Video: Working With Video

I do admit that I have very little experience when it comes to video journalism so I have tried my best to get as broad a range of information as possible on this topic. I have included:

(PICTURE: vimeo.com)

(PICTURE: vimeo.com)

Information on cameras:

A couple of how to’s, tips and myths about working with video:

And longer form tutorials:

What experience do you have with video cameras? What tips can you share with us? What’s the best advice you can give someone new to video cameras? Please share.

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Photojournalism: Photography Basics

Before you can start taking photos, it is important to understand a few photography basics. I found a great series of posts about the basics of photography on Lifehacker:

(PICTURE: newsblogs.chicagotribune.com)

(PICTURE: newsblogs.chicagotribune.com)

In addition, you can also read:

Audio: Tips for gathering audio

Great quality audio recordings are very important particularly if you are uploading your audio recording as a podcast, using it for a radio news bulletin and/or using it for an audio slideshow. Here are a couple of tips you can use when gathering audio for your story:

(PICTURE: facebook.com)

(PICTURE: facebook.com)

  1. It is important to know and understand your audio recording equipment before collecting any audio or conducting any interview.
  2. Always be aware of any background noise that might be picked up by your audio recorder. Always try to take your interviewee to a quiet place or a place where there is less background noise.
  3. Take note of any ambient sound that might contribute to your story. Ambient sound is useful because it helps set the scene in the mind of the listener and also provides for a more colourful audio story, instead of an audio story filled with endless talking.
  4. Let your interviewee do all the talking while he or she is answering your question. Do not fill that piece of the audio recording with your “okays” and “uh-huhs”. This will only create problems during the editing process. If you do want to acknowledge that you are listening and paying attention to your interviewee just make strong eye contact and nod while he or she is answering your question. Do not add on to what the interviewee is saying. Listeners want to hear the interviewee, not you.
  5. If you can, make note of any key points made during the interview and the point (time on your recording) it was made. This is especially useful in cases where you need to edit your work quickly.
  6. Always make sure that your recorder is recording before and during the interview. If you can, make notes while you are recording in case your recorder does not end up recording.
  7. Make sure that you have enough memory on or tape for your recorder and also make sure that your recorder is fully charged or that you have brought enough batteries along with you.
  8. Do not place your recorder on any hard surfaces that might result in noise during your recording. If you are collecting audio within a controlled environment, an environment with soften surfaces is preferable.
  9. Your interviewee should never hold the recorder.
  10. If it is a controlled environment, always brief your interviewee before the interview.
  11. Ask your interviewee if he or she has anything extra to add after the interview. This is usually where additional valuable information collected.
  12. Be natural, be conversational. This will help with the flow of the interview and help the interviewee to relax.
  13. However, if you have limited time to collect the audio, get straight to the point.
  14. If you are going to have difficulty identifying the interviewees in your audio during the editing process, ask them to introduce themselves at the beginning of the recording.
  15. Wear headphones while recording. When you wear headphones you can pick up on how the audio sounds and so, also, better judge and adjust the quality of the audio.

Do you have any other tips that you would like to add? Do you have any stories you can share with us about lessons learnt while gathering audio? Please share with us.

Data Journalism: Tools For Data Journalism

Just like with blogging and social media, you need to know which tools are available for you to use for data journalism:

10 Tools That Help Data Journalists Do Better Work, Be More Efficient

Data Journalists Discuss Their Tools Of Choice

Additional read:

Three Key Players You’ll Need To Build A Data Journalism Team

Do you use any of these tools? How do you find it? Do you know of alternatives to the tools mentioned?

Good reads

Here are some more good reads:

YouTube Adds Embeddable Subscribe Buttons

New Approaches To Online Video At The Wall Street Journal

Twitter Has New Smartphone Search Function

Flipboard Launches Its Mobile Magazines On The Web

How To Use Tabs In Gmail

Portfolio Site Pressfolios Launches In Public Beta

Nine Best Free Image Editors

The Complete Guide To Twitter Lingo

What interesting articles have you read lately? Do share.

Good Reads

Two of the blogs/websites that I follow, a list I will put up soon, includes Mashable and ReadWrite. These tow websites are the go-to sources of information on all things involving technology and social media. I decided to upload a few interesting reads linked to the content on this blog.

5 Design Tips To Boost Blog Conversions

Facebook Introduces Photo Comments For Pages

Twitter’s Verified Users: How They All Connect

Watch Out Facebook: Why Google and Pinterest Are Gaining As Social Rivals

Time To Change Your Tumblr Password – Immediately

13 Ways To Print Your Instagram Photos

Instagram Sets Its Photos and Videos Free Via Embeds

How To Make News Readers Work for You

Instagram May Be Strangling Vine Now, But The Fight Is Far From Over

Four Tips and Tricks For Pinterest Addicts

Google + Turns Two: Why I’m Becoming A Convert

The Killer Feature In Instagram’s New Videos Isn’t What You Think It Is

How Instagram Remade Photography (And Could It Do The Same For Video)

How Video Gives Instagram A Split Personality

Watch Your Twitter Life Flash Before Your Eyes

Pinterest: One Man’s Journey

Excel Is An Art Form: These Beautiful Images Are Proof

Do you subscribe to Mashable and ReadWrite as well? Which one is your favourite? Do you know of similar sites that we might find useful?

