BJ Koubaroulis- Guest Speaker

7 04 2011

BJ Koubaroulis, a sports journalist for the DC and Northern Virginia, came to Kleins 361 class to emphasize the importance of videos. The new video era has ushered in a whole new wave of journalists, those who can write, take picture and most importantly edit video. Koubaroulis talked about how videos have taken his stories to a whole new level. Here’s an overview of Koubaroulis’ main points:

  • Video has been a life changing experience. Individuals can now harness the power of videos, you don’t need a camera crew; one guy with a video camera can make a difference. This tool allowed Koubaroulis to become a better writer, an example is his video accompanying his story on a high school football star.
  • Video illustrates that you could tell two stories within one story. Video allows more space for your story.
  • Audio is 70% of video. *Tip: Use a wireless microphone that only picks up local sound, which only picks up sound within five feet, and eliminates background noise.
  • If you take anything away from this class: Invest in yourself. Do a lot of different things: web, radio, TV, online, print. “I would do anything that people would let me do, and it’s all come back to help me very nicely.”
  • Media companies want to hire people that can do the jobs of five people. Learn HTML, learn social media, learn how to use the web. You are an accumulation of all these jobs. Do all of it, and you’ll be able to do the one thing you want to do.

  • A cool website that Koubaroulis admires: The Mason Tour
  • Four things you need to succeed: camera, computer, microphone, and to be ready to work hard.

*An accumulation of Koubaroulis’ work here, and his blog.

Joel Achenbach Article Response

6 02 2011

Joel Achenbach’s article from The Washington Post, “I Really Need You to Read This Article, Okay?” describes how our society is becoming less interested in print news and more interested in the instantaneous news the web brings.

No longer does a journalist have to wait for a response to his article, because he can check his page views and comments instantly online. It used to just take a journalists “gut instinct” to determine whether or not a story is newsworthy, now it is determined by how much online circulation it gets. Achenbach makes a great example when he says “What if it turns out that most readers are sick of Iraq, or don’t want any foreign news at all? Do you just toss it out? That’s not journalism, it’s marketing.”

I have to admit, I would probably click on a story that said “Britney’s Dog Menaced by Sharks,” because who wouldn’t want to see the crazy reaction that Britney probably had during that debacle? While we do love our tabloids, what we do or don’t click on in the instant that we scan our homepage news shouldn’t determine what is considered newsworthy. Journalists should never be “chasing readers,” they should be reporting on the stories around them.

A journalists responsibilities are not changing in my opinion, it will always be up to them to decide on what stories the world should know about. The platform on which they tell those stories are what is changing constantly. We now can add more pictures, hyperlinks, videos and additional websites to better tell a story.

As for the age of the newspaper slowly fading away, this may be true, but literacy will never disappear entirely. It will just convert to a new form.