Video Live Streaming: Good or Bad?

(Photo from Google image)

Boosted by the growth of social media, video live streaming is the trend now. Facebook live is used by many organizations, companies, sports teams, and more, for promotional reasons. As I intern in the marketing department at my school, I get to see how Facebook live is used to engage the community around the school.

Video live streaming is great way to have audiences interact with the live streamer, by reacting and commenting to the video and communicating while the live streaming is happening. Live stream is used by many beauty bloggers and merchandisers to sell their products. One good Facebook live gets up to, or more than, 1k reactions and comments.

Easy accessibility makes video live streaming is so appealing. With smart phone, anyone can use it. Now this is so much easier than setting up technical equipments and filming for an advertisement.

Also, it attracts more viewers than conventional advertising. Many people spend enough time on social media to know what Facebook live is, or have seen at least one.

The Internet Marketing Success Center explains in details about the pros of video live streaming. http://imsuccesscenter.com/pros-cons-video-live-streaming/

Then, what are the bad things about video live streaming?

Minimal restrictions of live streaming has enabled criminals to use it to gain attention they want while conducting criminal activities.  According to the Independent, the video of Steve Stephens killing Robert Godwin Snr. and the Facebook Live of Wuttisan Wongtalay killing his 11-month-old daughter, before taking his own life off-camera went viral, causing criticism towards Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Wongtalay’s two videos, however, were up for around 24 hours. The first had been viewed 112,000 times, and the second had been viewed 258,000 times, says the Independent. I bet it’s difficult for Facebook officials to check every single Facebook live posts.

“It is a huge, huge problem. A whole world of humans wouldn’t be able to crunch through the same volumes of data as these algorithms,” Stuart Laidlaw, the CEO of Cyberlytic, told The Independent.

I have never seen any video lives of people committing suicide or conducting crimes. It sounds just awful and traumatizing! I am pretty sure there are more good sides of video live streaming than bad sides, but the issue of criminal use of it should definitely be discussed and solved..

 


 

The Double Sided Sword of Immediate Media and Politics

media

*Thoughts on digital media and politics

For time immemorial, organized media such as newspapers and televised news broadcasts were the mouthpieces of politicians. However in the age of the internet and massive connectivity, political campaigns have had to reinvent themselves to reach their constituents. This has added greatly to the ability of politicians to speak directly to voters, but has also put those same politicians under a piercing public eye.

One of the greatest boons to politicians can be found in their fund raising drives, first pioneered by John McCain in his 2000 primary bid. By 2007 Libertarian candidate Ron Paul had managed to raise $4 million dollars in one day encouraging donations via Twitter and streaming campaign rallies. More recently, Bernie Sanders had set unprecedented records of ‘micro-donations’ accumulating $212 million dollars by May 2016 with an average of $27 donated.

Even more importantly to politicians is the ability to share their ideas and messages virally via Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter. Ever outspoken, President Trump has regularly voiced opinions, however divisive, directly to the American people, allowing a fairly unfiltered access to activity in the White House. Less well remembered is when Barack Obama became the first to announce his candidacy through web video(https://youtu.be/gdJ7Ad15WCA?t=389). Replacing fire side chats and mailing campaigns, politicians need only a camera and a fan base to spread their message.

Yet, politicians have also found themselves the subject of harsh criticism following scandal even brief instances of excitement or stumbled words. Most notably, Howard Dean became the butt of the joke, when his ‘Dean Scream’ or the ‘I Have a Scream Speech’ spread quickly, leading his campaign to lose every following primary election(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwkNnMrsx7Q). Anthony Weiner suffered a similarly disastrous event at his own hands, when he inadvertently sent a sexually explicit image of himself through his public Twitter account to an adult woman following him on Twitter, ending his congressional career and later through a similar instance ending his New York mayoral campaign.

Politics has also come under the influence of voters themselves, many arguing that America has reached a very divided time in its history. Facebook allows people to filter out dissenting opinions, entrenching beliefs on both sides in ideological echo chambers. (https://www.wired.com/2016/11/facebook-echo-chamber/) Social media also allows for the spread of disinformation and unverified facts, now coined ‘fake news’, to spread unchecked. In addition, use of automated profiles allowed foreign intervention in public opinion. How much influence these matters have had is still unknown, but their effect on the American public is undeniable.

