Interview With A Journalist: Dag Stamnes, TV2

The 11th of January I was fortunate enough to get to interview Dag Stamnes, a journalist for Norway’s biggest news channel, TV2. Dag gave us a tour of the entire TV2 building, located in the centre of Oslo.

Stamnes gave me a tour of the entire building; newsrooms, editing rooms, green rooms, makeup rooms, sets from daily series, news broadcast set, as well as the remaining rooms in the massive building, which was an amazing experience – especially since I have appeared on TV2 before.


My appearance on TV2.

Here are some of the pictures from the tour.

During our interview we talked mostly about how technology has changed the shape of journalism and how it is now a tool of great importance. Stamnes talked with excitement over the way TV2 uses technology to give access to all reporters all material they get, how their computer systems work, and how his most beloved piece of technology, his iPhone, has changed the way he worked, and made his job easier. We discussed the technologies he uses on a daily basis, as well as what kind of inventions he would have would have invented, where he replied a tool which would make it easier to grab still-images from a video. Even so, he feels that technology today has made everything so much easier, going from having to process actual film to it all being digital and easier shared, as well as saving time in the production process. Stamnes emphasised on the importance of meeting people; in the digital era, it is easy to keep in touch with people over the internet, as well as make contacts there. Stamnes clearly stated the importance of actually going and meeting people face to face, travelling, and most importantly,getting contacts from all over the world, in various fields.

“Technology is only a tool.” Stamnes said, explaining how so many now rely on technology doing most of their job – you must only consider it a useful tool that can guide you, inform you and help you, but not do everything for you. As easy as technology has become to make so many jobs easier, trusting it too much is dangerous.

You must go out into the world – not only cyberspace.

Yes – I got to sit in the chair the news broadcasters use on television 🙂

My Favourite Photography Tips From 2011

Is there something 2011 has taught me, it is how to become a better photographer. From shooting still-life, portraits, landscapes and sports, I have used the web to gather my knowledge of how to take the perfect picture.

One of my proudest moments as a photographer – Lead singer of Dimmu Borgir, performing in London.

Starting to study journalism this year, I wanted to learn how to take more professional photos and combine them with journalism – in other words, have them tell a story.Journalism is changing, and as many journalists agree, the importance of photo-and videojournalism is growing as digital media’s power is growing.

Here are some of the websites, videos and articles that has helped me do so.

1.The New York Times & Lynn Hirschberg‘s Approaches To Celebrity Interviewing

“Joseph Gordon-Levitt” – One of the most-watched Screen Tests.
Since 2007, The New York Times have used YouTube actively to post short, black & white interviews with celebrities – also called “Screen Tests”. Their channel on YouTube has gotten an astounding…, interviewing celebrities such as Charlize Theron, Tyra Banks and George Clooney. Hirschberg also posts the same type of videos for W Magazine’s YouTube channel.

“Lynn Hirschberg’s Screen Test: What movie made you cry?

The videos, simple as they may be, always stood out to me as great new ways to perform interviews and capturing a person onto camera.
2. National Geographic –  Photography Guide for Beginners (ebook)


Screen Shot

A free downloadable PDF that contains everything you need to begin your profession as a photographer, explaining all the basics, difficult expressions and how to use your DSLR camera properly. Even as someone who had used a DSLR before, this free guide cleared a fair few things up. Great pictures, easy to understand and overall a good beginner’s guide to photography.

Screen Shot

3. Andrew Smith – Photojournalism Technique (ebook)

Screen Shot

Yet another free PDF, this time focusing on photojournalism in particular, through the eyes of photographer Andrew Smith. – Honest and an interesting read, with clever facts and harsh truths about the profession. I always find his story on how it was shooting Elton John an interesting read.

4. Masterclasses by Discover Wildlife

Screen Shot

These guides taught me a lot of what I know about animal photography; how to capture the perfect moments, how to photograph during different weather situations and the importance of the environment one is in. Includes tips and tricks you can use both for your pictures, as well as what you might need to protect and take care of your camera. I especially love the layout and the small sections that may give you inspiration for what kind of pictures you could take when you are dealing with a certain environment. Perfect guides for both professionals and beginners.

Screen Shot

5. Reynoldsjournalism video on YouTube about photojournalism

Power of Photojournalism – Part 1

Power of Photojournalism – Part 2

Nothing but a great, great documentary about photojournalism, including loads of excellent pictures and interviews. Two videos that have impacted me greatly on how I perceive photography, photojournalism and its future. Touching, interesting, inspiring and beautifully made.

