Learning Media Technology
The popularity of home computers has led to a grassroots movement in journalism that allows people everywhere to present the news of the day, right from home. Little formal training, if any, is necessary.
While some people see the good in this situation, others frown upon the entire concept. Regardless of which side of the fence an aspiring journalist sits on, a little effort should be devoted to learning media technology.
In it’s most basic form, media technology requires pen and paper. Recorders of one kind or another can be useful, too. These age-old journalistic tools go where computers are not yet able to go. There’s not much to learn here, since almost anyone interested in journalism, on any scale, is probably a bit of a bookworm and is proficient with pen and paper, if not yet so proficient with a recorder.
Photojournalism involves pictures, which add a new and valuable dimension to every story. Some of us are quite comfortable with pen and paper but learning media technology that involves cameras gets the best of us. That’s OK. Most successful news stories are covered by teams, not individuals. Team up with a friend who’s good with a camera and off you go!
Many budding journalists turn to local newspapers to print their stories. After all, newspapers have been reporting the latest scoop for centuries. But today’s budding journalist has other options, although they, too, require learning media technology that’s a little more complicated than handing over well-written hard copy to an editor.
In many areas, cable access TV stations make it possible for local reporters to present their work to viewers watching television at home. In this situation, learning media technology requires some familiarity with TV journalism and its techniques but stage presence plays an important role, too.
Cable access TV can be nice. And fun. But some of us aspire to larger audiences. We look to the computer, internet, and a worldwide audience to spread the news.
It’s here where learning media technology can get a little tricky but, again, teamwork is a beautiful thing. Assemble a team of like-minded individuals but make sure each person has a unique area of expertise. Look for someone who can research, write, and report the story; someone good with a camera to film the report and any background material; and a third team member who can upload it all to the internet successfully and you’re ready for the big time. Or, at least, ready for worldwide exposure.