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I must admit that when we were told to start using Twitter I wasn’t very excited.  I always felt that the concept was kind of silly.  To me, Twitter seemed like a simpler, knock-off version of Facebook.  Plus, none of my close friends use Twitter, so it seemed pretty useless for me to set up an account.  However, after using Twitter for a few months, I can see why journalists think it is a vital reporting tool.

There are several obvious uses of Twitter for journalists and news organizations.  For example, reporters and news organizations can use Twitter to get tips.  During my internship at this quarter, Humberto Martinez, the former Hot Topics blogger saw a tweet that claimed rapper and TV personality Flavor Flav was at Westlake Mall, so he rushed down there to get the story.  Furthermore, I saw the P-I, and many other news organizations that I began following, use Twitter to promote their site.  When the P-I was one of the first Seattle news organizations to post that Ken Griffey Jr. was retiring from the Mariners, the staff immediately tweeted a link to its article.

Lastly, categorizing tweets by hashtags is extremely helpful.  Journalists can get ideas for articles by either seeing what’s trending, or they can find a lot of information about a topic by seeing what people have tweeted about it all over the world. Traditional journalists were able to get information about the war in Mumbai and write stories via Twitter hashtags.

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My video is a short profile of Pearson Air Park in Vancouver, Wash.  The Air Park is a place where people of all ages can learn about aircraft and learn how to become a pilot – some people actually complete pilot training there.  My goal for this video was to take what I learned from my previous project and add to that skills set.  I wanted to incorporate more five-shot sequences into this video and import a few still photographs into it.

The main reporting challenge for this project was simply getting good footage.  The air museum was a great place to film, but I happened to visit on a particularly crowded day, so it was hard to get shots that people weren’t walking through or clogging.  Also, the museum is located inside a big hangar, so the ambient sound was very loud and echoed, which made it a little difficult to smoothly edit in my voiceovers – but in the end it all worked out.

I think I met my goals fairly well.  I was able to get a lot of varied footage and give my audience a feel of the air park in roughly two minutes.  I did get a  couple a good sequence shots – one of an airplane, one of a child flying through a simulator and one of a pilot.  Though they weren’t the full five steps, I was able to edit my video more easily when I was thinking about the five-shot sequence during filming and filmed my subjects from different angles.  I also was able to edit in a few still photographs.

From this project, I learned how to better time my transitions and how to incorporate still photographs and give them the Ken Burns effect.  A lot of times still photographs work better than camera shots.  Considering this was only my second project ever in iMovie, I was pretty happy with my results.  If I had a chance to redo this assignment, I would use a different camera so I could use a tripod and also so when I posted my video on YouTube the footage wouldn’t be blurry.

(video is only two minutes long, timer is off)

This week I decided to look at who some of the amazing journalists I’m following are following and steal a few goodies from their lists.  Here’s who I came up with:

@karentravers – bio: ABC News White House Reporter, Philly sports fan, Gtown Hoya

@steveosunsami – bio: ABC News Correspondent

@mfleischner – bio: Search Engine Optimization Expert and Internet Marketing Professional

@lisastark – bio: ABC News Correspondent

@ezraklein – bio: Blogger for the Washington Post, columnist for Newsweek. Eater of food. Hater of filibuster. Lover of charts.

This week I decided to move from print tweeters to television tweeters and began following different journalists from ABC news.  I’m curious to see if the kind of tweets they write are different from those of print publications.  They seem to link to more video clips, which is cool.

@ABCMedicalUnit – bio: Get the latest health news from and Dr. Timothy Johnson, including new medical research, the latest health care trends, and medical mysteries.

@ABCNewsTravel – bio: The travel news site of

@ABCPolitics – bio: Not available. Sample tweet: WATCH: Interview With Tim Kaine and Michael Steele

@ABCNewsNews – bio: Not available. Sample tweet: JetBlue Pilot Armed With Gun Yanked From Duty

@ABCWorldNews – bio: Not available. Sample tweet: Diane’s chat with the executive producers of #LOST PT1 and PT2 #lost finale

I did my video on the cheese festival.  I wanted it to capture the general atmosphere of the event so people who had not been before could watch the video and get a sense of what it’s like.  I wanted to showcase a little bit of everything – the creameries, the cheeses, the performers and the crowds.  My goals for this assignment weren’t too outstanding because I had never edited in iMovie before.  I wanted to try and take good enough footage so that even a novice like myself would be able to produce a pretty smooth final product.  I tried to use the five-shot sequence as much as possible, and I tried to remember to turn of the camera between shots instead of panning.  I also wanted to learn how to edit in iMovie and use transitions and voiceovers.