As media evolves, so must those who use it, and those who fail to adapt quickly get pushed aside by those who have learned to take advantage of modern communication. Campaigns continue to create new ways to reach and mobilize their constituents. Despite some setbacks, it progress so far seems to point only positively for voters, allowing more access and accountability for those who seek office.


Two Main Microphones for Video

Clean and high quality audio perfects a professional video. Audio plays a huge role in video production. There are so many music out there for video ranging from copyright-free songs to natural sound like the sounds of footsteps. If you go see a movie, a sound makes a scene so much dramatic and realistic, making audiences feel like they are in the movie.

So high quality audio is important. How do you make that happen?

There are two main microphones for video production. One is lavalier microphone and the other is shotgun microphone.

(A photo of lavalier microphone. From Google image)

According to Wikipedia, a lavalier microphone is a small microphone used for television, theatre, and public speaking applications in order to allow for hands-free operation. They are most commonly provided with small clips for attaching to collars, ties, or other clothing. The cord may be hidden by clothes and either run to a radio frequency transmitter kept in a pocket or clipped to a belt, or routed directly to the mixer or a recording device.

Lavaliers are mostly used for interviews, where an interviewee can speak freely without worrying out voice recording. The transmitter is usually kept under clothes and the mic is clipped to the interviewee. The receiver is connected to a camera so the camera can receive the high quality sound while recording. Lavaliers are also used for reporting too.

 

(A photo of shotgun mic. From Google image)

The other microphone is shotgun microphone, which my videographer whom I intern for calls the “everything else” mic. The shotgun mic is really for everything else!

According to Learning about Electronics, a shotgun microphone is a highly directional microphone that must be pointed directly at its target sound source for proper recording. Shotgun microphones use unidirectional microphones to achieve this high beam of concentration on the sound source to record the sound. Being that they use unidirectional microphones, they pick up sound well when the sound source is directly in front of them but begin to pick up the sound worse (much lower) when the sound source is moved to the sides and rear. A shotgun gets its name from the fact that the body of the microphone is shaped like the barrel of a shotgun, and just like a shotgun, the microphone must be aimed or pointed directly at its target source in order to effectively to pick it up.

You can learn more about it here. http://www.learningaboutelectronics.com/Articles/What-is-a-shotgun-microphone


Basic Adobe Premiere Pro Skills

(Photo from Google image)

Any video editing software looks as complex as it could be! It looks like a foreign language you’ve never seen or an insanely complicated math problem.

Knowing how to edit and produce video is such a marketable skill, especially if you’re going into multimedia, journalism or PR industry. People prefer digital content over text nowadays.

How do you start when you’re a beginner? Here are some basic and essential Adobe Premiere Pro skills I have learned from Digital Media Convergence course.

It starts with knowing the Adobe Premiere Pro workspace.

(Photo from Google image)

After you click library and drag a video file to the working timeline, where you can see the length of the video, you will probably be able to see the video above the timeline. On the left side, you can see video files in the library and play it too before you drag it to your timeline for editing.

 

On the left side of your timeline, you can see these tools for video editing. One thing that’s commonly used is this razor tool. You can easily cut the video and delete the section you don’t need.

(Photo from Google image)

 

 

 

(Photo from Google image)

Other useful skill is adding text in your video. Click title then click this Title box to create a new text box to your video. You will be able to adjust size, font, color, and more as well.

You will see a pink box that contains text on your timeline. Simply drag it above the video you want that text to appear and hit space bar to play the video to check if it looks good!

After you click effects, you will be able to see audio and video effects control on the hand right side.

The most commonly used one is this Dip to Black. This effect is many editors’ favorite, including myself, because it’s the most simple yet professional-looking effect.

(Photo from Google image)

 

 

 

When you try to save as video, click file- export- whatever type you want(Quick Time or H.264 usually). 

When you want to save the project, click file- save as.


