GalleyCat FishbowlNY FishbowlDC UnBeige MediaJobsDaily SocialTimes AllFacebook AllTwitter LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser

Archives: May 2010

Why journalism education is important [Contest Winner]

Last week you were asked to answer the question “Why is journalism education important?” for a chance to win 25 copies of The Digital Journalist’s Handbook for your classroom. The winning entry came from Chris Waugaman, teacher and adviser to The Royal News at Prince George High School in Virginia:


“The purpose of education is to make our young citizens better people. So how do we do that? We teach them to be empathetic. We teach them to listen to others. We teach them to understand how to communicate with each other. We teach them to be ethical in their actions. We teach them to consider both sides of an argument. We teach them to adapt to the changing world around them. We teach them to view the world through a different lens. We teach them… journalism.”

Chris had this to say after he was notified of his winning entry:


“My program started eight years ago educating students with two computers and copies of handouts from the internet. I can’t believe I actually have a class set of something. Even though I have taught three sections of journalism now for a couple of years, the school has never been able to afford textbooks for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. My kids will definitely benefit from this award.”

By request, here are the entries from the contest finalists:

Rima Abdelkader, Multimedia Journalist:

“Uncovering the truth is contingent upon ethical, skilled journalists who could tell the story as accurately as possible in any medium. Whether reporting in a war or areas of media censorship, it’s been our job to gain access, and bring the world closer to the people. New technology has made that easier — bringing the world nearer to disaster, and to its bitter rival, fortune. No matter how different the story will look like in years to come, there will always be a journalist to tell it. We are contributors actively engaging the world — whether through our pen or technological device. The struggle will be there. The will to tell it will always be in demand. Supplying journalism education will not only be able to help fill that void, but it will also encourage those who-d like to pitch story ideas to local reporters how to do it, and in the end, create a more participatory society.”

Anselm Bradford, School of Communication Studies, AUT University :

“When you read this message it will have travelled thousands of miles in the blink of an eye. We live in a world that has relatively recently experienced a revolution in information. News can travel around the world in an instant. With that accessibility and speed of information come information overload and the possibilities of digital manipulation of content. It is important young journalists are taught old school journalistic ethics and new school multimedia technologies to enable them to communicate the world’s stories with integrity, effectiveness, and comprehensive coverage. The Internet is only as useful as the
content it contains.”

Jana Smith, Journalism Adviser, Nixa High School:

“There would be no democracy without journalism. Journalism provides the facts needed to make educated decisions. Most people don’t have the access, time, or training to find the answers to questions that keep the world going, but journalists do. Properly trained journalists are the protectors of truth in a time that many people are too apathetic to care. It is up to the next generation of journalists to make them care.”

Congratulations to Chris and to all those who participated!

7 Cool cameras and accessories

Point-and-shoot cameras alright, but to capture some really interesting photos and video, check out the following cameras and accessories.

1. Pixel LD-W1 wireless remote control

Photographers and photojournalists often put themselves in harm’s way to capture an intense moment. Perhaps with the Pixel LD-W1 wireless remote control there will be less immediate danger to the photographer. The remote allows the operator up to 200 feet away and includes a cool LCD screen. Just make sure just in case anything happens that the camera itself is locked down or that you are a really fast runner.

2. Samsung Dual View TL220

By now, most people know how to achieve the “MySpace pose” — Use your arm to extend the camera as far away from you as possible, turn the lens toward you and snap the photo. The problem with this positioning is the LCD faces away from you, making harder to ensure that you’ve got the best shot. The new Samsung Dual View makes it easy to take photos of yourself, by yourself with LCD screens on both sides of the camera… making for a more effective MySpace pose.

3. Twin Video

If you want to add the same third-person point of view to your video, check out the Twin Video from Ion. The camera has two lenses, one on the front and one the back so you can record yourself as you record your video. Trippy, huh?

4. LifeCam HD webcam

Some webcams can make the person on the other end look like they are on the other side of a foggy shower mirror. The new line of LifeCam HD webcams capture 720p video and are a steal at under $50. Who knows… the higher quality video may just improve your work and social life.


Speaking of webcams, if it’s flexibility you need, the IPEVO CDVU-03IP Point 2 View (P2V) comes with a flexible base that allows you to better adjust the webcam picture. Also, the flashlight-like camera can be removed from the base and used as a lipstick camera to show off whatever you’re working on in detail.

6. GigaPan panorama mounts

GigaPan and panoramic photos have been covered here before, mostly because of the awesome technique and technology that can capture a larger image in a single photograph. GigaPan recently released three new panoramic mount models that aid in capturing a steady image: The Epic ($349)and Epic 100 ($449) and the Epic Pro ($895).

7. iPhone video rigs

A lot of great videography can be captured with simple cameras, including the video camera built into some iPhones. But if you want to take your iPhone video to the next level, get a hold of the OWLE iPhone Video/Rig or the new Smoothee rig from Steadicam. Both tools allow you to shoot steady video, perfect for creating professional video on the go or mini-movies like the one below.

Also on 10,000 Words:

Crazy gadgets that are (possibly) crazy useful
6 Unique cameras and audio recorders
10 Essential iPhone apps for bloggers and reporters

7 Interactive guides to the Gulf Coast oil spill

With hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil being pumped into the waters just off the Louisiana coast, the first questions many ask is exactly how much is oil is in the water and how far is it spreading. Several news organizations aimed to answer those questions with interactive, multimedia packages that not only show the spread and threat of the spill, but the potential damage it can cause to the environment and nearby ecosystems.

USA Today, like many other news media, created a Flash-based interactive graphic for which the viewer the viewer can use a slider to view the timeline of the spill. The interactivity is complemented by various level of information, including existing barriers and satellite imagery.



The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, and the Times-Picayune each took a similar approach to visualizing the oil spill, using an interactive map and graphics indicating the size of the spill over time.



The (UK) Guardian not only includes a map of the spill in its presentation, but also incorporates photos of the wildlife that will likely be affected. Various images of ducks, whales, and turtles can be viewed by clicking on the camera icons.



The Associated Press also includes photos in its multimedia explanation of the threat. The AP interactive includes a photo slideshow of the downed rig and various other heart-stopping photos, as well as an interactive timeline of major oil rig accidents, dating back to the 1960s.



Currently the oil spill is still spreading out of control so it is safe to say that many of the above interactives will require continual updating. It will be interesting to see how the aforementioned news media will stay abreast of an ongoing problem and keep their projects fresh with the latest information available.


Also on 10,000 Words:

Do you have a multimedia emergency plan?
How the internet is changing how natural disasters are covered
How online news media covered the 2010 Winter Olympics
Simple and interactive guides to the health-care reform bill

Building the open source newsroom on the cheap