Saving like a madwoman

I’ll be an expert in frustration control by the time I finish J2150.  Hokusai, the app we use to edit audio, kept crashing every three minutes, and I kept losing the edits I had made. Creating my first 45 second audio slideshow was a learning experience.  I’m certain my next door neighbors could hear my cries of anguish every time something went wrong. (“There she goes…again.”) The moments I crashed and burned–there were many–are now a part of my journalism learning list. I’ve started a Google document to make sure I never lose the moments of wisdom sprinkled throughout the long editing process.  Below are a few of those.

What I learned so far from this audio slideshow assignment:

  1. Save every single time you make a change on Hokusai. No matter what. SAVE. SAVE. SAVE.
  2. Make a copy of all of your interviews in a separate project, that way you can go back to them when you mess it up.
  3. Look at pictures from 10,000 feet. (Look at the big picture of the story, and how those moments you capture build up into a line others can understand).
  4. Look for what you’re not seeing when you’re shooting, and listen for what you’re not hearing when you’re recording.
  5. Take your time when you’re taking photographs, even if those moments seem like they’re slipping away.
  6. Take LOTS of photographs. Compose them well. And maybe six will turn out well from 100.
  7. Always have your stuff complete at least two days in advance of when things are due. The quality will be better.
  8. Don’t be afraid to be awkward. Embrace the awkward.
  9. Take a deep breath and enjoy what you’re creating.
  10. Even if you’re recording take notes, for heaven’s sake!
  11. Ask yourself every time you go out to interview, shoot or do background research: Are you creating authentic reporting? Have I done the necessary background research?

Journalism is never perfect. Most certainly nothing I produce ever will be. But the more I apply what I’ve learned, the thicker the myelin around those journalism neurons becomes, and the list above will be second nature to me.  That’s still quite a ways away though.

For now, I’m working on all aspects of my journalistic abilities. I realized the importance of knowing your sources on Wednesday. I interviewed several students at the ELL class I attended. I had to be very aware of each word I used. Could I convey the same question in a way they would understand?

Knowing and empathizing with the people takes priority over technical skills. But I need both to produce quality work.




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