Saturday, May 31, 2008

Video journalism Timeline and World Newspaper Association

On, with the help of Sav, a friend, I've placed a number of key videos from 1994 to present marking a personal take on video journalism.

I'll be adding some .swf files, effects and short descriptions which link to longer articles over the coming days, plus the doc on Channel One TV I mentioned in earlier posts.

Lots of photoshop comping...

The more I play with, the more its appeal as one facet of future TV seems so abundantly clear.

It opens the prospect for uni-casting. ie everyone becoming a live broadcast outfit.

Also this week I'll be at the World Association of Newspaper gathering in Goteborg, from where I hope to be posting a series of reports on the newspaper industry and presenting at one of the forums on the video journalism digital newsrooms.

In a year where there's been an onslaught on the industry from many sides, what's the state of health of the industry?

Is the decline in sales, you've probably read about elsewhere symptomatic of a real trend?

Is it the overall downturn in the economy which is exacerbating the squeeze felt by the industry.

These are big questions, nay impossible to find answers to, but Goteborg should provide plenty of scope to examine the causes.

In the meantime, settling down to watch a stunning documentary: In the shadow of the moon - quite simply an outstanding film on the space race.

video journalism survey - interesting feedback coming in

One of a series of questions put to newspaper videojournalists.

11 how would you describe the reception to VJ from managers?

They are very keen I think and see it as another way of providing news,
but seem to have little understanding of how time consuming it is. Eg
reporters still have to write the copy up for their story - which always
takes precedence over editing because the paper is on a deadline and
people still see the web as secondary - (it will get done when it's
gets done kind of attitude - by some)

Questions being gleaned from the many VJs, I have come into contact with spread across regional newspapers in the UK.
Full one posted at WAN

Friday, May 30, 2008

Suffer for your Video journalism art - Students!

He was bedridden with malaria, thugs beat him up on the street leaving him badly bruised and his companion in need of medical attention, he was twice arrested by police.

At the airport he says official tried to bar his departure claiming he falsely entered the country as a journalist.

All this for the sake of a final postgraduate film project.

My trusted ex-student, now a dear friend, and occasionally behind-the-scene shooter on VJ assignments Don Omope had an idea for an assignment.

It was bold, but if he was careful, followed a few cautionary procedures he might be alright.

On the night of his departure he dropped by to see me.

'Be careful", I advised, "it's a bit ambitious and the subject will make people wary".

Don was going to Nigeria. Don, who is British, lived and schooled in Nigeria. That wouldn't mean a thing.

In fact he says officials viewed him with disdain, an enemy amongst them selling the country down.

When we spoke today, it sounded like something out of a teen horror flick.

He acknowledges that everyone told him what he ought not to do, but that was cold comfort. He was set upon and beaten. His driver intervened and had to be taken to hospital where with what little money Don had was used to take care of his companion.

"Don't film in he streets I said, you'll get arrested". He did and got arrested.

Don starts editing his film today. We're all holding our breath to see the footage.

This is one student who has definitely suffered for that video journalism art.

NB You'll notice I haven't mentioned what the film is about yet. I'll reveal that with his first draft edit.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The future of TV and media - or one of them

I'm sitting at my laptop outside a cafe having picked up a wifi spot watching live TV in high definition.

So what you might ask.

I'm not sitting chained to my TV, and the news is not coming through a browser.

Actually I have got several browser windows open.

The chap now sitting in his office is watching the same stream on his Iphone.

TV, the furniture that sat in the corner and brought us all together has had another nail in it.

Meanwhile, the VOD model, we're all wedded to has had an internal makeover here at so I can go back to a theme that I originally used on viewmag.

Take this animated menu here. They consist of .swf files which can easily call other swf files.

That's eay way of Flash working - a swf file is one of the export files, a bit like quicktime or .jpg

But then .FLV's became all the rage and things were not so straight forward.

Why use a FLV file. Well I can attach any array of play controls included this cool one I have unearthed and it can stream from my server or any other number of variables.

FLV files also have superior compression for video.

It's a far more tricker if not near damn tiresome with swf. because for one attaching a player ain't so simple.

So another problem solved, thanks to my good mate Sav - A Flash expert.

Even though I was barely audible I caugh people looking at me on the train as we discussed whethe the action scripting should be on the frame or lens itself to a preload.

Gobledegook huh! Sorry

At WAN I'm going to walk through the costing and points to set up a videojournalism station.

The final part of the chain has always been distribution and so far you either rely on a streaming server or you adopt the VOD approach.

Playing out live changes absolutely everything as you'll see from the video I'm making.

Very good friends, who I call cuz presents on WLIB same station as Chuck D. who is now in the UK celebrating Public Enemies reunion.

Yes I'd love to interview Chuck D, as he's got a lot to say, so some work to do. Kim could you do me a favour......?

10 things I would do if I were a researcher/multimedia assistant for BBC Radio 4

Richard Brennan, A Masters in journalism student who blogs at Newsjiffy, also admired for his posts, tells us what he would do to bring areas of BBC radio into the mash-up age.

3. Each edition of the BBC in-house magazine Ariel should have a column entitled "From the Blogosphere" where a staff member discuss the reactions to the BBC on both BBC and non-BBC blogs. I would be able to write this column as well as other duties.

4. Blog posts that are pertinent to a news story could be linked in current BBC blogs like the Editor's Blog. This would involve me keeping BBC Online staff informed about the content of the BBC Radio blogs via e-mail.”

Astute thinking.

Richard's CV is here for you to peak.

If I were a BBC manager I'd take a look and ping him for a chat.

I suppose the fact that they're not doing what Richard suggests will bring some comfort to the commercial sector e.g. radio stations.

The Guardian's Emily Bell made the point on Today of the BBC restraining itself from tramelling the commercial sector with its ballooning online presence.

The BBC's Trust report reviewing the corporation's services and distinctiveness in its online activities will be available on later today.

Future journalists - I'm bi media, hahahahaha

It was a sure fire way to get laughs.

What are you?, the production manager would ask.

Oh you're bi-media ( pause) RAUCOUS LAUGHTER FOLLOWS.

Of course you might just as well have walked the corridor with toilet paper trailing you.

So you never said that.

This was the BBC of the mid 90s, when until then radio people did radio, and TV people thumbed their nose at them radio lot.

Never the twain did they meet.

Often the term of reference used for someone who'd moved from radio to TV, was that they had graduated.


Less laughs here, more scowls from the radio set who considered their craft far more superior.

Yes, there were many who walked the line between radio and TV, even before this watershed of the 90s during the era of Director General John Birt and job swap.

One of them whom I stood in awe of was Jerry Timmins, who now effectively runs the BBC World Service.

He'd report, produce on Newsnight circa 1990, I was a researcher then, and then go do radio.

Ahah so it was possible then.

So early in my career I had a break.

BBC GLR, the BBC's London Station gave me a co-presenter/producer position for a wednesday community show, whilst tuesdays and thursdays I researched on BBC Newsnight.

Of course this was never going to last. It didn't.

But radio offered you a chalice without all the gold plate. You just picked up your Uher, Marantz or Sony recorder, found a story and then rang an outlet and made your case.

TV? fat chance.

So in 1992 after various jobs at BBC radio and TV and the domestic job market drying up, I rolled a dice.

South Africa it was then.