Tiny Camera with Huge Impact: GoPro

*Thoughts based on chapter 10

(Photo taken from Google)

When I first saw a GoPro, I thought it was a small toy with simple camera features. Few years later, I saw GoPro everywhere I traveled to. I saw people using GoPro in their unique way with all the different accessories. I saw multiple GoPro stores in Thailand, a country well-known as the travelers’ hub.

I always wanted a GoPro for my love of traveling but till this day, I didn’t really know much about its features since I didn’t own one.

What are the features? I did a little bit of research.

The CEO of GoPro is Nick Woodman, a surf lover who 15 years ago created a waterproof camera so he could record himself and his friends catching some waves, according to CBS News.

GoPro, regardless of the price (about $400), soon became one of the bestselling camera in the world. Woodman, now a billionaire, is only 41-year old.

I didn’t use one but I’ve seen plenty of people who have one, in person or in social media. They ALL look like pros of their hobbies, whether it be surfing, traveling or kayaking.

Two things very distinct about GoPro is that it is wearable and can go anywhere.

With different kinds of accessories including grip and helmet mount, GoPro can be set up anywhere.

(Photo taken from Google)

(Photo taken from QUARTZ)

I recently read a blog article about how GoPro is changing how live sports look like. GoPro, indeed, has changed how the media is delivering news and how video producers are creating multimedia projects.

*You can learn more at

GoPro just changed what live sports are going to look like

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gopro-nick-woodman-60-minutes/


Successful Design Starts from the Smallest Things: Font

*Thoughts based on chapter 8

The famous Steve Jobs story tells that before he dropped out of college, he took font design course just because it seemed interesting, according to his biography I randomly read in high school. Later, that one course greatly helped him design Apple products!

How many people would actually care about fonts? I bet not many.

Whether it is a paper, letter, logo, business card or setting in a phone, fonts tell a lot about the personality it’s representing. In a black and write paper, what is going to bring colors to it? Vivid words and descriptive language certainly will, but the first thing most people may look at may be fonts and design.

What is the reason academic papers require the standard Times New Roman font? Why do The New York Times use Georgia font? Why are some fonts above more flowy and dancing, while some are more structured and motionless?

Fonts bring a lot of personality to the words it’s representing!

According to the Big Fish Presentations, there are 5 reasons why typography is so powerful. (http://bigfishpresentations.com/2013/01/09/5-reasons-why-typography-is-powerful/)

1. it attracts and holds the audience’s attention.

2. it is reader friendly.

3. it establishes an information hierarchy.

4. it helps to create harmony.

5. it creates and builds recognition.


An Interface Worth a Thousand Pictures

interface-006

(Photo Credit: Google)

“A picture is worth a thousand words. An interface is worth a thousand pictures,” said Ben Shnelderman, Computer Scientist and Expert on Human-Computer Interaction.

The big Apple guy Steve Jobs once said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

They are talking about interface. But, what is interface? It sounds so broad and complex to me. What is the clear definition of interface?

In Java, interface is a class that does a specific task such as displaying a message. According to the textbook, in the field of information technology, a user interface is any system that supports human-machine interaction (HMI) or human-computer interaction (HCI).

So, interface is designed with the purpose of users interaction with any kinds of information devices. “YouTube, the world’s largest distributer of video content, appeals to a new generation of ‘interactive and active’ users who want to produce, as well as consume media fare,” according to Vic Costello at Elon University.

That’s the reason why interface is so appealing and attractive. The idea of sort of communicating with your device but only getting the answers you want. Interface is user-centered design and the goal of this is to make user interaction as easy as possible, according to the textbook.

Designing interface starts by looking into the user’s needs. How good is that?

(Thoughts based on chapter 6)


Is the Media Selling Fear to its Consumers?

Soon after the Quebec mosque attack which took place earlier this year, Fox News tweeted that suspect was Mohamed Belkhadir of Moroccan origin, without mentioning the other suspect, a French Canadian Alexandre Bissonnette. Canadian police later confirmed that Bissonnette was the shooter.  However, the tweet wasn’t deleted until Kate Purchase, communications director of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, wrote to Fox pointing out the “false and misleading language” in a letter, according to Huffington Post Canada.

