Friday, November 30, 2007

Nokia Vs Sony A1

One of the issues to surface over the Reuters- Nokia gathering was the quality of pics.

You heard a little bit of the debate when Tim raised it in yesterday's Video post.

Today I was on Nokia's site feeling around and posted the point raised in the video.

Obviously, I'm sure of this, it'll improve.

And there are many perhaps, evidenced when you go to Nokia's user group, who will say its superb.

No worries, that's really not my contention.

Do I take my A1 or er Nokia, maybe a debate a lot of us will have very soon, with by then the A1 doing something extraordinary to thwart of a filming device when you can edit-load at the press of a button.

Which on that note Multimedia Editor John Dempsey from IC Liverpool alerted me to this.

Liverpool one of the first tranche of newspapers in the UK to go video journalism, have at times been able to sell footage to the BBC.

He tells me about this shoot - a march in support of Rafa Benitez Liverpool's coach captured on the Noki and posted on IC Liverpool's site.

There's some white noise but what do you think about the pics as opposed to not having them at all

Blog Role TV - Future TV

For the legions of online newspaper et al sites with adroit presenters, Chicago Tribune (CT)makes the first land grab.. ok one of the first.

The idea - presenting at Apple a couple of years ago was simple, reinforced by a bloke called Dave who had a programme called Blog Roll where punters blogged in and the presenter spoke to his audience.

Occasionally, you might get one of them on the phone or skype and exchange a few words.

Ideas though are one thing - I'm speaking about me now and my smarty wazz pants thought - but doing it, well, that's what separates the doers from the talkers and Chicago Tribune has showed its digital doer status more than we can remember.

My favourite from its multimedia camp is a MM doc looking at oil.

But to the present and et voila, this pops out nicely.

Talk radio with Pictures
Talk radio but with more inteactive bells

Isnt that called Television?

'Course TV does its own version e.g. Good Morning America et al, but it's a fair bet the costs at Chicago are minscule.

The hard work comes from the software and team fluidy knitting it all together.

This is an idea which will take off, with bloomburgesque info attachments doughnuted around the screen and what it will do is out the most enormous pressure on TV once again.

Yes some of them won't be worth the screen we're looking at, but Chicago Tribune's for instance will redefine dip in TV, respond at will, as we know it.

CT's Mark Hinojosa comments about this some really special features to this set up:
1. Look at their Youtube Channel
2. "There's an on demand, which is built from the live version so lets you pick which question you want to hear the answer to. The snap polling is the newest feature. If you watch it live you can vote and see instant results in the chat window".


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hail the Immersive Video Journalist

His name is Cliff Etzel -an award winning photojournalist in which he describes himself as visual content creator since 15 years of age.

"1 of 99 out of 847 applicants accepted to the Eddie Adams Workshop in 1992", his site tells us, adding:

"While there, I was 1 of 15 special merit award winners for my work. In addition to working as a Video Journalist, I am a certfied PADI Rescue Diver and an I.A.F.D. Certified Freedive Instructor. I also publish the only website on the Internet devoted exclusively to shooting video underwater - UWDV.COM"

Read more here

As a water baby and free diver, Cliff and I whom regularly swap notes and emails, is onto something.

I'm PADI but nowhere near Cliff's qualifications, but have pulled off some wreck dive expeditions, one of which was sold to the BBC.

So the combination of videojournalism and advance diving skills puts Cliff in a catergory of his own.

If you're planning an expedition, sea-environmental project, want to take a crew to Antartica or are from Dive Magazine (Is John Banten still around?) then Cliff could be your man.

Hail the immersive videojournalist (I-VJ)

Interested in Mobile Phone film making

FILMOBILE is organising a unique networking event in collaboration with the Mobilefest (São Paulo) in the Centre for Excellence at the University of Westminster on the 6th December. The program includes presentations by filmmakers and organisations working with mobile devices. A live web broadcast with the Mobilefest in Brazil is scheduled to take place during the networking event. The talk is followed by an open discussion and a wine reception.

The event is free to attend but registration via the New media eXchange website ( is required in advance:

Please register early as guest list capacity is limited.

Speakers in London:

Eva Weber (BBC and documentary director - The Intimacy of Strangers)

Lisa Roberts (Pocket Shorts, Video Umbrella, Single Shot)

Daniel Florencio (Filmmaker and Current TV pods producer)

Camille Barker (Artist and SMARTLab researcher)

Max Schleser (Mobile filmmaker and researcher)

Speakers in São Paulo:

Alberto Tognazzi - MovilFilm Fest,
Zico Góes - Programme director MTV,
Maurício Hirata – Ministry of Culture, Brazil,
Wagner Martins – Economist ("Cocadaboa"),
Mauro Rubens – VJ and video artist,
Duncan Kennedy –Mobifest Canada.
(Detailed program will be posted sooner to the date on

Date: 6th December 2007, 2 pm - 7pm

Venue: CEPLW (Centre for Excellence), University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS

Marylebone campus is directly opposite Baker Street underground station (Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Jubilee and Metropolitan lines). Buses run past on Marylebone Road and Baker Street with only a few stops to Euston, King's Cross and Paddington mainline stations. Car parking is available to those with special needs.

FILMOBILE is a project which aims to create a dialogue between the industry, filmmakers and artists working with mobile devices through a variety of on and off line events.

FILMOBILE is supported by the University of Westminster, the Higher Education Innovation Fund, CREAM, CEPLW, the London Gallery West and London Westside.

Mobile: 0791 9032166
RSVP: Event registration via

Reuters unveil mobile reporting kit -

Here Matt Cowan from Reuters is answering a question about their Mobile reporting camera's battery life. We're at the Online News Association gathering in London at Reuters HQ.

Thanks to Reuters - Sophie and the crew, and the ONA's kate and Paul for a really splendid evening

Apologies for the sound, I didn't have my radio mike with me.

Geez - no blog day

I missed a blog day.. I misse a blog day.. I missed a blog day.

Does that mean the blog police are after me.

Yes it's not funny.

But I have a habit of telling my Masters lot that they need to blog every day, no exception.

So I have sinned.

Bog a day keeps the thought police away...

coming up later, a video cut from Reuters and some...

and the unintegrated newsroom - why office party sex will be severly impaired across the techno-advanced newsrooms

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dire politics in the UK

If you're old enough to remember this is all too familiar, the perception of alleged sleeze within government.

Donations to a party which seem to be, well, not done in the correct manner.

John Major's government crashed and burned for this.

An unhinged wheel that left the central political carriage unusable.

That whiff has now surfaced.

And what made it worse for Major was the perceived contempt for the electorate.

The PM has called an inquiry, but he will know that in politics perception is everything, and it'll take a cabinet war room PR excercise to undo this states of affairs.

oh dear

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Chinese Rap

OK I know not what they sayeth - shame on me - but the gestures say it all.

My colleague who heads up the University of Westminster's music course will go wow for this, Kienda Hoji

He's also a professor at Peking University and has been running an American Idol contest for Chinese singers and insists on speaking mandarin to the contestants, many of whom don't know how to respond.

We're both doing a couple of courses at Peking next year.

If you want to hear some soul dance tracks by Chinese artists - this is for you. Good stuff

Culture huh! Xie xie

Nokia Now, Future Project then

As Adrian Monck would say you get nothing in this game for being first, but here was our concept to the BBC on news futures, three years ago.