[severe edit of text - words to be used for another post sometime]

South Africa during that era was incredible and there's lots I can recount, but one of the things I'm most drawn to, which gets me going, is a 40 min radio doc made with an award winning radio 4 producer Joy Hatwood.

It was called First Time Voters and for six months gave me the opportunity to follow 4 talented South Africans voting in their first election.

And yesterday I found the doc.

It's so distant a memory to imagine a country where laws governed the movement and lifestyle of blacks.

On the cusp of change, this doc provides a sample of the anxieties.

I was fed up, fed up of always hearing a group being spoken for, of the mass appeal slant being pursued.

This is young people talking way above their age.

And here it is.

First Time Voters (the pic and Flash multimedia project here) would later air on the BBC World Service and with one day before their historic election the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation.

But really that's not what this post is about.

In the digital age of media, it's all ones and zeros really.

Are you sept-media?

No one's laughing at you now are they?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What the news would look like ?

The Delphi principle, Trend extrapolation and Simulation modeling provide some clues.

Then there's the unexpected.

What would news or video look like beyond 2012 is a mug's game many will deride, for no one knows with any degree of certainty, but there are some visual clues from which a whole slew of interested parties are crunching ideas and figures.

In an article for, I'll be pulling together an array of interviews and material I have gleaned from talking to many people, combined with my media and academic career which includes more recently research notes from my Phd and a feedback survey.

Apple, very kindly featured some of these views on their site: the Outernet and public digital displays for calling up the news.

The notion of accelerated news or even video hyperlinking which had a wee shout in The Economist gives more control to users: deep linking video in real time deconstructing the idea of the self contained news package.

Much of the video journalism paradigm today played out 14 years ago with the launch of the UK's first and only dedicated videojournalism channel, and the rare footage I have located gives some perspective for media and academics.

And in the vaults of the BBC from the 60s, more interesting stuff.

What the news and media will look like - I'm just finishing off before the World Association of Newspapers congress

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

An entangled web - redux

Affordable Anti-Retro Drugs from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

Couple of days ago I spoke about Minority reporting or the lack of its presence in kick starting and revving the agenda.

Yes there are lots of sites that give a long tail to up the ante, but...

a) They're not all networked. Why, many are in competition for the same eye balls.
b) Now, this is interesting, their sites are not professionally produced. But why should this matter?

At the new new journalism gathering speaker Julia Whitney, who's Head of Design & User Experience, Journalism BBC Future Media & Technology, (mouthful huh!) said something many of us knew along.

That teenagers and possibly many of us respond to sites according to the level of production and design aesthetic.

It coexists with the content.

Minority Reports
Minority issues do not necessarily have to be about race and culture, though given the skewed politics in he UK, this wouldn't be a bad thing.

I believe it has to do with shared values, finding common ground, for issues that receive scant or little attention.

The world around us is slowly dying, or not, from catastrophes strife and pestilence and big business blithely marches on to swell profits.

Gordon Gecko's "greed is good" is back (it never went away) and quite literally, as a city friend tells me they're shooting Wall Street II in his area

Di Caprio's 11th hour shown on Channel 4, a doom-laden affair, is something we could and should pay more attention to.

The environments imploding, but hey who cares we're all be gone before something cataclysmic happens. You know run out of water.

anti-retro virus drugs and compulsory licenses is another, which makes generic drugs cheaper and affordable for developing countries.

I shot this short whilst attending a meeting at Chatham House.

And then there are the social issues surrounding old aged health, youth crime, etc, minority issues because we groan, sigh, shrug only after hearing of another death.

That's not to say there's sterling work going on in all the aforementioned fields.

I came across this on Project Michelle: Only 3% of all Asian Americans are registered as bone marrow donors.

Michelle is desperately looking for a bone marrow transplant, but the former stats work against her.

Why are there so few bone marrow givers?

Because, you could deduce, there's been a lack of innovative campaigning, educational films, more time given to minority issues etc that suggest when you do turn up for a test you're not going to have a needle the size of a cattle prod shoved into you.

A social story

Last week on my way to Uni I came across an elderly woman howling in the streets. I passed her by before I stopped and doubled back.

She was locked outside of her house. But the door was wide open.

She just couldn't walk back. After a couple of minutes of figuring out and helping her back into her house, I called the police.

Their immediate response was there was little they could do.

Uh refer it to someone else, would have helped.

So I rang social services. After a while they rang back, also at first slightly flummoxed.

"Er I don't know this woman from a bar of soap", I said, "but she does need help".

Web social 2.o help

The web, touted in the late 90s was going to tackle this. Correction we were going to tackle this and more.

Info flows that would open us up to anything and it has, but the dominant issues of the old: power and money have stayed.

An item on BBC radio's PM news programme revealed survey on websites offering UK small business enterprises advice showed there were hundreds giving misleading information.

We've got competitive again with what was a free gift to us, the ability to share info and look at ways of solving some of these seemingly intractables.

Somehow we're getting tied up in an entangled web, which we might just have to disentangle, if we're to know what makes the other person standing next to us tick.

Video Journalism Survey at

Nothing beats a qualitative survey, with facts to chew over, which is why we love em so much.

I have had the opportunity of sharing thoughts and ideas with way more than a hundred UK regional newspaper journos, turned VJs over the last three years and I'm hoping they can provide some answers for a presentation.

About half a dozen have already fed back.

Their names/backgrounds will be kept anonymous, so if you are a VJ and our paths have crossed I'd love you to get involved.

Some interesting data from the ones I have read already.

I'm hoping to corral all the feedback into part of a short powerpoint at WAN, in Sweden next week, before putting it out.

Earn dosh VJ training over two days VJ

If you've experience of VJ training, live in the London area and have this Saturday/Sunday 31st may - 1st June free, then this might interest you.

A university colleague needs someone to train up some of his third year undergrad students getting ready for a foreign trip, where they'll be posting daily.

Drop me a line in the next day or so if you're interested.

The fee? Well it most likely ranges from 200-350, but you can sort that out with the client.

Video Journalism Revolution on

Video Journalism Revolution is a personal and fairly comprehensive account of Video Journalism in the UK.

It includes:

  • 1992 BBC Reportage - we shot with Hi8s but did not call it Videojounalism
  • 1994 Channel One TV - in which I have located the doc
  • 1997 Channel 4 News where I did some Vjing and made some international stories
  • 1997 Taking Video journalism to Africa ( Ghana and South Africa)
  • 2000+ Speaking at the BBC's Nations and Region's launch of videojournalism
  • Training the first newspaper VJs in the UK and the Telegraph's super multimedia VJs with the Press Association
  • to advising the Financial Times.

    In between I have used video journalism working with Lennox Lewis the heavyweight boxer, Making ads screened on CNN International with John Staton Productions ( ex Saatchi head of TV), a deep wreck expedition in the Dardanelles, conflict reportage in Ghana and for Nato.

    And recently Camp video journalism in Chicago and soon in Virtual Platform worlds.

    There are aspects of news making that directly feed into Video journalism's swift turn around and editing on the fly, which I learned working at World Wide Television News agency, now APTV.

    They had the formula for packaging down to the second. I have recently located some of those foreign stories and will post.

    Meanwhile on it's the 1st of January 1996 and I have drawn the short straw. Channel One was so about multi skilling that many Vjs also presented the news.

    There's no one behind the camera by the way and you controlled the auto cue with your foot.

    On this package Jon Gilbert, now a much respected reporter on ITV gives gives a good illustration of a videojournalist on top of his game reporting from Trafalgar Square.

    See what you think?
  • Monday, May 26, 2008

    The Video Journalism Revolution UK - Watch this

    Birth of a station - Video Journalism revolution from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.
    90 second clip shows Michael Rosenblum in song mode, with Vjs Tricica Adudu and Marcel Theroux commenting on their experience, rounded off with one of the station's news editors Peter Brookes whom would go on to become managing director of Manchester United TV.
    If you're interested in video journalism, as a newspaper, broadcaster or citizen journalist, you will absolutely, most definitely want to watch this, the video journalism revolution in the UK.

    The title was Birth of a Station, a play off from DW Griffiths Birth of a Nation 1915.

    It is the documentary about video journalism's entry into the UK in 1994.

    How thirty video journalists came together and what they made of their new skills, the training and views of Michael Rosenblum, and how a station costing 50 million UK pounds was born.

    I was thrilled to bits when I stumbled across this in my archive, even if the quality leaves a lot to be desired.

    It features, among others interviews with the late Sir David English - the newspaper editor's editor, managing director Nick Pollard and the CEO Julian Aston.

    The doc has academic as well as real industry value.

    It is a snapshot of a piece of broadcasting history emerging from a blank canvas.

    Video journalism had never been practised in the UK. In fact no one knew what it was.

    But after the launch, 100s of broadcasters from around the world visited the station to see how it all worked.

    The VJ family
    "You join a group of about 100 vjs around the world...., an elite bunch", Michael says on tape back then.

    Well 14 years on, so much has radically changed, but so much also remains the same.

    The anxieties, the fears - how will television crews react to us, the excitement it's all here.

    Many, many of the faces you'll see have become household names, award winning documentary and acclaimed TV makers and a notable MBE.

    Among them Marcel Theroux, brother of Louis Theroux and son of American travel writer and novelist, Paul Theroux; Dimitri Doganis, an amazing film maker and winner of several awards for films such as 'The Tea Boy of Gaza'; and Rachel Ellison MBE, behind the BBC's Afghan Woman's Hour, which promoted human rights.

    Those are a just a few.

    Channel One was able to recruit 30 trainees from 3000 applications, so it could do what many newspapers can't - pick their VJs.

    This isn't on the film, but some of the filtering techniques included observing how you handled a camera placed in front of you.

    Video Journalism vs TV - not a them and us
    This doc gives a real sense that wherever you are with your video journalism ambitions, you will prevail, if you persevere.

    Whatever the debate about rights and wrongs of video journalism making, a new generational crop of talent will emerge pushing film making much, much further than anyone could imagine.

    The future of video journalism, is almost a throw back to the ghost of Channel One, 1994, when it won't be about news any longer, but a whole production cycle.

    Channel One had a film review with Karen Krizanovich, an interactive show about the Net and was the first to broadcast down cable in which viewers could respond via the net.

    Remember this is 1994.

    It had a car programme testing the most recent releases, a cookery show, a travel show and the rest - all made by one, sometimes two person video journalist teams.

    The truly most interesting aspect of video journalism will be regional and national newspapers commissioning and making programmes:
    ,, The Hull Daily Mail, and so on.

    It's already happening with some outfits e.g. The Telegraph and the BBC's plans for local broadband news looks like a contemporary version of Channel One, sans cable distribution, which is what ultimately led to the station's demise.

    Birth of a station coming soon.

    Blog author David Dunkley Gyimah, was one of the thirty video journalists at Channel One. Today, he still practises video journalism and is now a senior university lecturer and Phd student, where he lectures on integrated multimedia video journalism (CSS site building, multimedia and advance video journalism) and advises a number of newspapers such as the Financial Times.

    Video journalism's anti-aesthetism short from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.
    You can contact him at facebook or skype: daviddunkleygyimah

    Sunday, May 25, 2008

    An entangled web - the minority report

    An entangled web - web 3.0 stalls

    The one major emerging travesty of the web, in spite of its free-for-all, low entry point, is the dearth of dominant accessible news featuring events and people packaged well enough to bring us closer to understand this world.

    That's not to deny millions of sites exist for every conceivable subject, about minority issues and the disenfranchised, but that they are elbowed down by existing and emerging web behemoths.

    The dash for cash and supremacy in this new comms age, has made the playing field more stumpier.

    Social network sites may be the answer, but even they need a kickstart, someone, a group to move the issue up the social-google-ladder.

    Much was promised about the web's democratic leanings, though if you knew better you would not have held your breath.

    Television could not feature this or that because, well, no one gave it any quarter on TV; pathetic viewing audiences, and the numbers-cost-quotient did not add up.

    The web would solve that problem. Space and time were irrelevant.

    In a post I wrote for, Broadband it would be a shame to waste it, I said about television on the web:

    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.

    What's changed?

    At several conferences I have attended or spoken at revolving around majority packaged by others as minority issues, there's been hair pulling about how they find a voice.

    The Africa Summit at the University of Westminster was one of them.

    WeMedia Conference two years ago was when for me it was apparent this was a "child care" issue.

    We talk about it, pay attention to it, but then settle back into our own dominions at the end of the day, whilst the real parents get on with the up bringing.

    In years to come, a generation may well look back on this era and becry what we did with all our massive comms power, which could have save the earth, or saved a people from their government.

    But we had other things in mind.

    An entangled web builds up on this - something some very talented film makers I know here are looking at.

    The Uher- Media Objects of Desire

    My Mp3 dictaphone may fit into my mouth. Hey I might even be able to swallow it, if I'm in a bind.

    The Marantz and Sony may be blinders for pulling in good ol' fashion radio quality sounds, but nothing, nothing comes close to the Uher.

    Here I could go into chapter and verse about its background but that would only bore you.

    Suffice to say, it occupies a very nostalgic and sentimental place in my heart; a bit like my LPs.

    The Uher weighed the equivalent of a small baby: awkward (you had to sling it over your shoulder); cumbersome (you had wires trailing you); yet durable, you could drop it on the floor and it still did its job.


    With a small plate that accompanied it, you could slice and dice your reel to make your package on location before using crocodile clips attached to your phone to send it down the line. I know that because I remember doing it.

    Later on I took the much easier path and sent the package over ISDN.

    The Uher. Built like a VW. Dependable and reliable, using up 6C batteries a go, and reels that make us all seem rather ancient.

    It is my media object of desire.

    Now if only they could make the digital version.

    Video Journalists' cook book

    Nato War Games and in this picture, the Videojournalists' cook book emerges.

    Terms such as 2-stepping, swarming, arcing, deep linking etc dance around.

    The occasion is an ENO, military parlance for an Evacuation order.

    In the film preceding this photo, people are fleeing a hostile and being evacuated by choppers outside of a make-believe country.

    The commander in control, refuses to give interviews until he feels everything is in order, then he's swarmed by video journalists.

    As editor in the field, I could see four obvious stories that arose from a briefing.

    1. Interviews with evacuees.
    2. series of package of the whole evacuation process
    3. Reporting from behind safe lines
    4. A one-on-one with officials.

    Trouble is we only had two operational cameras, a pd150 and vx1000.

    The more advanced cameras could not cope with a previous operation at sea, so with only two cameras what could we do?

    We swarmed.

    Very swiftly, in shoot to edit mode the different teams gathered their reports and then handed their cameras onto another VJ.

    Part of swarming also meant picking up sequence shots for colleague's packages.