Lunchtime Lecture: Peter Rudge/ Duckrabbit – “Look At Something Long Enough, And You’ll See Something Different”

Source

“Journalists as a group are the best at telling stories – they get the most practice .” says Peter Rudge, part of the digital-production company Duckrabbit.
On November 23rd, Rudge came to Kingston University to discuss Duckrabbit, storytelling, and video versus photography.

“Good stories are endlessly attractive, and satisfactionary to people. IS a story well-told, we’ll experience some emotion through this.” says Rudge, as he discusses storytelling, and the importance of capturing the essence of a story. Duckrabbit is all about combining media to create a story that will captivate people, using photography, film and music to create the perfect picture of  a story, capturing not only the context of the story, but most importantly, the essence of it.

“Slapping The Fat Woman” – A Duckrabbit video.

Founded by Benjamin Chesterston in 2009, Duckrabbit makes films with different medias such as still-photo, animation, audio and photography, and mix them together in what Rudge referred to as “Photofilms”, where photography would be the dominant visual media. Having made videos for big companies such as the BBC, Duckrabbit believes it is all about ambiguity, as Rudge refered to their logo showing both a rabbit and a duck. If you look long enough at the picture, you will see something different, and to him, it is the same with journalism and a story – there is always something more than what we see at first glance.


To Rudge, the importance of photo and video in journalism is growing, as more and more people prefer visuals as opposed to text. It is easier to connect with people, evoke emotion and share it with others than it is with text – as the saying goes, a picture tells more than a thousand words, and to Rudge, this was definitely the case.

Source

A problem with media however, is people’s attention span. Reading a newspaper is something you chose and take your time doing, whilst watching a video online is something in which comes with a lot of difficulty. We are so easily distracted, so a video must stand out, and by using photography and audio on top of it, Rudge believes their videos stand out.

When answering questions from fellow students about how to succeed as a journalist and if digital media is the way to go, Rudge replied that media is the only correct way to go.

“Naïve to think that written journalism will be the only dominant force in years to come.” says Rudge as he finishes an enlightening lecture about the importance media will have on the future of journalism.

Make sure to check out Duckrabbit’s Official Page, Vimeo and Twitter.

Profile: Pogo

Source

From Disney to Dexter, Lord Of The Rings to Harry Potter, Willy Wonka to Mary Poppins, Johannesburg to Bhutan – the names ring a bell in our head, but what kind of bell?

You probably see the images in your head of movie scenes, people, places – but do you hear the sounds of it all, the music that drives them all?

Nietzsche once said “Without music, life would be a mistake” – and one person who most definitely agrees with him is Austrailian VJ Nick Bertke – more commonly known as Pogo.

Interview with Pogo

Entering the world of Pogo, or Fagottron as he is known on YouTube, for the first time was in my case, by accident. Browsing popular YouTube videos, I stumbled upon a little gem of a video called Alohomora. Thinking it would only be a fan-made tribute to Harry Potter, the 3 000 000 + views made me decide to give it a chance, and what I found was nothing but a brilliant and unique return to my childhood.

By mixing sounds from the first three Harry Potter films, Pogo created a wonderful 3 minute song, capturing the essence of the films in simple phrases and sounds few of us would even consider using.

Alohomora by Pogo

Browsing through some of this other videos, the famous Alice In Wonderland video, the tribute to the Pixar film Up!, as well as the Lord Of The Rings remix, my love for the work by Pogo grew bigger.

Bloom by Pogo

What is brilliant is the uniqueness of his videos – they are not simple music videos; they are perfectly cut music videos made from sounds we all consider mere background noise, but come to realize are sounds that can together create beauty – the background music of life, if you will.

His latest video, Kadinchey,  made of sounds and voices he recorded whilst visiting Bhutan, captures another world through voices, instruments and beautiful film to go with it, inspiring assumably many viewers (myself included) to see it in real life.

Kadinchey by Pogo

You can wonder if this is the future of music; to use sounds we all know and mix them using the technology we have today. And with youtubers like Fagottron/Pogo, we can experience sounds of places, people and memories we might have forgotten. One could even say his videos from around the world can be a new form of photojournalism; capturing places and events through their sounds, their music and capturing the spirit of the places and people from wherever it might be.

Pogo will be releasing more videos from around the world, as well as his normal mixes of pop-culture films.

Joburg Jam by Pogo

Richard Peppiatt – “Daily Star Ate My Profession”

“To me , journalism is about telling people they don’t know, it’s to enlighten.”

 

Walking into another lunchtime lecture, I was definitely not expecting a reporter talking about going undercover in a burka, showing off his amazingly bad headlines that he has made during his career or a heated argument between him and one of the  teachers, where he slammed the Daily Star, in which the professor currently works at – but boy, was it a good one-hour lecture.