I think the most challenging part in reporting this story was simply getting all the footage I wanted.  It was very crowded at the festival, and therefore it was hard to get in the action and get closeups of people working.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how things turned out, but I would have like to used the five-shot sequence more (needed those closeups).  But for my first time, I think my video is good.  I was able to edit in transitions and to do voiceovers.  I had some trouble balancing my voice with the natural sound, but after I switched from using my Mac’s microphone to an actual digital recorder, it wasn’t a problem.  I think I also told the story well and captured the essence of the event.

I learned from this project that it is a good idea to have a story plan before you go out and start recording.  The first time we were told to shoot five minutes of video, I didn’t really have a solid plan, and my footage would have been hard to piece together.  If I were to do this assignment again, I would want to get more closeups and try using a tripod.

Recently on Twitter I have been scouting out reporters from major newspapers checking out how they use it to promote their publication.  This week I chose to look at one of the most well-known papers in the United States – The LA Times.

@LATimesFood – bio: News, recipes + reviews from the LA Times Food staff, test kitchen + Daily Dish blog, by @renelynch.

@LATimestravel – bio: The LA Times Travel crew curate tips + deals for a restless Tweetosphere: See @latimestweets for more news + features streams.

@LATimesSports –  bio: National + SoCal sports news feed from the LA Times + Follow the Fabulous Forum blog at @latsportsblog. See for more news.

@LATimesHealth – bio: Current health + medical news from the Los Angeles Times + See for more news + features streams.

@LATimescitydesk – bio: Nita Lelyveld, @latimes metro features editor, aims to keep you up to date on LA news, with hand-selected updates throughout the day. DM story ideas/feedback.

The discussion in “Strike a different bargain with online video” written by Mark Briggs centers around the level of quality videos need to be in order to be successful on the Web.  When newspapers started publishing videos online, many editors felt they had to look similar to the videos that broadcast stations aired during typical newscasts – very polished with titles, transitions etc.  However, more recently, newspapers have began publishing videos that have only been roughly edited or were produced by citizen journalists on cell phones or digital cameras.  The question is, does it matter?  Does one work better?

The video examples that Brigg’s gives are from two journalists who specialize in tech stories, one from The New York Times, David Pogue, who spends a lot of time editing his work, and another from The Wall Street Journal, Walt Mossberg, who does little editing and inserts few “special effects” into his work.  With this beat, I think the polished video is nicer.  Technology can be a pretty dry subject, and therefore the videos with more music, fun transitions, etc. are more interesting to watch.  However, in general, I don’t think it matters.

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Headline: Vendors from all over cut the cheese in Seattle

Lede: Last weekend Seattleites had the opportunity to sample more than 200 cheeses from local, domestic and international vendors at the 2010 cheese fair.

My video is going to give viewers of taste of the cheese festival.  I want to capture the atmosphere.

First clip: No. 17 – Vendor signaling to come along and taste cheese

Second clip: No. 1, 8, 12 – signs of different booths

Third clip: No. 67, 28, 6 – clips of cheese

Fourth clip: No. 57 – WSU creamery representative

Fifth clip: No. 51, 50 – woman chopping bread, cut to woman talking about bread

Sixth clip: No. 49, 52 – signs of different booths

Seventh clip: No. 63, 64 – man doing magic tricks

Eighth clip: No. 23 – street performer

Ninth clip: No. 53, 60 – signs of different booths

Tenth clip: No. 59, 30 – cheese demonstration

Eleventh clip: No. 9, 10 – people talking about their experience at the festival, tasting

Last clip: No. 13 – people exiting the festival with their backs to the camera

The San Francisco Chronicle is another online newspaper that is experimenting with new designs and features to try and get a hold on the new journalism market.  I am often on its site, and I’ve always enjoyed its layout and simplicity.  I thought this week I’d check out how its reporters are using Twitter to direct readers to the site.

@Hawaii_Insider – bio:’s Aloha Friday columnist and Hawaii Insider blogger; former SF Chronicle Travel editor; lover of hula and all things Hawai’i.

@peterhartlaub – bio: Peter Hartlaub is the pop culture critic at the San Francisco Chronicle, reviews movies and video games and is founder/editor of the parenting blog The Poop.

@hankschulman – bio: Giants beat writer, San Francisco Chronicle

@JohnKingSFChron – bio: San Francisco Chronicle’s Urban Design Critic, looking at places and cityscapes as well as capital A Architecture.

@jbonne – bio: Wine Editor, SF Chronicle

I would like to do a video covering the University Street Fair.  I think it would be fun to showcase performers (balloon artists, painters, singers, jugglers, etc.), show the different food and craft venues and interview visitors and sellers.

Similarly, I think it would be fun to cover the cheese festival going on at Pike Place Market.  I have never been and would like to see what the event is all about.  I could talk to the cheese makers, tasters, etc.




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