Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Ask not what videojournalism can do for you, but for your readers

Pam grabs a shot to the nose of her package

I had the pleasure of sharing ideas with some senior regional journalists: pam, Catherine. Malcolm and Gareth (have I got this wrong) in the mystic art of video journalism.

I say mystic rather tongue in cheek because it’s easy to to assume Videojournalism is a universal term across the media.

Go on lean over to the colleague next to you and ask.

Chances are if they have heard of it it’s nothing more than video-on-line, a perception that doesn’t discriminate across status.

But as the four editors demonstrated in an enjoyable mix of practice, theory and media banter, there can and is a distinction from merely producing video copy online and something more bespoke.

Videojournalism's different personalities

Broadly speaking there’s videojournalism for TV, videojournalism for videojournalism and videojournalilsm for the DIY

Television exercises its fail-safe version of videojournalism by replicating the nomenclature of the crew team.

"See mum I can do the work of three people!"

It’s like a scout with a pocket knife being asked to fell a tree for an evening fire.

As a scout you might ask whether there are better alternatives to hacking at a tree and that frankly you're resourceful enough at achieving near same aims via different means.

Meanwhile Jim’s still hacking at the tree with his saw,electric or otherwise, into tiny manageable pieces you’re around a camp fire roasting the second round of those chestnuts.

Being nimble and thinking creatively has its many advantages.

Within bespoke videojournalism other formats are beginning to crystalise.

Non-invasive which lends itself to observational form and the more authored gonzo whether the visual and literary narrative attempt to separate themselves from the bulk of the crowd.

Videojournalism then becomes the writers visual pen; the correspondent with an evocative line or visual code which makes you rethink the status quo.

News you can use
If videojournalisms had a mantra it might be that it’s all in the detail, or news you can use, because what it it attempts is a micro reportage of macro news: the scale down of a 21 inch TV screen to the new improved 600X330 online makes the visual language point.

Dump the Wide shots and go personal, closer up and still at the point of the FBCU.

Here now Videojournalism cheekily borrows from new alphabet soup of evolving arts like motion graphics and indie films.

And those changes fall alongside the cultural changes print personnel are going through, whilst not being saddled with the ways of old - the aging vernacular of TV news some 60 odd years old.

Pam, Catherine. Malcolm and Gareth will be some of those to watch – Sorry guys, no pressure LOL

BUT any number of journalists might argue there’s a hidden VJ hand in the equation and in the swelling ranks of newspaper VJs' success. Management.

And that’s what I’ll look at tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Hi David

As always - very interesting. I wonder if it would be possible to view some of the works by the four?


Ken (the Dane)

Gareth Bartlett said...

David is without a doubt the most inspirational tutor I've ever had the pleasure of working with.
Understanding video after his sessions is like someone switching on a light...so many, many thanks.

In terms of seeing some of our material, don't look just yet at the poor pre-David efforts (at least for myself!)...some good stuff on the way... :)