Illustation then 2004 and article

reality now.

Now if I can just show you can get a gas cooker into your back pocket to play mp3s while microwaving your dinner

FT's Rising Cost of Food

The FT's The Rising Cost of Food

Financial Journalism made immersive using the whole range of multimedia furniture.

Very nice

Multimedia, Innovative Mobile Phone Reportage, ONA and Reuters

Reuters Mobile Reporting Phone Kit

A lot of things can happen in er a day.

Thanks to Peter Ralph at shooting by Numbers who had me in stitches and still has when he emailed me a response to a my earlier missive about the trailer for "So you want to be a multimedia journalists?.

Cmon Peter it was the high definition version that came in at a miniscule 7mb, which is why I sent an ee out.

Peter's response.

"I do, I do!

Please send cap and scarf!"

Fab - that's all I can say. An art in how to bring a fellow brit down a peg or two - fantastic.

Yesterday's Reuter's Online News Association gathering was lovely - not a word I use often.

The whole set up with two hours of Q and A with four/five of their team walking us through the whole mobile phone correspondence kit.

Good turn out of heavyweight writers/ journalists and bloggers as well. Kevin Anderson from the Guardian, Martin Stabb from Press Gazette, and that talented multimedia correspondent Tim Overdiek.

Apparently the ONA's been growing at rate of knots.

Someone needs to correct me but some 45% in the last year and most of that out of the US.

Anyways so what I liked about the talk was the honesty from the Reuters crew; we're trying this out and we haven't mastered eveything, but we're looking at what it can do, they said.

I think I jumped on ilicco their mobile products manager when a point came up about neswpaper journos prefering the Nokia system to the A1 HDDV cam I use.

Video's not for everyone, yes, but those who have taken it - some 200 plus to date - are doing some fine work. I can give a fuller list in later postings.

Anyway others weighed in.

What are limitations in bandwidth?

Do the phones have a built in stabiliser to minise shake?

How long do the batteries last?

I'll post that video once I complete this post, and so on and so on.

In the hands of Citizen jo it'll be formidable - the whole kit looks like a point and click affair.

Only pressure I can see is from the I-phone - which I have seen at work from Robb Montgomery.

Now that is special.

Onto a good thing
But Reuters are on to a good thing and they know it.

A question about quality and camera steadiness was a red herring according to Paul Brannan (BBC); if the shoot is newsworthy who cares - his point?

Reuters grabbed interviews with William Gibson ( Cyber), Vince Serf and Peter Bazelgette ( Big Brother Boss) and aside from some film motion - me thinks it has something to do with the chroma shift or compression ( what do I know) - it looked and sounded fine.

Mobiles are the future
Mobiles are the future, now that looks a certainty.

That much was talked up today by marketing mogul Ricky Chopra from talking to Commercial Music undergrads at Uni.

I gate crashed to see if I was missing anything in SEO, which he discussed.

Ricky, confident in his presentation spoke about the dash for digital downloads i.e. everyone wants to be on mobiles and how bluetoothing films, at festivals etc, was becoming the norm.

You can even go mobile: all you need is a back pack with a transreceiver, cost about 1400 dollars, and a laptop and some poor soul to lug it around.

Anyway what happens when you get passed by the cyborgy person is you get pinged with "hey here's my film", if you've got your bluetooth device on.

Does that mean Web sites will soon become redundant ?

The New Marketeers
But the best part of his talk involved the subversive area of "article marketing".

Mmmm the art of creating a buzz around your product by conversing with your market in "clever" somtimes underhanded ways.

The more savvy of you will recall Loreal and Microsoft's debacle, so it has huge negatives.

The positives: students can earn around 3200 dollars a month for "article marketing" around their blogs, and says Ricky they drove traffic from 1000 a week to 2000 a day or thereabouts when they took on a campaign.

I have got to get more facebook friends. Damn!

Meanwhile at the same time a department head went all google adwords today. Took us minutes to get on - further linning thoss nice levis pockets of google.

How much are google making from ad words alone - really - nice!

Intercontinental classrooms
And then back home Robb Montgomery from Visual Editors ask if I'll skype into a class he's taking so we can talk multimedia.

We're back where we started because I'm somewhere near producing this multimedia piece I have been banging on about- but meanwhile get some of this.

The FT have pulled a big multimedia bunny from the hat: The Rising Cost of Food I like this. And I'm sure you will to, particularly as it addresses a huge topical subject with such clarity and style.

yes yes the FT are friends, but this is still brill

Monday, November 26, 2007

Reuters herald future of reportage with mobile phone kit

Late night just returned from Reuters with the Online News Association.

Thoroughly nice people and as usual nice crowd fom the ONA.

I'll post more tomorrow including video that I shot where they show the kit and answer some difficult questions

But here's the link to their site showing their shiny new phones.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cross post - Micheal Rosenblum

Got a nice hello-ping from Michael Rosenblum, who trained me and several other VJs- the first in the UK back in 1993/94.

I posted longish giving some background to the Channel.

Often people confuse Channel One with Live TV - that did Topless darts and Bunny news - and a post on Michael's blog illustrates this.

There's scant info on Channel One which often gives rise to this.

NY1 which it was modelled on has been going strong now for 15 years.

Happy Burfday NY1.

I had the pleasure of visiting it twice; in its early days and when one of the trainers, peter, became its head of news.

Anyway's here's what Julian Aston had to say about Channel One from the Daily Mail site on 3rd September 1998

Channel One, the local information television station for London and Bristol, which is wholly owned by DMGT, is to close this month.

Says Managing Director Julian Aston: "Our projected level of cable subscriptions will not enable Channel One to break-even by the end of the present licence period so, sadly, the Channel will stop transmitting this month."

"During four years on air, Channel One has pioneered quality, local television news and information programming, introducing fresh technical and news-gathering techniques that have since been adopted by both terrestrial and satellite broadcasters. The Channel has also been, over the last four years, the broadcast industry's unofficial training school."

media, transmedia storytelling and Journalistic innovation in a digital world

Here's a curious example of circular flows and personal mash up at play.

This article was first written for back in January 07 and was picked up by Communities Dominate Brands which has been generating renewed hits of late.

With an article annd video piece being prepped looking at this space, I have dumped the orginal piece here to re-audit.

What's changed since?

Well you decide?

The latest chapter of the 'what to do with broadband' soap opera is upon us but already it would appear the script is wearing thin.

Television Networks and publishers eager to enter and go beyond Web 2.0 are using it as a repository for repeats. At best meeting the need from 'cash rich, time poor' audience. At worst just plugging a nuisance gap: 'what do we do with this all this capacity?'

David: Some have responded e.g. Spooks sets of a whole phalanx of ideas - from clips to becoming an slueth. The networks have gone all web 2.0 space. See what your competitors are doing and copy.

There are echoes of satellite TV's grand arrival where an opportunity to broaden the news agenda and perhaps even diversify simply turned to the broadcast economics law of recycling for the sake of advertising returns.

Broadband's ever-expanding capacity offers scintillating prospects for innovation - it would be a great shame to waste it.

When it comes to made-for-broadband and mobile news and current affairs the UK has some catching up with the US.
D: Jay Rosen at a recent meeting of top flight journalist at the University of Central Lancashire says we're still behind.

