Late Night Patriot: Our Set Up

Last week, I began to talk about how we started Late Night Patriot, Mason’s livestreamed news broadcast. My team and I have successfully completed 3 shows to-date and are going into our fourth show.
I wanted to talk about our set up, basically what we use to broadcast and how we broadcast.

When I first came up with the idea of Late Night Patriot, I only had my Macbook and a Canon GL2 to broadcast. Many of the people who I had approached were wary of me using a single camera set up, saying to me “It couldn’t be done.” “It won’t look good.”

They were right for the most part. When we did our first show, we were using an iPad with as the the teleprompter, a single GL2 for the camera and the stream running off the Macbook. We literally turned the camera to go to the next part of the show and had done this until the 3rd show.

What was spectacular is that before we into the third show, Paul Moore and Josh Cruse, my off-camera crew, (who are awesome by the way), took the initiative to head to the student video center and they found a video and audio switcher.


From there, we found a second camera, hooked up several monitors and mics and are now going to be working with using another computer to run prerecorded materials during the broadcast.

We’ve made great strides and will continue to do so. Look forward to more as it comes.

Late Night Patriot: How it began

To me, Late Night Patriot is the culmination of many ideas and efforts.

As I have reiterated many times over in these posts, I am the photo and video editor of, Mason’s student run news website. I’ve been very happy doing what I do, taking photos and video for the site, but I’ve always wanted to do more.

When I learned that we have the ability to livestream, I was excited. I knew that we had the ability to do great things with the capability, but I didn’t know what to do with it.

Steve Buttry came to my online journalism class a few weeks back and spoke to us about the digital future of journalism. What stuck with me was that if you had an idea, run with it and do it to the fullest. It hit me.

Livestreamed. News show.

I ran over to the Office of Student Media, told a few important people my idea and they were hooked.

I started to get the necessary team together, a camera and streaming crew, on camera talent, and the that was that.

I started to formally communicate with the team over Spring Break, talking about show times. Originally, I had the show at 10 a.m., but one of the team noted there is no 10 a.m. news so instead, we moved it to 10 p.m. to reach the college demographic.

Our first show went off without a hitch that Monday and LNP is now going into its third show. Be sure to tune in every Monday night at 10 p.m. for news, a weekly rundown of events on and off campus and Open Session.

Workshop 2: The BBC 5 Shot Method

For the second time in a row, I was able to give a great workshop to those who asked. Instead of being basic, I decided to go into how to shoot a quick and easy sequence of shots.

The BBC 5 shot method is an easy way to create a montage of images that stitch together a simple sequence. For the sequence, you shoot 5 shots, hopefully in order:

1. A medium shot.

2. Close-up shot.

3. Hands shot.

4. Over-the-Shoulder shot.

5. A random, but relevant shot, usually a wide shot.

The medium shot acts as a set-up shot, giving you something to start the sequence with. The close-up shot allows you to better focus in on your subject and the hands shot shows actions being performed by the subject. The over-the-shoulder shot shows interaction with the subject and another object or person and finally the random shot goes into a transition for a quote.

With all these shots, you can’t fail.

Workshop 1: Basic Videography

When did I become a video teacher?

Photos and video are passion for me and when Professor Klein said to me that I would be a roaming video editor for class, I felt honored. I’m not going to lie though, I was a little apprehensive to say yes at first.

I thought to myself, “Me? Teach?…….Really now?” I’ve never taught people in a class about video, but I have taught on a smaller scale. I figured, why not challenge myself a bit.

For my first workshop, I taught Jarrod, a classmate about the basics of video using mobile as the platform.

I went over how to use the iPhone as a proper video camera, making sure to stress the importance of stabilizing the phone for footage. Then, after taking some footage, we went into iMovie and edited together a voice-over story. Very basic, but very valuable information to have.

Is free news on its way out?

My, how the Times are a-changing

Online journalism, particularly that on news organization’s websites like Washington Post and USA Today have remained free to read for the most part. The New York Times, however, has lead the way in maintaining a “paywall” or fee for reading their news online.

With a recent change to their newssite, reading the New York Times online may have become harder., the popular Gawker tech-blog, is reporting through AllthingsD is narrowing the amount of articles that the online reader can see for free. Before, NYT let the online reader read 20 articles for free, but now with the decrease, you will only be able to read 10 a month without going through their paywall.

Gizmodo has found ways to avoid this paywall and read the Times for free. This is detailed on their site here. Be sure to check this article out to read some of the best journalism out there. o

Response to Chapter 9 of “Journalism Next”

Clay Shirky’s quote in the beginning of chapter 9 of Briggs’ “Journalism Next” explains the chapter best, “There is no such thing as information overload, only filter failure.”

With the amount of data that’s being put online, whether it be emails, social networking or anything of the sort, it’s important to know how to sort through this data and find the best bits of it.

To do so, Briggs recommends several basic, but time-consuming tips. these include “organize your email”, “find the right productivity tools” and “develop a strategy” for sorting through the data.

Briggs’ strategy dictates that you manage things like your email, contacts, notes, images among other things. Keeping track of all of this will solve a lot of problems when sifting through the ever-increasing pile of data coming into and going out of your digital life.

With all this data comes an improved form of an already present form of journalism, data-driven journalism.