    Job done.

    On the awaiting evacuee ships, various teams were on stand by awaiting the choppers.

    Within four hours the time it took for the complete ops, we had as many packages as our ten personnel.

    The swiftness of turnaround meant on one ship, the few minutes that lapsed between an interview with a senior officer and videojournalist where he made a statement that needed correcting, was too late.

    It had been sat'ed back to "mother" ie base who had it in the running order.

    Tomorrow, more on the Video journalist's cookbook in conflict conditions, plus what was the news on January 1st 1996, the archive zone from the UK's first 24 hours video journalism station, a recording of transmission with now familiar faces on British TV.

    Saturday, May 24, 2008

    Euro-song contest vs American Idol

    While the US gets fixated on American idol - serious stuff with pots of money now in line for the victor - here in Europe ( we are in Europe) we get this thing called
    The Euro song Contest.

    It is the equivalent of a lobotomy on a weekend, whilst your head's being dragged through cow pat.

    OK there are some meaningful tunes being hammered out, but this, the whole affair, the Marx brothers would have given their souls to produce.

    Funny, Noooo. bl***y hilarious, that is also if you count the subversive Sotto voce of one of our national radio heroes, Terry Wogan.

    Terry Wogan is the Casey Kasem of BBC Radio 2, who's contribution on the night oscillated between piss-taking and dry humour.

    OMG at the time of writing, the United Kingdom with 14 points is at the bottom of the 25 list pile. Oh no they've come last.

    Singing and politics

    You see this is a political contest which includes a bit of singing.

    Er that's right, nations pay suffrage to each other, trade points for favours, perhaps in lieu of the following year's passport controls, or pending trade deficit.

    Russia incidently came first. Hey it was a great song, but btw where is the contest being held next year?


    Oh no they're now giving the acceptance speech. Shouldn't be so cynical, but the point where the countries were given their votes a slew of beautiful men and woman bordering on mannequins had me reaching for a bottle of salt tablets.

    "Hello Euro song contest. You guys were great, you gave us a good show and we love you, we love you. We want to have babies for all of you. In fact look I can sing. I'm going to sing again. ooowwwww woooooo eeehhhaahhh"

    "This must be the voting of guess-workers" muttered Terry Wogan followed by an endless stream of biting one liners.

    Can television be any more painful?

    I did, I did pull up the chair and hide behind it.


    There was a time when the UK used to walk this, but that was before Europe had more than, er three members and it was still seen as relevant.

    Those were Thatcher's days. But alas those halcyon days of a deferential Europe to the UK are far behind us.

    Terry Wogan concluded on air that Western Europeans throw in the towel, pull out of the competition as they don't have a hope in hell of ever winning.

    This year's national hopes were carried by ex dustbin man, that's waste collector Andy er, something.

    Andy, actually was the runner-up in the UK's version of American Idol and he can hold a tune.

    But this Euro contest is about the club, about a type of music which might baffle contemporary artists in the UK and perhaps the US.

    That doesn't make the UK any more special.

    But why oh why each year artists clamour to represent the land of hope and glory is anyone's guess, particularly when in all likelihood they're going to com last.

    Couple of years ago, one act (where are they now) sang completely out of tune.

    Anyway the contest is now over and more, far more, important news beckons.

    Top story?
    The top story

    Britain's Prime minister Gordon Brown is in a tight spot, losing popularity amongst voters like er, Andy at the Euro song contest.

    There are, it appears, mounting pressure for him to change his ways.

    I wonder if he can sing?

    Video journalism's anti-aesthetism short

    Video journalism's anti-aesthetism short from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

    Here's the one minute short cum motion promo from my morning run in Chicago.
    I shot about 7 mins, in a shoot to edit form, on my Sony A1.

    List of related links

  • More from two days ago posts.
  • Images from shoot
  • Video journalists cookbook
  • The other side of the Video journalism manifesto
  • The Digital Hub enters Academia

    Exclusive pics from The Financial Times' Digital Hub, published in in March.

    The hub, a contemporary feature of the modern newsroom is now making forays into academia.

    Whilst most academic outfits feature lecture rooms equipped with the latest gizmos in presentation, the layout has preserved the hierarchy of the lecturer with students facing on from one direction.

    Now news emerges in the UK of a university creating a digital hub, not unlike the FT's.

    In this case, it's a sort of throw back to the ampitheatre of Aristotle's school - with a digital upgrade you might say.

    Is this the first?

    I can't be absolutely sure, but from my involvement in the BJTC, I have broad knowledge of developments, though I welcome your comments telling me how this or that institution is ahead of the curve.

    I'll keep you posted with what I know as this may have wide ramifications for other institutes.

    Universities of the Future

    I have always felt the role of universities is to be where industry would like to be.

    And occasionally it succeeds but perhaps not as much as it should.

    However because both must fit like glove and hand, academia quite often mirrors the industrial world.

    How else would it recruit an able workforce.

    Couple of months ago, I produced a package on the University of the Future, which I think is ready for an update.

    Friday, May 23, 2008

    Super African Video journalism

    african videojournalism - USA from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

    Above, clip from The United States of Africa. Six part Video journalism series made by Africans, Ghanaians reporting for the first time in South Africa. Here, reporting on immigration. Series produced David Dunkley Gyimah

    It happened here in the UK, an influx of Ugandan Asians and boats of Africans and Caribbeans would cause alarm amongst some of the populace.

    More recently it's been Eastern Europeans, who've exercised the thoughts of some Brits.

    What's happening in South Africa is no more alien the world over, e.g. Australia, Netherlands etc.

    In times of economic crisis, when jobs are scarce to come by and a government seems paralyzed to explain the dynamics and results of an influx of people, or that their policies do nothing to absorb the bigger count, there will be clashes.

    A clash of ideologies, perhaps, even at times violence.

    What's happening in South Africa is symptomatic of this social issue.

    Super VJs

    In downtown Hillbrow, a place compared to the Bronx of the 70s, we came across Africans of many nationalities looking for a new start.

    The clip above provides a taster, but later we would follow one group.

    We arrived at their flat,11 young men in one room, at 5 in the morning and trailed two immigrants from Ghana.

    One claimed to have had a doctorate from Legon University; I had no reason to doubt him, but he was in South Africa selling tomatoes for a living.

    We followed him to a produce warehouse, where he bought his goods and then hung around with him on the street as he plied his trade.

    The money he made by the end of the day was barely enough to cover his rent and food, but he was grateful.

    At the end of filming he expressed a desire to go to China or Italy. Life in SA was becoming difficult.

    "Oh yes! Britain would be good as well", he quipped.

    Later, we acquired an interview with a senior government official in immigration.

    Off camera, during a break in the interview, he floored us by speaking of his childhood growing up in Ghana; he could even speak Twi, one of its native languages.

    And that's the rub. Many ANC officials in government have a list of African states to be thankful for providing them with a surrogate homes in their time of need.

    There is a debt they own, one today's youth, where memories of Apartheid are receding, will not understand.

    And for a people promised so much following the collapse of the segregationist regime, their anger and frustrations have found the weakest outlet: non South Africans are the cause of the woes.

    At the 1994 historic elections, many commentators marvelled at the unique way South Africa changed overnight, but there was also had a sense that there was a sleeping giant that needed to be assuaged or even, forbid the thought, kept asleep.

    Footnote: The United States of Africa was made in 1997/8 - a week spent in South Africa which yielded 7 1 hour programmes. I'll be posting whole programmes soon, which includes what the Ghanaian journalists made of South Africa and interviews with music maestro Quincy Jones.

    New, new, new, new media - the philosophy of doubt

    I was going to call this post: "Why New Media sucks?"

    Which in fact is a play on me: "Why New Me, David-In-Awe, sucks!" but I thought better of it.

    I presented at a gig couple of years ago. I was a bit of a newbie and I was truly dreadful.

    So dreadful I could have covered my head with a damp cloth while self flagellated with thorns.

    What happened? I did not know my audience, and as such did not deliver what they would have wanted to know.

    I vowed from there on that anytime I present I'll ask the producers to produce me. And if I am left to my own, will have to be a better judge of the conference and the space.

    Self confession finally.

    Is it practical work, theories of New new media, my journey etc that is of interest and how should the argument be articulated?

    Should I be sitting down, standing up or free-flowing across the stage

    All of these have some merit, but overall it's about what the audience seeks?

    Last evening I attended a very well to do conference featuring some very brainy people, but at one point when the debate revolved around notions of truth and that only professional reporters were ordained to deliver, my mind threw back to my stage faux pas.

    Conceivably the two may have been unconnected. I recall thinking about the trash can/ rubbish when I was 50m underneath the Dardanelles (Turkish waters), a report for the BBC World Service and thinking I'm about to take my last breadth. [ Will change the interface soon to make the video controllable]

    "We're doomed" I scribbled on one of the attendant's notes. Why was I here?

    It's difficult enough producing a conference and worrying about overheads and balance sheets, and the fact there lies a forum which might spew any number of ideas: good, bad or indifferent, still has merit, otherwise I wouldn't be writing now.

    So I tip my hat to the organisers.

    First impressions too can be deceptive, and yes the talk did warm up, though there were pockets where I felt like a 13 year old in a class of quantum physics.

    No worries I know it's me - just not that clever.

    So where are we in this new new new new new media debate?

    The more I know, the more knowledgable I become, the more knowledgable I become the more confusing it gets, the more confusing it gets the more trouble shooters emerge, the more trouble shooters emerge the more theories are produced, and thus the more I know, the less I know.

    Thursday, May 22, 2008

    Video journalism's anti-aesthetism

    Video journalism's anti-aesthetism short from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

    I went for a run from my hotel in Chicago and shot about ten minutes of tape.

    My goal was to produce a piece of work which in effect captures the essence of video journalism.

    The theme emerged as I stepped out of the lobby.

    The morning light was still, somewhat melancholic.

    And as I pounded the path I went about catching images.

    When I shoot I'm observing how movement and composition affect the type of story I'm producing.

    News editors will say videojournalism editorialises, which it shouldn't. The camera should just record what's there. The reporter should remain neutral.

    We can be impartial but being objective forces a philosophical debate: whatever you shoot introduces its own editorial bent right there.

    One of the few times when academics/professional might argue less about the editorial nuance is when an event unfolds in front of you such as an accident, a riot, - all you need to do is point and shoot.

    In effect this is the argument for Citzen Journalism: On the scene - point and shoot. The construct the preserve of the citizen trained as a journalist is a more complex matrix, involving deciphering complex matter in minutes and deciding how to move it on with pundits.

    It's still an inprecise science, because oour choice of pundits can in itself be coloured. Objectivity huh!

    Video story telling and journalism
    TV News' early strength, its safeness and comforting images, even in emergencies (You are advised the following shots are graphic) made it tea-time friend.

    But not solely for the last point, but our own heighten visual literacy, changes in visual grammar, has created a new dynamic with what we percieve as "polished" news.

    It was hollywoodised when it emerged and still is now, with immaculate looking people and aesthetic sheens which can often cut against the visual message of an item.

    Often as a TV reporter I'd place you in a visually aesthetic setting that would match the prerequisite mis en scene.

    In the townships of Katelhong whilst being scared out of my wits as we entered the killing zone, my role as the reporter was to process and rationalise before delivery. There were many time when my thought bubbles just went F***, F***, F***.

    When I emerged from that story I swore I'd never do it again.

    The one place I can say that, without being ticked off might be the newspapers, but it's dfinately in this 3d medium of narrative writing - blogs.

    Video dilemma

    And when we can't find an appropriate backdrop for video story telling, we reach for the proverbial potted plant to give "colour".

    News. Video is life - people's stories, and the settings are what they are.

    My idea of videojournalism captures the mood and scene as is. It is a mixture of on-the-fly documentary, but to undershoot

    My ratio for a 3 minute film can often by 6 minutes. The students I work with often come down from 40 minutes to 12 minutes.

    The scenes do need directing in the construct package: "where do you want me to stand?" is the usual refrain".

    I try to be noncommittal.

    "How do you know what to film and when and how can you edit on the fly?", a delegate asked in Berlin.

    Whilst talking to her, I threw her a ball. She caught it whilst still talking.

    In Minority Report, a similar question is asked of Tom Cruise's character about pre-cog.

    He rolls a ball and his adversary catches it. Expectation can be instinctive, but also conditioned.

    In other words it's by training and repetition that we learn this thing called video journalism. There's no smoke and mirrors to it.

    Self Filming
    The shots of me running across the street give space to the scene. The A1 is small enough for me to place it somewhat clandestinely against a backdrop.

    Though I am scouting to ensure no one with trainers or passing me a fleeting "lucky" look is in the vicinity . LOL

    Digital can penetrate shadows and even when it's dark, so often I don't carry lights, most definately when I'm running, and to build up authorship; my judgement of the scene, I will either desaturate or adjust my blacks.

    These can be found in FCP's colour corrector palate.

    Here, I'm pulling up some sickly greens and browns. It's an anti aesthetic look: the mood, characters and visual dialogue are now instinctively captured to tell the story, even without actual dialogue with this case.

    I've cropped it to 950x380 which gives it a more filmic sensation.

    The music yes is important, but equally natural sound could have done the job.

    I still believe it's an editorial call of using music in news packages, however we should pass the no-discussion approach.

    This is a creative form, and if the signs of viewers abandoning news is anything to go by, and that's not entirely all down to the product, we'd do well to consider upping the anti on visual story telling, to be more compelling, more aggressive, subtle, in the thick of it when we tell stories.

    These cameras can do things that beg fresh thinking and packaging processes.

    Video posted on
    size 6.5mb at 400k/sec reduced from 500mb using double compression technique.

    Wednesday, May 21, 2008

    Pirates Dilemma and digital piggy backing

    Is there a reason behind this or are you just pleased to see me. Picture taken by David walking in the woods

    Digital piggy backing or should that be frogging involves using the slip stream of, say, a broadcaster to make your own show.

    I'll talk more about this later in the week, but today featured in this month's .Net and it appears busily doing the rounds, is a clever, albeit agent provocateur Matt Hanson, behind the book Pirate's Dilemma.

    I haven't read it fully yet, but the interview in the mag, coupled with this Q and A below tee up his underlying theory.

    "Pirates rule the world and if you want to stay in business or make headway, best to know what they know".

    It's a business practice which plays off so many others, but in times like these could do with a face job or for that matter reworking the story, which Matt seems to have done.

    Pirates, here, could be anyone of the disruptive cultures e.g. youth and illegal downloads, who'll tear down your business model before you can say "call the damn lawyers".

    The theme has some DNA strands from The Innovations Dilemma, which in turn derives some mitochondria from the 60s model Prisoner's dilemma.

    This last theory, with variations, calls into question collaborative behaviour and is worth a play with a colleague.

    "You get caught with some acquaintance, you barely know, doing something unlawful and get hauled into the police cells. They're fishing for clues and offer you a deal.

    If you cough up the truth and your so called friend doesn't you go home. She gets 3 years.

    If you both stay silent you'll do 3 months.

    If you both fess up, well that's bad, a year.

    What do you do?

    Standard practice seems to be, save your skin, until you realise that you've both testified and will now be eating porridge for a year.


    And the purpose of these business revelations, a sort of Art of War in the competitive world of entrepreneurship and how to smack-down the supposedly "know-it-alls".

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    Loving the Hulk site

    The interface and use of flash video etc. They're by no means the first, but the effects and comped photoshop image hang it together.

    The Xmen's is still the daddy though

    Commentor - the new A-listers

    The very idea was liberating whilst also a tad intriguing at first, allowing yourself to be open to comments, critiqued in fact, sometimes even trolled.

    C'mon Newspapers have been doing it for years.

    "Dear Sirs I rather regard your knowledge of such matters as fundamentally flawed, for which you should be flogged. The desert spoon is always placed on the inside of the right side...."
    ...... Signed Marmaduke Malborough.

    But what would happen when anyone could leave a comment? Shove that up your ostrich Quill Marmaduke.

    We all went bananas. Yeah tell the broadcasters and press what you finally think. So some blogs registered "200 comments"- Yeah babe!

    Many others like this one barely squeak hard enough to warrant even a "Ahhh".

    No, no I'm fine I don't have a Napoleon Complex.

    So the article from Alwayson The New Genre: Comments struck an interesting chord.

    The company being profiled, Cocomment manages comments from a multitude of companies.

    Commenting is the new "It", which sounds implausible for a nano second. TV and Radio have made stars and provided a living to many pundits whose sole job is to comment for their supper.

    Coming up with an original thought may be sapping, but commenting occupies a rarefied level of its own, particularly if you're good at it.

    The more witticisms stroke comments you can leave on sites from radon isotopes to Johnny Depp's goatee will bring rewards, not to mention a fleet of followers.

    Lots of comments, from lots of people opens a new conversation quite literally for monetisation, particularly if you're a marketeer wanting to run "article writings" ( planting a conversation to engage others).

    For also within the soup of words are comments that now wag the dog and become leading articles in themselves or otherwise pick out THAT issue that might have slipped your mind.

    The makers of The Kite Runner should have run comments whilst making their film and would probably have not committed such a huge faux pas with the actors and the rape scene, which endangered the lives of the actors.

    "John what you're saying makes sense, but as someone who survived in Borneo, was marooned on a beach and have just recovered original footage of our exploits, I think you've slightly missed the boat".

    At that moment every TV researcher looking to make a programme on "My new life" has just found a prime candidate.

    But it's not just TV people who like comments.

    Comment why don't you?
    Quite a few of us have made friends, the equivalent of Marge and Mary leaning over the garden wall for a cosy natter about the weather.

    "Raining again in summer Marge?"
    "No that's the overspill from the cistern"

    There's probably a PhD in the works about commenting. Someone's passport and employment tag probably says: "Commentor".

    No not commentator - they often start a conversation, though that in itself is somewhat oxymoronic.

    I tried to leave a comment on Always, but after what seemed like a lengthy sign-in threw in the towel. Commenting comes in the heat of the moment or does it ?

    And then what happens when comments become audible. The flea phenomenon I mentioned a while back in a post comes to mind.

    Technology that allows us to pick up relevant comments whizzing through the ether.

    It's not quite there yet, but the chap who gave a presentation at Smart Lab - my surrogate home for a PhD, had many going 'Woow" with his nascent technology.

    And then there's Echelon or not, which allows you to hear what people are talking about.

    Incidentally, don't mention the three words sequenced in one sentence here or on the phone: president.XXXX, and XXXX. Yep I'm not saying anymore.

    Comments were once free.

    But those days might be far behind us, soon.

    So if everyone's waiting to comment who starts the original conversation?

    Hey I'm going out for a beer and to COMMENT

    Heaveyweight boxing - made in Flash 4

    To start: press screen. To Stop Press Screen. I have programmed it so on the second play, you'll get the music accompanying it

    I have started to dig out some of the things that got me excited in the late 90s/early 2000 and this was one of them

    I'd been using Flash 2/3 since 1998ish.

    Whilst on Flash 4, I made a short animated film with a superb flash designer, Rosalind which caught the attention of the Heavyweight boxer Lennox Lewis.

    We almost built his site for him. That fell through, but the team did ask me to join them as:

  • a videojournalist
  • a Writer
  • and making Flash promos.

    Few journalists knew what Flash was, let alone had used it. But Lennox's lot got it immediately. I made two promos over a couple of days, one of which is at the top of this page.

    The beauty with them is that they're light. At around 200k because I'm only using about five images ( there's no video in this.)

    That meant I could (automated) email this to fans etc on what was then predominately 56k and 28k modems.

    Also we could hide easter eggs inside so after the 100th play it sent you to a site where you could win an award. (That's been disabled now)

    Whilst back then we just got on with it "oh what fun?"

    Now, there's a real sense of what next about it, which translates here s IMVJ: Integrated Multimedia Video Journalism.
    That is combining video journalism and multimedia.

    I'll dig some more work out of the vaults and talk about how I made them in the future.
  • News paper and broadcast Journalism Innovation

    At thirty thousand feet the world looks a different place.

    Some people however don't need physics to give them a seated lofty view of the world.

    Duncan Whitman, who I have pinged a few times is back in London. And it hopefully looks like we/us could be closer to a utility that will firstly disrupt the broadcast/new media industry and provide a mezze of broadcast utilities into your hands.

    Yesterday whilst supervising some students, another game changer crossed my path.

    Some graphic students in their final 3rd year submission had asked me to take a look at their work. Some months earlier one of them had mentioned something, with me muttering something like: "look forward to seeing it".

    Good Grief: Nothing short of genius. The beauty of their design, with graphic boards, copious notes on the technology and animated video shows an emerging plausible future for newspapers and broadcasting merging.

    I'd love to show you, but I was the first to say, they need to find a way of protecting their design, yet at the same time placing it under the noses of those who might see what they see.

    At a conference some years ago I interviewed two entrepreneurs/ technologists designing different systems: one the tablet, the other flexi-screen app.

    What the graphics group at the Uni have done is unknowingly elegantly merge the two with their own innovations.

    Hope to bring you some more when we've figured how to do so in their interests.

    Monday, May 19, 2008

    Videojournalism - is it working?


    Everyone's making video now.

    The low hanging fruit of video journalism has been well and truly plucked.

    And the chatter now is about how increasingly there's little to distinguish between various outifts' output.

    Video done well is a powerful medium, otherwise the converse is the rewards don't square with the efforts.

    So just as newspapers can define themselves by their distinctive voice, can video be targeted to deliver the same; go beyond the visual and info style associated with traditional television news.

    Back in 1994, there was a huge fanfare when video journalism first burst on the scene in the UK.

    And within a matter of weeks burgeoning VJs like me knew the whole point was to deliver something different than what television was offering.