Stateside the Washington Post is blazing a trail by hosting work by the award-winning Travis Fox.
D: One of our Masters students researching video online rang him up. He rang back. He's very nice she proclaims. Being a star shoudn't make you a tsar - as Travis proves

Other US leaders in the area include Mercury News' | Susanna Frohman, the New York Times , and

In the UK, there are some notables include and 18 Doughty Street - but we're only just off the blocks. It will be interesting to see what the soon-to-launch has to offer in this area.

It might be that it's non-news programming that is really showing us the future. As far back as 1999, the hit police drama Homicide ran a parallel online series - called Second Shift - on to add an extra dimension to its TV offerings.

Marketing Week reports there's a real economy for developing original broadband content that could be worth millions, nay billions by 2010.

It's not just a great idea for addicts of Homicide. It's mother network NBC then, like CBS now with hit show Jericho, was thinking of broadband in terms of 'platforming' - a personalised broadcast outlet with added value for the viewer beyond that of the original show.

Giving show life beyond the limitations of the broadcast shedule is something we're experimenting with here in the UK. By taking The Trouble with Black Men - a show originally run on BBC 3 television – I've tried to look at some of the 'adding value' possibilities of following up and replying to TV shows using the web.

When first aired, the show attracted harsh criticism. Broadband has offered us the opportunity to reply to the original show and continue the debate.

Broadbandcasting and
At is that reply. A film featuring MP Diane Abbot, former heavyweight boxer Lennox Lewis, Doreen Lawrence, Kwame Akwei and the film's original author. It's called The trouble with the Trouble with Black men - it reworks it and lets it go as a pod.

But broadband’s possibilities are more than just an offering of mash-up programming. It should become a first destination for UK video journalists.

British regional newspaper video journalists are having a go. Alice Klein, of Exeter's Express & Echo, got shortlisted on "Oh My Newsnight" after just two weeks' video journalism tuition. The Liverpool Echo's John Dempsey sold footage of crime stories, shot by staff, to the BBC and Granada.

D: Alice Klein has since joined the Daily Telegraph as one of the 10 super multimedia journalists picked from 800 applicants using all manner of tests e.g. psychometric etc

But these are isolated examples. For every idea that makes it, scores will go untouched.

This new-ish industry needs more champions, bodies willing to stir this burgeoning market, stimulate innovation, pool unseen talent and diverse opinions and present this new frontier as an opportunity rather than a threat to the status quo.

It's not that we lack innovation. It's just we don't know what to do with spare room yet.

Still images from Multimedia Short

Interactive Multimedia Videojournalism Manifesto add ons

From the original 1-23 Video Journalist decree

24. Create alternatives to the convention ~ that may surprise you

25. Experiment or expire - a run on demo or die from MIT

26. Acknowledge that online the environment is interactive, your package can have multiple entry points.

27. Think expansively, shoot lean. Think like a detective entering a crime scene. If you think too narrowly, too traditionally, you're in danger of missing the new story, the new clues.

28. Videojournalism, blogging, photography are daughters of multimedia which may well require a multi modal language approach i.e. you could be the one to better define the new language.

29. Mi6 VJ says you can shoot and strip a package 6 ways,. You're a conductor controlling the play of any instrument at any time in unison. But you'll need to appreciate the capabilities of the instruments.

30. Add value to the visual conversation rather than exclusively always seeking a reaction. There is a difference. Being confrontational does not always lean towards resolution

31. It's not multimedia that is impossible. it's how you're conditioning your thinking.

32. It is an evolving language with atracting jack of all trades and masters of all.

The end of the World

Underlying this natural beauty spot in Norway was a wind that almost took us of our feet

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Multimedia Video Journalism Manifesto

Expanding on the popular theme, with an updated manifesto to follow soon, but this is a conceptual visual rep ~ made on FCP.
Many many thanks to Robb Montgomery of who shot the behind-the-story scene vid and pics and provides the voice clip ( part of a bigger package)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sacre Bleu! BBC walkies

Gasp ! A walkies shot on BBC News - a sport report on who will succeed the sacked England coach.

What's a walkie?.

Well, it's a set up shot, where often the camera operator asks the interviewer to walk from one point to another. In this case to walk inside a room and sit at a desk.

What's the problem?

It's a staged shot and the media have been saying they want to stamp that out.

Channel 5, a national news channel, said it was ridding the news of noddies (another staged shot) and others.

Why should it matter?
It's staid and lazy tired visual journalism; the construct of journalism can be done without set up shots.

My experience working for ABC News in South Africa was the networked eschewed set up shots.

As a videojournalist all I'll tell my interviewer is to do whatever they'd be doing and to ignore me as I film around them.

The shot then is more natural.

Doesn't sound a big deal then really

Depends whether you're into expanding the visual language of reportage in the same way that we should avoid cliches such as " their dream became a nightmare", and "It remains to be seen".

VJ Swarm

We have Howard Rheingold and the RAND to thank for the term in the manner which I'm using it: VJ swarms, where groups of VJs are pursuing the different stories but taking angles on the same person.

A trite intimidating, but I show this picture for another reason.

Working over in Soho with an MD - an Ex Saatchi head - promos and advertising were the rage.

A peculiar, but briliant set up for ads was the tilt- shift effect, which enabled you to produce the most striking pictures where a section of the same plane would be out of focus.

Equally the set up would create the impression that the image was a miniture box set.

It's been used brilliantly for shots near the Tate Gallery London and the bridge that spans North and South London.

But you can go some way, as highlighted by Helmut Kobler in Wired to achieving something of the same effect, which I have done with the inage at the top.

Open photoshop

press quick mask on the tool bar

Seect the gradien tool and reflected gradient from the top tab

Click hthe area you want to be in focus- you'll get a red streak informing you of the area

Press the quick mask again and apply a guassian blur from your filters.

To get the staurated look.

Dup the image in the layers pallatte

and apply multiply from the layers tab and play around with the fill.

Alternatively nip over to Soho for the whole set up

Blade Runner released

Ridley Scott in Wired Mag, Film Review and BBC this mornng on his final cut of one of the best sci-fi films ever, Blade Runner.

First there was the Studio 25 years ago - a flop used Voice over and mushy ending

Then 10 years on the Director's cut - a sucess scraped all the studio bumf

And now the Director's Final Cut - Ridley's Opus, finally satisfied should make very interesting viewing.

NGOs and web 2.0 on face book

I have been invited to act as adminstrator for Facebook community: NGOs and web 2.0 and my opening discussion looks at an issue reported in the Guardian recently.

Topic: Should Aid agencies act as reporters and film makers?

It's a perennial issue, which Glenda Cooper of The Guardian
addressed (Monday November 5 2007) and one I feel in the climate of web 2+ merits wider attention.

Here's a snippet of what he says below:

"New technology is altering how we report, where we report from and who is doing the reporting of disasters. And that means that journalists and aid agencies are having to rethink their roles...... The result: aid agencies are turning their own staff into citizen journalists and filmmakers, in order to get their message across."
more here

Should aid agencies report?
Should there be guidance and rules ?
Should there be increased levels of training?
Are journalists doing a adequate job in reporting aid issues?

Why not join the group?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Failing is good

" I believe I'm a better man than I was 18 months ago.
It's a failure but we move on"

Ex England Boss Steve Maclaren, responding to his sacking as England football boss.

The team despite a bumper crop of talent did not make it to Euro 2008.

