Category Archives: Reflections

Reflection 8

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* How has the feedback you’ve had in workshops changed your approach to the main assignments you’re producing?

My feedback in workshops has helped me to develop my ideas into pieces that would be more unique to me. Also it has helped me to focus on niche audiences which was my initial focus for this module. I have been able, due to feedback, to find stronger sources of data and ways to get direct quotes.

* How well do you feel you’ve managed your time over the last nine weeks?

I feel I have managed my time well and am looking to further develop my research section of my blog to track what extra work I have done to contribute to my final assignment decisions.

* If you could go back to week one and give yourself some advice to help you out with the module, what would you tell yourself?

My advice to myself would be to research different ways of publishing online. Mainly subjects around images online and how they are used. Also the software and technology that helps journalists to report and write, for example smartphones.

 

Reflection 7

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* Why is curation useful in the age of digital journalism?

In this day and age most journalistic content is published online using competing sources like;

  • Twitter/Facebook/Social Networks
  • YouTube/Vimeo/Online Videos
  • Blogs
  • Photo sharing service
  • Traditional News Sites

Each of these may contain fragments of a possible story. Therefore using a curation in the age of journalism help to bring together these fragments into a coherent home. It does this by creating and shaping stories from lots of different sources of data.

* List articles have been around for a long time – but what do you think are some of the main reasons they are popular online?

List articles are popular online as most people in this day an age scan information rather than actually reading it. Therefore creating List Articles can be;

  • A strong “call to action”- fulfilling a need of the reader
  • They are often practical containing tips and instructions
  • They have short nuggets of information readers may not know
  • They are packed with information, but few thrills
  • They cater to shorter attention spans
  • They are easy to format in print, or online
  • They have tempting titles that drive traffic to sites or make readers buy magazines

* How do you feel you are progressing with the development of your first assignment? What problems have you encountered and solved?

As my assignment is based on contacting upcoming artists it has been difficult as they are always busy. Not only with working on their hopeful careers but most importantly schooling and day to day life. I have solved these by using more personal and conventional ways of contacting them by messaging on Facebook etc. However, I feel  I am progressing as daily I am finding out more about the people I am writing about, whether it be related to their talents or not.

 

Reflection 6

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When creating a pitch I think it is necessary in the development process of an article because:

  • More time to form better ideas
  • Create an enticing structure
  • Gives the person you are pitching too an incite of the points you will make
  • Time to think what makes your story popular. ( in relation to my pitch some sort of hardship or struggle for the artists would interest the public more)
  • Helps to initiate ideas for primary and secondary sources.

When gathering material for different stages of your assignment a smart phone is the best tool to have because:

  • Smart phone have between 5 and 8 megapixels on the cameras
  • They provide instant publication to websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Easy post production e.g.) cropping and resizes images
  • Convenient
  • Discreet
  • Most printed newspapers have spotted the popularity of the smartphone and created Apps to make news more accessible.
  • Smartphone can take notes, verbal or text
  • voice record
  • make calls store contacts and information
  • schedule and plan

Here is an example of a news story with video footage filmed on a Smartphone. With very little text the story helps to convey the human story and show the audience how the event actually happened. If the video was not there it would not have the same effect.

Reflection 5

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Following on from last weeks tasks and lectures, personally I found that the sub-editing section of the seminar helped me to not only persevere with the development of my work but also improve it. I did this by shortening sentences to make them more precise and easier to read. I also included some primary source material from a staff nurse working at one of the hospitals that was under scrutiny by the press. This helped my piece to have more human emotion helping my audience to get a true feeling from the people that downgrades and redundancies are affecting .

Too improve your posts by adding images, here is how to do it;

  • Firstly click your cursor anywhere in the text where you want your image to be
  • Click the media icon ‘Add Media’
  • Then Click on ‘Media Library’
  • Choose the picture you want to use and click ‘Show’
  • Choose where you want it to sit ‘Left, Centre or Right’
  • Choose the size you want your image to be
  • Then Click ‘Insert into post’

To edit the image after posting just click on the image and again choose from the options available to modify it in your post.

Most photographic images online are JPEG or Joint Photographic Experts Group images, the reasons for this are;

  • JPEG supports 16.7 million colour per image
  • It is accepted as a default format for photos on the web
  • its aggressive compression makes file sizes smaller
  • it is supported in all major web browsers
  • Many cameras can write images

Reflection 4

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Primary and secondary sources 

The difference between primary and secondary sources are;

A primary source is material that you gather yourself.

Primary sources may be:

* Quotes from an interview you conducted yourself.

* Data from polls you conducted yourself

* Information from statistics, reports or white papers.

* Material directly gathered via social media.

* Media that you created yourself – including photographs.

A secondary source is an article, document or report that is used as source material for another article.

Secondary sources may be:

* Quotes used from newspaper articles.

* Information from blogs or online sources

* Quotes from books, documentaries or other narrative sources.

* Material found on social media

Primary sourcing is vital to a story because you get the human story and the person’s true opinions and feelings. It shows good journalism skills and demonstrates your ability to communicate with members of the public. This give your reader an insight on peoples opinions on the subject area you are writing about.