Washington Post and Fox News labeled this incident “terrorism,” and a “terror attack,” while Huffington Post, CNN, and New York Times defined it as an “attack,” or “shooting.” So is it a terror attack or just an attack? It’s hard to grasp a clear idea of the definition of terrorism in the media. Is it terrorism when there are Muslims involved?

American society seems to have become more concerned than ever about terrorism and violence, as the media provides more details and imagery for its consumers. A study of media exposure and the fear of terrorism suggests that frequency of media consumption, which overemphasizes violence and other extreme events, leads viewers to a distorted worldview reflective of television rather than reality, according to a Senior Research Analyst Ashley Nellis.

Picture1

The chart below based on a 2016 Gallup survey reveals that Americans still consider international terrorism as the top threat to the nation.(A chart taken from Statista.com)“Fear is being used as a tool of manipulation in our society,” says Dr. Brigitte Nacos, an author and Adjunct Professor of political science at Columbia University. She explains that even media outlets once committed to quality public affairs news have moved increasingly away from reporting what professional journalists consider important to “what profit-oriented corporate managers consider interesting for news consumers.” The result is a blend of information and entertainment, what Nacos calls “infotainment,” which thrives on the images and themes that terrorist incidents offer: drama, tragedy, shock, fear, panic, grief.  Ultimately, the violent and shocking news images and graphic contents that spread the fear get the most attention. “These are definite examples of the sensationalism Nacos is talking about,” said Dr. Lynn Owens, a Professor of Broadcast and Electronic Journalism at University of North Carolina, in an email interview.  She agreed that that’s what will get them the high ratings. “Certainly, there are more ‘bad’ news stories on local and national stations,” said Owens. But she doesn’t think that’s a terrible thing, because those topics are typically newsworthy. As long as journalists strive to tell the stories that affect the community, they are doing a good job, regardless if the news is good or bad.There wouldn’t be a TV station that would intentionally scare viewers and harm society. In limited time with a limited budget, many TV stations constantly compete to deliver news that are informational as well as profitable.  “There are many more examples of news stations that responsibly cover the community,” said Owens. In terms of cable news, such as CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, they have 24 hours to fill, which is a lot of content to come up with.  Therefore, a lot of times the reporters will deliver stories about diverse issues, including both good and bad topics. Then how should TV stations deliver news when there are issues that are pertinent to American society without traumatizing viewers? “The media should be very careful when delivering this kind of news,” said Dr. Tom Linden, former news anchor at NBC affiliate KCPM in California and current Medial Professor at UNC, in a phone interview. “A good reason is the example of the Oklahoma beheading incident,” he said. Similar to the Quebec mosque attack, multiple news stations debated whether the Oklahoma incident was terrorism, although authorities confirmed no evidence to link this incident to terrorism. “The media jumped right in and said it was terrorism, but it was not.”Careful observation and delivery is essential when delivering these provocative issues. Being exposed to the violent contents should be the viewers’ choice. Owens suggested that there are couple options of delivering fearful news in regards to the graphic contents. One is using less violent graphic content on TV. “I’m not a huge fan of graphic images or other content being shown on TV, where viewers have no choice but to watch,” she said. Another option she suggested is for TV stations to say, “For more on this story, you can visit our website.” This way, the viewer can make his or her own choice to see the graphic content.Even when casually scrolling through Twitter for updates in society, the amount of threatening news is overwhelming. This certainly is not the case of Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds where media consumers should have been more educated. The power of media exposure on society is perhaps greater than viewers perceive. However, gaining the power by feeding fear should be reconsidered, as Walter Lippmann once said, “it is easier to develop great power than it is to know how to use it wisely.”


Message to Millennials: Successful New Yorkers’ Advice

IMG_2826.JPG

(Ann Shoket and Joanne Lipman at CMA Media Conference. Photo Credit: Seung Pang)

The Metropolitan Ballroom at Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel buzzed with young and diverse college students with hopes of winning the big media life.

