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1/9/08 5:12:40 PM
By Sharon Hill
Sales & Marketing Manager
The Poynter Institute’s recent Webinar,
Multimedia Tools: Your 2008 Shopping
List, delivered all it promised – and well.
We learned helpful still photography,
audio and video tips and product sugges-
tions for a publication’s newsroom.
Howard Finberg, the institute’s Director
of Interactive Learning, moderated the
News University Webinar. Ellyn
Angelotti, Interactivity Editor for
Poynter detailed how much it would cost
to outfit a journalist. She talked about
the features you need to look for, and the
questions you should ask yourself before
deciding on brand, style and equipment.
Angelotti taught us how these various
products could help news staff produce
multimedia more efficiently. While not
endorsing brands, she offered plenty of
high and low-end samples to kick start
newsroom multimedia shopping.
“The questions to ask when looking for
a still photography camera are ‘What’s
the purpose of the camera?” Angelotti
said. “Will your photographer be shoot-
ing indoors or outdoors – will she or he
need a flash?” Web-only projects, she
told us, require a strong zoom, while
high resolution is required to produce
images for print.
For audio, Angelotti stressed the impor-
tance of headphones during recording, to
know that you’re capturing quality
sound. Important questions are whether
you’re going to be in the field or pod-
casting and whether you’re going to
need a clip-on or hand- held micro-
phone, and whether it should be wire-
less. Lavalieres, she said, are more cost-
ly and more delicate, but give you con-
siderably more mobility.
“Wireless microphones are really nice
when you’re out in the field and need to
take notes, but they go through batteries
like crazy,” said Angelotti. To block out
interference an Ultra High Frequency
(UHF) is preferable to Very High
Frequency (VHF). “With VHF, things
like cell phones and CBs can interfere,”
A portable digital recorder was one of
Angelotti’s favorite recording devices, as
a Naples (Fl) Daily News journalist.
“When in my car on assignment I could
plug my recording device into my com-
puter and my cell phone and not have to
worry about taking notes,” she said.
Angelotti also suggested an iPod for
recording, as its microphones are good
To produce great video you need good
audio and good lighting, she told us.
Video choices are standard definition
(SD) and High Definition (HD.) “With
HD, you can repurpose video frames for
print newspapers,” she said. As an exam-
ple, Detroit Free Press sends its photog-
raphers out with video cameras and then
publishes one frame of that video in its
Of course, the Poynter Institute training
gurus closed the Webinar with a thought
about training. “Handing a journalist a
video camera and audio recorder doesn’t
mean he or she is going to come back
producing amazing video,” said
Angelotti. “She’ll need to know how to
edit the video, what the ethics are of pro-
ducing the video, how long to make it,
what a jump cut is, and which shots to
get.” As an alternative to Poynter and its
News University training, Howard
Finberg suggested partnering with a TV
station to have a photojournalist or pro-
ducer teach your staff, or working with a
local university. “You must invest in
training efforts to guide your staff in the
[multimedia newsroom] process,” he
Multimedia Tools: Your 2008 Shopping List
On Wireless Microphones...
To block out interference an Ultra High Frequency
(UHF) is preferable to Very High Frequency (VHF)
With HD, you can repurpose video frames for print
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