Alexander Acosta Osorio

video, photo, blogging and media


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A. Start tweeting – five different types of tweets to post to your Twitter Accounts

1. What are you reading? Send a link relating to it

2. What are you thinking? There’s got to be something worth sharing

3. What are you doing later?

4. What are you liking on Twitter? Find a message posted by someone else on Twitter that’s interesting or helpful and retweet it.

5. What can you ask someone or answer?


Exercise #4

Comparisons are deceiving, however they are necessary in some circumstances to differentiate and identify different trends or features.  For exercise 4 I am asked to watch a video produced by and online broadcaster (BBC) and a video produced by a newspaper (NY times) and the difference shows.  BBC maintains its breaking news edge while NYtimes tries to get itself behind the story.

You can watch the videos here:



The aproach in which the videos are made are a bit different. BBC’s videos are less feature oriented and more hard news style. Short clips concieved to give you the most information as possible in 1 minute or so. On the other hand, NYtimes takes videos a step further and adds on to its videos a bit more of personal stories. We explore a bit more how things are happening.

Both approaches work well for news coverage. Here it is not a matter of quality, but style.  BBC’s videos play on demand. You have the choice of what you want to see. In NYtimes videos play on a loop. You play the frist and the videos keep on playing.

Certainly BBC videos give us quick bit of current information while NTtimes takes a bit more of time to go behind the scenes and expose more.

Exercise #3

Audio and podcast.

There are two podcast editions I follow regularly: BBC World News and Chicago’s Public Media This American Life. While at BBC I can expect  a complete and extensive coverage of  the latest hard news, in This American Life feature presentations are the norm.

Of course most podcast are about life, what happens to people in the United States, however,it is always  source of interesting, ‘out of the stream’ kind of stories.

The format is informal, divided in ‘acts’ just as acts in a theater show. It is a combination of old radio narrative and new stories. There are extensive interviews and the topics are heavily observed. What makes this American Life different from hard news podcast such as BBC’s is that the stories in each episode contains much more detail and have been produced in a longer period of time.

This American life is famous internationally for the quality of their features. They are a statement to what can be done in audio and podcast.

One of the things broadcast journalists can learn from podcast productions is to invest more time in details that can further enrich each story. Professionals working in podcast productions on the other hand can learn from broadcast journalists to invest their resources and creativity in producing compelling stories that not only interest listeners but also inform.

Tough Room 2011 is an example of the quality of feature podcast produced by This American Life.

Listen here:

Exercise #2

BBC website: Analyzing an old friend.

I am a frequent reader of the BBC news online and it is not only because you get in depth information about the latest news around the world, I also like the way the present them to me.

The website is designed in a way that it makes it easier to find the information I am looking for. There’s a menu bar that divides the world into new spheres.

The main page also present news in an order of importance,: from breaking news, to new developments and analysis pieces. They are also accompanied by video, photo and related news stories from the region.

BBC website as it appeared in 1997

Image via WikipediaExercise #2

Usually the stories are interconnected so in that way I can always look for background information.

The page is divided by topics of interest as well: Business, Technology, sports, travel, food, and entertainment.

Of course there’s a section devoted exclusively to the UK.

The BBC offers me a selection of news in video, photography, audio and also I am able to access a whole new set of pages dedicated to blogs and other of BBC’s enterprises.

I would say their main page is the master page and the from there I am able to access the rest, with the option of coming back, just by clicking the BBC logo.

Very convenient

Excercise #1


During five days I have followed BBC’s viewfinder and had a closer look at its functionality, design, features and activity. During this time I have also come across some interesting articles about the future and the role of photojournalism.

Things are moving fast.

With out doubt the way we receive and share information is changing. News formats are morphing and exploding to include text, video, audio, web generated content, and all the variations of this in between. It’s an exciting time. Now it is possible to control how we receive news and constantly websites are upgrading their features so improve our experience.

Viewfinder is just one of many examples of how blogging is changing, nurturing and increasing our understanding of what is going on around the globe.

Today viewfinder hasn’t shown new activity, but it doesn’t mean that the flux of information and related content stops there. I have visuals complementing the stories and the analysis and links to the news all over the place. I too can chose to share it with the world through social sites such as facebook, twitter and other means, such as this blog.

In no other time in history people like you and I have had this tremendous opportunity to serve out local communities, and connect.

This retransmission of information, the control we have over it, is what empowers anyone using the internet, and that can have a remarkable impact on how society evolves and faces its own shortcomings.

And all of it starts and ends with your own words.


Not much going on. Since Thursday’s last post viewfinder stands still in the blogosphere.

I cannot say the same about the rest of the BBC as its coverage of the unrest in Egypt has been restless.

