I’m delighted to run part 2 of my interview with multimedia journalist and guru Mark Luckie. Yesterday, Luckie’s long-awaited book — The Digital Journalist’s Handbook — went on sale at Amazon.com. Knowing Mark’s work from his great 10000 Words blog, I know that his book will become an invaluable resource for those of us wading in the waters of multimedia, no matter what our skill levels. I hope you will all support him and buy the book.
NABJDigital: Why did you create the 10000 Words blog?
Mark Luckie: It all started when I had the chance to visit the Knight Digital Media Center and their training editors asked me what technology available for their own newsrooms. I told them to go to different Web sites, including Mashable, for resources. They asked me if there was one central resource, and I said no. So I decided to create that resource. It started modestly, and grew into this thing called the 10000 Words blog. The blog has helped people who normally wouldn’t read [technical] posts. It’s helpful even for those who read tech blogs, because I use examples of how that technology is used in the newsroom.
ND: What does 10000 Words mean?
ML: I came up with a list of different names. I originally wanted to use the name Prometheus, the titan who tried to steal fire from the gods, but I though it was too much, So it means if a picture is worth a thousand words a multimedia project is worth 10000 words.
ND: I’m an old-school journalist. What advice would you give to me to help stay in journalism as the field demands more multimedia skills?
ML: If you’ve invested in your journalism career, you also need to educate yourself with these new tools and put them to use. The Internet is a great platform for publishing. It allows anyone to try, fail and succeed. If you fail, you can easily scrap it and move on.
ND: I’m a student, but my school is behind the times when it comes to teaching multimedia skills. How do I get training to make myself hireable after I graduate?
ML: The first thing to do is demand that institutions bring on adjunct professors who can teach these skills. Many schools have existing professors who don’t the have skills to train in multimedia production. Students are paying their money to get an education, and they should be taught by someone who knows what they’re doing. You can’t wait for someone to shape your future; you have to push and create that yourself.
ND: What are three pieces of equipment a multimedia journalist should absolutely have?
ML: I think you need two things: a laptop computer with an Internet connection and a combination video/digital camera.
ND: What groups or organizations do you recommend that journalists join to beef up and maintain their multimedia skills?
ML: Outside of the National Association of Black Journalists, one organization I really recommend is the Online News Association. They are really doing fantastic work and are providing resources on how to train journalists in multimedia. Other organizations cater to beginners in multimedia, but ONA goes across the spectrum, from beginners to leaders.