When you keep track of numbers like receipts, votes, video-views among other things and are able to find a journalistic correlation between them, your knowledge of a situation increases and thus, a story appears.

For instance, when incoming Mason president Angel Cabrera was introduced to George Mason University, the Office of Student Media had a video interview with Cabrera. All the videos were posted, but the video that had the most views was his thoughts on football.

The video received over 1000 views while the others only received under 50. This is a strong indication about what the Mason Nation is paying attention to when looking at this new president.

This is the perfect example of data-driven journalism.

Response to Chapter 8 of “Journalism Next”

A photo captures a single moment. A video captures the entire moment and beyond.

This book just keeps getting better and better.

I keep on reiterating in these responses that I’m the photo and video editor for and that I live online journalism day-by-day. As such, I cannot stress how important reading chapter 8 of “Journalism Next” is for someone trying to get into journalism in today’s world.

Mark my words and I hope that they sink in. Video is the next revolution in journalism whether it’s print, online or television. Video is the future for journalists. Know it, understand how to create it and perfect it. This will set you apart from the rest of the people going for the same spot you are.

My statement rings truth with Briggs’ statement in the beginning of the chapter.

“Digital video is so easy that millions of amateurs worldwide are also publishing frequently. By mid 2009, YouTube reported that 20 hours of footage was being uploaded to the video-sharing site every minute.”

There are several things that go into producing a great video and Briggs hits them right on the head.

-Use different approaches for different projects

-Try storyboarding

-Mix your shots

-Build five shot sequences

Not only does all of that count, but most important is your sound. Sound, in my opinion, makes up 80% of your video. You can have a great edited piece of footage put together with all the best quotes and people to tell them, but if the sound is bad, people won’t tune in and watch the whole clip.

My best recommendation for sound is that you read over pages 232 and 233. They’ll tell you everything you need to know.

Response to Chapter 6 of “Journalism Next”

A good photo allows you to read a page of the story. A great photo allows you to read the whole book and more.

Chapter 6 of Mark Briggs’ “Journalism Next” is something that I take to heart as a “photojournalist” of sorts.

Digital photography has been around for a while, but has recently reached a point where the essential equipment is inexpensive enough for anyone to pick up and camera and take a shot. I

As Briggs notes in the chapter, the biggest thing that digital photography affords journalists is speed through the out-moding of film cameras and the production procedures that went into using film.

According to Briggs, there are two types of digital cameras, the point-and-shoot/all-in-one which shoots decent photos and videos and then there are the DSLRs or digital single lens reflex cameras which are larger and the have the best quality performance and photos.

With recent developments, DSLRs including Nikon’s new D4, are now able to take high definition video as well as photos, a new development since Briggs wrote “Journalism Next”

I work with digital cameras everyday, especially my Nikon d7000, which at its release, was one of the best midrange DSLRs out there. As you can see, the results really do show.

Digital cameras really do make a difference for the photo and videojournalist alike. It’s all on how you use them that makes the biggest difference.

Repsonse to Chapter 5 of “Journalism Next”

Smart phones and apps and fast knowledge, oh my!




Mobile. It’s something that’s in everyone’s hands in today’s digital world. Whether it’s the topof the line smartphone or the most simple of phones, people have a way to communicate with each other in an easy and quick fashion.

Personally, I don’t own a smartphone, but I understand the importance of the devices 100%.

For a journalist, being able to create, send and upload content quickly and on-the-fly is essential for success. With the mobile platform though, you have many choices of how you can present your story to your reader.

“Mobile journalism”, as Mark Briggs describes it in chapter 6 of “Journalism Next”, is a “whole new field”. Mobile reporters can “write and updaet constantly, and take and transmit videos and photos directly to their audience. It no longer matters whether a reporter is working for a company whose primary focus is print, online, radio or TV.” They “can report in any medium, from anywhere, anytime”.

We experience this kind of journalism on a daily basis with things like Youtube videos from news scenes, photos from protests and other things that mobile journalism has documented.

Just as Briggs outlines in the chapter, you must make important choices when using mobile journalism. The questions you must ask yourself include “Will the audience benefit if we can take them here?” or “will the journalism be ebtter if it’s done on location and with urgency?”

While not tough decisions, these questions are important to ask yourself.

For me, mobile journalism is something I work with everyday. As the photo and video editor for, I must carry my gear with me at all times, being able to catch news for the university on-the-fly. I’ve caught some of my best news while keeping a mobile mentality of urgency and speed.

With a cell phone in almost everyone’s hand, speed and urgency are a necessity to beat people to punch.

Update: “iPad 3” out, “iPad HD” in

Last week’s reports that the next iPad will be dubbed the “iPad HD” are getting close to being 100% true., the tech blog that revealed the iPhone 4 to the world, reported last week on the iPad name rumors. They are reporting today that Venture Beat, another tech news site, is confirming the “iPad HD” rumors.

Many have speculated and reported on the next iPad having a high quality retina display that is similar to that of the iPhone 4S. This name would make sense coming after the iPhone 5 rumors culminating in the release of the iPhone 4S.

Tomorrow’s the big reveal. Gizmodo has compiled everything they know about the new iPad into one article. Click here to read the full piece.