There's something in Maclaren's admission

Actually there's a lot, which I'd previously trans-posted on "The Making of a Multimedia Journo".

If Maclaren were given the job or a similar one, would he fair any better?

Some societies see failure as the coat of a pariah, a person to be shunned, ostracised from any public or private office.

Others see it differently.

Failure entails we should not repeat our mistakes; once bitten. . .

We're stronger for the experience of going through the pain.

Clearly Sven Goran - the previous England boss has a chairman in Manchester City who believes that.

I put my money on Maclaren popping up in the US or Emirates, not because it's a softer touch but his collective experience may prove more receptive to those who see this one phase of his life as a valuable lesson they could use: how not to fail.

It's only when you've been through the experience that you really appreciate its mechanics

Video shooting in London ? You must read this

If you ever plan or have shot video, particularly in the City of London, expect to get stopped by the Police.

And it matters less whether you're holding a small DV Camera or are the Financial Times.

In one of my assignments with the FT, three of its VJs were ordered twice by different police to produce some ID and a chit showing they had permission to film.

If you're a film crew, yes. If you're a journalist not obstructing public pathways etc. no.

The last set of police we encountered were not prepared to budge when we demonstrated aptly who we were.

Now I have a communique from one of the UK's leading Media Lawyers, himself also an Editor, and a senior figure in one of the UK's largest news outfits saying in effect: THE POLICE HAVE NO JURISDICTION TO STOP YOU FILMING ON PUBLIC LAND.

Careful Now
But, beware they may still find ways of scuppering your vital shoot on the day.

Firstly by quoting a law that does not exist, and if you resist while making the call to the City of London Press Office, issue you with a fixed penalty notice for obstruction.

That's £80 around $160.

Best bet, play it cool and note the badge number.

On the other hand, lots and lots of police men and women are very accomodating and will balance the risk of querying you against the backdrop of terror in the city.

Read below. Many many thanks for Mike's help here

Dear David.

I spoke today to the City of London Police press office and was told that there is no need for journalists and broadcasters to have consent from the Corporation of London for filming in public places (not all areas of the City are public, I gather).

In the event of some police officer telling you otherwise, ask him or her to contact the force press office and ask about the current guidance.

If you have any problems, please let me know, so I can take it up with them directly.

The press office did stress that it was reasonable for an officer to check that people claiming to be journalists could show that they were working for a media organisation, or doing media training.

The force has a policy document available on its website at:
City of London.

This states, in paragraph A 1.2.12: (I have added the emphasis)
A.1.2.12 Photographers and broadcasters Press photographers and news broadcasters have a right to take pictures or
film wherever they wish, so long as they are in a public place and are not causing a public nuisance or an obstruction.

Police officers have no legal right to prevent photographers or news crews from taking pictures during any operation or investigation, if they are outside police cordons.

If there are legitimate concerns that photographers and/or crews are getting too close to a crime scene, the cordons should be moved.

Police officers should work with the media, where possible, to assist in providing them with a reasonable vantage point as this will make management much easier. If difficulties are experienced during handling of an ongoing incident, officers should contact the media liaison officer.

The force website is at: - go to News and Information in the centre of the page and click on Media Centre.

When that comes up there is a red box on the right of the page marked Download (PDF) which contains the Media Relations Policy document.

Hope this is of some use.


Media Lawyer

The politics of perfidy

The government loses the personal records of 25 milliion people in the UK who claim Child Benefit.

Sensing the right thing, it duely apologises within the House of Commons.

But in minutes later, during Prime Ministers Q and A where PM Gordon Brown is rightly criticised by the opposition leader David Cameron, Brown turns the saga into a point scoring match.

The awkward forced smile morphing into smugness from the Prime Minister, caught by the TV cameras, has the hallmarks of the politics of perfidy.

No one is to blame, no one is to take responsibility and if you're lucky you might get a begrudging apology.

In recent years politics has become less decent, branded by the motif of:
  • Don't admit your mistakes, your short comings.
  • Don't you dare raise your hands in the air, head bowed, sincerely uttering sorry. . . mia culpa, justice must be served.

    Instead the face the stamps this affair is the crude carapace of arrogance

    25 million people is a fraudulent time bomb and the damage is one that lay in wait - perhaps far beyond the term of office of the current PM.

    It is the politics of perfidy.

    Meanwhile, a national football coach is set to lose his job for not taking the team to the Euro World Cup.

    At least he offered humility, which will not be enough.
  • Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    ONA meeting

    Missed the last couple of Online News Association meetings, but hopefully will be at the next one and if all parties agree with VJ it.

    They're talking mobile phone reporting which equally excites me.

    This is an image - a set- soon to be incorporated into the multimedia package: Making of a Multimedia Journalist.

    It conceptualises a more robust mobile phone editing kit.

    Thanks to fomer MAJI student Lucas. We worked together on this some time back

    Here's what they're be discussing.

    Look forward to seeing you if you're a member or new one

    "Backpack Journalism? So last year! Learn to be a MoJo! Digital news video. Shoot it. Post it. All from your mobile. Come see how it’s done.

    The Online News Association and Reuters will host the Reuters MoJo team, Monday night, November 26, 2007"...

    Details on Facebook. Why not join up

    Image from Making of a Multimedia Journalist

    Images from the pages of "The Making of a Multimedia Journalist".

    Picture here reveals hidden video and a voice over which plays when you open the file talking about why we need to fail. You need to listen to the whole to find out that I haven't completely lost it.

    Found this shot walking through our university. I have encoded it so that when you click the corridor you see my reel which is an example of motion graphics - a strong point for multimedia.

    Facebook catches criminal

    There you go, the world is set to become a better place and the naysayers of web 2.0 can now breathe a little easier as a fugitive charged with murder is tracked down via email on his Face book account.
    Next week how Facebook can help you safeguard your bike.

    ( 2 hours later) Actually I caught the tail end of this item on the news, but in retrospect shouldn't be to flippant, as I now see it concerns the capture of someone alleged to have been involved in the murder of a English Student in Ital.

    Making of a multimedia Journalist

    Some proof reading - typos etc, links to refine and pre-loaders, and hopefully that might do it. Do feedback Pls.

    The making of a multimedia Journalist - a snap shot guide here

    1mb connection would do you fine. Click image for bigger pic

    The Tape Bunny

    .. and so the moral of the story is to always label tapes. I misplaced a tape and had to go through this lot.

    Oh that's only a quarter of them.

    I once met a guy in Falaraki whose job it was to insert those little weeny tiny toys you find in breakfast cereals.


    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    The making of a multimedia journalists

    A six pager on the making of a multimedia journalists -a rough guide out on Thursday

    Monday, November 19, 2007


    Knee deep in some flash coding and a couple of pages that expand on the theme of Multimedia - should hopefully completed by tomorrow

    Sunday, November 18, 2007

    The Videojournalists morph to integrated multi media (video). Rewrite the rules. The Outernet

    Breaking the rules of programme making - one camera, one VJ

    Be one of the network film makers, clock up over 1000 hours of films, with nothing more than a camera and laptop. google: Claudio Von Planta

    Breaking the rules of videojournalism

    Image from Apple Pro website. Truth, they're only ones and zeros.

    The Video Journalists Manifesto.


