Uber blogger Dave Lee asks the question:
"What’s the difference between online and broadcast video?
Plenty, I’d say, but judging by some of the online video published by even the biggest news companies, I’d hazard a criticism that no-one quite knows what should be in a good online video."
And then goes on to ask whether say the Piece to Camera should be dropped.
Here are my thoughts:
TV has a few aids that are a part of its language that I wouldn’t throw away online. e.g. the cutaway, V/0 and PTC.
But new times require new ideas.
The PTC/stand up still has value, particularly in a crowded media space where brand value is important. That’s primarily one reason broadcasters use PTCs in their reports.
Online it may be more of a necessity.
However, what’s up for grabs is how one transforms the PTC to avoid looking like The Batman and here’s where video journalism offers something distinctive.
Couple of years ago Mark Norman from the BBC picked up Circom’s first VJ award.
He was in Iraq, when a missile exploded in his vicinity. At a skewed angle, on the floor, rough and ready, he fired off a PTC.
He captured the moment well. It was an appropriate piece of reportage to convey his fears.In such circumstances I’d like to think many would do the same.
Then there’s Andy Toft, now at Setanta Sports, whose use of the PTC at his previous outfit captured the zeitgeist.
Changing Media Language
If we look at how the language of film making has moved on to stay relevant, it leads one to ask fundamental questions about TV and TV News making.
So for the creative video journalist there’s room to exploit.
The loose rule is to justify what you’re doing.
However one caveat. Video journalism is not a one-size-fits-all.