Get Adobe Flash player

New technology brings journalists into tech-era

Typing the transcript from his interview, Chazz Parker, junior, works on his prom etiquette article for the Bagpipe. Photo by Bagpipe Staff

With leaps in technology seeming to occur daily in this era, the Journalism classes had to make a few changes to get up to par with professional journalists via the use of technology.

Journalists on campus, until the last few months, have been stuck in the 20th century—reporting with pen, paper and Word Processor. Journalists on the Bagpipe and Highlander staffs are seeing a monumental change in the way they are reporting news. With Career and Professional Education funding, the technology the classes needs to report news as professionally as possible is now at their fingertips.

“There is a real push to provide news content to audiences immediately, rather than wait for the newspaper to be published. Technology, especially iPads and WiFis, have afforded our students the opportunity to report the news exactly as professionals do,” Stacey Pierce, Journalism adviser, said.

Professional journalists, though they do utilize the age-old pen and paper in some instances, use additional resources to report news. In today’s society news is at the audience’s fingertips. Users can log on to any Web site and read an article, view pictures and watch video of anything news related that happened just five minutes ago. Until the last few months, journalists on campus didn’t have the capability to do this.

MCA has helped the Bagpipe staff step through the technology barrier by funding improvements such as iPads, Nikon cameras, and Verizon MiFi hotspot capability. With these improvements, the journalists can go to any event and shoot video, record interviews and write articles to post on the Bagpipe before local newspapers can even report it. News is time sensitive, and the first to report a story accurately has the freshest story, which appeals better to audiences. These changes allow the high school journalist to become more professional, and more employable with local news organizations. Students can also compete with professional newspapers when it comes to timeliness through the use of technology.

Devices Used

Nikon Cameras - These new cameras are more compact and lightweight than the department’s old Canon cameras. Instead of having to buy new lenses and external flashes for the old cameras, now journalists have it all in one. The new Nikon cameras are used on both staffs for covering events around school and in the community. The additional cameras also allow coverage of more events, bringing up the staffs credibility as a whole throughout not only the school campus but the community as well.

 Apple iPads – This tool allows student journalists to shoot pictures, videos and record interviews. The iPads are equipped with video and picture-editing software, such as PhotoBooth and iMovie. “Making movies on the iPad with iMovie has also been a big help for me reporting the news because even though I have a detailed article, the movie simply adds life and image to what I am reporting and it helps that the iPad has an amazing camera to vide0 tape and take pictures on,” Kiara Aquino, junior, said.

Now news can be viewed via video or read all on the same Web page in a streamlined package. iPads bring the Bagpipe staff into the 21st century and captures the student’s interest as well.

“The iPads have helped big time; they pick up everything that person is saying and you can rewind it so you can listen to what they said again in case you didn’t hear [what they were saying] or you forgot,” Chazz Parker said.

 Verizon MiFi Hotspots - These are used by staffers to ensure news is as up-to-date as possible. MiFi has been used to stream live reports via the Bagpipe Web site at athletic events, as well as important meetings held on campus. It is the staffs intent to further utilize the hotspots next year to cover football, basketball, volleyball and other sporting and academic events, respectively. MiFi helps the organization to post news before other news organizations are able to, which drives the competitive nature of the reporters.

Other changes are to come for the journalism staff including voice recorders, which will be used for interviews, further ensuring accuracy.

MCA members from S2N, Web Design and Journalism classes are headed to the Florida Scholastic Press Association (FSPA) State convention next month to learn how to better utilize these technologies and to compete against more than 1,000 other high school journalists. Competitions range to include writing, photography, page design, Web site design, anchoring and video packages. Convention is May 3-5.

“State has shown us the benefits of using technology in journalism and I’m excited to compete again this year, ” Cristy Holland said. Holland is a second-year member of the Highlander staff and first-year Bagpipe reporter.

Holland recently used the iPad to report a live feed from a varsity baseball game. ”It made keeping track of everything easier and it was exciting using the iPad and recording the actual events without having to write everything down,” Holland said.