Archive for January, 2010

This blog has suffered of late. Blame the football transfer window.

I’ve devoted a pile of time in and outside work to pulling together a transfer deadline day service which will provide great experience for students and great coverage for sunderlandecho.com and many other Johnston Press sites – if it all goes off as planned.

Sessions with students to brief them on Coveritlive and the brand values of JP, meetings with lecturers to sort out turning part of the Media Centre at the University of Sunderland into a live newsroom, hours on Facebook and email enthusing students and sorting out incentives to contribute – right down to the sausage sandwiches we’ll take delivery of at noon… It’s been hectic.

Add to that the more onerous task of selling the project to my colleagues at JP and providing them with an affiliate pack including everything from web buttons to print ads, animated skyscrapers for their site to editorial penned by my excellent intern David Allison. Thankfully my pitch has worked – with the likes of the Yorkshire Evening pst, Yorkshire Post, Lancashire Evening Post, Portsmouth News, Belfast Newsletter and many more taking our content.

As a result all eyes are on us. JP’s head of digital content will be there, Sunderland Echo editor Rob Lawson is popping in… All of which ups the stakes and reinforces what a good opportunity this is for the students, I hope.

To be honest, it’s all a bit nerve-wracking. The pressure is largely self-imposed as the groundwork has been done and we did a great job last year when it was just David and I sweating in a room with 2,700 user comments pinging at us.  But we’re on the eve of d-day now and things are pretty much out of my hands. It’s now down to how many students turn up tomorrow at 7.45am for what could be an incredibly busy, and incredibly rewarding, day. And, no, I’m not just talking about the sausage sarnies.

What can possibly go wrong?

>> Transfer deadline day live

Adobe Audition is a space rocket when all I need for day-to-day digital work is a bicycle. In truth I don’t exploit this powerful audio editing tool to anywhere near it’s full potential.

But I was given a great tip for adding radio-style punch to voiceovers from a pro via a work experience chap.

Import any audio into Audition, then under the Amplify Tool click ‘Normalise’, then under Amplify click ‘Dynamic Processes’ and from the drop down select ‘Classic Soft Knee’.

Once applied these effects make a significant difference to podcast and voiceover tracks.

Thanks to Andrew Hilliar for the tip.

Many thanks to David Banks, co-author of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists, for these answers, and to those of you who sent questions.

Is a commercial website such as a newspaper’s able to use even a few seconds of a song or piece of music without having to pay royalties? A common belief used to be that as long as the clip was under 30 seconds you were ok…
The defence here is fair dealing. It works for printed material, extracts of books, plays,  films etc. So long as your extract does not extract the entire value of the original material  you should be ok. Remember you have to accredit

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