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Michelle Johnson’s Lecture at Northeastern school of Journalism


Michelle Johnson teaches multimedia journalism at Boston University. She is a former editor for Boston Globe’s award-winning website Boston.com, a regional website. She was an editor for the Metro, National, Foreign and Business sections of the newspaper. She was also awarded a Knight Fellowship to study for a year at Stanford University in 1993 and the same year received an awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. This are some of her achievements among many more.

Johnson, lectured for the graduate students of Journalism, last night. She lectured on how to make effective news videos. She initially started with her introduction about what she does and how she does. Later, she asked about our field of interest. She was very excited to know that some students were interested in online newsroom, as it was her field of interest and expertise. She presented her work in the form of slide show. She started the presentation, describing which kind of equipment’s to be used for taking a video. She said that she prefers taking a video in natural light for better results. Further, she explained the advantages of using a cellphone


Advantages of using a cellphone for making a video: Immediate upload, live streaming

And explained how to use cellphone for shooting a video. She described how holding the phone horizontally, image stabilization, not zooming and filling the frame will improve the quality of video. In addition, she described that holding the phone vertically will affect the quality of video. She gave general shooting tips, which describes that varying shots that is shooting them with different focal lengths, getting the best audio, shooting different sequences, using a tripod, keeping quite during making of video and setting proper light such as white balance, are the key points of making a good video. She showed the demographical representation of different videos watched by the viewers and their rankings. People watching news videos were 90 percent of 18 to 29 years old, 80 percent of 30 to 49 years old, 49 percent of 50 to 64 years old, and 20 percent of those were 65 or older.

Later she showed her work for Boston.com. The work she showed was about a boy named Nicholas who was killed brutally. The video showed his family and the painful phase of life they were going through. It explained the real meaning of videography and editing, the video came across well and it was well composed. It had all the elements which Michelle described in her presentation.

Furthermore, we asked different questions to Michelle and she gave satisfactory answers to each one of those. The lecture was very interactive and it ended on a good note.

Thank you Michelle Johnson for sharing your experience with us.