Students demonstrate how technology and CMIR can help improve news storytelling

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The grand opening of the Center for Media Innovation and Research ended with a presentation by five undergraduates of how technology and software could be used in telling news — in this case how pelicans affected by the oil spill in the Gulf were being rehabilitated.

Steve Johnson talked about how the work flow has changed in news storytelling, as reporters are editing their work in the field and then transmitting it, sometimes uploading it to the Web.

Gaby Izarra explained how she edits video in Final Cut, putting together dozens of shorts video files to create the story of how the pelicans are cleaned. We learned from the bird rehabilitation expert that Dawn dishwashing detergent is the best product to use in cleaning the birds.

Olivia Link connected to the CMIR from the radio newsroom in the college and played the audio story she had created for the radio using Gaby’s video story.

Alli Langley showed how photos can be stored and edited in Aperture, a photography software program.

Alex Orlando explained how materials are sent to him by various reporters, and his job is to prepare and upload them to the website.

The  team of students said they spent a month preparing the demonstration we saw. (Also worth noting is that some of the software programs they used in their presentation, such as Aperture and iWeb, aren’t available on the college’s computers for student and faculty use.)

Part of what made this a special presentation for me is that three of the students were in my Writing for Mass Communication course.

After the presentation, I learned from Gaby that her mother, who was in Germany, was able to be a part of the CMIR grand opening by watching the live streaming video.  Another use of technology.

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