Ayesha Al Khoori | October 27, 2013
After spending 10 months training in various departments of The National, I am finally moving to my last department to learn all about the digital publishing world. But for the past three months I have trained to become a multimedia producer, learning to shoot and edit video to create mini documentaries.
The final project I worked on is one that The National’s readers and subscribers might love to see, as it explores a day in the newsroom. It focuses on the front page production, and its importance, as editors work hand-in-hand to produce a daily newspaper.
While shooting the video, I realized how much work goes into the creating the front page of the paper. The design must appeal to the readers, photos must be impactful, and the selection of articles has to be balanced. The page must focus on various subjects, hooking readers in.
I spent days walking around the newsroom (and sometimes the parking lot) with my camera, at times I even walked around with two cameras to use different lenses. I thought it would be better than changing cameras every now and then. I had to get wide shots of the newsroom and then focus the macro lens on facial expressions, hand gestures, and note taking. I would always think I had enough shots, and they were the right ones. Sadly, I kept going back out for more footage, walking around to get more shots and different angles.
While editing the video, I noticed how patient I had become after three months of practice. I no longer gave up if something went wrong or rushed to one of my colleagues for help. I still had trouble with the audio and uploading the video files, but I think I handled it better this time around.
I was also more aware of the editing techniques that I was taught by members of the team, and I am forever grateful to them. The experience in the multimedia department, even though tiring, was still rewarding. I was shown how to create an informative video, and was taught techniques I never thought I could master. I learned how to swiftly change camera lenses, and how to carry a tripod without hurting myself, which happened many times before.
Videography has become an accessible way of telling stories and the popularity of this mode of communicating allows us to reach people around the world. Now that video can be easily shot and seen worldwide, in my opinion, video storytelling in newsrooms will continue to grow. It is a medium that is now found on most electronic devices like mobile phones and tablets, and many platforms allow people to share videos with each other. Through social media websites and applications, even videos taken by amateurs are shared by many and viewed by many more.
This illustrates the importance of learning video production, and how it will benefit me personally in the future. And so, the past months have taught me greatly and I have acquired skills that will surely help me in the future. Now, it is time to move to another department where I will be introduced to yet another world.