When discussing interviews the things that stood out to me was the fact that journalists can now use Skype as a source of interviewing. These Skype calls can be recorded for future use using two easy methods, these are;

Method One – costs 1.6p per minute

* Buy some credit on Skype and call your interviewee’s phone number.

* Record the interview.

Method Two – free

* If your interviewee has Skype – you can make a “Skype-to-Skype” call, for free.

* Record the interview.

The advantages of using Skype are that it is ready to edit and can be used online with no messing around with discs or cables.

Reflection 3

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The main differences that I have noticed between traditional printed context and online context is…

The layout is different, printed context follows this structure;

  • Head (or Title)
  • Strap
  • Byline
  •  Body

* Sub Heading or Cross Heading every 300-400 words

* Page length – 1200 – 1600 words (broadsheet)

* Page length – 750 – 1000 words (magazine)

Online context follows this structure;

  • Head (or Title)
  •  Strap
  • Byline
  • Body

* Page lengths – 250 – 750 words HALF the word count or less of print

* Sub Heading or Cross Headings are more frequent

* Multimedia content breaks up text

The article structure that both traditional print and online content is called the ‘inverted pyramid’. Here is an example.

Most Newsworthy Information,

Who, What, Where, When, Why, How?

|

Important Details

|

Other General Information & Background Information

Also newspapers are often read folded in two. Because of this editors would place big stories at the top of the page “above the fold”. The same terminology is used in digital journalism.

However, online writing styles use concise simple language and avoid ‘marketing’ jargon. Also shorter sentences are used so it sounds more conversational and stay on the readers level. In addition to this headings are made more descriptive and simple to draw the readers attention.

When it comes to the publishing process sub-editors have to read an article before it is released to the public. This is called ‘subbing’ and it is said that a good sub-editor reads a story FIVE times.

Some good websites to help guide sub-editors when processing text is Jounalism.co.uk. The website provides one-day online sub-editing course aimed at anyone who has to edit copy for a living and who wants to adapt to the brave new online world. It also offers practical guidance on optimising content for the web in a people and search-engine friendly way.

This one-day intensive course will cover:

  • Adapting and marketing the skills you already have
  • Building confidence in handling web stories
  • The principal differences between subbing for print and subbing for websites
  • Content management systems (CMS), and how they work (although please note we will not be teaching any particular program as software will vary between workplaces)
  • Search engine optimisation techniques (SEO) – how to attract traffic and make sure readers find your stories easily
  • Best practice for hyperlinking
  • How to tag your story and enter other metadata
  • How to write web-friendly headlines – writing heads for the web requires different skills and different thinking to writing for print
  • Creating a story as part of a well-presented online package
  • The legal pitfalls to avoid – brush up on your media law for a digital age

I chose to reference this website because I feel that it not only helps sub-editors already in the industry, but gives aspiring sub-editors an idea of what it takes to become one and how easy it is to get experience online.

“People rarely read Web pages word by word; instead, they scan the page, picking out individual words and sentences. In research on how people read websites we found that 79% of our test users always scanned any new page they came across; only 16% read word-by-word.”

Jakob Nielsen – Nielsen Norman Group –  http://www.nngroup.com/

Jakob Nielson meant by this quote that web users scan rather than read, so therefore writers need to;

  • Make the headline and strap informative rather than clever
  • Use shorter paragraphs (one idea per paragraph)
  • Break up the copy with shorter, frequent and informative cross headers
  • Use block quotes (from a source in the middle of a copy) and callouts (Containing a juicy snippet)
  • Use lists
  • Use multimedia to tell the story

Reflection 2

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I have had many difficulties using Word Press. The first being tweaking my blog to customise my header with these instructions;

1. Go to the Dashboard for your blog.

2. Click “Appearance”.

3. Choose “Header”.

4. Find the line that says: “Images of exactly (w) × (h) pixels will be used as-is.”

5. Note down the value of “(w) × (h) pixels” (for example, it may be 940 x 120 pixels).

6. Make your header image or logo in Photoshop, Illustrator or other tool of your choice – using the dimensions that you noted down.

7. Save it in an appropriate format (JPEG for photographic imagery, PNG for everything else) to your local drive.

8. Go back to “Appearance > Header” in your Word Press blog’s Dashboard.

9. Upload the image you created.

10. If the image is bigger than the available area, you’ll be prompted to crop it down.

11. Publish the new header image.

However finding the section which gave me the correct width and height was difficult as it presented the measurements in pixels, so look out for this!

Also I found it difficult to make custom menus in Word Press, but the online video helped me to understand how to create them, sub categorise them and remove them with ease. My blog is still in the process of development and I am still learning how to use word press to my advantage, so I have kept the layout simple and open for change. I was confused on how to sub categorise as I don’t have enough pages and posts to interlink them yet, but once I do I think it will be a great tool for followers to get to the pages and posts they want.

So far I am happy with the aesthetics of my site and hope to create more posts relevant to my niche audience. I have completely changed the theme of my site and uploaded my first picture instead of having it as a header. I also think the colour scheme is more appealing that the last one as it is more bright and endearing.