Life According to Krista

workshop Archive

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.


Feb 28

Aram Zucker-Schraff from the Office of Student Media talked about search engine optimization.

This is the act of getting your articles to the top of Google and other search engines.

Title, description, and keywords are all the most important things for search engine optimization.

The description tag is a summary of what your site/article is about. On WordPress you would use the excerpt box. Make sure you put keywords that people will search in this box. The keywords tab also helps people view your site when searching for specific phrases. Talk about events, locations, products, people, companies, and yourself in these keywords.

Pick niche keywords to get more web traffic. Be specific in your selection of keywords.

Link to and from your website. This helps . Link events to homepages, locations, about, and more. Link related content. This can help increase your web traffic because people who look at the blogs you site may end up looking at your site as well.

If you’re talking about a person, link to their Twitter, Linked-In, or other sites about them. If you are talking about a company link to their product page.

Link with transparency and common sense. Make sure everything you link is related to your blog somehow and use the correct words to link the sites.

PageRank is used by Google to determine relevance of your site to certain terms. The more people that look at your site or link to your site, the higher your page is rated.

“.edu” sites get a higher rank from PageRank.

If someone links to your site, you will get a higher ranking on PageRank. The higher the page rank of the site that links to yours, the higher up you will be on the search engine.

Ask friends to link to specific articles on your site. You can also use Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc. to link to your articles and boost your ranking. Do not use sites that say they will help your ranking. List your sites on Googleplus to significantly raise your site search-ability. Google will penalize you for trying to cheat the system.

Google Webmaster tools, Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Website Grader are all important sites to see what search engines think about your website.

Be consistent in tagging your posts.