studio. A live broadcast set up takes approximately 20 minutes. The students set up and take down after every broadcast because the classroom is also used for computer science, film and graphic arts. The crew insists of a Tricaster operator, a cameraman, a sound operator and a teleprompter operator. The anchors write and produce their own news report weekly.