Wednesday, December 15, 2010

J-reality bites? (and a cool resource thrown in)

Going around the e-mail, Facebook and Twitter circuits is this Gawker post pointing to an online video, So you want to be a journalist?

It's a cynical dose of reality. I also have mixed emotions. I do get annoyed at those students who seem to think the end all and be all of "journalism" is writing for the N.Y. Times or the Wall Street Journal. That kind of elitism bothers me. Yet - and you can call it shamanism, if you want - there needs to be a certain amount of that idealism, and I don't want to crush it. Idealism is important in most professions - it is what pushes the envelope forward.

So as a colleague pointed out in an e-mail, if you show this to a class of j-students, you probably should also show "All The President's Men" as a reminder that journalism does have purposes other than making money and hanging out in all the cool spots.
Tech Tool: The dialogue in the video is a bit robotic, but that's because it is created, essentially, by a robotic computer. Translated, actually, into a video from what you write. In watching this, I discovered the Xtranormal site on which it was created. Type in your dialogue, pick a set of characters, and create a video using the text-to-video converter. (And if you know where to look in the embed code, you can download the finished product as an MP4.) I could see using this to create some short visual presentations for class.

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