Friday, October 26, 2012

The basic writing/reporting apps to invest in

There are more than 60,000 apps in the Apple store.
You are busy.
Let me help you.

Here are the apps that I use on a regular basis for mobile writing, reporting and organizing :

Fun photo apps that can enhance your reporting

Traditionally, photographers got to have all of the fun.
Not anymore, kids.

Here are some of my favorite apps to use on the job to help tell a story visually.

Panorama 360
On County Line Road between Longmont and Erie.

What weird things can you find in your office? Slideshow version.

I have been looking for an easy way to make an automated slideshow of photos.

In the past, I have used Storify (add /slideshow at the end of the URL), like this.

But Storify slideshow is not automated, you can't add CGs/an intro, and I have had problems with the text not showing up right. You can't add music (not that you usually need to), you can't upload it to Youtube or Brightcove. Basically, it's pretty limited.

I decided to play around with the app Photo Slideshow Director instead.

Here's how it went down: 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What is a mobile journalist?

A mobile journalist is an active member of the community, both virtually and in person. 
- She is not something separate, whether higher than or lower than, the people she writes about and for. 
- She relies heavily on the community for story ideas, perspective and inspiration. In fact, it is impossible to do her job without feeding off her deep community roots.
- To accomplish this successfully, she actively seeks out and engages diverse people; she is hungry to hear the quiet voices. 
- While she is dependent on the public, she also consciously and carefully keeps herself an arm's length away, in order to prevent tunnel vision. She is wildly curious, and with that comes the natural tendency to question everything.
- She is motivated by the desire to serve, engage and inform the community, not her ego or any personal agenda. This naturally leads to an open mind, which minimizes limiting biases.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Using video in a unique way to report about art

Art can be so inspiring. Intangible. Unpredictable. So why do features reporters report on art exhibitions in the same, predictable, linear way?

What if we were to allow the subject to tell itself?
What if we were to let art create art -- storytelling art?

That is how I approached this recent profile about an "abstract landscape photographer."
This is definitely a nontraditional features story. The video has no spoken words. Imagine it as a giant, living and breathing pull-out quote, laid out over the picture it's talking about.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Twitter for journalists

A researcher at the University of Colorado recently contacted me for a study he's conducting about journalists and Twitter. Instead of following his directions like a good girl and calling him for an interview, I decided instead to post my thoughts on his questions here: 

When did you start using Twitter?
About 3,000 tweets ago. I think the tweet-to-year ratio works out to equal five or six or seven years. Turns out there is no easy way to go back to the beginning of your tweets. I would like to think I was the first journalist to ever use Twitter. Feel free to spread that rumor to make me look amazing, although I have no proof whatsoever. 

Shameless plug: Follow me on Twitter @Aimeemay and Facebook @Boulderandbeautiful. 

How are you using Twitter?
I use it for a variety of reasons: to connect with the community, get story ideas, share stories, share photos/glimpses of the community, be a human face on the other end of the pen, look for trends, ask questions. 

Polls are simple and kind of awesome

I am into polls.
They are a journalist's friend. They are easy to create and they make it easy for readers to participate.

Here are some ways I have used polls lately: