“Magical” journalism

I’m no Professor Trelawney,and I don’t need a cup of tea to know what my future holds this Tuesday night: Panic, worry, frustration, the occasional curse word as nothing goes as planned. My audio slideshow will be in shambles. Potentially. Because maybe my wizarding skills will come to the rescue, and my inner Hermione Granger will know what spell I need to fix my inner Ron’s mistakes.

But I don’t have a drop of magical blood in me. When it comes to editing and weaving together my photographs and audio clips, I’m a muggle. I possess no special talent or special knowledge given to me by the multimedia gods. And so far, I’ve been praying these powers will be bestowed upon me: In an instant, confusion, anxiety and fear will leave me and all my projects will almost build themselves.

I’ve been holding on to that fantasy for a good part of the semester. But there’s this voice I can hear  as I walk through the j-school. It whispers to me “Practice, practice.” (Did you get that Harry Potter reference?)

So the basilisk of the Missouri School of  Journalism isn’t real. My professors and their words of wisdom are. As we walked through the Pinnacle Studio app, I was a little apprehensive. I had the tool to start building snippets of the world for an audience: stills, video, audio. My good friend, who has had experience editing video, was playing around with the app.  While playing by the rules is important when starting out with anything, curiosity helps further that knowledge that is there to uncover.

Journalism isn’t magic. Practice is the only spell we have.  And that means rolling up my sleeves and going out and exploring the world around me. I’ve always been a good student when it comes to more theoretical classes.  I love sitting in the library for hours pouring over my books. But going out and shooting photos, interviewing others and then working it all together is new for me. Point being, I love theory, but application is another ballgame for me.

The pressure is on now that we’re starting our half-semester projects.  This can’t just be another class in which I’m aiming for an A because I want a 4.0 this semester.  The plan then is to create a short piece of anything this weekend and post it by Monday. That’ll be my first lesson in the magic of practice: keep to your goals and to the promises you’ve publicly made.

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