Thursday, 9 September 2010

New (academic) year, new skills

I've been working on putting together guides for the two modules I'm teaching this semester - MA multimedia reporting and 3rd year undergraduate special study: Journalism and the Online Revolution. And I feel a bit of a fraud. It's three years since I last worked in an online newsroom (thanks pre-paywall Times Online) and we certainly weren't allowed anywhere near a video camera or video editing software. Hell, we weren't even allowed to crop our own pics in Photoshop. And now we're meant to be teaching our students how to produce nifty multimedia story packages and equip them for a brave new, converged age.

Like most of my print colleagues, my video skills are pretty minimal. But not for long. Like the students, we have to learn new ways of doing our job. So my next Amazon purchase will be a Kodak Zi8 camcorder, about the size of an iPhone, with which I'm going to practise shooting video (of what I'm not yet sure) and editing it with my almost unused Premiere Elements 8 software. The big advantage of a small video camera is that I can hopefully use it without too many people noticing how cackhanded I am. Video is like driving - you only learn by doing. No matter that it took me four gos to pass my driving test..