I have a confession to make: I’m not a multimedia journalist. I don’t keep a blog; I don’t go out of my way to make videos to tell stories; I don’t instinctively live tweet events or editorial updates, and I don’t even know what half of the functions are on my DSLR. I prefer to write and to develop the story through words and grammar, which is way more in my comfort zone. There’s just something about writing and seeing it on paper that I like, and adjusting the scrubber on Final Cut Pro just doesn’t do it for me. But I figured since I’m still working towards my degree, it’s as good of a time as any to learn a few things. I mean, it is still school, right?
Confession number two: I was very hesitant at first to check out a Zi8 and do some filming, because, let’s be real, I sucked. I don’t have the “eye” that some people have for lighting and shot lists, so each assignment was more frustrating than fun, but I managed to make it through.
After the audio slideshow and the first video, I remembered that in the first day or so of class we were told that this was our chance to try out different media forms because this term was all about experimenting for us students. Biggest relief of the term.
I tried video storytelling about grooming a horse for a show, creating an interactive map on Google, and even doing a social media analysis of different barns on different forms of social media, and even though they aren’t professionally produced, I’ll admit that I learned a lot from my “experiments.”
One of the most challenging things about this term-long project was figuring out how to sustain and develop the story without being too repetitive. When I made my way out to the barn on the weekends, I discovered that most of my videos and photos look close to identical as the media I got the week before. The riders at the barn were learning new things and the arena was set up differently and so much was happening, but I still had trouble capturing it accurately on camera and I couldn’t figure out how to tell a new story for that week.
I realize now that although the projects fit in well with the time frame that was given to me, there was not much room for long-term development. I covered different areas of the barn and horse showing, but without much actually story development on my end of the blog by connecting with more specific people and horses. As a journalist, and a reader, following a narrative style of blogging might have led to more story options further down the road if I wanted to continue the horse showing beat.
Looking back, I wish I could have explored a larger variety of assignments each week, like creating a virtual tour of a barn, photo inventory of the riding tack and supplies, and rider/horse profiles, because it would have given my blog feed a greater variety.
Regardless, with a (slight) nudge from the class authority, I still learned many new ways of storytelling on the digital platform that I would have otherwise ignored. I still wouldn’t consider myself a multimedia journalist, but that world isn’t so foreign anymore.