Yajiao’s Blog

Archive for April 2009

With the development of Web 2.0, there are many tools and services could be used by online journalists. In our online journalism course, we tried some web tools. 

YouTube

YouTube is a video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips. People could broadcast themselves to the whole world and develop their own audience. Meanwhile, if you are interested with other videos, you can communicate with users about shared interests. YouTube provides chances for expressing yourselves through video. Further more, it is also a social networking tool to meet new people and be part of a community.

It is an open platform for ordinary people and journalists student to upload their own video and share it with friends. Also, many bloggers insert YouTube video into their blog in order to give readers more background. 

I have my own YouTube account and uploaded all my project videos. My friends could watch them and leave commets. Meanwhile, I usually watch the top videos from YouTube and sometimes share it on my blog. 

 

Twitter

It is a service that allow people to post short updates (max 140 characters) about what they are doing. People could follow each other’s status. 

I kept using Twitter for a while. At first, I think it is just a simple tool to tell others what are you doing, which is quite boring and meaningless. 

However, after I read a guide of how to use twitter, I learned some tips about how to take advantage of Twitter in a journalistic way. Twitter could be used for news gathering. The more people you follow on, the more chances you may get the useful content.  Breaking news are always reported by witnesses through Twitter firstly. Twitter was used in the Sichuan earthquake in China and the terrorist in Mumbai. The Labour Party and conservatives both have their own Twitter accounts. In addition, we could use Twits Like Me to fine people who have similar interests. Tweetscan is for searching key words. Twitterlocal could help you to find twitter in your local area.

 

RSS feeds

RSS stand for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. It is used by news websites, weblogs and podcasting. It provides web content, summaries of web content, and with the links of the full version. My group blog is a music blog. We added the RSS feed of Yahoo Music News to our blog. Readers could know the latest news and click for more information if they are interested. They don’t need to visit the Yahoo Website, but could know music news when reading our blog. 

 

Google Reader

Google reader is a Google’s web-based feed reader to keep up with blogs and news.

As a journalism student, Google Reader is a useful tool to receive the latest news. A front page that lets you see new items at a glance . Users could add different category of news according to their interests in subscriptions.  For example, I added news related to China, London, Media and Film. Every time when I log in my Reader account, the information from my subscriptions will be showed first. Meanwhile, users could keep track with their own blog in order to read the new comments.

Users could choose to read  between list view (story with title) or expanded view (story with details) for item viewing. As you view items in your reading list, they will be automatically marked as read as you scroll down.

In addition, items in Google Reader can be shared with other Web users. Items the user marked as shared were automatically visible to their Google Talkcontacts. It is a DIY media platform as well.

However, one disadvantage of Google Reader may be that it is too professional for ordinary people. Different from journalists, public just want to know breaking news. In this case, the information from Google Reader is overwhelmed,  and will make users feel confused to get their interested news directly.

 

Google News

Though every daily newspaper has its website, Google News is a tool which could collect the latest news from world’s major news outlets. 

For journalism students, Google news is a reliable and user-friendly news source. It provides a wide range of news from over 4,500 news organizations. It is easy to compare the different angles and wiring styles of different news organizations in the same news story. The email alerts function will help you to keep track of the development related to your interested topics. At the same time, Google News is set up in different categories, such as Top stories, World, Business, Sports, and Entertainment, etc. According to users’ job and interests, they could access to the certain news stories which are particular important for them. Users could type the keyword to search news. 

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The topic of our video is about the Facebook on compus. Matt and I are in the same group. 

Facebook is one of the most popular social networking community among young people. Facebook is a wide topic, it could be discussed in many different aspects. We decided to focus on the use of facebook on compus. Is it a good communicate platform or young people’s face-to-face communicate skills will be influenced? Are they addicted to the Facebook and check it  during class time? What is tutor’s opinion?

The first step of our project is to interview students and tutors. Before that, we prepare a list of couple questions. We also come up with news questions according to the answers. Matt and I exchange the role of interviewer and film maker in different interviews. Therefore, both of us could have the chance to know how to ask questions and how to use the video machine. 

Edit is the next step after the interview. We have to cut 20 minutes footage to 5 minutes, which is not a easy task. Matt did the first edit. Some useless answers and repeated sentensens were cut. The draft structure came up and footages were separated into different question categories.  Then, in the second time, I edited in more details and made the transform between each questions more fluent.  

