Media Monday: Charles Johnson

Olivia Fuller / March 27, 2017

For this week’s Media Monday, we’d like you to meet Charles Johnson, freelance digital content producer and videographer and editor for University of Washington Intercollegiate Athletics.

charles johnson

1. How did you find yourself as a journalist and videographer?

Videography first came to me as a hobby in high school. When I got to college though, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do like most freshmen. During the spring quarter of my freshman year, I decided to pursue my passion in video full time and I started taking any gigs and opportunities I could take.

After applying to a bunch of different video jobs and internships, the one that stuck was an internship at KCTS 9. It was there that I found my other passion: to tell visual stories that have an impact. Before that, I didn’t really have any journalism experience. That’s when I decided to declare journalism as my major and the rest is history.

2. Which of your stories are you most proud of?

The two stories I produced for KCTS 9 are still my favorite. The Kent Street Races and Empire of Medieval Pursuits. They were passion projects that I worked on from conception to completion. It was the former story that inspired me to pursue journalism.

3. What is your favorite thing about your job?

The endless learning is one. Accessibility to cultures and people that I wouldn’t normally be exposed to is another.

4. What is your interview style?

Typically, I research everything I can about the subject I’m doing. Then I use that knowledge to just have a conversation with the intent of learning from the interviewee. At this point, I hopefully have my story/angle figured out so I can try to get information or quotes to fill in the gaps that prevent the story from being presented.

5. What do you look for in a story?

Novelty and visual potential are the main things I look for. Finding stories that haven’t been fully looked into. If it has, I ask myself, “how can I present this in a way that hasn’t been done before?” It’s also really important that the story will be visually interesting or has potential to be with creative editing.

6. What is your day like at your job?

I look for ways to build upon a story every day. Work varies depending on where I am on the production pipeline.

Typically, I start with research and script writing. That leads to finding subjects and scheduling interviews. Then, it’s time for the shoots. After that, comes editing. Since multiple shoots have to be scheduled, I usually work on editing and tidying up the script between shoots.

7. Who do you most look up to in the journalism industry?

I don’t really have any role models since video journalism is so diverse. However, one person who produces really cool content is A video producer for Fusion.

8. What is your favorite news outlet?

I would probably have to go with Vice and Fusion because I really like their high quality video production.

9. Fill in the blank:

  • If I am not reporting or producing, I am…Probably going on hikes around the PNW, or working on my hyper lapse photography.
  • If I could interview anyone, it would be…Brandon Li, a traveling videographer who’s style I really like.
  • My favorite thing about Seattle is…it seems to have an endless well of discoveries.

10. What is your guilty pleasure?

Hmmmm, probably fruit on pizza.


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