I am one of those people who relish the thought of making resolutions to ring in the new year. For me, I’ve decided that 2011 will be the year I put my efforts to becoming the complete multimedia journalist into warp drive. I am an old school journalist who began her career in 1985, using a manual typewriter. I remember well how print reports only needed an ink pen, a pad and a passion for digging to get the story.
But those days are long gone. I realized that if I wanted to survive – and thrive – I would have to adapt. So since 2006, when my company first announced its own digital media transition, I have been obsessed with developing my multimedia skills. I have spent hundreds of dollars of my own money to buy equipment and take courses that could enhance my print stories.
So below are 5 things I plan to do to move me toward that goal.
- Upgrade my still camera. I’ve been using my Fujifilm S8000 for about three years, but it’s time to move to the next level — a DSLR camera that can shoot HD video.
- Learn how to code using HTML. As news organizations are looking to their editorial teams to have more skills, learning HTML, which could allow me to create and maintain web pages, is a skill that it can’t hurt to have. I plan to take my course at a local community college. But if your budget is tight, check out the FREE classes offered by Seattle-based Creative Live.
- Start using video. In September, I took a week-long course at the Poynter Institute on multimedia storytelling where I learned to shoot and edit video. I’m sorry to say I haven’t used my skills much, but that WILL change in 2011.
- Take better advantage of the training offered through my membership in Knowledgewebb, a membership-based digital tools training website. Classes I’ve already signed up for include: Beginner Audio-Photo Slideshows: Using SoundSlides; Intro to Google Maps; 3 Tools to Make Interactive Maps; 50 Ways to Improve Your Blog; and Getting Started With QR Codes and Other 2D Barcodes.
- And last – but certainly not least – continue to be a digital media evangelist, with a focus on championing journalists of color. As co-chair of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Digital Journalism Task Force, I had the chance to network with some people doing amazing things in multimedia. I also used our NABDigital Twitter account and NABJDigital blog to pass along information that can help others achieve their digital dreams.
So there you have it. At the end of 2011, I’ll come back and see how I did. Meanwhile, why don’t you offer up some of your own resolutions in the comments section? Happy New Year!!