Well, it is that time already. The semester has ended, and with a bang! Literally. There were fireworks last night!
When I first started this semester, I felt like I was reaching for what my sister calls the “Super high unreachable cupcake in the sky”. Not unlike Sully here, the end of the semester and a decent grade felt like a hamburger making me salivate but that was completely far away.
As this semester has progressed, I have learned more about multi-media journalism than I ever knew before. I thought that I was just a writer, that is always how I have seen myself. People ask me what I do, and I have always answered firmly with “I am a writer. And no, that is not code for unemployed blogger, but I actually write things. Here is my business card (which of course is a napkin with a crayon scribble of my name and phone number because I live with a two year old and crayons have replaced pens in my life).” After taking this class, however, I see that you need to do so much more than write. The opportunities can be endless for a journalist who knows social media, blogging, photography, podcasts, and video package production. Writing is great, but multimedia journalism is important because it can show people instead of just telling them about a person or event.
One of my favorite things that we learned this year was making videos. I have always loved people watching, and making videos is like a memorable way to people watch. It has been so interesting and fun to learn that I can make a video that I am actually proud to share, and I can do it myself!
Another main thing I learned is the importance of a tripod. I am not a very steady person. I shake so much that I considered asking my doctor if something is wrong with me. However, I learned that with a tripod my life can be made easier. Also a heavier camera for some reason makes me less shaky, which is a very odd thing to know.
Additionally, I learned better interviewing skills this semester. With video and audio, you have to stop and really listen to what they are saying, and not interrupt. I don’t think I had issues interrupting before, but I have learned to become more comfortable with the awkward silences that fall when someone is thinking of an answer.
I also loved learning about making a podcast, and I learned a lot more. I already knew how to use Audacity, but I really wasn’t sure how to make an interview more compelling. Using the photos with it adds a whole new dimension that I really had not ever considered before.
This semester was extremely challenging. I struggled with finding interviews that would fit my work schedule and very hectic family life. It was a challenge to find someone who could meet me at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning for an interview because that was the only time I could do it, and sometimes the people cancelled. I had to learn how to think on my feet and find someone else quickly. It was frustrating because I would have my interview questions ready, storyboarded in my head, and then it would crumble like a house of cards.
Overall, despite the challenges of pulling all-nighters to edit and finish my lightning talks, this was a great semester. Many of the things that I have learned are things that I have gotten to start using at my current job (we are doing videos now! and audio interviews! and using Storify for humor posts!). Even though this has had big projects, this has been one of my favorite classes this semester.
So farewell! Bon voyage! Arivaderci! As the dolphins said: “Farewell and thanks for all the fish!”