Final reflection

June 4, 2009

Overall, I’ve found the JOUR315 subject incredibly satisfying and informing. Having such a hands-on, practical approach to convergent journalism has been an effective way of shaping my skills and overall ability, whilst learning new subject matter at the same time.

I’ve been really happy with my filming during the session, particularly in the second assessment. I based a lot of this material on mountain bike and motocross that I’d previously seen. Below is a teaser of a motocross movie; it shows the style of shots that I tried to replicate in my own filming. The best thing about this type of environment is that there is a large capacity to be creative, and it makes the final product that much better.

One of the biggest highlights in the subject for me was sticking to the pitch I proposed in the first assignment and carrying out a similar model in the final assessment. I think that effective time management allowed me to do this; it also made the assignment a lot less stressful. I had all of the interviews completed within a week of the due date, so this gave me plenty of time to edit and polish the final product. One of the biggest things that this subject has taught me would be that you can’t leave this type of assessments to the last minute; I think it shows in the final product and there is always the possibility of technological errors etc.

The process of editing in this subject has been crucial for the overall degree; I think that editing is now an essential skill for any journalist. Personally, I had fun being creative with my editing, although most of my material is pretty straight forward. I didn’t find the process overly difficult, although my advice for anyone who hasn’t used it before would be to just get in there and muck around on it for a couple hours, that’s the best way to learn. In the final assessment, I found that my editing was a lot tighter and improved significantly over the second assessment. Because my material was mostly news-based, there wasn’t much need for fades etc. I think that where a lot of others in the class were going wrong was when they used too many fades, to the point where they detracted the audience from the theme of the story.

Another important skill that I’ve developed over the course of the session is my voice. Listening back on the final assessment, I noticed that it’s come along way, even in comparison to media reports outside the university that I did at the start of the year. One of the hardest challenges in my voice is how to speak clearly with braces. I’m hoping that when I get the braces off at the end of the year, my voice will improve even more. In terms of my technique and approach, I like to base my voice on different journalists in the industry, examining their pitch, speed, volume, inflections and texture. One of my favourite journalists and anchors is Mark Ferguson from Nine News. The clip below demonstrates his deep, powerful voice. This, in combination with his physical body language, helps pull the opening story of the bulletin together (0:37 – 0:57 seconds)

In general, I think that convergent journalism and online journalism has a huge capacity for improvement and expansion. The fact that the internet itself has only become a mainstream tool in the last ten years, there is an untapped potential for future expansion. The following article sums up the internet’s potential in a concise and informative manner: http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2009/06/04/how-the-web-changed-the-economics-of-news-in-all-media/

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this convergent journalism subject, and will take a lot of the lessons learnt into the future with me. I think that the sort of skills we acquired is becoming increasingly important in the industry, particularly as companies look to slash editing jobs etc. I look forward to further developing my voice, as well as my filming ability. I’m immensely happy with the outcomes of the assessments; I’ve put a lot of hard work into it, and I think the final products turned out well.