In the introduction part, we added the voiceover to introduce the development of Facebook. However, it was difficult to match the length of voice with images. The voiceover was recorded several times. Part of music about Facebook were at the beginning and ending. 

In the editing part, we not only review footage edit, but also learn some new skills about sound edit. 

This is a group project, working together is very important. I am glad that each of us experience different jobs and try our best to finish it. Apart from group meeting, we exchange ideas through Facebook. 

After finished it, I uploaded it to my YouTube account and share it on Facebook. 

As an online video project, my friends could watch it and leave comment. Furthermore, it is like a DIY video project. The topic, structure, interview, sound and edit were all made by ourselves. 

This project gives me the opportunity to work as a multimedia journalist. Interview skills, editing skills and working together skills are all essential. 

The topic of our video is about the Facebook on compus. Matt and I are in the same group. 

Facebook is one of the most popular social networking community among young people. Facebook is a wide topic, it could be discussed in many different aspects. We decided to focus on the use of facebook on compus. Is it a good communicate platform or young people’s face-to-face communicate skills will be influenced? Are they addicted to the Facebook and check it  during class time? What is tutor’s opinion?

The first step of our project is to interview students and tutors. Before that, we prepare a list of couple questions. We also come up with news questions according to the answers. Matt and I exchange the role of interviewer and film maker in different interviews. Therefore, both of us could have the chance to know how to ask questions and how to use the video machine. 

Edit is the next step after the interview. We have to cut 20 minutes footage to 5 minutes, which is not a easy task. Matt did the first edit. Some useless answers and repeated sentensens were cut. The draft structure came up and footages were separated into different question categories.  Then, in the second time, I edited in more details and made the transform between each questions more fluent.  

In the introduction part, we added the voiceover to introduce the development of Facebook. However, it was difficult to match the length of voice with images. The voiceover was recorded several times. Part of music about Facebook were at the beginning and ending. 

In the editing part, we not only review footage edit, but also learn some new skills about sound edit. 

This is a group project, working together is very important. I am glad that each of us experience different jobs and try our best to finish it. Apart from group meeting, we exchange ideas through Facebook. 

After finished it, I uploaded it to my YouTube account and share it on Facebook. 

As an online video project, my friends could watch it and leave comment. Furthermore, it is like a DIY video project. The topic, structure, interview, sound and edit were all made by ourselves. 

This project gives me the opportunity to work as a multimedia journalist. Interview skills, editing skills and working together skills are all essential. 

Podcast Log

Posted on: 28/04/2009

The Reflective Log for Podcast

The first and the most important thing for starting my podcast is to pitch an idea. I decide to take an interview with my friend Wing Wang, who is the directing president of the UK-CHINA FILM ASSOCIATION(UCFA). There are several reasons to choose him and his association. Firstly, he works  in London and could speak English, so I could have a face-to-face English Interview with him. Secondly, the UCFA was founded at 2008 and has already done some quite successful events in Chinese community. Especial recently, the UCFA takes part in the RainDance Film Festival, which has a latest newsworthy, Thirdly, the special point of the UCFA is that it is a non-profit film organization running by overseas graduated students  in the UK. Finally, Wing Wang and many members of the UCFA were graduated from University of Westminster. It is interesting to know whether they got some benefits from the study in Westminster for their professional work. 

Before interviewing Wing Wang, I prepared couple of questions and test the zoom recorder. The interview is going well, for Wing Wang gives clear answers for each questions.

In terms of the editing part, it requires technical skills and patient as well. The length of interview is 3 mins, so I have to cur half of it. I listened the interview several times in order to select the main points. 

In addition, I never used Audacity before. I searched some Chinese basic introduction of Audacity and try to familiar with its tools and functions. 

I cut  useless sentences and repeated words, and leave space for the next question. Meanwhile, I select a suitable song to edit as background music. In the Audacity, users could import two audio and adjust one volume down as background. In addition, it could have the effect as fade out at the end of the podcast. 

Apart from the audio, it is better to add related pictures in the podcast. Some of the pictures are provided by Wing Wang. Some were taken by myself when I attended the events. 

However, it is not that simple to put the audio and pictures together. The showing time and speed of each pictures must fit in with the same length of the related question. Also, some word titles are added to illustrate pictures. 

After the draft, I send the podcast to Wing Wang and do more edits according to his advice.

At last, export the podcast and upload it to my YouTube account.