On the 2nd of May specialists, students and boot campers came together to explore the community journalism possibilities. It was an enjoyable and mutually beneficial evening; the participants got to know each other better and exchanged stories and knowledge.
The first half hour was focused on explaining the purpose of these boot camps and the role of community journalists in general, by Ian Wylie from JesmondLocal. These meetings are an opportunity for residents of Jesmond to get their stories told, through different media routes.
Hyper-local is more alive than ever; regional news aren’t as local as they used to be, leaving a gap for people who are interested in matters taking place next to their doorstep and not to the other end of the country.
Any story can be of interest to a group of people: from a local street performer to local elections, as long as the narrator is passionate about it. Using online tools makes it possible for everyone to become a storyteller, share their views and experiences. It’s fast, easy and –for the most part- free. Pictures, audio and video can be the story or used as part of it. The possibilities are endless; it just takes a few hours to familiarize yourself with this new set of interactive and shareable tools.
Further on, Adam Perry of Media Trust provided some helpful tips on shooting video, particularly video interviews, with just a camera phone. He stressed the importance of preparing the interview in advance; you should think about where best to shoot the video (light, background noise, etc.), write down some questions, and think about how you will introduce and end the interview. The focus should be put on the story telling and not on getting the perfect shot; it’s all about the message and not the medium that you chose. Practice makes better and these bootcamps are held to prove that people don’t need ridiculously expensive equipment to be heard; simple items used in everyday life and free apps will do the trick!
The second part of the boot camp was more practical, with students and bootcampers paired up and worked in teams to shoot some short audio and video interviews. Students shared their advice with bootcampers, some of whom experimented with video for the first time. One of the bootcampers said “I didn’t even know how to use my phone camera before” and another was enthusiastic enough to immediately upload it on YouTube!
By the end of the session, the teams brainstormed ideas for possible topics. Each bootcamper was left with some advice and the challenge to decide on a story regardless of specific subjects or ways of telling it; it could be anything they find interesting and could be told either through video, audio or photos. A final result should be presented by the end of the last bootcamp.
Next Wednesday’s bootcamp is expected to be even more lively providing hands-on practice. With some new boot campers added to the team, we will be taking a look at the role of social media in story telling.
For those who missed the first bootcamp and are interested in more information about video journalism, you can visit:
*Parts of it published in http://issuu.com/jesmondlocal/docs/jcf_090512?mode=window&backgroundColor=%23222222 under the title “Storytellers in training”
or check below: