Jennifer Southee

A Journalism Experiment

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    • onMason Round-Up – 4-30-12 April 30, 2012
      Here’s a selection of interesting posts from across onMason. “Federman Beats Cancer” by Gregory Connolly Gregory Connolly’s article takes a highly sympathetic and insightful look at Jacob Federman, a junior sports management major at George Mason who has twice beaten Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After first beating the cancer in high school, he experienced a relapse as a freshman at Mason, […]
    • onMason Round-Up – 4-23-12 April 23, 2012
      Let’s check out some of the most interesting posts from last week throughout onMason. “An interview with Mason Dining’s Dietitian Lois Durant” by Nicole Merrilees This interview with Lois Durant provides insight to the life and hard work of a Mason employee who likely often goes unrecognized for her role in maintaining the high quality of life students […]
    • onMason Round-Up – 4-10-12 April 10, 2012
      In the new onMason round-up we take a look at some of the most interesting posts throughout onMason. “Tragedy and Twitter” by Karina Schulthesis This is an account of how social network sites like Twitter have changed the way people respond to and deal with school shootings. In order to make her article more effective, Karina begins with an […]

Briggs Review 8: Video journalism

Posted by jsouthee on March 20, 2011

Video journalism is an important way of telling a news story, whether its breaking news or a documentary, but there are a few different approaches. The biggest question one might ask is how much the quality of the video matters, and the answer is not much: “…the audience for video has become extremely forgiving and is now open to all levels of quality…quick and less polished video content on news sites often draws bigger audiences.” Sometimes the less polished videos are the most authentic ones and the audience knows it and is drawn to it.

Here, for example, is a video clip of the Japanese tsunami of 2011:

It is a bit shaky and not the best quality, but it is a professional video clip from CBS. It is the content that the users are most interested in and not the quality, especially when it comes to breaking news.

The difference between producing breaking news stories and documentaries is the time you have to plan your story. With breaking news it is important to simply get to the news scene and get footage of witnesses, first-hand accounts, and the overall environment of the incident- even if it means using a cell phone to record video. If it is a documentary, then you will want to take your time on it and make a storyboard. For both documentaries and interviews you will want to create a script.

Here are some tips for recording video:

  • It is good to shoot a variety of ranges (wide, medium, and tight), but do not overuse zoom (aka don’t record while you are zooming) as it makes a video look more amateur.
  • Shoot video like you are taking a still picture. A tripod is a good idea.
  • Sound is important! Make sure the audio is loud and clear- nobody will watch a video if they can’t hear what’s going on. Also, have a variety of sounds in your video, like ambient (background) noise, natural noise, voiceovers, etc.

One important thing to remember is that you should always be flexible and record what may not seem important now but could become important later on.

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