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How to Get Online Experience

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by CRR13, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. CRR13

    CRR13 Member

    Hey guys. I'm a high school junior, and I cover sports for a local newspaper right now. With the industry changing over to online, I'm considering going online in order to get some digital experience. Except for Bleacher Report, which I'm not considering writing for, how should I try to get the digital background to become a sports journalist? Should I create my own blog to write about sports, or should I find an pre-established outlet?
  2. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    If you haven't already, approach your local newspaper about participating in, or starting up, a Facebook page or Twitter feed, so you start getting experience social media. That way, the work can grow out of what you're already doing.
  3. NickMordo

    NickMordo Active Member

    Well, that is more social media. I think the OP is talking about pagination and InDesign and stuff. I'm curious myself.
  4. CRR13

    CRR13 Member

    Thanks for the responses. I'm talking about writing for the Web, shooting video and pictures, the technical parts of writing online (web design, etc.), and social media.
  5. NickMordo

    NickMordo Active Member

    You should try learning yourself (being serious, not condascending). Buy (or download) InDesign, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, etc. and just play around with it. It's similar to what copy editors and paginators do. Buy a Flip camera and shoot some video on your own. Teaching yourself will go a long way, so that by the time you're knees deep into college you should be ahead of the curve.
  6. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Learn audio and video editing software, plus Flash.
  7. azom

    azom Member

    Agreed. Teach yourself. I started my first high school sports web site when I was about your age. Of course, that was in 1997 and the site was on Geocities. Still, I learned more from doing it myself than anyone could teach me.

    What I wish I knew how to do now: video editing, Flash, some more advanced web design (xhtml, better understanding of css, etc.). But you're at the right age to teach yourself those things and you should be in good shape if you can get proficient.
  8. BobSacamano

    BobSacamano Member

    You can check for certification courses at a nearby college or art school. I know there are introduction to Adobe Suite courses available to familiarize you with Premiere, Photoshop, and InDesign. I'd also look into Audition if you want to explore the podcast route. The real fun begins with the audio slideshow.

    But as a high school junior, I feel your best bet is to launch your own site and dress it up as best as possible. Look into getting simple things first, like FlipHD cams or a decent point-and-shoot. Go the trial-and-error route now and familiarize yourself with terminology. The head start is going to be crucial.
  9. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Some of the programs mentioned are very expensive. As far as the Adobe Suite, it's great if you have the money or download an illegal copy, but the truth is, it's not necessary for online work as much as putting together a print product.

    If you really want to be ahead of the curb in terms of online, go to college knowing basic HTML, video and audio editing, and having already started your own blog. The blog should be about one subject -- not yourself, but say, your favorite team. And it should be professional enough that you could put it on your resume. Otherwise, what's the point?

    While you're in college, you'll be given the opportunity to take classes about web development and, if you're a journalism major (here's the only time I'll advocate for being one), online journalism. If you go to a good journalism school, you'll have the opportunity to shoot and edit video, produce websites and more.

    One thing I would recommend strongly, if the Web is the direction you want to go (or really, even if it's not): Don't major in print. Major in online or broadcast, which will teach you a better skillset.

    In addition, just about every college newspaper I recall seeing has an undying need for skilled web people, so strongly consider working with the school paper. They'll probably have a tech geek or two on staff who can teach you programming tips for things like automatic Twitter feeds and such, too.

    Basically, there's no hard and fast method to learning "online." The Internet is such a broad space that you never really know everything you need to know about.
  10. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    One other thing: If you don't want to spend for Audition, consider Audacity, a free audio-editing program.
  11. CRR13

    CRR13 Member

    On the blog tip, should I just pick a team that I'm fond of or consider the competition involved? I was considering either the Red Sox or the Notre Dame Irish football team, but I know that the competition is really high on those beats.
  12. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I would focus on something in your area.
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