Backpack Video Journalism [COURSE]

This course will teach you to produce engaging new media compositions to grow your personal brand, investigate a research problem, sell to a business, educate the public, and so much more.

Course Description

Backpack video journalism is a form of journalism that is emerging at a fast rate due to democratization of digital media tools. This particular form of journalism focuses on the production of powerful, engaging, and intimate stories which connects people with the social environments and situations that constantly reshape our world.

Backpack video journalists are reporters, photographers, videographers, editors, and producers of these intimate stories. Such stories are only accessible to a backpack video journalist upon successful immersion in the cultural fabric which makes up a particular society.

Through the immersive technical training and studio mentorship you will be able to produce a multimedia composition that engages the audience’s intellect and emotion simultaneously. The viewer should only have to watch the video one time, and have a deep understanding of the social problem you spent weeks, or months, investigating.

The final project in this course is a digital media composition which includes a wide range of digital media assets that you will curate, create, and compose: video interviews, moving photos, audio clips, infographics, clips from external videos, research documents, social media posts, blog articles, etc.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Produce an engaging multimedia composition that explores a social problem (example of a social problem: 6 million Americans ages 16-24 are unemployed + not attending school)
  • Understand the systemic cause of a particular social problem
  • Become trained in Final Cut Pro video editing software
    • (note: maybe we should assume they already know how to edit – this technical aspect may take away from the bigger picture)

Who should take this course?

Take this course if you are interested in learning how to explore a social problem in your local community using video and other digital media tools. The ultimate goal is to use new media to educate others about the social problem.

Why is this important?

In the future courses, you will learn how to solve a social problem. However, in order to create a solution you must first understand the problem. The video you produce in this course will describe the complexity of the social problem which is a result of your understanding the problem. The video is also important because now you are able to educate another human on the systemic causes of the social problem. This education empowers a person to make the next step towards changing it.

What happens to your video?

Your video will be used on your website. Your startup will do something to solve the problem you explored in the video. As people land on your website they will be instructed to watch the video first. After watching the video the website visitor will understand the problem you are trying to solve. Your website will describe your startup as a solution to the problem they learned about in the video.

I am hired regularly to produce these films for university departments and businesses

This film provides an investigative look inside the complex nature of the naturalization process as well as the impact of a specific program Rutgers offers to help people solve this problem. I worked closely on this project with Dr. Mann, Executive Director of the Eagleton Program on Immigration and Democracy.


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