  • 1. I am a video journalist: I crave creativity, loathe that which is predictable. It is my job to look for beyond the headlines and surface story; beyond what may be known as the agenda, trusting my convictions to tell a more expansive story.

  • 2. I can move alone in any terrain. Experience is my blanket. Swarming (groups of Vjs coming together) increases my range.

  • 3. I will be told by those who believe they know best that it can't be done. I must accept that they don't understand my job, my limitations. Nothing is impossible.

    More of the Video Journalist decree here

    Understanding there is a paradigm shift

    Qu. What can you see?

    One of the biggest threats facing us isn't the deludge of new applications and hardware tools on the market; all of which I'd play around with if I had the chance, or even the trend-to-dismiss web 2.0, but the mindset that predetermines how we perceive what we do.

    If you can't see the three images above, if you're not prepared to, then you're missing out on the "aha" syndrome.

    More on New Journalism, New thinking

    Knowing there is a new skillset?

    Video Journalism in 1994 in the UK - the beginning

    Video Journalism now
    Aggressive video produced within hours, here's what you need.
  • Final Cut Pro - the trick in FCP use is in its key frames.
  • Sound Pro - Film? It's all in the sound.
  • After Effects - create incredible film tones.
  • Compression technology e.g. Quicktime
    Interview, film, produce a one on one interview and post in 10 mins

    Web site CSS build
    Dreaweaver, Fireworks, Photoshop,
  • writing for SEO, link-rich building and the F-plan

    multi media and Flash
    The cube is inspired by the rubik cube and game theory

    1. Top David voice over for African wars project
    2. David and Scott Rensberger share thoughts over videojournalism package
    3. Interview Chatham House former head
    4. Reporting with West African-US Special Forces
    5. In New York -from making of an Intel officer
    More on game theory and story cube


    audio & Radio
    David editing at BBC Radio 4 - a documentary made in South Africa, circa 93

    Web analytics + web 2.0
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    Appreciation and marvel at other people's work and the market place. History is one of your best teachers. A historical perspective in a contemporary setting may reveal new links, thoughts, multiple foundations. NB The idea of linear narrative (middle-begining-end) goes as far back as Aristotle

    Keep up to date, trawl the net, read the mags -learn by inspiration
    More on inspiring video journalists

    Be allowed to experiment. Be Allowed to fail. For it is only through our flaws that we learn. It is only by falling off the bike that our parents put us back on. And by failing and falling, we learn not to repeat our mistakes and with any luck and great humulity we appreciate the generous offerings of others. Learning not to fail, by failing is good.

    Learn not to stand still; that your view is just as important. That somewhere beyond the horizon is a new paradigm for a multi-modal, multi media journalist and that whilst we may not ultimately get there, we'll try our damnest to find out what it is by heading off swifty in that direction. CF The Outernet.

    Image from What is multimedia feature looking across three continents. Trailer here

    David Dunkley Gyimah in 1998 working off his G3 cutting a film. In view the VX1000 - one of the first prosumer cameras. More on David's work see
  • Saturday, November 17, 2007

    multimodal journalism

    There's a lot I don't like about this already, but as a first brain dump it should, most likely will change.

    I'm producing a piece for the Press Gazette's Dominic around multimedia. The piece is likely to be a linear video.

    For a presentation next year at Cultural XChanges, I hope to have built something germinating from this.

    From working in a newsroom, Channel 4 News, Newsnight, ABC News and so on, there's a lot I think I can pull out which may have some use to an application with embraces teh conversation both in and out of the news construct.

    The Past and Present
    Old timers of BBC Greater London Radio will remember an innovative lunch time news room, which attempted to recreate and sometimes create the drama of finding a news story and reporting it, in many cases even chasing up the interviews and keeping listeners informed.

    It was a brilliant and only on rare occasions gimicky in deconstructing news in much the same way as Zoo radio, again practised by another GLR stalwart Chris Evans in the early 90s.

    So taken by the concept that when I was made a presenter on GLR circa 1990-92, myself and co presenter Sheryl Simms tried all manner of disruptive radio techniques to garner listener interests.

    But this is all about the conversation here.

    Civic Conversation
    I'm drawn to the civic journalism movement of the late 90s- early 2000 from J-lab which sought to dig deep into the heart of journalism and redefine how we do what we do to make reportage more wider and inclusive.

    Paul Bradshaw eludes to this conversation in his brilliant blog on 21st Century newsroom.

    Conversations are indeed circular and never ending and if you've visited my posts in the past you'd have come across my despair for the set agenda which wall gardens what's important enough to be on the news agenda.

    There has to be a better way. The Channel One model - a juke box of news - meant you could still see your linear flow of packages, but the producer could cherry pick at will throughout the day.

    Today, we'd give over choice to the consumer so you'd flick over to the running order you so desire, with the editor's recommended choice still there for your delectation.

    Aristotle's legacy of narative weighs heavily here; a beginning, middle and end whilst living in Ghana for many years, I know the traditional delivery of news in the villages IS conversational, picked up by elders and pushed along by gatherers at nodal points in the discussion.

    There's something to be said about that. News pieces are not fixed, and often what happens off camera; the gathering process is equally interesting and influential.

    So back to the above; each screen is expandable. cf Ted Talks

    The secondary influence is a piece of work made in 2000, The Family.

    On the main news package are video hyperlinks ( See Trust in the Media package .

    Within the interviews are nodal ports that allow you to drill into the 5-10 minute interview, which allows you to segue back into the package.

    The timeline of events gives an account of how recent the story is ( this is an abstract), as well as how the story unfolds.

    News as we know doesn't just happen, at least the construct. There's a whole discussion going on

    For instance, rejections from those who don't want to contribute, and then a shift in emphasis towards accommodating a new objective, the hunt for new voices (always a prob for broadcasters) to explain matters.

    In newsrooms, this often takes on a voyeuristic quality.

    On one of the big stories in the early half of the 90s concerning child abuse, one senior figure who was needed for Newsnight, needed the tacit agreement of the government to come on the programme.

    Some of the background stories, indeed may be difficult to tell.

    When does the news start and stop? When do I tell my interviewer we're on the record; infact we're always on.

    But those can be worked out.

    Two things quickly: firstly in the multimedia piece I can show behind-the-scenes chat ( the work up to the interview) between Ozwald and Riz (khan), as well as Riz and Gerald Scarfe - Sunday Times... fascinating. ..

    Also I'm closer to an experiment with one of the UK's biggest news brands to provide a timeline of a news event - done non- linearly - all of which I hope make some point about circular and the spatial news.

    In effect multimodal, multi-entry and multi-mashed-up-media pieces, which could as a great many people are doing already make the playing field of broadband ( article for pretty interesting.

    Multimedia Video Journalists 101

    The doodle needs clarifying, perhaps soon I'll provide an illustration, but what it wants to do is to explore the overlapping quadrant between the seperate disciplines which it's suggested in the media now make up multimedia.

    As I have mentioned in previous posts, computing and graphic design have a different outlook to what we as journalists regale in as multimedia.

    But this in itself suggests some difficult questions in journalism not just in offering a multitude of media, but a canvas and discipline positing a multi approach and mesh designed.

    Adrian Holavaty is someone who so obviously occupies that space. On his now famous, we would now want Xml data pulling in video to correspond with the crimes.

    Within the video report video hyperlinking would provide greater detail about events and suspects, and so on.. .

    But how to build that, and when and where?