Source

Richard Peppiatt, well-known for his resignation letter to the Daily Star , came to talk to the journalism students at Kingston University about why he wrote the letter, what he disliked so much about working with the Daily Star, and what needs to change in popular press.

 

Peppiatt started the hour with a showcase of, if I may say so myself (and I think he would agree), ridiculous headlines in which came from major newspapers, including headlines such as “Telly King Cowell Is Dead” (he only resigned from the X factor), “Salt Banned In Chips Shop” (they just put it behind the counter”, and the headline that made him resign from the Daily Star, “BBC Put Muslims Before YOU!”.

 

For Peppiatt, the issue of how muslims and Islam is presented in British media was what made him quit the Daily Star, as well as was what made him question the popular press and how they have in many ways left the idea of enlightening people and instead use their papers to – in his own words – promote fear.

Peppiatt defined to us the word propaganda – “Information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view, influencing people’s opinions” -and made an emphasis on the fact that British publications had a tendency of forcing onto people headlines and articles which to some extent could possibly be defined as propaganda, as the pressure to sell newspapers has grown extensively over the years.

 

”  Do people really believe everything they read in papers? Might not, but it still influences people.”

 

 

 

 Source

 

During his time at the Daily Star, Peppiatt was at one point forced to go undercover and wear a Burka as part of an article he wrote – a ridiculous “mission” for a man first and foremost, more so a job he found both embarrassing and degrading towards women and muslims. During his time at the Daily Star, he felt many of the headlines and articles there were all part of the “negative agenda” which so many newspapers search for during these times – newspapers shy away from enlightening and stay more focused on creating fear in people.

 

Source

Many a headline in the British press put the emphasis on people from different cultures and how they differ from the “average British population” – something which Peppiatt found both disgusting, as well as a truth he felt most people turned their heads to.

With headlines in the popular press like “Spitting Beardies” (about protestors being disrespectful to soldiers), Peppiatt emphasized on the fact that the British press in many ways were just as bad as the people they tried to condemn – and the muslim/British subject is one many a journalist in Britain take advantage of to sell papers.

 
After his talk on the anti-muslim, fear-spreading propaganda talk, students were pleased as a debate began between him and one professor who works at Daily Star, discussing whether or not Daily Star did in fact have an anti-muslim agenda, and if muslims since 9/11 can be easily used as scapegoats in today’s press. The professor, of course, disagreed.

 

“It’s not journalism – it’s storytelling”

 

When talking about journalism, Peppiatt defined the two forms of truth; the moral (what is right/balanced way of presenting the truth), and the legalistic truth – what can I get away with writing?
And according to Peppiatt, it was no question which of the two tabloids put first. He went from talking about the anti-muslim agenda in which so many British newspapers seem to follow to talking about a related subject, people’s privacy, and what’s morally right, taking the example of Mr Jeffreis, accused of being a pervert by newspapers; if something’s repeated over and over again, even if it’s false…doesn’t it in the end seem right?

Source

He took a moment to talk directly to us as students, and wanting us to think about everything he had been talking about,as well as what you should put up with as a journalist.

“The good thing about being a journalism student right now? Change Newspapers argue over the right to have free speech, and use this to justify what they’re doing. I am behind them, however, people also have a right to privacy, which is not less important than free speech. Newspapers want to trample over people like Jeffreis, but still be protected, they want it all on their terms.”

He lowered his voice and told us all to be proud. Be proud of out work, and not do what he used to do. He wanted us to take a look at what we’ve written in a couple of years, and be proud of everything, and not just a few of the many articles we will all write in the time to come.

People are afraid, and the tabloids use that for all it can be used for. You have to dare to be different, and go outside the boundaries of “normality” – change, he said, doesn’t come unless you dare to do so.

He also gave us a warning of the butterfly effect – how the impact on one person can change the course of things. (As he also discussed in this article.)

Source

“Small things can have big consequences – a headline can make someone say that’s it.”

Sites on Peppiatt worth checking out:

Independent Article

BBC Article

Richard Peppiatt On The Guardian

 

Twitter Account

 

 

TV Appearance

 

 

On the 9th of November, I was fortunate enough to be par of a news broadcast for the norwegian television station TV2, the largest commercial television station in all of Norway. I was called up and asked to be one of their guest correspondents during the student riots in central London (Trafalgar Square), and was part of the live broadcast for the 17.oo news broadast (the most-watched news broadcast during the day- yes, I was more nervous than I have been my entire life)

Me at Trafalgar Square. Source.

I reported on the demonstrations, how they were going, how the situation was in terms of violence/trouble/etc,  all the arrests that had been taking place at Trafalgar Square, what the students were demonstrating for and so forth.