Nothing is going on in viewfinder thus I looked up the site’s menu bar, clicked on ‘news’ and when right on where the action is: BBC’s News home page. There I can read, watch and listen the latest news, and that includes many visuals of course. Clearly the photo editor has been busy. It usually happens  that when people who have other responsibilities are too busy their blogs simply freeze in time.

So, after scanning the news, the latest headlines, features and analysis, by region and field of interest, I clicked on ‘ in pictures’ ( right under home.)

Here’s were all the action is.

You can click on the slide show of the ‘week in pictures’ slide show, a weekly selection of photographs from around the globle. On the right side there’s a photo essay on Egypt and right under it another one about the US and Canada snow storms, and under it you can jump all the way to Australia to see, literally, what happened with the Cyclone Yasi there.

Now, that’s refreshing.

On the lower column there is a link  that will take you back to viewfinder and their last post on insects. You are welcome, if you need a break from the news.

Follow ‘in pictures’ here:


If you want to know what’s wrong with a blog, read people’s comments. Usually that’s the best way to find out what works and what is actually bothering readers.

While exploring  view finder I came across comments from David Richerby and trekker308, a couple of regular blog commentators  who have pointed out how the text in the galleries obstruct the photographs from full view.

.” At 3:39pm on 11 May 2009, David Richerby wrote:

The new photo galleries are excellent apart from the captions, which obscure the bottom of the photograph. I want to see the caption and the whole of the image at the same time, please! Either put the caption below the photo or display it only while the mouse is over the image, like the navigation buttons. Yes, I could hide and then show the caption but that’s three clicks per image and the captions scroll in annoyingly slowly.”

I think David has a point.

These captions pop up right on the lower part cutting up part of the image. Something most photo enthusiasts find rather irritating ( myself included.)

The fact that you can comment on the BBC website is a feature that connects readers and entitle them to share their views and reflect on a particular topic. This is something you cannot do in the print media and TV. It might seem something simple, but it is a feature that gives blogs an edge over other formats.

Another features that give viewfinder more flexibility are RSS feeds and a tab linking the blog to an external site, such as flickr. These extra features expand blogs capacity to inform and they make them part of a web of information, literally.


Today I will take a closer look to Viewfinder features but before we get down to business I’d like to mention that I finally signed up for a account in BBC blogs It’s easy and having an account will give you access to all the BBC blogs network, which is pretty extensive.

You will have access to the BBC’s most read blogs, latest post and in case you can’t leep track, you have a list of recently viewed blogs.

I am excited.

Today in viewfinder I found a new post about Insects. The images were submitted by the readers themselves (I have myself sent a few entries to this weekly challenge.)

I was expecting to find the same blog from yesterday about ‘domestic glamour’ and photography as a mirror of the real world, but I was mistaken. The entries are not following an set order, some have a day in between, others a week, but no more than a week. Maybe it is so because there are also other sections in viewfinder and the editor decides what to post and where; perhaps.

There are about 10 to 12 posts per month and needless to say, they all are related to photography and photojournalism. It seems obvious, but some other blogs mix topics and you find yourself more often than not, reading the news or being directed to the main site.

In the blog itself I’ve got a list of topical post as well as access to the last 12 months, in case I want to catch up.

Of course there are the ‘read more’ and ‘hyper links’ that internet users distinguish as quickly as they would mustard and ketchup. As with these dressings, links and other fixtures on the page complement our experience.


Today I am starting my five day close look to viewfinder: A blog about photos in the news, from BBC. The task at hand: Observe closely the blog and identify it’s main characteristics, how it works and what I find in it. It seems pretty straight forward, but is it?

Today more than ever blogs are playing an important role in how we access information and interact with it. There are blogs of all colors, topics and tastes, and in the BBC it is not an exception, but why viewfinder? I could have tried to spend some time observing the outstanding images of say the Boston Globe’s ‘ the big picture’ or I could have tried to navigate the pay per content New York Time’s to get to their ‘Lens’ , right?

Yes, but viewfinder is different.

It’s not only about images. I’ve got actual blog entries about various topics, from the dead of the Polaroid to the future of photojournalism itself discussed by some of the leading professionals in the field. How can you beat that?  I’ve got a list of current topics and if I am tired read about photography I can jump to other BBC blogs. If I am looking for something in particular, I have got archives and if I am to busy to go to the page itself and I want to receive a feed, I can get it as well.  One of the things I like is the thumbnails with the bloggers’ images and a mini profile. a bit old fashioned, but rather effective.. If I wish to contact Phil Coomes (picture editor and photographer for the BBC website) I have his work e-mail right there.

Explore viewfinder here:


Written by Alexander Acosta Osorio

February 18, 2011 at 8:04 pm

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