    Paradigms are never comfortable and don't be alarmed please, I'm not sggesting the above is.

    One minute the earth's flat, next someone's telling you it's round.

    Paul Bradshaw offers a paradigm for his 21st century newsroom; you either get it or it might take a while, and when it doesn't work for you do not be dismissive.

    I still recall the words of the then Head of BBC News Interactive Richard Deverell saying we haven't scratched the surface of this new medium the web and what it has to offer.

    Multimedia journalist - a jack of all trades and master of all.

    A bit like a special forces solider - skilled in the use of many things at a high level, but a specialist in one area.

    And the act of swarming in small units for the multimedia journalist would work just as well; popds of three four people, putting out whole multi-entry packages, rivalling thw work of 30 team broadcasters.

    Hey john get the google map up, Can you correlate it with this breaking stuff. Tag this station. Use the video synth to create the events timeline.

    This may all seem like gobledegook, but then. . .

    Tufte is someone worth reading for visual design

    When bloggers ruled the earth

    There is a precedent.

    Tony Blackburn a venerable British DJ started off his career at a pirate station Radio Caroline.

    Soon the 'legit" enterprise, with presumably a nice pay cheque came calling, in the shape of the BBC.

    You see Tony Blackburn was good and had a huge following.

    Today it isn't uncommon on the airwave wars for DJs to leap from one station to another, be it pirate ot otherwise; their earning power determined by the number of listeners they pull in, which affects advertising.

    So how easily will this be translated to bloggers?

    If you're Adrian Monck with 305 subscribers and rising or any number of the top ten bloggers in the UK, at what point does a newspaper exec say:" We'd like you to write for us".

    In Adrian's case he does a fair bit already, but lets extend the exercise to those starting off their careers ie the Tony Blackburn effect.

    Writing good copy is the linchpin, knowing how to write for search engines is the added glue to making your career really sticky.

    And those involve a few principles.

    The best writers will always find their way to the top; you get found out sooner or later.

    For the myspacers doing for blogs what they're doing for music getting ranked at least gives you more eyeballs and in a global market - the 5 percenter effect or put another way Chris Anderson's long tail kicks in.

    So expect the question in interviews soonish.

    "hello Mr Burn"


    "So you want to work for us? Do you have a blog?"

    "er yes"

    "What are your matrixes?"

    "Er 600 subscribers, 3000 daily readers, and around 70 comments daily"

    "And how much would you be looking for?"

    Press release
    Mr Burns a prolific blogger joins the ranks of Times Spectre, aged 24.
    Says Mt Burns, I'llbe hoping to engage with the constituents I have come to know,
    But also with a new swathe of readers.....

    P.s The same could also apply to Video bloggers

    End print, the rise of the online-only news’paper’

    Editors Weblog reports that in Finland a newspaper is its print circulation for an exclusive online-only news’paper’
    "Last week, Finnish business daily Taloussanomat announced that it would no longer publish in print by the end of the year" .

    Friday, November 16, 2007

    Reluctant multimedian's

    .. so a couple of weeks into looking at multimedia, with one interview pending within the BBC - with the good hand of Peter Barron, editor of newsnight that could come together - what have I learned?

    Profundly the different interpretations of multimedia, particularly at odds with the current manifestation.

    I interviewed some graphic design students who gave some interesting views; one was adamant that what newspapers were doing was not multimedia.

    One senior figure within the multimedia industry who has lectured, trained scores of students; one famously who would work for Negraponte, expalins how the term has evolved.

    And he says implicit in multimedia is multiple interactivity, something I'm drawn to.

    As journalists, it appears the low hanging fruit for multimedia is photography. Nothing wrong with that at all and there are many journalists who take fine photos.

    There's a saying in broadcast journalism that, if the shot's not in the package it won't be missed.

    It's a generalisation.

    But if what we're doing now defines the dynamic era of multimedia, then indeed that's what users may come to expect.

    The summit may always be shifting, but in redefining multimedia, is there a fundamental approach that needs adopting?

    I posted this some days ago and have a lively talk with Adrian Monck, Head of Journalism at City University recently.

    The pool for selecting journalsts often resides in English, History, mainly the Arts.

    The Sciences tend to be rare. That I know as an Applied Chemistry graduate.

    But what if we started to nurture or look for multimedia journalists within graphic design, computing, what might we yield?

    There are many questions and some illuminating answers in the feature I'm making.

    The more I ask, the more I know. The more I know, the more knowledgable I become. The more knowledgable I become, the more I want, The more I know, the more complicated it all becomes... and then I'm confused.

    Multimedia huh ?

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Faculty Pics

    Test Images for Record label in university

    Videojournalsim- music

    The University of Westminster has a unique perspective on music.

    Ok it's attracted a few hot industry names, Walden, Stevie Wonder's producer, Jay -Z and Russel Simmons....

    But ask the heads of department and the one thing top of their "I like" totem pole is that they have a record label managed in the University with the full backing to nuture and sign bands.

    Today we're going to meet to look devise the look and feel of its online site. One thing about walking around bug institutions in the inspiration from architecture and the dim lit halls.

    Should be fun

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    fantasy football - next fantasy boardroom

    It sounds like the daftest, or hairbrain idea going, but then they said the net wouldn;t work.

    So imagine the New York Giants, Yankees or Manchester United was put on the market. Cost 35UKp a throw and you could own a bit of the club.

    You make decisions about the team, to what merchandise gets sold.

    Imagine that, you wait till vting day them the manager announces a decision has been made: American Idol sports-style.

    Then again, it's peach of an idea.

    No wonder the press went ballsitic for a piece of the news.

    The team Ebbsfleet United... who?

    Ebbsfleet united, a name so obscure in English football, that if it wasn't so fantastically true, you couldn't make it up.

    So 20,000 fans have a chance to flex their armchair managerial muscle from their webiste Myfootball Club

    Next week how social networks penetrated the corporate boardrooms and showed how to really run a company.

    This story will run and run.

    Not a bad stroke of PR

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    The VJ revolution in earnest

    By the time word got around about Channel One, the applications came flooding in.

    Everyone with a gene for adventure wanted in. I know this from one late evening reading a whole batch of CVs and applications left on my desk.

    But I have jumped several montha ahead.

    The managers had certainly devised a novel way of sifting through the 800 applicants.

    A camera was left in the middle of the floor and candidates were invited to pick it up and play with it.

    The interviewers used this as one method to eliminate those they thought just didn't have a chance in hell.

    The day I pitched up for my inteviewer, a short bespectacled - almost geek-looking guy was emerging from the corridor to the interview room, with blodd pouring down his face.

    Dan Rowland, probably one of the most gifted videojournalists for our era, demonstrated from the get-go the lengths he was prepared to go for his art.

    In this case it was road-eye level.

    A group of cyclists were riding by and Dan spotted the perfect photographers shot.

    Trouble is Dan got so close that, you guessed, one of the cyclist clashed into him reconfiguring his face.

    The interviewers were aghast.

    Did health and safety cover this?

    Meanwhile the trickle of bodies were beginning to assemble; all young, eager, and with a touch of the" we know we;re doing something awesome" aboout them.

    Training was intense, but no one could warn you about the mishaps.

    For my sins the frame of a billboard would leave me concussed, sidelined at home for a week that I almost missed the launch date . . .


