Life According to Krista

May 08

Are You Linked In?

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Here are some tips on using LinkedIn and getting more contacts.

May 08

Sometimes college students have trouble choosing a major because they don’t know what they want to do with their lives.

No worries. Just set a goal for what you want your first job to look like and go from there!

May 06

These are some of the best websites for student journalists to help further their career.

Apr 23

Sub Radio Standard

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Check out our website on the band Sub Radio Standard!  They will be performing at Mason Day on Friday, April 27.

Apr 23

Jobs in the journalism field can be tough to find, but there is a website set up for doing just that! The site helps cater to people with different talents and evaluate what could be a good potential job for them.

Mar 22

Scott Horvath from USGS came to talk to our class about social media and making a brand for yourself

Here are some of the social media tips he lectured our online journalism class about:

  • What you do on social media is creating your own brand. You must manage your reputation so that employers find you to be a good “brand” to choose. Social media and getting a job is all about selling yourself.
  • Some ways USGS tries to connect to their audience is through contests, brand management, good customer service, science education, etc.
  • Some sites he mentioned were Flickr, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Google Plus, and Reddit (and other online forums).
  • Everything on your social media website will add up. Employers will look at these sites to generate a picture of you to see if you fit their criteria.
  • The lifetime of a tweet is about 6-8 hours before it starts to drop off the front page. Keep retweeting information so your followers get your messages!
  • “The Internet isn’t written in pencil.. it’s written in ink.” You can never undo something you have put online, so make sure you are careful with what you put up!

In a nutshell, be careful what you put up online. It will be lost in cyberspace and is no longer in your control once you put information out there.

Mar 22

Scientists are finding chimps may be even smarter than they had originally gathered.

They are now apparently teaching their young how to communicate with humans in a way.

The chimpanzees make “attention getting sounds” to initially get their caregiver’s attention, then go on to use sign language or other means of communication to get their messages across.

Mar 22

The viral video of Dutch engineer Jarno Smeets flying like a bird is being questioned by many. They don’t see how it is possible to have such advanced technology to have a man-powered flying machine.


Mar 20

Paul King, the Public Relations Coordinator from the Office of Media and Public Relations at George Mason spoke about multimedia in journalism.

He started off by saying that not all news stories are suited for video. Some are better in print or even as audio.

This lead to a conversation about audio and how it is crucial to have good sound in a video. It is easier to fix a shaky video than it is to fix bad audio. This is so important that it is a main

Here are some of the other tips King gave for shooting video:

  • Get five shots of your subject. Just make sure you get some wide shots and some tight shots; variation is important to add good visuals to your video.
  • When you interview people, have a good background and check to be sure there is good lighting for the camera.
  • Before you go out to interview someone, call them or talk to them to make sure they will be a good subject to interview.
  • Flip Cameras are great because they’re easy to use and pick up good audio, but you have to have very good lighting to make it look good.
  • News deadlines are fast paced, while documentaries are more relaxed and you can go back to people for more interviews or tweak the video as much as you would like.
  • You want sound bites from different people that intertwine to make sense as a whole.
  • If you are not going to do a voice over yourself, you can always use one of the people you interviews voices.
  • Vimeo and Youtube are great websites to share your videos.
  • Music is a great tool as background noise in a video. You can purchase rights to a song to use in your video from sites such as Pond5.
  • After Effects is a great tool to use to add an introduction and ending to your video.

One of the most crucial things in a video is gaining the audience’s attention. The Washington Post and The New York Times have both done studies on the attention spans of people watching news clips, and this typically lasts about 2 minutes long. In saying this, it is important that your news story does not exceed this limit.

King also gave tips for the college student going out into the workforce. He claims that

“Internships are some of the most important things you can get in college,”

and that you should work hard for opportunities to get experience and internships. Some other tips he gave included:

  • Keeping business cards from people you meet because you never know when they might be able to help you with a story.
  • Have a blog on WordPress with your portfolio, writing samples and demo reels that employers can see as well as a Twitter account.
  • Write about things that will always be relevant, even if they are directed to a local place.

He ended by telling us to be courageous as journalists and to never be afraid to talk to people. The worst thing they could do is decline an interview.

Mar 20

The BBC 5 Shot method is an easy way to create a sequence of shots that can be used for a story over and over again.

The British broadcasting system was the company that started using these photo sequences.

The five shots include:

  • Medium shot to establish the sequence. It will start with someone talking or something going on. Jake recommends it is sedintary and the camera will stay still.
  • Closeup shot to establish the people in the video.
  • Hands shot or an action shot of what your subject is doing.
  • Over the shoulder shot to show the subject interacting with another person.
  • A shot panning over the area of the venue.

He recommends using the sequence for something that is constant and repetitive to get the sequence of shots.

The five shot method is one of the easiest ways to get good video and create a video story.