This featured session “Winning the Media Life: Working, Living, Leading (Even when you’re a Millennial!)” was initiated by the College Media Association and presented by two successful women in New York City. Tailored to students who are dreaming of moving to the Big Apple, this session was perhaps a personal inspiration for many.

That 16-year-old dream

“I’m gonna move to New York City,” said Ann Shoket when she was 16-year-old to her punk rock friend Jenn. She replied, “I’m dubious.” Shoket didn’t know what “dubious” meant back then.

When Shoket moved to NYC, she applied to so many jobs. “I still keep the stack of rejection letters I got,” said Shoket. She still remembers the one rejection letter from the Times which particularly said “Your potential of succeeding in this job is dim.”

“So I got the world’s most boring job at The American Lawyer Magazine,” said Shoket. But as a side job she established an online indie magazine. Her efforts led her to get a job at CosmoGirl Magazine.

Now as the author of “The Big Life” and a former editor-in-chief of Seventeen Magazine, Shoket says that her 16-year-old dream led her to where she is now. What amazed her as she interviewed so many talented women like Arianna Huffington and Taylor Swift was that they all had that 16-year-old dream.

“Get any job, your first job only matters when you get it,” said Shoket.

As she was working in the media environment, Shoket had several managers remark that millennials are lazy and not worth hiring. But she doesn’t agree with them. “Millennials want freedom; they want to break the rules. That to me is a phenomenal change.”

She believes that in the era of a changing media industry, it is easier for millennials to bring social media and digital media to consumers. “You are sitting here at the beginning of your career. You don’t wanna sit still.” said Shoket.

“The way you see the world is different. And it’s a great opportunity,” she said.

A girl who wanted to be a spy

When Joanne Lipman was young, her dream was becoming a spy. She enjoyed listening to people’s conversation and writing things down. Later, she realized that there is a career track for this kind of work.

In college, Lipman was intimidated by other candidates when she applied to The Wall Street Journal for an internship. Other candidates were all from fancy schools with fancy internships. “I looked around and thought I’m never gonna get this.”

Knowing that she would never get this job, Lipman decided to simply go on a tour at The Wall Street Journal. There, she asked so many questions. “I was just so curious about how things worked!” she said.

Two weeks later, Lipman got a call from The Wall Street Journal and an internship.

“I asked ‘why did you hire me?’ and the hiring manager said because I asked ‘too many’ questions,” said Lipman.

She also felt she got the internship because she worked at a local paper. Working at a smaller paper enabled Lipman to show her own writing style than other candidates who worked at larger publishers. “Honestly, publishing anywhere is good,” she added.

Currently as the USA Today editor-in-chief, Lipman sees the now apparent diversity problems in media industry. “If you’re a woman, minority, and a young person, you have a more difficult time having your voice heard,” she said.

She has seen so many just standing on the side at a meeting and not speaking up, or not being treated equally by other people. When she was working, on several occasions, Lipman would often internally overthink at a meeting “Should I say this? This is a stupid idea.” Then her male co-worker would say the same idea and other co-workers would compliment him for a great idea.

Lipman encourages women, minority, and young people to speak their mind and be more confident. She thinks that millennials bring more perspective to a workplace.

“Journalism is calling,” she said.


The Power of Image: Visual communication

*Thoughts based on chapter 4

One picture worths ten thousand words. One powerful image of social injustice, war, or famine will replace a series of book about it.

powerful-photos-27

(Photo of Afghan man offering tea to US soldier, taken from boredpanda.com)

For more powerful photos:  http://www.boredpanda.com/must-see-powerful-photos/

You don’t have to explain the sacrifice of these soldiers or the international conflicts. This powerful picture above says everything without making a sound. Powerful images pull at anyone’s heartstrings without any explanation.

Visual communication is an area of study that investigates the transmission of ideas and information through visual forms and symbols, says Costello.

Visual Communication can be applied to anything and is so important in any field of profession. On a deeper level, it also looks at the cognitive and affective processes that affect the way we perceive, or sense, visual stimuli, according to Costello.

screen-shot-2017-02-15-at-5-27-50-pm

(Figure taken from Multimedia Foundations by Vic Costello)

Kanizsa’s Triangle illustrates the principle of closure to suggest a second triangle overlaying the first, according to Costello.