    A very British history of Videojournalism

    A very British history of videojournalism probably warrants a slim book. There's a lot to be said. The title says a lot for me as it's always been a reluctant media form, but belatedly has found growing support

    You could argue it started in 1994 with Channel One TV, but you could go further back to the 60's the Cliff Michelmore era and a BBC producer film maker Percy, whose surname I should dig up.

    In 1992 working on reportage the programme used hi8 to film, and then there's the BBC's Correspondent who would disguise herself as a member of the cloth to film clandestine stuff on foreign assignments.

    But 1994 is an epoch moment nonetheless.

    Channel One modelled on New York One was a revolution, like Today's Telegraph studios, which has never been replicated. It did however attract all the major broadcasters from around the world, attempting to model their outfit on a sation whose budget was miniscule compared the networks.

    Remember also if you didn't know the first VJs in the UK belonged to a newspaper company, Associated Newspapers.

    The press loved and loathed us in equal measure and such was the vehemence from broadcasters, Channel 4 and BBC, that it would take another seven years - a bidding war between the BBC and Channel 4 - to gain the services of Rosenblum and re-introduce the format in the UK.

    At Channel One, much to Rosenblum's annoyance, we were being taught one aspect of videojournalism only to be told by management to adopt a televisual convention.

    There are I say today at least three identifiable genres of VJism.

    So here's an account - a personal one with film from the era - which I will expand upon.

    The originals from the Channel One TV still meet up but many have gone on to carve out big careers in the media.

    Nothing is original!

    Boston-based rennaisance reporter Joshua Glenn is a genius. This show he's produced, Braniac audio slideshow puts the Rarebit Fiend under the microscope.

    The classic 1906 comic strip written by Winsor McCay demonstrates so aptly that nothing is original.

    Everyone's borrowed from someone e.g. Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Few artists e.g. film makers are original.

    Rather reminds me of how Tarantino films were disected and found to contain several reference - some shot for shot of classic King Fu flicks.

    Any please please watch this and chuckle. Thanks Joshua

    BBC versus Telegraph

    Is Guy from the Telegraph by any chance speaking about the BBC?

    Yesterday reported the launch of their new multimedia newsroom.

    Guy says some interesting things in the interview which is part of a bigger story

    Tell me a story - IM6VJ

    Guy Ruddle Daily Telegraph Podcast Editor talking to David about how multimedia and the Telegraph is the future

    My head hurts.

    I have five books in front of me - one an original from MIT - which started off multimedia as we know it. (re- Negraponte)

    I have been furiously writing in a note pad, surprised, challenged, disagreeing, but understanding that the discourse is what I am looking for deconstructing videojournalism - already deeply influenced by photography, film and sound.

    This morning I filmed/interviewed Guy Ruddle at the Telegraph who spoke about their multimedia offerings and how one national broadcasters has been pressed to look at what the Telegraph is doing cuz they're 'wopping' us.

    I'd already thought the package with Guy, the Croydon Advertiser doing Sound Slide, and Al jazeera's Riz Khan was way incomplete, so I crossed over to our graphics department where two heads of Graphics further aroused my interests.

    Their bent, multimedia has altered in meaning in delivering everything the computer can offer into a commodified entity. The end user is still king, but there are significant spaces to explore.

    So I'm reading through Stewart Brand's The Media Lab Inventing the Future at MIT and Multimedia from Wagner to Virtual Reality.

    And this is why in part my head's pounding. There are so many ideas about ideas, thoughts within thoughts, links from present stations to new ones that I have taken a break to "brain dump" - some kind of cartharsis.

    It still strikes me that the geometrical spatial plane online and interactive narrative can further 'disrupt' present flows.

    Actually, I should say links away from the status quo.

    We're back at video hyperlinking which I demonstrated in the Trust in the Media video and now with some new action scripting (some kind of "tell target") could be deployed towards a new experience.

    And what if this piece of work - seven years old- was modifed so each narrative linked off each other in a factual based story.

    And what if we could xml narrative data on-the-fly, so further explanation could be given of background info provided.

    Yes it's all about the end user

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    Photographers making slide shows

    David Berman from the Croydon Advertiser takes sound and prepares to take a pic. Below, I'm getting David to explain the process

    One of the main planks of a piece I'm putting together on Multimedia had me down at the Cenotaph in Croydon.

    David Berman, Chief photographer at the Croydon Advertiser has devised a series of Sound Slides and yesterday's events gave me an opportunity to see how he and his colleagues work to produce them.

    If you're in the US this is a no brainer, but in the UK market very few newspapers comparatively, per the total number on the market, are using this multimedia methodology as effective as the Advertiser or Sitbonzo - the site which hosts their work.

    Thoroughly nice man and his colleagues, why else would they work on a Sunday :), also took me through the process and it afforded me the chance to look to make a short film about them - stand alone to the bigger film.

    It's not rocket science he says. But by the end of three plus hours shooting etc, they were putting the finishing touches for it to go up. And here it is, Remembrance Sunday Very nice and very solemn.

    Two interesting things to look out for.

    David and his team of photographers have editorial control, and place a good degree of value from their managers in acknowledging their work.

    What is multimedia, why do we do it and who cares is the angle I'm taking.

    less of a face to facebook

    That's three friends so far I have advised to take down their birthdates on Facebook. That's a little too much information that leaves you wide open.

    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    Why we fight

    Body of War Trailer - powerful stuff

    Remembrance Sunday

    Hugely significant day today, Remembrance Sunday, commemorating the role of those who fell during the two wars, that is World War One and Two.

    It's a sombre national event, which will be marked in time honoured fashion: pomp, decorum and circumstance.

    Behind the primary agenda, another seems to be quietly gaining ground, reported in the national press and has perhaps greater currency in the wake of the launch last week of a lobbying group.

    " Ex Military Chiefs fight and win their publicity force - a lesson in PR and using the Net" how former senior defence figures have this week launched the UKNDA to bring attention to UK's defence budget in maintaining a "proper funded force".

    There will be a great deal of sensitivty not to nudge the news agenda away from that for which it was intended; Remembrance.

    One of the most marked pieces of reportage comes from a national newspaper claiming in present campaigns 88 soldiers deaths can be attributed to equipment failure.

    It'll be interesting, as I noted in my first post, how in light of the UKNDA's presence, the spotlight "lighthouses" from remembrance of fallen men and women to those in the field.

    On their site they draw attention to support for Northern Rock, a report originally from the Economist:

    "State support for Northern Rock already exceeds Britain's transport budget and could soon surpass the £32 billion allocated to defence a particular embarrassment for a government accused of under-equipping its soldiers in combat zones."

    Two minute silence at 11.0'clock a.m

    Saturday, November 10, 2007

    Integrated Multimedia - follow on

    Been invited to talk at the highky regarded Cultural Exchanges 07 in Leicester next year and thought I'd pursue this line of integrated multimedia.

    Should complete a couple of films by then.

    features Dan Gillmor
    Technorati's David Sifry
    New York Times' Naka Nathaniel
    Yahoo's Bradley Horowitz. . and many more

    For 600 px wide view click here

    the new journalists

    A month after graduating from his Masters course at the University of Westminster, Tamer - a blogger, web designer, videojournalist, doc maker, radio hack and all round media savvy reporter gets into the heart of the matter - the front line in Gaza - as the BBC's Gaza Correspondent.

