Well hello blog world!
My name is Amanda and welcome to my blog! I am excited to start this adventure, which is actually a part of my Journalism Technology class. Therefore, most of the first posts will be about … Journalism! So let’s not waste any more time and get to it!
Tonight there was a celebrity on the Creighton campus (besides Father Schlegel!). Andrew Jenks, a documentarian and filmmaker, flew in to Omaha to speak to us students for about two hours. He is most famous for his current tv series on MTV, The World of Jenks. For more info on him check out this link- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Jenks or http://andrewjenks.com/
He talked about some of his unspoken rules, such as “Never Take NO For an Answer” and “Fake it ’till you Make it”. In addition to being funny and informative, he spoke about how it is very easy in today’s world to make a movie. Most people have cell phones with built-in video cameras and cheap video cameras, such as a Flip camera, are readily available. This really got me thinking about all of the possibilities with the technology that we mostly take for granted. Anybody can whip out their cell phone or camera and record something they believe is noteworthy, whether it is a speech or presentation or something as simple as something stupid your cat does. Sites such as YouTube and Facebook, in addition to editing software such as iMovie, make producing short films easy and cheap, cheap, cheap. No longer are physical and tangible items the main restrictions on art such as this (i.e. money, equipment), but rather finding inspiration and creativity can be difficult.
So how does a presentation by a documentarian have to deal with journalism? It’s quite simple. Just as being an amateur filmmaker is easy in today’s society, so is being an amateur (or professional) journalist. Let’s start with amateur “news outlets”. Facebook and Twitter allow anyone to broadcast or express their opinion on personal news (Going to a movie!) or regional/national news (There are too many potholes in Omaha!). Youtube is a tool through which people can upload various media. Some of my favorite “news” sites on YouTube center around celebrities and humor, such as the What The Buck?! Show http://www.youtube.com/user/whatthebuckshow?blend=2&ob=4. There are also actual journalistic sites, such as ABC News http://www.youtube.com/user/ABCNews. These sites are nifty for the timely information they give out, much like news updates. On the more serious side, Professional news outlets actually want and rely on user input in their programs. The program I found most user-friendly and “cool” is CNN‘s iReport program. Users sign up (for free) and can add their own stories and pictures. There are some suggested ideas in the assignment desk, but stories of all types are allowed and welcomed, provided they are appropriate. CNN will “vet” some stories, marking them as credible, and could potentially use them in their news outlets. I believe that this is a wonderful idea. It marks a wonderful relationship between producer and consumer. The producer, aka CNN, benefits because they have amateur reporters in all fifty states and around the world. Whenever there is breaking news, chances are that one of the iReporters filmed it and will upload it to the site, and CNN might use this footage to supplement their coverage. The consumer gets to feel like they are a part of the news they hear and are actually very willing to help out the big guy. Check out the site at http://ireport.cnn.com/. It is a really cool concept, and I know that it is not the only site of its kind.
Well that about does it for tonight! I guess what I was trying to say in my ramblings is that opportunities for journalism are everywhere, especially in the Social Media sphere. Check out those sites, and who knows? YOU could be the next big YouTube star or amateur journalist on the web!