Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Financial stories, banking crisis, video drama

It's a financial story of colossal value, yet trawl the video vaults of the new video age producers online and to use that cliche, financial stories made-into compelling video are conspicuous by their absence.

It's not that viewers are tired of news, they're tired of the way we make it, is the maxim that's come to define why viewers are abandoning news, according senior TV news exec.

Never has this statement rang so true as the economy slowly implodes while video producers look for the low-hanging-fruit video pieces.

When it comes to business stories, historically producers have had to test themselves. The action often happens behind closed mahogany doors and computer screens.

And how do you talk to your constituents explaining the complexities of business without them falling asleep.

But today, the lack of video stories turning finance into high drama has worn thin and the drama can't get any higher.

Great Story Telling
In the last week, quite fortuitously Jeff Randal, the Telegraph's Editor-at-Large has been able to tweak a commissioned set of programmes to the BBC to deliver compelling radio to catch the adrenalin of this high drama.

Good solid producing, backed by a spring in the step at reporting business - that's what Randal delivers.

When I was at Newsnight I recall the programme used a fun fair to explain the ups and downs of a time; the UK's perennial business cycle of boom and bust. It was brilliantly worked.

And on the small box, it's to those we've trusted to understand how the economy a sick patient is continually throwing up: Newsnight and Channel 4.

But where oh where are the Video journalism pieces?

This is where the slow brew of video making and the way newspapers operate, compared with TV, was going to reap major dividends.

Newspaper Video Journalist
Let the video journalist onto the beat, out to their contacts, into the communities and see what they come back with.

The repercussions for this story run so deep, so wide that you could throw a video camera out on a fishing line and it'd catch the breathlessness of this issue.

And while I'd raid my contact book and that of my journalism colleagues to get into any financial institute in the city, the other side of the story, has largely for the meantime been neglected by TV and video producers online.


It's the equivalent of embeds filming the chaos in the war room of a major conflict, yet ignoring the calamity on the battle field.

In part the excuse could be it's yet to trickle down in any great scale, but shareholders, home owners, pension holders, buy-to-letters are going under.

Video journalism was not just going to be about point and shoot, or even slavishly following the TV agenda, but to break new ground.

It's not that business video isn't interesting, it's the way it's been historically made that may suggest it can't make interesting video pieces

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi David
I totally agree-this credit crunch thing is (unfortunately) going to run and run...when are the big broadcasters going to come up with new ways of telling the story?
I also agree Video Journalisms place in the future could definitely be in coming up with the creative treatments- and, like you say, not following the mainstream news agenda.