Thomas P. Costello, Multimedia Journalist

I chose to do my multimedia journalist assignment on visual journalist Thomas P. Costello. He was an obvious choice for me because I like his style of journalism. He currently works at the Asbury Park Press where he shoots video for their website. He is also a published photographer but has taken time away from that to do video. In addition to being published in many newspapers, his video pieces are regularly aired on News12 New Jersey.

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Click here for his Twitter account where there are news photos he posts on behalf of APP.

 

Boy Trapped in Sand Tunnel – This is an embedded video from 2012 where a boy was trapped in a sand tunnel. This is an example of multimedia reporting for many reasons. First, it is news. It is a new story because it was a life threatening situation for someone. Secondly, it is structured like a news video. There is b-roll throughout the entire video. There is a voice over and interviews. The interviews have lower thirds for their names and are framed correctly for the web. The video is also around a minute thirty seconds which is the average time for a news video.


Seaside Boardwalk Fire -This is an embedded video from September 2013 of nasty fire on the boardwalk. This is an example of multimedia reporting because of the length of the video, the very vivid b-roll and the story within the video. All of the shots are sequenced from wide, medium, close up. There are no jump cuts. He also utilized the natural sound in the video. Fire makes a lot of crinkling noises and that was not lost with the interview so that was good. The interview was also framed very nicely with a lower third that is easy to read.


Heroin Abuse Grips the Shore – This is an embedded video from October 2013 where heroin is discussed as a news video from the shore. This is a different way to consider multimedia reporting because of the way it is structured. First, it is over 5 minutes long which is usually too long for a news video. Secondly, the interviewer looks right at the camera when he is talking instead of to the side like you are usually supposed to do it. This is good reporting because the b-roll matches the subject very well. The second and third interview are framed perfectly for the web with good easily readable lower thirds. The audio is also really good in this video. No buzzing sounds of choppy video


Ryan Howard Returns to The BlueClaws – This is an embedded video from June 2013 where Ryan Howard returns to the BlueClaws baseball team. I thought this was a great example of multimedia reporting from the moment it started. The nat pops of the children right at the beginning are a great attention getter for an audience. B-roll then follows which is interesting video with voice over. The natural sound is utilized well in this video. The interview is frame nicely with the appropriate lower third to show who is talking. This is a good news video because there are a good variety of shots. No shot is used more than once and it is sequenced well and easy to follow.

 

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This is a screenshot of a news video that was done about 40 abandoned dogs being resuced from a home. This video is a great example of multimedia reporting because of how well it was put together. The video is high quality and there are interviews and voice over during the whole thing. The one thing I appreciated while watching this particular video was that the video matched the audio. I like to say it see and and this video did that. When they talked about trash, we saw trash and when they talked about dogs, we saw dogs. I think that simple step is overlooked a lot and it really makes the news videos look more professional.

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Now moving onto the photos he has taken for multimedia journalism. I got this photo off of Thomas P. Costello’s personal website which it was also on Asbury Park Press Photography page for an accident that happened on route 18. This is a good example of multimedia reporting because of the emotion it provokes. This as clearly not a good accident and it is descriptive by looking at it. Very visual. It has a good rule of thirds and even though you cannot see any faces, it is intriguing to look at. I can picture this photo being on the front page of the local newspaper.

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This is a screenshot of a news done October 2015 where a man was uncooporative with police. This is a good example of mulitmedia reporting because of the quality of the content, video, voice over, interview, and overall story. This is not a typically happy story so I think the tone of this video along with the voice we hear is appropriate for what is going on. The video, like the rest is very good and high quality. There are a lot of variety of shots and good sequencing. The interview of the police chief was framed well for the web where it was his neck up.

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This is a screenshot of a news video that Thomas did in November 2015 where a homeless man looses a friend. I think this video especially is a good example of multlimedia reporting because it is a touching story. It is very sad and this video does a good job expressing he sadness of it. There is cop video, and video of woods that fit the story. A lot of say it see it. The interview is framed well and there is a lot of lead room which always shows a good videographer in my eyes. I think this video was put together well and the video and audio match well and sound good.

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I chose this photo to use as a good representation of multimedia journalism because of the message is sends across without saying any words. I think when a photo speaks for itself, the photographer did their job in telling the story. This is a photo of Rabbi Schustals funeral. The dynamic of everyone wearing black and hats makes a statement. I am not sure how news-worthy this story was but by all the people in the photo, there must have been a lot of people there and this photo is a good way to incorporate a lot of people into one place. Even the casket is in the upper third.

 

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These two photos go with the same story. I believe that these two photos are an example of multimedia journalism and reporting because they are very visual. The story was about a mother who was struck by that car in the first photo with two children in the stroller. This is obviously a very serious and sad story and the photos are graphic and show the severity of the situation. The photos show the truth of the matter and framed great and the photos tell a story on their own and I think that is when it is a good photo when you do not need so many words to come across as serious and emotional.

 

Part 2:

Overall, I am very glad that I those Thomas P. Costello for this assignment because I think he is genuinely a good multimedia journalist. I think what I like best about his work is that it is professional and traditional. When I was looking through all his work, it was consistent and it was almost like he has a certain style of doing things, which I respect because I am the same way. I believe he is a good example of multimedia practices because he is clearly experienced and knows what he is doing. He frames interviews very well. His work always has a lower third to identify them, which people overlook but it is equally as important as video. One thing I thought that put him above the rest was his audio skills in all his news videos. Natural sound is so important in journalism, or news at least and every video had good audio and natural sound to carry the information. All the video he shot was steady and in focus. All the video was sequenced appropriately, which always makes a video look professionally done. I think what puts video over the top is the creative shots that come out of shooting b-roll. I know it is hard to come up with creative cool shots for some stories where there is either nothing to work with visually, or it’s a more serious story but he had a lot of unique shots throughout the work I looked at. One critique I would have for him that I learned is to get more interviews. Every story is different and there may only be one person to talk to but I noticed throughout his videos at least, one source. I liked in this class where we were required at least two or three sources because it gives more credibility to the story and I think it is important to get more sides to a story regardless of what it is. I don’t know how the professional world works that much yet and maybe that’s the norm but I like hearing from multiple people about a story, I think it legitimizes it for more. All the aspects of video I have talked about are what I think really make this journalist good and a good role model of multimedia practices because I did a lot of research before picking Thomas and there are some phonies out there that do not take the time to really capture what the story or whatever is about before just snapping something on a camera. I also did notice that this journalist never repeated shots in a video, which I think is an important factor to notice. Over shooting to me shows dedication and if you shoot too much b-roll, you will be in the clear every time. Nothing bothers me more than seeing repeated shots in a news video, unjustified because I know they just did not shoot enough video and are hoping we do not notice. Overall, Thomas is a good multimedia journalist and it was fun to look at someone else’s work other than mine this semester and see the skills put into action in the real world by professionals who have a better grasp than I do.

 

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