BY SAHAR MAJID
Journalism is not just about gathering facts, covering news, writing stories and editing; it’s a lot more now that innovative tools allow us to dig deeper and illustrate stories in several media.
I learned about multimedia and data journalism tools at the University of Missouri during the midterm seminar of my fellowship program.
During the data journalism classes, I learned innovative uses of Microsoft Excel formulae to display large groups of numbers and easily analyze them.
With huge amounts of data available to journalists from government and non-government resources, the data is abundant but disorganized. Microsoft Excel has a lot of functions to filter that data according to one’s interests, and then perform various complicated calculations to sort it into useful categories. The simple formulae available in this spreadsheet software save journalists’ time and energy and also provide them with accurate statistics.
Multimedia tools were no less exceptional. Being in the print media, I never had an opportunity to work with these tools before, but when I learned audio recording and editing, video shooting and editing, and how to make audio slide show, I realized that the latest multimedia software has really brought a revolution in the field of journalism.
Applications like Final Cut Pro that I used for audio and video editing provides a simple and interesting way to deliver quality content to the audience. And, I must say, every journalist should be required to learn these skills no matter which medium he/she works for. Nowadays when newspapers are suffering and websites are thriving, learning to work with these tools will definitely pay off.
Looking for stories while handling a professional camera, filming and interviewing people also made me realize how tough it is to work as a broadcast journalists!
Both in my home and host newsrooms, I am used to working in the comfortable environment of an office. Working as a multimedia journalist gave me a feel of being a reporter. I realized that a TV reporter’s job is exciting but equally hectic.
I believe every news organization in Pakistan should initiate such training programs through which journalists could be equipped with basic multimedia journalism skills.