    The Paradigm
    Eleven years later the Hull Daily Mail were the first regional newspaper in the UK to take the video journalism plunge and they pretty much thought the same. They picked up awards for their innovation.

    Since then many other outfits now have stripes that define them as video journalists. Problem is, according to some of the feedback, they're not getting the bang for their bucks

    So is it time to take stock?

    What's the difference between journalism produced with video and videojournalism?

    if there is a difference, then can television really teach newspapers a thing or two about video journalism or is it a distinct craft?

    And finally with a Video journalism training school cropping up on every street corner just how do you come to a considered judgement about what's on offer.

    These are some of the things I'll be posting about and indeed addressing in my forum talk in Sweden.

    I look forward to meeting and talking you.

    Cheers David website
    blog on the Outernet

    Sunday, May 18, 2008

    Movie -promo making made simple

    It's not rocket science really. Short film making is a matter of "stealing licks" to quote Donald who left a message some time ago.

    An area of short form making that is a heightened form of visual arts in itself is promo making.

    If you've watched Wimbledon or Match of the Day on BBC1, it's the bit that wraps up a programme.

    In many cases it stands alone, whilst in others it's used as an arc in feature films and docs.

    It's emotional and artistic narrative tells a story without the use of voice clips and with Arts School film makers will often translate to commercial directing.

    Ridley Scott - Gladiators, Tarsem, who directed the Fall, and Tony Kaye behind American History X all emerged from an artistic perspective of film making via commercials.

    Looking at Promo Making

    I'll be cutting a promo pretty soon from shots I took jogging one morning in Chicago.

    The promo on features quite a few of those shots plus a couple I cribbed from Robb's camera at The key to that promo was driving through town with Robb in order to ID shooting locations.

    Chicago is a city made from film sets and in fact quite a few have been shot there e.g. Blues Brothers.

    I'm told it was also the inspiration for The Matrix - the Wakowskis are originally from Chicago. The Matrix is also a film worth studying for visual promo narrative as is the grunge like Se7en.

    Like many a film makers, I started out storyboarding particularly in teams, but if you work alone as I might do, then I have pretty much storyboard with the camera of direct a shot for someone to capture me on, as I did with Robb.

    Mike Jones at Digital Basin an insightful article on promo making if you want to read more otherwise I'll post my short pretty soonish

    The Osmond's revival missed opportunity

    Ah well, so the Osmonds are on Jonathan Ross next week. And there I could have interviewed them last week, but was caught up marking. Where's my priority eh? LOL

    Saturday, May 17, 2008

    Stand ups/Piece to Camera - VJ /Vlogger Reporting style overkill

    Look mum no camera operator, David reports from the Champ Elysee, France as a video journalist

    Can I migrate this stuff over to word press? Do I have the time?

    Just one of those odd thoughts lingering as I put the final touches to my slide presentation to WAN, which they need in advance for printing.

    If you manage a video journalism set up, this might just interest you.

    I have dug out a memo from our managing director back then, Nick Pollard, who would later head up the news at sky news, and he made a huge radical change to our work flow which brought the creativity back to what we do.

    But that's for another post.

    Last week I had the chance to view some of the work coming out a national publication - part of research - and one of those hoary elements of reportage cropped up and just wouldn't go away.

    Their reporter doing a piece on Casinos had done about 20 stand up/ piece to camera takes and still couldn't get it right.

    I'm not certain which one's more painful, trying to execute a stand up with a crew, where your failures are on show, or as a video journalists, where everyone rubber necks and some hang around long enough to put you off.

    This brings back memories of the image at the top.

    I was reporting from France, a report for which I was selling to Channel 4 whom I freelance for.

    It's about 1998, but I recall standing in the middle of the Champs Elysee doing a whole series of stand ups; not the same ones I'll add.

    I'd had some good training whilst working at BBC Reportage years earlier.

    The editor had coached me how I should approach the camera: tunnel vision, look straight down the lens.

    David reporting for ITV's London Tonight

    Tips for vloggers/video journalists and young reporters

    Reportage - Music Festivals - ITV's London Tonihjt from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

    As a reporter you also picked up other tips; none more useful than "keep it simple".

    If you're going to do a piece to camera

    tip #1 Keep it short not more than three thoughts, unless you consider yourself an actor doing lines.

    tip #2 If you are going long and want large sections on camera then consider what actors and psychologists call active experiencing to get through or get yourself a cheap autocue.

    tip #3 If you are doing short one use the beginning of each sentence as a marker to start you off.

    tip #4 Keep it conversational - simple words - the spoken word rather than written one.

    tip #5 Report for your audience rather than other reporters. Reporters tend to spend inordinate amounts of time often trying to be impressive for their showreels, which should earn them their next job.

    Indeed many Vjs etc don't do stand ups at all. Hey it's a dirty game and there's nothing worse says Scott Rensberger than doing s atand up after sweating through a report.

    Oddly enough many that don't do stand ups remark that's sooo television forgetting that when you remove the postering, side on stance and the steely smirk, a stand up/piece to camera serves many functions.

    It brands you, says you were there and can often be used as a bridge when there's a dearth of video to fill in, as in court reports.

    In the ever increasingly busy broadband world of narrow casting, the stand up/ vlog/ piece to camera will never be as invaluable as now.

    Of course back in the days, using beta cameras we had to perfect the task of focusing on say a piece of chewing gum on the floor and then estimating our height before pressing record and standing in front of the camera - on your own.

    Friday, May 16, 2008

    Videojournalism stills from Camp VJ

    Promo gallery - still images from the A1 Sony from Chicago Camp Videojournalism
    music by Nancy Ginindza and Paolo Lucci

    Duncan Whiteman Returns

    The last time we spoke I cut a trailer which i'm yet to deliver to him with a site I built. But things are hotting up for Duncan.

    Duncan who?

    i wager you'll not be saying that in about two years time, if development, research and funding gets underway.

    Thr clue is this: a system that makes all other programme making redundant. I'm on an NDA here and that's all I can say.

    Thursday, May 15, 2008

    When robots run the news

    Did it worry the CEO of Publishing Zeal that robots now controlled the news? Did it worry the millions of hooked up webbers that their lives we're being controlled by algorithims? Did the last major news company to throw in the towel reflect on the glorious days of old?

    "Hey bill we ran that ****ing hegemony for a damn good while"
    "Yeah we did Jim. Yes we did".

    Various government's have now instituted laws requiring we pay for hyper-noise pollution, as the air screeches of high pitch auto bots sampling data at trillions per seconds to filter, disseminate and posit "the news" onto nano-receptors you can get sown implanted into your cochlea.

    Computer screens are flat radiating light without any discernible way of functioning by today's standards.

    So what happened in 2011 - a big fight that's what. One controllng system ( media of old) had finally relented to a new controlling system ( everyone else who passed info). Blogging passed off into the web 2.0 lexicon replaced by something else.

    When something becomes so natural, so commonplace it ceases to have a zeitgeist name that, actually sounded so clumsy and wierd on reflection that it's any wonder the sex industry didn't invent it.

    So the media of old wanted to get even, because the new contollers by spit and polish had effected a coup de tat - thrown them of their perches.

    But the fact is how do we trust one new system from anothe?. Just because you whizz into the upper echelons of Technorati and Xanaysia does not neccesarily mean what's being passed around is any more news worthy than today.

    Britney spears still draws huge hits even when there's mass destruction elsewhere.

