I started teaching multimedia journalism and digital news gathering at San Francisco State University in late August. I won’t tell you all the lessons I have learned and weaknesses revealed to me and others in the past two months. No use dwelling on these things: fix what can be controlled and do your best to remedy the rest.
The classes are a return for me to the backpack, MOJO days. I started as a reporter with a camera and switched to writing (no use calling it “print” journalism anymore) because pen and paper were easier for me. I’m not an artist and fail at lighting to the degree that my best advice usually boils down to don’t shoot btw noon-2 pm, turn off the ugly lamps and put your person near a window in low-light situations. However, I love shooting video and audio and love even more editing it.
But I keep having to pull myself back from treading straight into data journalism because infographics/data visualization don’t seem to be counted as multimedia. I’m just still trying to pin down exactly what multimedia is — or could be — now.
So I wrote this post on the class blog I keep (it mirrors blogs the students in my classes keep as well at my insistence). I’m planning to teach them video animation, JSTimeline, Meograph, simple Google Fusion maps and we’ll build a Bootstrap site or use a tarbell template.
Why do the two worlds of data and multimedia feel separate, and isolated? Why don’t I hear much cross-platform discussions? Maybe I have to listen closer.