    If you're a student going through journalism school anything is possible. BUT. . . as Tamer explains in a video post before he left be focused and put in the work.

    Something that applies to us all

    Marvelous stuff

    What is multimedia journalism - who **** cares?

    It's a dogged question that I'm looking at with a videojournalism package next week.

    I love the web for this type of pre-shoot thinking.

    Here's what I have planned and please do chip in - as they say in Blighty.

    I have a shoot from Al Jazeera with Riz Khan, which I hope to follow up with the Telegraph and then the Croydon Advertiser.

    Riz is a multimedia operator and you'll see an array of DV cam he uses for his shoots. The trick is in the lighting

    The Telegraph frankly need no introduction in this area.

    Whilst the Croydon Advertiser has gained notoriety for its soundslide shows.

    All of these bring different elements as the sum of all parts to the multimedia landscape and it will be interesting to hear what the parties have to say in a considered package rather than one which has the obligatory 2 minute TV time span.

    There's some archive from 95 with interviews from the Guardian, Sunday Times and Telegraph about their thoughts on the matter which I'll drop in.

    So what's the point in this?
    I suggested the package to the Press Gazette in the face of a market that has come a long way in the last year and thus deserves a look in.

    I also stumbled upon this site in my referral matrix logs - a Channel 4 Commissioner Matte Locke giving a robust speech to independent TV producers to pitch to him pieces that are not "Buckaroo" packages.

    Buckaroo is that game played where the users try and place a saddle etc on a horse which buckaroos when the weight's too much.

    If anything TV has shown itself up by it's lack of multimedia expressionism

    What's multimedia got to do with it
    So what does multimedia bring to the journalism table?

    Six years ago in this article for one of the UK's leading architecture and design magazine's Blue Print, a colleague and I produced an interactive documentary.

    It garnered ok attention, making its way to the finals of Channel 4's Unleash the Talent comp.

    It's strength was that it was circular, no navigation arm, so required users play with it.

    I hadn't quite dabbled in as much game theory then as I have now, so it was a wonderful eureka moment.

    And there have been more. The Successor Generation - a documentary, radio piece, online site of a story I have kept in touch with over 13 years examines South Africa's young black professionals.

    Who Cares
    Multimedia yes, but frankly who cares. Who cares?

    It's a language, a discourse and if you can speak it but no one can engage what's the point?

    Multimedia in terms of a visual vernacular is a universal language, just like film.

    There are various descriptions in the industry at what constitutes multimedia, from blogs to ful blown film sites like this Darfur Now, which shame, could and should have been made by any number of broadcasters

    For instance there are sites that are multimedia driven but not multimedia in the singularities they offer.

    On the other hand there are multimedia practitioners offering multi user experience, which claim the senses.

    You only need to look at Apple 's Trailer site for new film sites in this catergory. Xmen is now a classic in the ranks of multimedia.

    Does it matter really? Well, yes and no.

    The bottom line is about delivering richer experiences for the end users isn't it, and one that gives them greater control?

    It's about finding a more expansive, sometimes simpler way of telling a story, that may have a beginning but no end.

    And what's apparent about that strand of multimedia stories is their timelessness.

    Newsday's Cost of War is a brilliant example of a multimedia package that I came across from the Batten Awards 2 years ago and it has't left me.

    It's also about the innovation and economics of journalism using available technology, offering something uniquely wonderful, pushing new paradigms and widening consumer choice.

    Newspaper doing TV is one

    Adrian Holavaty's Chicago is another.

    And the economics must be such that new producers feel confident they're prolonging the shelf life of their assets and learning, as well as engaging more with a wider audience.

    News never goes away.

    The Tsunami, Hurrican Katrina, the Second World War - all have their legacies and ongoing actulaities.

    Multimedia helps us construct and preserve manifold examples of news to watch now and then, many years ahead - and even scale them upwards.

    What about the professionals
    And what of the professionals?

    if you were a photographer whose only pics used to grace the front page of the newspaper, but now you can create sound slide shows from your portfolio of unused but key pics, how satisfying that must be for the photojo and the consumers.

    I suppose making more money would be as well.

    This report I'm making isn't an empirical report, though it would merit one at some point.

    Given my interests as part of my Phd and in lecturing, as well as in journalism, it would incorporate scenario building and trend extrapolation to think through where we could go with this.

    Ultimately the platform that may emerge the victor will have a lot in common with cable broadband as opposed to Satellite - which doesn't offer a true multimedia interactive experience.

    The experience is a slight of hand - a loop. There is no return pathway. You crash in at any point. The BBC's interactive news (press the red button) is something like that.

    So Multimedia - we've only just started, and it's highly likely that it will undergo more metamorphosis as we just about grapple with waht we can do now.

    Friday, November 09, 2007

    Watch this watch this Watch this

    Awesome, amazing, mindblowing, incredible..... you will run out of superlatives and watch it again and again and again.

    For one of he nicest and most talented team (Rob of the Ronin) and Chris.

    Watch this after effects and final cut opening titles for the OFFF

    Feedback BBC Radio 4 - reflection

    BBC Radio 4's feedback programme features BBC Radio Leicester, which was the first BBC local radio station in the country - the date 8 Nov 1967.

    Talking is station manager Owen Bentley and my mentor, Vijay Sharma, one of the first Asian presenters way back when and a senior executive and pioneering force within the BBC Asian Network.

    Its report wasn't anywhere near long enough.

    If you're a radio ham, BBC Leicester is worth studying. It is also largely responsible for some key talent within network BBC e.g. Julian Worriker, Iain Carter - Radio Five Live, and Egypt-Midd. east Coorespndent Ian Pannel.

    Vijay Sharma was not only responsible for Asian programming but launched some of the first Afro-Caribbean output.

    I joined the sation in my second year of university (1986) eager to see how radio worked, than anything else.

    I was a Maths and Chemistry undergrad, fascinated by all things electronic.

    But it didn't take me long after joining to think I'd love to be on air.

    One of my most cherished memories, was a report I made around a neighbouring area called GROBY.

    Now humour me ? How would you pronounce GROBY?

    Well it's actually pronouned GROO-BEE.

    And if there's one thing local radio listeners hate and will probably lead to an audience with an irate station manager that's mis-pronouncing local area names.

    Trouble is I was fairly new, was half way home on a late night 10.00 pm shift, with classes the next day, when I recalled what I had done.

    Whatever happens next I thougt, tired and weary from a long shift, I need to go back and correct this.

    Two problems. First I did not have any keys to the station, so at 10.30 called on one of the programme managers who kindly but quietly fuming drove 4 miles to the station to let me in.

    Second problem, I didn't know how to take the report off from a cart - a version of the 8 track cartridge - redo it and get it back on cart again.

    Finally Urgh
    I perservered, trying and trying and trying some more.

    Eventually 5.30 in the morning I'd cracked it and the report was back in the in-tray of the morning presenter with the offending word corrected.

    I could now go home.

    As I passed a Macdonalds opening up for breakfast, a group of women coming back from a late night club heckled.

    "Wot you just finished your shift at Macdonalds. Hope you swept the floor properly, it's filthy".

    "Yeah. yeah, yeah!", I remember replying and faded into the unfurling dusk, with lectures barely four hours away - not enough to get any sleep.

    That was my first on air report - in 1987 - a report I kept, which I have it somewhere, somewhere.. .