I just finished reading chapters 7 & 8 of Journalism 2.0 by Mark Briggs.  Most of the material was review from our class discussions, but I thought a few points he made were worth reiterating.

Journalist Mark Briggs

Chapter 7 talked about how to capture a good audio story.  I picked up on the following Audacity sound-editing trick from Briggs.  I remember getting warning messages from Audacity about mono sound, but I never knew what it meant.  Briggs explained:

  • Make it stereo: Some files will be mono, not stereo, meaning you’ll only hear the audio in one side of your headphones. You want to make it stereo so the sound file will play in both sides of speakers and headphones, instead of just one. To make it stereo, click on the Audio Track label next to an upside down triangle (see screen shot.) Then select Split Stereo Trackfrom the drop-down menu.

Second, Briggs reminds people to note the time of interesting quotes while they’re interviewing their sources.  Editing audio can be very time consuming, so a having a rough transcript of the interview is a HUGE time saver.

  • If you make a note of the time when a good quote plays, you’ll save loads of time when you go back to edit the take for the good stuff.

Chapter 8 was also pretty basic, but I appreciated these photo shooting/editing reminders:

  • Fill the frame: When shooting people, don’t leave too much “head room” or space above their heads. The subject’s face should be near the top of the picture, not in the middle.
  • Only edit a copy of the photo — not the original.

Briggs also mentioned an online photo editing Web site – snipshot.com – which I think is a cool free service.

Photo credit (fair use): http://www.wiredjournalists.com/profiles/profile/show?id=MarkBriggs