Reflections of a Multiplatform Journalist

When I first started this module I thought a digital journalist was someone who purely focused on writing for online publication. However I have learnt that you have to be able to work across all platforms as well as having a good technical knowledge.

This module has been a real eye opener in the way I use social media. Before this module I used Facebook to keep in touch with friends from school and Twitter for my own amusement as well as tweeting my articles. For me the way I use social media has developed into so much more than this. Facebook and Twitter are tools that a digital journalist should harness to find stories. I actually used Twitter to find a story for another module (Creating Content) which is something I could never imagine doing when I first started this module in January.

For my first story I wrote an end of season review for the UCLan 5ths. I have been reporting on the team on Wednesday afternoons and their manager Tim Tack is always very friendly and is available for me to interview. The fact that I have been working alongside him actually worked against me as the module required a 30 second video clip and all his responses were longer than that! I feel that the end of season review would have worked better for the second story because that requires a timeline. Presenting the article as a timeline instead of block text would look better in my opinion and is actually how I will be presenting it when I show the team.

However this article was a culmination of work since October so it was very pleasing to see it all come together. The team is looking forward to seeing it especially because they’ve done so well this season.

Looking back on it my video could have been better. It was a very rainy afternoon after the team had just secured the division title so I was forced to do it indoors. The bland background of the changing room walls was a poor decision. Also the shot was square on instead of being in proportion with the rule of thirds which was a mistake.

For my second story I reported on the manager of the UCLan 5th team Tim Tack leaving. Having been to the games I knew how passionate Tim is about the club. He played for the club for his 3 years at UCLan and for the last two years after graduating Tim has been giving up his spare time to coach the team. Tim has been such a big part of UCLan Mens FC and the club has been a big part of his life.

One thing that I really regret is not making a second copy of my interview. After editing the interview down to a 45 second clip to comply with the module requirements I accidentally overwrote a 15 minute interview. This was a very stupid mistake which really annoyed me as it was easily avoidable. Next time I will make sure I backup my work in as many ways as possible such as putting a copy on a USB stick, making two copies on my computer etc.

During this module I used Prezi for the first time ever which I really enjoyed. I think it is a very useful tool for presentations. In the context of the module I used it for data visualization with a picture of the team in the background. I personally thought it was very good and a piece of immersive journalism.

Overall my biggest regret is not leaving my comfort zone. I was very much in my comfort zone interviewing Tim Tack who I have interviewed all season long. It was also quite a university based story as well so for this module I haven’t gained any contacts outside the university. Though I don’t want to sound too negative about doing stories about the UCLan 5th team. Over the course of the season I have become good friends with the squad and they have enjoyed the pieces of work I have done for this module.

Multiplatform journalism really excites me and I am looking forward to the new era of immersive journalism both as a consumer and as a journalist. Whilst I have only dipped my toe in the pool that is multiplatform journalism I definitely feel more prepared to work in the medium. Rather than just writing pure text I have the capability to imbed videos, audio and much more. I can also improve my reader’s experience by using tools such as timelines.

Follow me on Twitter @KaranGadhia

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