HTML and CSS: Writing basic HTML and CSS

I am a Journalism Honours graduate and I’m in no way, shape or form close to being considered very knowledgeable on all things IT and programming. However, when I was job-hunting and grew interest in multimedia journalism vacancies, I found that one requirement that they mentioned as advantageous was basic knowledge of HTML and CSS. I then downloaded a free e-book and taught myself how to do very basic HTML and CSS and here I am six months later with very basic knowledge on using HTML and CSS to create your own webpage. Sadly, I am yet to finish the dummy site that I have been playing around with but I think I have done quite okay for a journalism graduate who’s learnt HTML and CSS in a span of six months (this is in my own opinion though lol).

Anyway, it’s now time to learn how to do basic HTML and CSS coding. The HTML and CSS that I am familiar with is the older standard (XHTML and CSS) before the creation of the new HTML 5 and CSS 3, which I am also learning how to do at the moment. So, the video I have posted is still in accordance with old W3C standards but can still be used for writing and creating webpages.

Source: NeaceDesign

Here are a few basic things to keep in mind when writing HTML and CSS code:

  • <html> and </hmtl> – tells the browser that you are writing HTML (it shows the beginning and end of HTML on a page)
  • <head> and </head> – shows the beginning and end of the header
  • <title> and </title> – show the beginning and end of a page title
  • <body> and </body> show the beginning and end of the body of text for your HTML
  • <h1> to <h6> and </h1> to </h6> – indicate the beginning and end of the headings in your HTML, with <h1> being your most important and biggest heading and <h6> being your least important and smallest heading.
  • <p> and </p> shows the beginning and end of a paragraph

It is very important to “tell” your browser that it is dealing with an HTML document. You do this by adding the following at the beginning of your .html file in Notepad or TextEditor:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC”//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd”&gt;

This will then be followed by the rest of your code.

What is also important to add is that your opening html tag (<html>) needs to be written as:

<html xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml&#8221; lang=”en” xml:lang=”en”>

You also need to add what is called a <meta> tag in your <html> tag. You write this as:

<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=ISO-8859-l”>

This specifies the language used on your page. In this case you are telling your browser to use English or “Latin” languages.

Inside your <head> opening and closing tags you will also include your link to your external stylesheet:

<link type=”text/css” rel=”stylesheet” href=”yourfilename.css” />

You will then write up all the information that will be included in your stylesheet in your .css Notepad or TextEdit file as was shown in the video).

So, to sum up the structure of a basic HTML file, it will be:

  • DOCTYPE information at the top of your .html file
  • This is followed by your <html> opening tag. Remember, your opening tag (<html>) and closing tag (</html> contains both your <head> and <body> tags.
  • You then open up your <head> tag, which includes your <title> tag, <meta> tag and <link> tag. You then close this tag using </head>.
  • Then, you open your <body> tag, which holds any information that includes your blog’s content. This will generally be placed between your heading tags (<h1> to <h6>, depending on how many headings you have) and your paragraph tags (<p> and </p>). of course you can also include things like lists, quotes, blockquotes, etc, which you will learn about later.
  • Once you have written all the content of your blog, you close your body tag using </body>
  • You then close off your html tag using </html>

It is important to note, though, that the DOCTYPE, <meta> tag and <link> tag are simplified with HTML 5:

  • Your <!DOCTYPE> is simplified to <!doctype html>
  • Your <meta> tag is simplified to <meta charset=”utf-8″>
  • Your <link> tag is simplified to <link rel=”stylesheet” href=”yourfilename.css”>

Moving onto CSS, your CSS code will contain:

  • what it is in your HTML coding that you want to style (the location)
  • what it is about that that you want to style (the property)
  • how you want to style it (style to apply)

So, for example, if you CSS code reads:

p {

color: purple;

}

Then you have:

  • p means that you have selected that you want to style everything between the paragraphs tags in your HTML coding
  • color means that it is the font that you plan on styling
  • purple means that you want to style the font purple

Some of the most common properties  are:

  • color: to style fonts
  • top, bottom, left or right: to position elements at the top, bottom, left or right of your webpage
  • text-align: aligning text to the left, right or center
  • letter-spacing: to set the spacing between your letters
  • background-color: to set the colour of your background
  • font-weight: used to control the weight of your text (normal or bold)
  • border: to insert and style borders
  • font-style: to make text italic or oblique
  • line-height: controls the line spacing of your text
  • margins: sets margin space
  • list-style: control the styling of list items
  • font-size: controls the size of your text
  • background-image: inserts an image in the background

You will of course learn more about this as we go on.

With your first actual lesson on writing basic HTML and CSS, what do you think? Is it easy or difficult? Did the way the video explain it make sense? Did the way I broke it down make sense? Would you like to have more simpler explanations on this? Please share.