Friday, September 28, 2007

Successor Generation - Videojournalism's 7up

  • David shooting with a Digi700 camera for a Channel 4 News feature from South Africa

  • It is an incredible feeling as a journalist, sociologist, or an interested party to see change within a nation take shape before you.

    The Civil Rights Movement of the US, Glastnost and Perestroika in Eastern Europe, Thatcherism and the politics of self - these provided genuine reflections of our changing attitudes.

    Often documenting them yields first time rough drafts; a snap shot of history by the hand of the achitect.

    Nonetheless they are visual documents for new generations to ponder.

    Truth, I don't by any stretch think so grandiosely about this work or others.

    But watching this film - a version of which was made for Channel 4 News - is a strong advocacy for videojournalism and  why we must persevere to tell non ageneda stoies.

    The Successor Generation
    In 1999 working as a freelance producer at Channel 4 News, I learnt the programme had no plans of reporting South Africa, five years on from its historical elections.

    The most would be a short report from the studio.

    So I did what many others I feel would do with 18 months prior experience reporting from the region in 1994.

    In that year BBC Radio 4 commissioned me to make a documentary following the lives of four South Africans.

    They were about to vote in their first election.

    That documentary proved a huge success, which is why I went back and shot this piece.

    There's lots today I would have done differently. That's progress.

    But what they have to say here is still relevant today as it was back then.

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