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junior reporter Jennifer Tang
junior reporter Jennifer Tang |

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During a special journalism workshop at the University of Hong Kong, Young Post junior reporters learn some tricks of the trade.
In October and November, our junior reporters attended online journalism workshops organised by the University of Hong Kong. There, they learned how to operate cameras and edit sound clips and pictures coherently with user-friendly software. In the end, they all managed to produce stories, which were then published online.

Here junior reporter Jennifer Tang explains what she learned at the workshops.

Tips about taking pictures

The Online Journalism Workshop was organised by the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre. Students from all over Hong Kong got to learn about professional photography. They were also taught how to record interviews and use computers to produce eye-catching slideshows.

"No matter what you're using - a mobile phone or a professional camera - if you know how to frame your photo, it will be a good piece," A.J. Libunao, a lecturer on photography, told us.

Students learned to experiment with taking pictures from different angles to achieve different visual results.

They also learned about the importance of lighting. It can greatly influence the look of a subject in a picture, for better or worse. Adding shadows to a person, for instance, may bring out an extra layer in visuals or make the image look livelier.

Hands-on experience

Students were allowed to put theory into practice during the lesson. In two-member groups, we took turns being model and photographer for each other.

We took five pictures of our partner from different angles. That may sound easy, but the lecturers challenged students to stand still while taking pictures. The keen young would-be journalists had to kneel down, stretch out, pull back or stand on their tiptoes to be able to take pictures from different angles.

The next task was to experience how it felt to be photographed by several people. Six students were chosen to stand in front of the class, smile and pose for a minute. The rest then took out their cameras and started snapping pictures of the models. The idea was to let students know how awkward it felt to be on the other side of the lens.

The technical bits

Near the end of the workshop, students were taught how to produce slideshows by using Audacity and Soundslides. Audacity is a computer program for editing audio clips.

Because most students had recorded so much extra visuals and audio during the workshop, many had a tough time deciding which should go into their 90-second slideshow. Once the audio was done, students moved on to selecting their pictures.

In my group, we took more than 200 photos in total. But because most of them were not related to the audio, we also had to borrow photos from our interviewee. After a long day of selection, we arranged the photos in order and moved all the files to software called Soundslides. That's where magic happens and the audio can be combined with a slideshow of photos.

Then it was just a matter of a few easy clicks to upload our finished project onto the internet.

To see the students' work, check out http://jmsc.hku.hk/sites/hkstories