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Home > Reading Room > Solo journalism advice

SPJ Reading Room

Solo journalism advice

By Debora Wenger

Bob Cronkleton is a reporter for the Kansas City Star. He recently answered a question about multimedia reporting which was posted on the Criminal Justice Journalists listserv. It offers some valuable advice, right from the front lines.

"When it comes to multimedia skills, I started by focusing on audio first and branched out from there," wrote Cronkleton. In his post, he directs people to a narrated slideshow he recently created about the opening of fishing season on an area lake. Cronkleston says he still has a lot of room for improvement, but here's what he's learned so far:

For audio, I would suggest getting a decent external mic, a digital voice recorder and headphones. Headphones are important so that you can monitor what is being said and you don't come back with a blank recording or unwanted noise. I'm also taking pictures with a point-and-shoot camera.

Realize that you can't do everything at once. Concentrate on one thing at a time, whether it is videotaping the scene or interview, gathering audio, shooting pictures or reporting out what happened. You might miss something, but you can't do everything at once.

Cronkleton also says he finds the following sites helpful when he's looking for advice:

Mindy McAdams: Teaching Online Journalism
SPJ's Technolo-j
News Videographer

All of the respones on the listserv seemed to have one thing in common — many people say the best way to learn multimedia is to just do it.

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