    No, intelligent bots, a re-incarnated max headroom; a combination of wierd maths-science by affiliations and associations. Some super bloggers who discovered they had power had no guilt abusing that.

    'Pay me and I'll tell your news".

    Others became the 6th estate, twittering and chironing so fast, a move on from twittering, that they became demi-gods.

    But the new robots had a plan, intelligent software oscilloscoped news' patternining and determined via its make up and content a quality threshold. Favoured string bits would reassemble into other videos via deep links. The mediocre became the best of the best.

    It's the equivalent of an agency package e.g APTN, sent to a broadcaster in which 3/4 of the content is derived from various sources. Now robots automatically run the show and the people controlling the robots - siblings from the newsmakers of old.

    They, the old guard lost generation 2010, but were not going to go quietly, so a summit, a secret gathering in 2009 yielded "sarah". Their charges took stock. Video and text with it's own wierd alogorithm morphed to cater for your tastes.

    Everyone wanted it because it gave you the exact fix you wanted. It was like putting pop corn in the microwave and seeing a steak when it pinged.

    When robots run the news, a consequence of the media of old wanting the limelight again, everything costs.

    Net neutrality is a pipe dream. Soon as you go webside, the clocks ticking; soon as you leap to another network with no prior agreement cuz yer wanted to see Kylie's world of wonder, your credit's being eaten away.

    When robots run the news eh! Better put alco-pops down.

    Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    Video with journalism, more so now.

    What does it take to implement a regular video feed in a newspaper with little or no background in videojournalism, askeed The editors web log ?

    The bullet points below, which I'm due to expand upon/modify. If your're going to be at the World Editors Association gathering in Sweden I'll see you then.

    A forum has been launched for the gathering, but I'd look forward to meeting just as well.


  • managers and staff must discuss and agree on how they want to use video in their paper. VJ requires neither a complete overturn of internal organization nor a complex (and costly) IT infrastructure.

  • Don’t venture into VJ if you’re simply aiming to cut costs and because video has been defined as a priority. Doing the opposite will result in a cheap product that turns users away.

  • Invest in equipment to build an “updated inventory,” as opposed to typical newspaper assets, which are relatively old. These investments don’t have to be extensive. In some cases a video camera and editing software are just what it takes.

    Below are Dunkley’s recommendations for equipment, although he insists that any lightweight HD camera, PC and film editing software will do for beginners. Flash Media software is more esthetic than Windows Media Player or Quicktime, but all have the same basic functionality.

    More here
  • The Osmond's revival

    Indelibly imprinted on my mind, "I'll be your long head lover from Liverpool"; the track from a bonny Donny Osmond.

    Years on I might well have met my unlikely idols.

    ( Hey it's cool to go retro so, ease up!)

    But alas I'm up to my kneck with other bits and pieces, assessment's and Phds and the likes, so I sadly had to decline.

    But think about the footage and what I could have done with it. The financial company where the Os are backing a charity, gave carte blanche.

    "Revival", now that's a word which we're hearing less and less of - almost unheard of in the newspaper industry.

    As I prepare for WAN, and complete my keynote [ that's keynote - apple] on training needs, expanding on themes from Camp Videojournalism I rang a senior industry figure, whose eyes and ears pick up the slightest tremors in the industry's demeanor.

    News on paper
    Well, there's a 5 percent down turn and it's also looking pretty grim he said. What may be a viable solution is to offshore some of the capital intensive and running work costs.

    "Journalist based in the UK, seeks designer and layout in Malaysia" could be the headline. What's apparent he added rather matter-of-fact is that in 10 years time at this rate, the world of newspapers will look anything but.

    Though, yes, I still love the smell of papers in the morning, and I still love to instruct students I'm supervising and the rest to layout their creative ideas on A3s, the notion of your news on paper may become an anachronism.

    Meanwhile it looks like newspapers have had their fill with video journalism. That is video with journalism as according to my contact many are now revising their online operations in search of something more than traditional video.

    There is a world of difference between video journalism and videojournalism, not just semantically but how one is designed for the time-attention poor netizen in mind and the other which er may just about satisfy your craving for information.

    The Ning Journalist
    Back to newspapers, print may be feeling the pinch but the the Net continues to exert its primacy as a medium for news.

    Fancy that. I so remember the chatter from news people that that would never happen. It has and continues, but as I'm likely to mention at WAN the response, let alone level of proactivity from some media companies still looks pretty thin.

    If you never considered yourself a Ning Journo or network journalism sounds like train connection written up by a scribe, then you might be in a spot of bother.

    "What's the best route for snaring a job?" one Masters grad asked me.

    I have no idea, but you do yourself no favours by not getting your head wrapped around mash-ups, word press and building a community".

    Crazy times huh. Crazy horses - the latter one of the Osmond's hits. Shame I couldn't get to meet em, cuz I might just have mentioned there's a great site lurking some where beneath there current one.

    Monday, May 12, 2008

    Turning the corner- the wired journlalist

    The "once it was all so simple" talk is redundant really.

    For from the seeds of Camp VJs philosophy [ and we just about scratched the surface] is the notion of the ultra wired journalists.

    How to mash up, filter, disseminate to, and aggregate shared interests and well as encouraging new participants; it sounds a heady mix, but it's that simple.

    I've been thinking through this for eons and it part explains why my career is a series of jumps from one domain to another.

    When I aquired my first powerbook in 99, I cut a piece tin which Channel 4's Jon Snow [ I was freelancing there at the time] remarked... "and that's broadcast quality. Wow?


    Over at the Beep, the then head of foreign news showed interest after a meeting, but echoed a much chimed comment" "What exactly do you do?"

    Radio, TV, the Net, building web sites, magazines, making commercials and promos, Compression technology, Flash, Director, media policy - all of which I might add now have congealed into my Phd studies.

    And there were many many others, whom like me, would get confused looks.

    And now?

    Still confused looks, that anyone should know more than the prerequesite: what ever that is.

    It's changing, changing, get over it, said Jeff Jarvis in an interview I had with him.

    So to the media I ask what are you going to do, he concluded.

    There are no limits now to what we may learn and what we need to learn. The market, a tumbling one, is fluid. Yes video will ride the crest, but it's also about the new judgement of news, info flows. The skill now is in being one of them.

    Not a news hound, but someone concerned about news as a consumer, with an understanding how to let it go, until like the kite runner you artfully reel it in.

    What is news?

    It's about the workflow of a new discourse in news. We haven't yet scratched the surface I feel.

    Take this device for instance - a bluetooth transmitter recorder that allows me to leave a message and for that message to find recipient blue tooths within a radius; hoping about before it finds its source. Now what if I talked about a random selection of news items, what if I talked about this here and a number of us had meta key words. That message would find its way onto my device - from the US and the likes [ yes welcome to the thought police]

    The whole world will be noisily exchanging data by the second that anyone could use - one big telephone exchange, but I can key into dense words thus filtering what I want to hear between said or not recipients.

    News is in itself a conversation. It's just some bright spark deems one conversation more laudable than the other, depending on constituents, time, money, primacy, value etc.

    And what of the old world. Will it realy be that soon? Will this very laptop become redundant for something else.

    What will the future of studies at a university be like?

    A former chancellor and government advisor gives an amazing insight.

    In the next few weeks I'm going to be collaborating with Sandy, a financial wizz in the city, whose ideas mirror my own. One of the first pieces should be an insight into the high risk of money management in a manner which we hope opens uo further debate about the way things were done