Critical Reflection

At the start of the Multiplatform workshops and lectures, I was keen to see how Journalists use social media and other digital tools to report stories around the world. The module was to help us develop an awareness of multitude of web-based, social media platforms and networked landscapes. We worked on a lot of online production techniques, publication and distribution to help us on researching and writing online news stories to create editorial content for multiple platforms.

The assignment mark was divided into three elements which was creating two pieces of editorial content that included multimedia and a unique interview that also followed up on our first piece. As a current Journalism student, I was aware of all the social networking sites and platforms such as WordPress, twitter or Facebook to interact and engage with the audience but producing my own story pieces required a lot more digital production skills.

Being a digital journalist meant I had to use a software called Escenic to submit my multiplatform assignment on and it was very challenging at first. It was hard to understand the tools on the software but after I produced my first story, I found it easy to upload my images, videos and tweets. I focused my first story on the student elections taking place at UCLan in the student union as there was more of an opportunity to use social media interaction online. Finding my unique interviewee was quite easy because I did my story on the student elections and there were a lot of candidates to choose from and interview at the time. My smartphone was useful in taking the images quickly but I would have changed it to an actual camera next time as it produced a better quality image for my piece and not out of focus visons. The video didn’t turn out as well as I hoped and was a bit challenging to do as I forgot to do a mid-shot or shoot it for 30 seconds so it required some re takes to get it right. Making sure I got some evidence of social media engagement was quite rewarding as Interact a lot on social media so fitting that in with my assignment story was an easy experience.

After producing my first story and publishing it onto Escenic, I did a follow up story on the general elections and the apathy of voters in Manchester. I decided to interview a friend of mine who studies Politics at The University of Manchester as he was a relevant interviewee for my story. This time Instead of producing my interview by a video, I had to produce a 45 sec audio clip to interview my interviewee which was a bit tricky in the sense of making sure my recording levels wasn’t too quiet or loud in order to produce a high quality interview. The challenging bit of assignment two, was sourcing some data for my story which included organising, interrogating and visualizing it by using a tool called Infogram. The experience was a bit stressful to begin with as I had to make sure I got all the data sorted and make sure the visualisation was clear and accurate. To present my editorial elements to my story I used mapping and took advantage of the tools to present editorial values and relevant information online.

The key elements that I can take into future digital (and non-digital) modules is that social media platforms are very important to gain information for your story to write online news stories. I’ve taken into account of the new digital platforms that I’ve used along the way such as sound cloud and Infogram so if I’m using any audio or producing any data in the future I will know which digital tools I need to publish them on. The experience was stressful and slow at first, as the concept of understanding how online production and distribution all worked but I gradually understood the networked landscapes and publications in the end to help me create my own editorial content.

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