June 7, 2008

Fashioning the edit: Salon

I'm doing a lot of editing at Salon. This is one of the Salon Conversations pieces on the mainstreaming of bottled water I sliced and diced together. Fun. Fun.

I like that Salon really presents pieces in their original interview context. But, this is sometimes difficult for the reporter. The questions must be very concise and flowing in a kind of television format. This is especially tough for web text journalists at Salon because questions can't take the same detailed route for use in a written piece -- unless you can be interesting, concise and thorough.

It's quite a challenge for the listener, as well. I like that the original interview is posted in its conversational format. However, the listener may stop mid-stream. With this construction, the listener may miss the most important points at the end of the piece that the reporter held off. So why would a reporter hold off the best questions? She holds off because she was waiting on the interviewee to warm up to her. And when that bond has finally been forged, she lays on the hard-hitting questions. It's Journalism 101. (Or, "Practice of Journalism" Seton Hill-style.)

Posted by Amanda Cochran at June 7, 2008 11:43 AM

Thanks for your reflections, Amamda.

I taught a podcasting unit in EL200 the semester after you graduated, and I'm thinking of including screencasting in EL405 (so that students will post a short how-to video on something like finding a peer-reviewed article or editing a CSS file). I'd love to see an audio interview like this on The Setonian Online someday.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at June 7, 2008 2:37 PM

It's really possible with Skype to integrate video, particularly with so many people buying computers with a built-in camera.

In my newscast class this fall, we experimented, using it as our live feed to a reporter in the field. Of course, it does have its limitations, including working the computer, keeping your subject in the frame and asking questions, but it is certainly possible with a little bit of practice.

Go Setonian Online! I'm sure they pull something like that off.

Posted by: Amanda at June 7, 2008 4:51 PM
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