MMJ Day 2 – River shooting, and more

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On Sunday, May 13, I did my second day shoot for my final project for my multimedia class.

The day started early. After a cup of coffee, I traveled via motorcycle to the village of Sulangon where I took a small outrigger. We followed the tributary of Dapitan river to the village of Diwaan.

I used a tripod, which I placed on the prow of the boat. It was only later that I realized that every time the boat moves with the river’s gentle waves, my video shoots also moved up and down.

I also had a hard time focusing the 7D because of my eyesight and because of the movement of the boat. Some shots are out of focus. Good that I took still shots using my 60D.

Back in the home base around noon, I went to interview Bert Laput, a local journalist who wrote stories about the Subanens (Suban-on) in the past.

I went to Dipolog in the afternoon to take photographs and video of street scenes.

End of the second day.

On Monday, I will be going up to a mine site up in the mountain.

MMJ Day 1 – Additional notes

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Done with the first interview. Back to base at 8 p.m. after a motorcycle ride to and from the village of San Nicolas.

I used a lapel mic during the interview. I hope it lessened the sound of the rain, the birds, the pig that cried in the middle of the interview, and the passing motorcycles.

I used additional light to highlight the subject because it was already about to get dark when we reached the village.

Still downloading the video.

I have charge the batteries and reformat the memory card in preparation for early morning shoot starting about 6 a.m. tomorrow.

It’s getting to be exciting. I hope the weather will cooperate. It’s still drizzling.

MMJ Day 1 – Rain, rain go away, please

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First day of work on my final project for the multimedia class.

I worked the whole night last night preparing all the equipment, making sure that I will not forget anything – batteries, microphones, memory cards, tripod, cameras and lenses, and even a two-way radio to make sure that I will not lose my guide when we go to the mountain villages.

The preparation was perfect. Even the clothes I have to bring, the bags, the shoes, etc. I slept for only two hours.

I left early for the airport and slept all the way to Mindanao.

I arrived before noon. The weather was perfect. The sun was as hot as any other summer sun.

I took a motorcycle to my hometown. I discussed my project over lunch of “tinolang isda” and dried fish with my brother and my cousin who will tag along with me during the week.

We set the schedule of the interviews, the people we are going to meet, and the places we will be visiting.

Everything was perfect. Then the sky turned dark. There was lightning, then thunder. Then the rain came.

The first interview is set at 4 p.m. today. How do you do an audio interview in the middle of a thunderstorm? I can’t remember it being discussed in class.

I remember Master DJ Clark telling the class to look at the weather forecast before going on an assignment. But with climate change, there seems to be no predicting the weather anymore.

The show must go on, come rain or high water! The die has been cast.

On mobile phones and doing journalism

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There is no question about the importance of the mobile phone in today’s practice of journalism, especially in what has been now the “in” thing – a converged newsroom.

Mobile phones make the life of a journalist easy. One can take pictures, video, write and send stories, and talk to one’s editor or even engage one’s readers.

I vote that mobile phones be the primary tool for reporting for journalists in a converged newsroom, not only for distributing news to consumers, but also in all aspects of reporting a story.

But it does not mean that journalists should solely rely on their mobile gadgets to get a story.

Let me emphasize that there is no substitute to a face-to-face interview, to dirtying oneself in the field and smelling the fresh flowers in the middle of the forest when one is on an assignment.

Journalists should remember that the gadgets they have are just tools. What is important is the reporter’s clear understanding of issues he or she covers, the heart for the story and the willingness to go out and be with the source, be they politicians, businessmen, guerrillas, or the men, women or children on the streets of the city or of far-flung villages.

Mobile phones are important tools in doing journalism, but journalists should keep in mind that tools do not make journalists.

Should mobile phones be the primary reporting tool in a converged newsroom?

Yes, I have no doubt about it, but added to that are the other requirements and attitude in doing good journalism.

Social media and convergence

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There is no way but to use social media and social networks in implementing convergence in the newsroom. It is not anymore a choice, it is already a must.

The phenomenal rise of social networks makes convergence easier. Newsrooms can now easily connect with field reporters, editors can now engage with the audience, and consumers of news share what they read or watch to friends.

With social networks, people consume information faster. Information becomes viral, but at the same time fleeting. With tons of information bombarded on people every minute, there is less time to digest the essence of a story or report.

There is danger in being too fast. One may not be able to watch out for the potholes on the road. And crashing is harder if one is on top speed.

Social media and social networks, as well as convergence, are tools that can be used in delivering information to consumers, and at the same time connect one media platform to another.

The information, the story, is, however, still priority.

Social media and social networks make convergence in journalism easier, but it must also be used responsibly.

Crowd sourcing, for instance, is easier with the use of Twitter or Facebook. But are the reactions of people on FB or Twitter reflective of the sentiments of the bigger population?

Journalism is supposed to deliver fair and balanced stories to inform the public so that they may be able to reach an informed decision. Are stories sourced solely on views and statements from blogs and social media networks enough to come up with a fair and balanced story?

Or, do ordinary people really care about stories or issues that are popular online, like the impeachment of the chief justice in the Philippines?

We do not want media, or societies, to be ruled only by those who have access to mobile gadgets or the internet or those who use social networks.

These are some issues that must be taken into consideration when using social media and social networks in coming up with a “converged” newsroom.

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