Latest News - Cameron announces plans for NHS reform -::::- Southampton Toll Collectors go on 1 week strike -::::- Follow @mackingnews on Twitter for all of the latest stories -::::-

Thursday, 28 April 2011

How to film for news (using the camera and interviewing)

We start off with the equipment. Nothing to complicated, you need a camera(obviously), currently the camera is either a PD1550 or PD170. With this you will also need a gun mic to pick up decent sound from the person you're interviewing. You may also need a tri-pod, particularly if it is an arranged interview. It is also also important to note that the camera should be at i level(ie- not looking down on someone, or up at them).

When it comes to deciding where to place an interviewee, you should avoid placing them in front of a window or an inappropriate poster. You should choose a background that best fits the situation. And be sure to take control and not be afraid to instruct the interviewee when positioning them.

You should then make the right alterations to the camera to ensure you footage is filmed at its best quality. Try to avoid having the camera set to auto, and instead try and adapt to a manual set up so that you have more control over what you see. Auto is fine for generals views(such as shots of trees or buildings), but manual would be more suited to the actual interview.

You need to alter the white balance, do this by zooming in on a piece of white paper(or anything white) and press the white balance button.
The 'Iris' should be altered. To do this, you need to zoom in on the face of the interviewee, and press the iris button which will then automatically set the exposure. You can also tweak it using the dial next to the iris button, if you feel that the exposure is not quite right. And it is better to go darker than lighter.
Focus can also be important, to alter this, you zoom into the eyes of the interviewee and you can then alter the focus to your liking and with zoom adjustment.

Rule of thirds is a technique that is often used in news reporting, it involves placing the interviewee so thier eyes are in a top third of the screen, and facing into space at the interviewer. A useful tip is to change sides when cutting between interviewees.

And to end this post, i'll leave you with Charlie Brookers very own guide to reporting the news.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Power of Facebook - Part 1

Last month I asked my followers to tweet my some random facts. One that really caught my attention came from @TomCallan. He said that 'if Facebook was a country it would be the 3rd biggest in the world.'

Now this really fascinated me. It's a lot of people. Lets put it into perspective.

China has over 1.3 Billion people, making it the highest populated country in the world. In second place is India which is the home of over 1.2 Billion people. The 3rd biggest country is The United States more than 311 Million.(and just for those interested the UK is 22nd with around 62 Million).
Facebook has over 500 million active users. Which confirms that the fact is correct, it actually has close to double the amount of America's citizens, which is pretty big. It becomes easy to understand when you consider the vast amount of users across a number of countries, including a large chunk of America itself. And yet, around 70% of Facebook users live outside of the US. This also means that thier are over 70 different translations.
If Facebook was a country, it would be a very multi-cultural one.

The Facebook logo has become regonisable wolrdwide, and it is ranked 2nd in the global Alexa rankings(only coming behind Google).

Making 'The United Nations of Facebook'
I think a UNF name for the country would make the most sense, as it would be filled with a number of nations uniting.
I suppose the basics of a 'Facebook Country' aren't too complex, such as the FB logo would be the flag.

The trickier stuff comes when deciding details such as the form of government. It would be easy to say a democracy, because of Facebook being very much reliant on the people. We've also seen in the social networks history that a lot of decisions made by those that run the website have not been well recieved. Although, those decisions often work out in the end, or we simply adapt to the changes. I would personally suggest a Republic.

A country of Facebook users would also mean that anybody could be found and accessed through the website, privacy could easily become a thing of the past. Although, i feel like an impression is getting created that everybody would know everyone, but that obviously wouldnt be the case with over 500 Million people populating it.

It certainly would be an interesting prospect, and thier would be a lot more to consider when looking at how Facebook has transferred into something that has taken hold of the world. But i'll leave that for another blog.

I'll just leave you with an image that was released by Facebook not too long ago, and shows exactly how widespread it has become.

A picture that really does some it all up. Courtesy of Facebook.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Rural Rides by William Cobbett

This is certainly an interesting piece of journalism from Cobbett. It essentially follows his journey across the south of England, and you read about his consistant complainig. These complaints range from the treatment of farmers and the countryside, to the trees that fill England.

William Cobbett was a man with very strong opinions. He was an englished journlist, and began producing his own newspaper called the 'Political Register'. He campaind for freedom of speech, and cared passionatly for farm labourers. He hated the way land owners would treat them, and saw it as being close to slavery.

During the time of writing in the 1800's, France had experienced a political revolution, and England saw an industrial revolution. England were eventually dragged into the Napoleonic war, and when thier soldiers returned, they found no jobs in the countryside, and instead (much like many people had alredy done) they fled to the city in search of work. Cobbett did not like to see the money produced from the countryside get invested into cities, as it created the gradual decline in wealth for those in farms.

Corn Laws(1815-1846) were brought in to pressure the agricultural industry, and to ensure that British trade would continue to florish(much like it did since taking advantage of the French revolution). But Cobbett was very much against this idea.

In 'Rural Rides', Cobbett makes comments such as 'All middlesex is ugly' and that surrey 'has some of the very best and of the worst lands'. These opinionated comments ae good examples of his very negative views and personality. He doesn't hide how he feels, and it becomes a more personal account.