My Musings: Street Team ’08 & Captain Obvious Announces “It’s A Multi-Platform World”

Posted on January 16, 2008. Filed under: My Musings | Tags: , , , , |

It has been a while since I updated so here’s a quick download:

I recently led a workshop for our Street Team ’08 members. These 51 state-based citizen journalists will be covering election ’08 from a youth perspective. They will submit weekly reports online and via mobile, which should lead to some interesting and hyper-local reporting. They are using Adobe Creative Suite CS3 to edit/produce their packages, podcasts and animations.

It will be interesting to see how the team members work out all the issues that will arise in the fun and often aggravating world of multi platform production. For many, this will be there first time working as mobile producers… When I say mobile, I mean it in the context of working on or near the location they are covering, creating content for several screens. Armed with their laptops and portable hard drives (and wi-fi), they will have the ability to create and upload content wherever they happen to be. They can start and even finish projects on location – from tape to the web.

This won’t always be easy, but the truth is that what they are doing is what the next wave of young producers/journalists will be responsible for. They will need to know how to produce content for air and the web (and as the lines blur between what defines both, adapting will be required). They will need to create something timely and relevant within the concentric circles of related ongoing coverage (extended aired packages, blog follow up entries, photo galleries, podcasts, etc.). They will need to be able to think small picture (blog entry first) and bigger picture (follow up with clips, then cut package, then start thread on community page, etc.)

Obviously digital production skill requirements vary based on work environment need, but it is truly no longer a “nice to have” on your resume if your job has anything to do with media. More than ever, producers are required to script, shoot, blog, take photos and often edit their own packages. There are a lot of questions pertaining to pay grades and schedules/quality of life in the evolving world of ‘360’ production, but ultimately it’s essential to create a balance between your on-air and digital production skills. One of the results of the evolving synergy between both “sides” of the production coin is a lot of work flow and content direction changes. No longer just an issue for the vlogger, these changes are affecting major networks and the people working for them, in good and not-so-good ways.

The bottom line is, job requirements are changing. The world is changing. And whether you are an aspiring media mogul or an established (up ’til now) on-air producer, it’s time to start thinking beyond the idiot box if you want to remain competitive.

In other news, a photo I took of my childhood ice cream parlor has ended up on Schmap!!, I’m addicted to giant avocados and I start school next week.

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