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Reuters’ top tips for newsroom experiments

| November 23, 2017 – 12:17 pm | 169 views

“This does feel like, in many ways, a golden age of journalism,” said Nick Cohen, Reuters’ director of video products, at newsrewired in London yesterday (22 November).
Reuters has evolved to meet the demands placed on …

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Shooting 360 video on a budget

| November 22, 2017 – 5:13 pm | 371 views

Screenshot from House Without Windows

Using 360 video offers journalists the potential to transport audiences to new situations and experiences. But can you use the emerging technology to tell stories without a large budget?

Video and photojournalist Mark Ellison, who has been using 360 technology to cover the ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic, believes it’s possible to use the 360 video to engage the public without having deep pockets.

Ellison’s project, House Without Windows, charts the paths of aid workers, medical professionals and children in a country that has been plagued by violence and unrest but receives little media attention. The country has essentially become an “orphan factory”, Ellison said, speaking at news:rewired in London today. Children are left digging for diamonds in an attempt to get money – some finding just one diamond in a year.

But the public is often turned off by stories that come out of the continent, and Ellison wanted to use the new technology to help give people a new perspective: “I thought, what better way to use these emerging technologies to combat readers’ fatigue.”

The project started as an online graphic novel in collaboration with Huffington Post, where frames of the comic are connected to a 360 video snippet. It will be available as a physical book from February, with QR codes connecting the reader to the immersive video content.

Ellison managed to do this with a Ricoh Theta S, a camera about the size of a smartphone that costs around £300.

While there are fancier cameras available, he found that using the cheaper version was “really handy for being in the field”. It allowed him to shoot quickly and with just one device to charge. A new version of the camera, the Ricoh Theta V, was recently released, he noted, offering improved video and audio quality.

Ellison advised shooting with a backup camera, in case one is stolen or broken, as well as bringing along some spare hard drives for your footage and portable power bars for your camera so you’re not caught off guard.

Shooting in the Central African Republic, he used a light stand, which cost between £20 and £30, instead of a tripod. In hindsight, he recommended getting a stabiliser to improve dynamic shots. You can even attach your camera to objects like branches with duct tape as a low-cost method to getting unique angles.

Taking an external mic in case your camera’s audio quality is low is also something that Ellison told the audience to consider.

When shooting any sort of video, having enough light is vital. You can use something as simple as candles, Ellison said, to get more light in, and use a programme like Adobe After Effects, with the Mettle plugin, to remove any shadows from you or a tripod from your footage.

People are often daunted by editing their 360 footage, but Ellison stated that YouTube tutorials offer enough help to guide you through your project.

Lastly, Ellison said that you should always do some testing before you start, thinking about the limits of your camera and the best angles for your project.

Tips from The Economist and Bloomberg on how to maximise newsroom experiments

| November 22, 2017 – 4:57 pm | 251 views
Image via <a href="https://pixabay.com/en/blueprint-ruler-architecture-964630">Pixabay</a>

Most journalists appreciate the need to keep abreast of technological changes, but with so many other priorities in the newsroom how do you make sure you’re not wasting time?

Speaking at news:rewired today, The Economist’s Bo Franklin and Bloomberg’s Kevin Young shared advice on how to make newsroom experimentation more productive in the long run, including tips on repackaging archive content and curating newsletters.

As it happened: Experimenting to meet emerging realities

| November 22, 2017 – 4:26 pm | 149 views
Image by Pexels.com

Disrupting your business may be the only way to ward off the threat of extinction. As a seasoned pioneer and trusted partner, Reuters has followed its clients’ journeys of transformation, reallocating resources from old models …

From devices to communities: How tech could transform local news

| November 22, 2017 – 3:50 pm | 391 views

Would you read more local news if you could print your own newspaper at home? Or design your own radio bulletin? What if a story suddenly appeared on your smartphone as you walked past the place where it occurred?

They might sound like distant future concepts but all of these technologies are already being tested by UK news outlets as part of what Stuart Goulden, founder of location-based storytelling startup OtherWorld, called a “living media.” 

As it happened: How to make the most of newsroom experiments

| November 22, 2017 – 3:11 pm | 242 views

By nature, experiments require organisations to take risks and invest time and resources in projects that can have varying degrees of success, and that may or may not be replicated in the future.
So how can …

As it happened: Immersive video workshop

| November 22, 2017 – 3:07 pm | 241 views

Virtual reality and 360-degree video have arrived in newsrooms, transporting audiences to the centre of the story and enabling them to consume the news in a more immersive way than ever before.
In this workshop, we …

As it happened: Open-source tools for journalists and how to use them

| November 22, 2017 – 2:07 pm | 228 views

There are many free resources and open-source tools for journalists out there, made by other journalists, news organisations, civic groups and others. They are ready to be used in your newsroom, and tailored to your …

As it happened: Graphic novel journalism

| November 22, 2017 – 2:03 pm | 303 views
Image by Marc Ellison

Marc Ellison is an award-winning video and photojournalist currently based in Glasgow. He has worked extensively across Africa since 2011. As a former computer programmer, Marc is passionate about pushing the boundaries of digital storytelling …

The importance of tone and personality in mobile storytelling

| November 22, 2017 – 12:51 pm | 498 views
Image by John Thompson. All rights reserved.

We read more articles on our phones than on desktop, so are media organisations doing enough to engage their readers on-the-go?
Buzzfeed and Quartz have created their own unique voices on mobile apps to gain as …

As it happened: From devices to communities – Connected news

| November 22, 2017 – 12:03 pm | 269 views
Image by Pexels

Could we make local news more relevant by using beacon technology to send silent alerts to people’s phones as they walk around town, without having an app involved? And could connected devices rebuild the link …

How WikiTribune is aiming to combat trust issues in journalism

| November 22, 2017 – 11:42 am | 457 views
Image by John C Thompson. All rights reserved.

WikiTribune is the latest weapon in the fight against fake news, with the news organisation striving to earn readers’ trust with evidence-based journalism.
Professional journalists work alongside citizen journalists, with stories initially checked by the site’s …