Journalists must have a complete set of skills

Emily Sweeney, who has been a staff reporter for The Boston Globe since 2001, visited our class on Friday to talk about her experiences as a multimedia journalist. She writes stories for the paper and produces videos for the Internet and television.

Emily Sweeney, staff reporter for The Boston Globe

When she graduated from Northeastern University in 1998 with a journalism degree, she said people told her it would be difficult to find a job in print media. Now, she focuses her work on multimedia journalism because she “never considered [herself] print only,” she said.

“Having a complete set of skills…to tell stories different ways…are all really good skills to have,” she told the class before showing video clips from her website.

She produced “The Wild World of Bingo” for The Globe in 2007. In class, looking back at the video that she made almost four years ago, she said the quality and edits are “rough.” “But it was an example of capturing something on video,” she said.

My favorite video that she showed the class was “Boston Slang,” which she co-produced in 2008 with Billy Baker. Sweeney grew up in Dorchester, Mass., so her and Baker reminisced about words they used when they were younger that revealed people’s regional origins.

Sweeney talking about "Boston Slang."

“My videos aren’t the best quality, but I try to capture the scene as best as possible,” she said.

For example, she used her cell phone to take footage of the opening of Dumpling Cafe on Washington Street in Chinatown. Sweeney said she plans to write a blog post soon to accompany the video.

“It’s better than just describing it in a blog post,” she said. “Throw a video in there, too.”

Sweeney said she uses a point-and-shoot camera because she isn’t taking as much video now that The Globe has an entire team focused on multimedia journalism.

Before leaving on Friday, Sweeney showed us Globe photographer Bill Greene’s 2009 video of a senior citizen basketball tournament, “Still in the Game.” The video captured the fun and excited morale of the players that a written story wouldn’t necessarily provide.

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