Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Quite a Rugmap: Do it yourself multimedia journalism education

For her online Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency, University of Florida journalism professor of Web wizardry Mindy McAdams has spent six months compiling a terrific collection of links, lessons and sage advice for would-be multimedia reporters and producers.

(She abbreviates the heading "RGMP" at the top of each page, which I either read as "RCMP" and expect the Mounties, or want to pronounce "rugmap." hence the odd headline on this item. Come to think of it, we've been weaving the World Wide Web so long that we might call it a World Wide Rug.)

The 15 RGMP pages are part of her Teaching Online Journalism blog, where the concluding episode landed today: RGMP 15: Maintain and update your skills.

A key quote:
"... let go of your self-defeating ideas about how you are 'not a computer person,' or how 'computers don't like me.' These attitudes are killing you and your future in journalism."
As she mentions, many well-known practitioners and teachers of online journalism skills have learned how to do what they do on their own, or informally -- from other Web sites, online tutorials and workshops. Even today, when most journalism programs have courses in digital media, every formal college class has to stop somewhere -- but the technology keeps going.

Part of the agenda for digital media students has to be coping with change -- new technologies, new versions of old ones, and new stories to tell. With all of the new things Flashing and Twittering and Huluing around, Mindy makes an especially good point about setting priorities, weighing what to learn. She suggests asking yourself these questions about that shiny new thing:
  • What will you use it for?
  • How well does it fit with your other skill sets?
  • And above all — is it a skill that is going to be relevant for a long time?
The topics discussed on her 15 RGMP posts are the basics of multimedia -- Web publishing (with a blog), digital audio editing and publishing (with a podcast), photography and basic photo editing, video and low-cost video editing, and putting it all together to tell stories. Take a look, starting at the beginning:
For the list of all 15, see the last episode:

1 comment:

  1. Is that really you? Bob the blogger?
    I'm out of the (daily) news biz -- and into academia full time. Couldn't be happier.
    e-mail me: tkarmel@yahoo.com so I can be more private than this world-can-see blog stuff.
    t.c.

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