With strong visual media, we can freely express our perspective and emotions without having to explain.


Understanding the Production Process

*Thoughts based on chapter 3

Before I took the Intro to Mass Communication course, I had no idea about how TV programmings are made. As I’m taking the Digital Media Convergence course, I am learning the hands-on skills of production.

It’s good to at least know the basic concept of production process.

There are three main steps of production: preproduction-production-postproduction.

TVstudio1.jpg

(Photo of William C. Thrash TV Studio)

Preproduction is the preparation phase of a project and involves many steps, including: problem identification and needs assessment, idea generation, concept development, research, audience analysis, scriptwriting, budgeting, scheduling, staffing the production team or crew, auditioning, and scouting locations, according to Costello.

Production is the “design phase” of a project. It includes actual recording of shots, scenes, and tracks that will be edited together to tell a story, says Costello.

Postproduction is gathering the footage together for editing. This is where all the pieces come together. Video editing software like Final Cut Pro, or Adobe Premium Pro are widely used. This phase not only includes editing, but also the creation of titles, motion graphics, and video effects, according to Costello.


Computers Change How Journalists Are Trained

*Thoughts based on chapter 2

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs opened the gate for microcomputers. Less than 10 years after the introduction of the personal computer, the newsmagazine Time selected the computer as its “Man of the Year” for 1982, according to Vic Costello, an author and associate professor of Communications at Elon University.

The social and economic impact of this microcomputers was huge. Computer has changed everything, even the very traditional journalism.

By saying that, no, I don’t mean cliché that computers made editing easier for newspaper editors, enabled online news access, and decreased newspaper consumption. Computer is changing how journalists are trained and how journalists utilize technology.

Journalists are at work in a press room

(Photo taken from Google)

Number of journalism schools teach video editing and basic web-management skills to help future journalists create their own multimedia piece or a website.

But now, journalists are learning advanced computer programming and engineering to investigate, or simplify their work.  Pioneering journalism school like Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism offers a dual-degree program in computer science and journalism.

One goal of the Columbia program, according to Bill Grueskin, the dean of academic affairs, is to produce journalists who will “take it several steps beyond — to where they’re creating a lot of their own new tools,” according to New York Times.

Grueskin argues that “one of the things engineers want to do is find practical, intractable problems society is facing and help come up with ways to solve those problems.” The unhealthy state of journalism, he says, is definitely one of those intractable problems.

The unhealthy state of journalism would be fake news without any doubt. Even looking back at the recent presidential election, it seemed as biased and divided news within networks brought severe “trust issues” among viewers.

“Whoa, I don’t like journalists, they talk bad about the Christians,” said a local Christian man to me when I explained what I study. Now that journalists will soon be able to develop their own program to fact check sources, I hope that trust issues will be fixed.

My advisor said that I would have to choose a path between Computer Science and Journalism. Now I don’t have to.


New Media: Say Goodbye to Newspapers?

*Thoughts based on chapter 1.

9

(Photo credit: Shutterstock.com)

New media is paperless; a lot of things that only existed in paper now exists online. The great paperless trend enabled much easier access to large and important documents, like insurance documents and lease contract. However, I have a mixed feeling when I witness newspapers and paper books disappearing.

The transition to new media began in the early 1980s with the proliferation of the personal computer, said Vic Costello, an associate professor at Elon University School of Communications. He explains that print matters such as books, magazines, and newspapers are becoming invisible output of computers. New media devices like tablet computers replace newspapers and paper books, because they make interacting, learning, and producing so much easier for anyone.

change_in_average_daily_media_consumption_2015_vs_2010_chartbuilder.png

According to this chart above, people consumed average daily media dominantly from the internet in 2015. The main reason, in my opinion, is convergence, a new media term used to describe the merging together of previously discrete technologies into a unified whole, according to Costello. You can access nearly every newspaper and books online with a smart phone, or any new media device.

Still, old generations and I prefer real newspaper and paper books.

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