 

So, for those of you who understand norwegian, here’s my TV debut as a reporter – enjoy!

 

(I do not own this clip. No copyright intended. All credit goes to TV2)

Occupy Wall Street

  1. Occupy Wall Street in NYC is being raided by the police. Watch livestream: livestream.com/occupynyc #ows
  2. Americas Occupy Wall Street turns online for basics
  3. VIDEO: NYPD clear Occupy Wall Street camp: New York police have dismantled the Occupy Wall Street camp in Zuccot… bbc.in/tqytKp
  4. BBC News – Occupy Wall Street: New York police clear protest camp bbc.in/tNFqwm #ows #ofs
  5. What We Saw at the Occupy Wall Street Protest
  6. Sounds like Occupy Wall Street had a visit from NYC’s “housekeeping service” in the night.
  7. Police beat back Occupy Wall Street protesters, dozens arrested
  8. Many people were in support of #occupy movement until they lost their focus/message, bit policeman, and let Michael Moore be a hypocrite.
  9. Michael Moore speaking to activists at Occupy Wall Street
  10. Here’s How Occupy Wall Street Came To A Sudden, Unexpected End Today:
    Occupy Wall Street as we know it is over…. bit.ly/tVd1bc
  11. Our Revolution has begun! Time to take note and spread the word folks…the more eyes are watching this…the police will have to chill out on the protesters…this country is waking up and the elites are bummed:}

The Comment Factory

One of my favourite pages on the web is The Comment Factory, a place where anyone, journalist or not, can post their articles and opinion pieces. I thought I’d share some of my favourite articles this week:

Interview: Jeffrey Sachs – by Matt Kennard

Caroline Glick’s “We Con the World” and the Tea Partying of the US-Israel relationship – Didi Remez

No More Blood, No More Fear (video) – Leah Borromeo

Also thought I’d add one of my articles: Interview: Living With Trichotillomania

Lunchtime Lecture: Kathryn Corrick

Facebook status update: What do the recent Facebook changes mean for newspapers & journalism?

On Wednesday the 26th of October, I alongside several of my fellow journalism classmates took part in a lecture by Kathryn Corrick on the changes Facebook will be going through and how it will impact both the individual as well as organizations, newspapers and of course, journalism.


Source

Through a detailed slideshow, Corrick discussed the new features that will be available on Facebook over the next months; TIMELINE, a feature that will document your history on Facebook, from events to what apps you’re using, and give you the ability to “backfill” your timeline on Facebook with more or less content, Open Graph, which will enable you to post not only what you like or are listening to (referring to the new Spotify feature) through Facebook pages, but through other websites as well, and how PAGES will be changed, and SUBSCRIPTIONS will be further developed.

Source

Corrick discussed the good and bad sides of all these changes, as well as what it would mean for newspapers and journalism, as Facebook’s becoming more of a platform for information, and not only just connecting.

Several newspapers have got widgets on Facebook that allows the user to post which articles they read and when they read them, though some apps proved not to live up tp expectations readers might have in terms of appearance and accessibility.

One question remains – are all these changes to Facebook really necessary?

Many Facebook users, myself included, feel that Facebook is starting to sidetrack from it’s original purpose, much like Myspace did, by introducing too many new features that most people don’t find necessary or feel should be on a page of its own. Facebook, once used to keep in touch with others, is slowly, but steadily turning into somewhat a platform of self-promoting, advertising, and some feel, invasion of privacy.Employers now finding information about their applicants through their Facebook profiles is something that is causing many young people to fear their chances of getting a decent job.

As much as I can admit I spend ridiculous amounts of time on Facebook to talk to my friends and look at their pictures, videos, what music they are listening too and so forth, I fear Facebook might go too far and end up as Myspace – too complicated, too unorganized, too old-school.

Make sure to check out Kathryn Corrick’s Official Page, Twitter, as well as an interesting slideshow on telling tales using digital media.

Canon 60D

A couple of weeks back, I treated myself to a Canon 60D, with a 17-85mm lense.
Now, I have to admit – when it comes to the technical aspects of cameras in general, I am no expert. However, testing technology is something in which I love.

Now, I haven’t had excessive experience with cameras in the past – I own a Canon 450D, a Sony HRD-CX105 AVCHD Handycam and a Sony DSC-TX5 waterproof camera, as well as having tested out some other Canon and Nikon DSLRs, but regardless of that fact, I know a good camera when I’m using it – and this is by far the best one I’ve ever tried.

Now, as for the technical details, I must admit, I am no pro. For that I’ll leave you to a more thorough review than mine.

However, I thought I’d share a few pictures I’ve taken over the past weeks: