Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What next after videojournalism

It makes sense now, but it's shelf life looks limiting: videojournalism ie journalism with video.

In a videoless environment what will it be called?


But the tag is meant to signify the art of one person making a news film.

From early adopters in 1994 and 2000 in the UK, it's now a mass commodity, so truth it's only just got started.

As a party pooper we're yet to hit some of the difficult debates that accompanied photojournalism when they started to push.

And push we will, for a simple reason.

If everyone's doing video. If everyone's reached a fairly proficient standard, who do you watch and why?

The news you find on the national newspaper reflects what's on the television and then a new outfit replicates that product.

Who do you watch will boil down to brand loyalty which is increasingly under threat.

The BBC knows that much in this short interview I conducted with their Director General, Mark Thompson. (See Front page of under global leaders)

So as a new outfit wanting to be different from the crowd, what do you do?

For one, ask whether you really do need to replicate news in its current form or whether a different approach might suffice.

News is a high intensity, money - draining commodity. Watch your logs, if no one's hitting them, there's the evidence.

Videojournalism - great name - also has a huge target of an achilles, the tag "journalism".

For journalism is only a small component of what your new skill set brings.

Programmes, fashion, factual, multimedia, mash-ups, integrated multimedia, outernet, deep video, sound slides, promos, titles, vlogs, gonzo - just a few I have pulled from the air with little effort.

VJ for TV and VJ for VJs

There's VJ for TV and VJ for VJs

A lot resides in the story and its treatment and then the author behind the camera.

In the 60s video art burst onto the scene, amateur film makers with bolexes became defacto videojournalists - just that video didn't exist.

Among the films worth watching shot by a director/camera operator with a reporter ( the norm for national newspapers using videojournalism): an interview with a fresh faced Bob Dylan, whom gives the reporter a run for his money and some good stuff from Andy Warhol.

Maybe not this vid, but in one similar the camera man is the reporter in an interview with Stones

As we embark on this road more travelled, it's worth thinking about how distinctive you are.

As a newspaper the field is wide open, but TV is upping its game - and in a profession where experience, creativity and risk are needed to advance techniques in the TV lab, those building on their background in visual grammar may be the ones to provide that thing we'll all lean to.

The Guardian's RTS is testament to that.

What next after videojournalism?

Early adopters - mass takers - maturity - saturation - fallout from going bust - re-alignment of the field - new techniques emerging.

Where are you on the cycle?

postscript: Two days later I had the opportunity of spending a brain storming session with Metro newspapers. It would be inapprop to reveal the contents but what is videojournalism is a key question.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

submitted to Private Eye's 'Pseud's Corner'