Is blogging journalism?

April 27, 2010

“Ultimately, then, bloggers may be linked intricately with mainstream journalism, in fact, this might lead to a situation which could be described as schizophrenic rather than symbiotic, as such blogger/journalists must contend with the conflicting ethics and values of their two news publishing environments.” –Axel Burns

In the article, an argument that bloggers “are more than just ticks and dung beetles feeding off of their journalist hosts.” This is absolutely absurd. I read the news as well as blogs. I don’t feel that bloggers steal and leech off of “real” news sources. Though I can agree the jobs of bloggers versus journalists are completely different.

Writing with the expectation that your piece will be in a newspaper or a magazine is different for writing for a blog. There are different standards, definitely. For a piece to be in print, representative of a publishing company, it needs to be well written, well sourced, and very accurate. I feel that is the main difference between writing for a print source and an online source.

With a blog, you can cite another news source while writing your article, leave out quotes, and borrow pictures. People might think this is stealing, but I feel bloggers just spread the word. If I read something interesting on a blog, I’ll go directly to the first source of information for more.

And, bloggers are creative in the way they write; that’s pretty much why people visit blogs and read their stories. It’s a quick way to get your news during your busy day.

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THURSDAY APRIL 29, 2010 12:06 p.m. update

So, I was in the last night to get celebratory milkshakes with a friend who recently got a job when another friend who was in the car was telling me how he read an article about how blogging is not journalism and how that sentiment was recently renewed by the happenings with Gizmodo and the lost Apple iPhone 4G.

Well, needless to say I looked it up and am going to argue it right now.

In this Betanews article, Joe Wilcox says Gizmodo was wrong for paying money for the lost iPhone prototype. At Gizmodo, they leaked video and photos of the new-gen phone while listing new features of the phone. As most of us know, Apple is very very successful with keeping the hype of their new products by releasing nothing. Allowing them to be the first jobs to break the word–think the wildly tuned in iPad conference that people tuned in to blogs for minute-to-minute updates.

Wilcox says: “Perhaps this marks the distinction between bloggers and journalists. I would have contacted Apple about returning a device so obviously stolen. There is grave difference between obtaining secret information for the public good and what Gizmodo did: Obtain property containing trade secrets belonging to a public company. Gizmodo has violated the public trust and broken the law. Free speech isn’t a right to pay freely for something clearly stolen.”

I mean, I don’t think it’s right to support Checkbook Journalism because as a journalist I strongly uphold to ethics. I will not pay for a source because ultimately when money is involved there’s room for ugliness. There is no longer objectivity or neutral circumstances. That is basic journalism.

However, if I received the iPhone in the mail or on my doorstep I would contemplate releasing it on to the Web. But, I don’t think Gizmodo did anything wrong in releasing in the photos and videos. I mean that’s what they’re expected to do. They tailor to the die-hard tech fans who expect them to provide the first scoop. How they got the phone might have been questionable, but this is definitely breaking news.. it’s journalism. It’s a new form. People who speak against this evolution of news will be left behind.

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Final Video Project

April 25, 2010

It worked. YAY!

Well, it was more time consuming than I expected, but an overall good experience. I wanted to do something different, so I ended up taking 300+pictures for a stop motion introduction to my video. It was really fun to put together until my computer got mad at me and deleted the file. That was iMovie 09’s fault, essentially. There is a new feature where there’s no “Save” or “Save As” option because it supposedly saves itself. FALSE. After a day’s work putting together the stop motion part of the video… it was all gone after trying to transfer it to a quicker computer with a thumb drive. So, now, I tried uploading the FINALLLLY finished product onto YouTube via iMovie because that is the one option… it says it may take several minutes or a couple hours. I’m going to puke from all this stress.

Overall, I’m happy with the result & learned a lot while doing it. Mostly, to embrace iMovie 08 and forget about the high-tech stuff.

Video Production 101

April 15, 2010

We want to avoid incessantly moving views, movement from object to object, fast zooms, shots with too much sky or floor, and people who seem too close to the edge of the screen. These are the mistakes made on vacation videos.

Talk the talk:

Framing a shot
means determining what you want to include in the shot in terms of aspect ratio, field of view, vectors, composition, and psychological closure.

Aspect Ratio
The standard aspect ratio is 4 x 3–four units wide, 3 units high. Digital Television (DTV) allows a switch between the standard 4 x 3 and the 16 x 9 ratio of widescreen HDTV.

Field of View
reflects the camera’s closeness to the viewer, or how much of the “field” is in front of you in the shot.

Different kinds of shots… diverting from Field of View:
1. bust shot – upper part of person
2. knee shot – knee up
3. two-shot – two people or objects
4. three-shot – three people or objects
5. over-the-shoulder shot – camera looks O/S of another person nearer to the camera
6. cross shot – looking alternately at one or the other person. The camera-near person is completely out of the shot.

Vectors
are directional forces with various strengths.

Different kinds of vectors:
1. graphic vectors – lines created by objects that case you to look in a particular direction
2. index vectors – created by something that points unquestionable in a certain direction, such as an arrow or one-way-street. More definite.
3. motion vectors – created by moving object. People walking, cars speeding, or bird in flight.

Composition
“Our perceptual faculties are always striving to stabilize the chaotic world around us.”

Factors include:
1. subject placement – the most stable is screen-center placement.

–too much headroom exerts weird force.
–keep in mind picture loss when framing
–pay attention to noseroom when the person is turned towards one of the TV’s edges. If there is no space between the nose and screen edge, the person seems glued to it.
leadroom … don’t want to just introduce a laternally moving subject abruptly.

Psychological Closure
Combining visual cues or filling in missing visual information to arrive at a complete or stable configurations. Think about the example with the three dots… we picture a complete triangle.

Z-axis
The illusion of depth is created by placing an object along this axis. You can therefore define the distinct foreground, middleground, and background.

–with a wide-angle position, the Z-axis seems elongated, people look farther away.
–with a narrow-angle position, the Z-axis looks shorter than it is.

Depth of field
objects are widely scatter along the z-axis are all in focus. The range of distance where it’s sharp.

There is a lot to think about with video production. I feel like it would be better to get extraneous shots just so I could possibly use various material to fill in the gaps into shots. I want to make my video easy to watch. Since I’ll be speaking with various people again I want to make the same introductions for everyone. I was thinking of taking pictures of them… in the same setting–probably one of the blank walls of my living room. Just a couple bust shots… that will look identical to each other… introduce them like that… then have their video. I don’t think I’ll want to stick with the same job theme, but ask them questions like..
-what was your favorite moment in the past four years
-advice?

I’m hoping the end product of all these footage will be simple and a pleasure to watch :].