Daily Archives: November 4, 2009

RTDNA’s First Webinar Is A Hit

By Andrew Humphrey, CBM, DJTF Founder & Co-Chair

Today’s RTDNA webinar, entitled “Video Free For All,” was a phenomenal success.  At 1pm ET, one hundred participants logged in and learned about methods of finding and using video online to find new audiences and to enhance news-gathering and storytelling.

CBS executive and RTDNA Region 11 Director Lane Beauchamp led and moderated the session with Olivia Ma (YouTube), Andrew Fitzgerald (Current TV) and Kevin Roach (AP) serving as panelists.  All of them explained the benefits of video online and gave excellent advice of how to make its use work successfully.

Here are some of the highlights I experienced:

Some statistics were mentioned first.  Of 144 million online viewers polled, 72 percent watch video, of which 83% watch short form video.  “Short form” referred to a video no more than 4 minutes long.

Web only video can extend storytelling if it can be made compelling and is promoted heavily.  The use of raw video works when it is made relevant, cuts to the chase of the story and is put in its proper context.

Sharing video with other web sites and media companies, such as YouTube and Yahoo!, has its pluses and opens the opportunity to find new audiences and niche audiences.

The use of embed codes and watermarking video are successful branding techniques.  Adding meta data can effectively allow viewers to find a storyteller’s viewer faster and more easily.

Last but not least, ethical standards remain held in the highest regard and are nearly the same as those for non-digital journalism.

RTDNA Chair Stacey Woefel said the Video Free For All webinar “hit the target dead on in terms of delivering information news managers can’t find other places.”  Click here for RTDNA’s press release.

Reporter Offers Thoughts on Knight Digital Media Center Workshops

By Benét J. Wilson

The Knight Digital Media Center has extended the deadline to apply for its multimedia and Web 2.0 training workshops until Nov. 6.   The free workshops, held at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, provides  hands-on, newsroom-focused computer training for mid-career journalists.

The week-long workshops offer training for print, radio, broadcast and online reporters and editors who want to lead their newsroom’s transition to 24/7 interactive, integrated multimedia, multi-platform news and feature deliver, according to the Web site.  Workshop participants are expected to attend all sessions and activities, stay in the host hotel and join in workshop meals.

NABJ member Vanessa Deggins, a reporter and videographer at the American Press Reporter and an anchor on KYKZ radio in Lake Charles, La., received training at one of the Knight workshops.   “As far as multimedia, I was flying by the seat of my pants for about six months. I had no problem teaching myself certain skills, but I knew some professional input was needed,” she said.   “I had seen announcements about [NABJ] listserv members who were accepted into the program. I checked out the web site and eventually decided to try my luck.”

The big thing Deggins said she learned from the workshops was to not over think multimedia.  “For me at least, when I first started readying books and playing with software, I felt a little overwhelmed. I had only seen my broadcast friends videos and all the slideshows I saw were so perfect,” she recalled.  “I didn’t stop to think that they messed up at some point in the beginning they started small too.”

The types of people in the class ran the gamut, with editors from top 10 papers, general assignment reporters from 60,000 circulation papers, a radio reporter and photographers, said Deggins.  The class had 25 members.  “We were split into five groups. I’m pretty sure they keep it small because of how intense it is,” she stated.

The most valuable thing learned in the class was you don’t have to learn everything –  just one or two things that go well together, Deggins advised.  “If you’re a great photographer, learn video editing.   If you like enterprise reporting, learn some Flash or get good with Google Maps to illustrate what you’re writing about,” she advised.

For more information about the Knight workshops, click here.

On another note, the National Association of Black Journalists is offering a $14 discount on memberships today and tomorrow only.  Has your membership lapsed? Are you not yet a member? Is it near your time to renew?  Click here to take advantage of this offer.