Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Multimedia Reporter Enlightens Multimedia Reporting Students

Standing before the class, cameras hanging from his neck, pockets full of smart phones and a police/fire scanner, Andrew Knapp looked and talked the part of the 21st century multimedia reporter. It wasn't hard for him to do since that's exactly what he is.

They're called different things: sojos (solo journalists), mojos (mobile journalists), e-journalists (electronic journalists), one-man-bands (no explanation needed) and multimedia reporters. Knapp represents the new breed of journalist who can, by himself, do all of the types of reporting that in the past required several skilled professionals. At Charleston's The Post and Courier, Knapp writes, photographs, videotapes, edits, posts, blogs, tweets and will voice reports too if there's the need. 

Andrew Knapp of Charleston's The Post and Courier
I could not think of a better guest speaker to talk to my class of 20 multimedia reporting students. On Feb. 13, Knapp lead us along his career path, shared some news coverage"war" stories, and brought and talked about the various electronic tools of his trade.

A native of Princeton, Maine, Knapp graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maine with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He went in interested in sports reporting but came out more interested in news.

"A teacher persuaded me to switch to hard news," he said. "I had the police beat and that kind of got me hooked. It's more hard-hitting than sports journalism. When you write about public service agencies, it tends to affect people more."

After graduation, Knapp decided to go right to graduate school. He chose American University in Washington, D.C. where he earned a master's degree in journalism and public affairs. "I wanted to expand to a more vibrant media market," he said.