multimedia meltdown: rantings of the not-so-technologically-savy journalist

Needless to say, I am not a lover of this whole multimedia thing. Don’t get me wrong, the final product is always fun to see and I could spend hours looking through photos and movies. But, actually going through the process of using Audacity, Final Cut Pro, and other multimedia programs, is not my slice of pie. And here are my reasons.

1. Technology 101. Almost every time I have completed a project, I go to save it and the project erases or some technology glitch alters all my hard work. This is beyond frustrating. Computer crashes, program quirks – these just add to my stress and sometimes even cause tears after four hours of editing just to find the project was deleted. No thank you, I’ll leave this nit-picky visual stuff to people who are actually good at it (and have the extreme patience for it). As a magazine emphasis, I’ll be set by simply mastering Microsoft Word.

2. In the field. I have recently discovered how difficult it is to wag around tripods, camera equipment and about 500 other fancy objects we need to an interview. An interview, which I might add, in which the person really does not want to be in front of a camera and could care less about my class grade. As I’m struggling to set up the equipment (which always seems to have something wrong with it – dead batteries, uneven tripods, broken buttons, you name it), I’m usually tripping over cords and being my typical “graceful” self. Did I mention by the time I actually get the darned thing set up, my memory card is nowhere to be found? I think I’ll stick to the old-fashioned pen and paper journalism.

3. Time flies. Nobody really knows how long it takes to do these projects until they actually have to suffer through it. The first time I did anything multimedia related, I underestimated how long it would take – giving myself only an hour or so. Three hours later, I’m cursing at my laptop, rushing to finish on time with some kind of quality product. Now, I leave myself a good five hours advance time… just in case some mysterious technological horror happens (refer to “technology 101”).

4. Interview irritation. I also miss the easiness of picking up the phone and calling someone for an interview. Simple, to the point and more relaxed. I have found most people don’t like having microphones jammed in their faces, especially when they only have ten minutes of their time to meet with you face-to-face. I can’t blame them.

While I really do appreciate all the work that goes into making these multimedia pieces, I just don’t harbor the passion for it like others do. I am proud (and relieved) when my projects end up looking good, but I just can’t forget how much stress went into the process. To the broadcast kids – here’s to you, friends. Good luck and stay sane.


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