Chapter eight: Telling stories with video

These days, as long as you have a phone with a camera, you are armed with one of the most powerful tools on the planet: a video camera. What words and pictures can’t capture, video does. From World Cup soccer matches to political revolutions to weddings, video captures it all with the click of a red button.

As Professor Klein has told me throughout my year at Mason, “Don’t leave Mason without learning video!”

And it’s true.

Video is one of the most essential ways for journalists to tell stories.

So, what accessories do you need as a journalist to tell a basic news story?

• Tapes and batteries: We have all had the time where we have gone to interview someone and realized that our battery is about to die. Embarrassing, isn’t it? The best way to ensure that your battery lasts longer is to charge it before you come and always keep a back-up in your case just in case! As for tapes, keep at least two to three back-ups in case something urgent arises!
• Microphones: Audio, audio, audio! 70 percent of video is audio, so if you cannot hear the person being interviewed, you are only left with a 30 percent retention rate.
• Tripod: Always try to use a tripod to make your video look professional. There is no need to zoom in and out or move around when interviewing someone unless it’s an emergency. So, just use a tripod.
• Headphones: Buy a pair of decent headphones and plug into the camera and listen to the audio while you are shooting. That way you can ensure your interviewee can be heard.
• Lighting: A spotlight is essential when interviewing candidates, especially indoors. Entry-level lighting cost less than 100 dollars but use battery up quickly!

Happy reading!

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