Part of the Multimedia Journalism module involved me looking into the world of Online Journalism and what exactly the Internet has to offer for all Journalist’s out there, professional or otherwise.

As technology has changed and adapted over the years it’s potential has grown. Although many may say that the Internet hasn’t reached it’s full potential as of yet, I do believe it offers a vast amount and this has been proven throughout this aspect of the module. Journalists are now capable of not only using the Internet as a source for their pieces of writing but as a platform in which they can show their work off. This can be through specific topic websites e.g. music or political debate websites, blogs such as this one or social networking websites such as Twitter and Myspace.

During the course of the Online aspect of the module I found myself looking into and trying out all sorts tools the net has to offer. For example RSS feeds, Google News, Google Reader, Twitter, Flickr, Delicious and YouTube. I found myself trying these tools out for the amount of time asked then giving up with them after as they didn’t prove that helpful or relevant to me and my needs. As the time has passed I have even forgotten what exactly Google Reader is and what it does and whilst I still have my Twitter profile, I hardly ever check it or update what I am doing and if I am honest I do believe it is a pointless social networking site and it can be considered as being a good source for stalkers rather that Journalists. I don’t understand why anyone would be interested in seeing what someone is doing every hour of the day.

YouTube remains to be a good website to get videos out their to millions of people each day and only acts as another way to get your point across, so before long it wouldn’t surprise me if more and more Journalists are producing podcasts or webcasts to allow them to say what they want. As for Flickr I just don’t use it. I prefer a website like Photobucket but in all cases when it comes to online material you need to be careful where you get it from and who it belongs to.

During the Online Journalism lessons we also got into groups to create a group blog. Although this helped develop team work skills I didn’t really see the point of the task as we were being marked on our individual posts. During the two weeks the group blogs were live, music journalist Ben Gilbert came in and took part in a news day. I enjoyed this session as it was more than just sitting at a computer for three hours straight and actually learned something about the field I wanted to go into.

Blogging in general I have really gotten into. It is good to have a way to practice different skills and showing them off to a wider audience and it is also good to have a way to finally say what you want to without someone not listening to telling you you are wrong. With blogs it doesn’t matter how random your pieces are and for a student blog it is good to be given the chance to talk about anything and everything. It is easy to see why many citizen journalists choose blogs as their platform.

So what have I learned? Well the Internet is still developing and not everything out there is suitable for everyones needs but it is good to have a play around. Twitter is a completely pointless website and being limited to what you can say isn’t necessarily a good thing and blogs are a way of the future. I enjoyed this part of the module so it would be good to develop the skills learned here further.

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