At least nineteen (19) young journalists ended a one-day video reporting and editing workshop in Paynesville last Wednesday, July 12. The training, facilitated by Mr. Jomo Stubblefield, an award-winning Liberian video journalist based in Washington, D.C. (USA), brought together reporters from the Daily Observer and Nubian FM.
Mr. Stubblefield works for DCW50, a television station in Washington, D.C.
The training provided the reporters with hands-on camera training, editing, and tips for producing quality video either with a flip cam, smartphone or more sophisticated video cameras. Stubblefield conducted the training in two parts: a class session held in the Stanton B. Peabody Memorial Library at the Daily Observer office and a field session at the ELWA Junction.
According to him, the way journalists used to report news for the public has transitioned, especially with the availability of new technologies. Therefore, in order for journalists to report breaking news for their media outlets, they need to make use of iPhones or smartphones, to enable them to report efficiently. Smartphones and tablets with high-definition screens have enabled viewers to watch videos anywhere, he noted.
"Apps and simple editing software such as Final Cut Pro X has lowered barriers to content creation. At the same time, bandwidth has become cheaper and more plentiful with the cost of mobile data plans falling in many countries," said Stubblefield.
Mr. Stubblefield challenged the journalists to build on the foundation of the craft by adding new media skills to their repertoires. "Today's multimedia journalists need to possess strong writing skills and know how to use multimedia tools and software and be able to assess the multimedia potential of stories and determine which story forms are most appropriate. He explained that video journalists always need to pay attention to soundbites as well as focus on a particular scene because it helps relay the emotive content of the story to viewers.
"We don't have a growing generation of readers, but viewers. The sooner your video is uploaded to your website the faster you get your audience informed on current events. Video editing journalism makes it easier to get your audience to view your news in time. You don't have to wait till the next day after writing your story to get it published in print," he said.
The workshop was done free of charge by Mr. as his way of giving back to Liberia and to the profession that became his passion. A sumptuous surprise lunch for the participants was prepared by Mrs. Stubblefield. The participants applauded Mr. Stubblefield for their willingness to sacrifice their to time to train young, aspiring journalists in multimedia storytelling, and gowned him.