Sunday, November 30, 2008

Are you a blogging linguist - Chapeau blogawards blogohpedia

Chapeau blogawards blogohpedia are looking for new and exciting words to do with the nomenclature of blogging and those that get accepted are given an opportunity to take part in the 2009 Chapeau Blog Awards competition.

So far some of the entries include:

  • Blogcott - Boycott of a product or activity initiated on a blog and spread throughout the blogosphere by linking from one blog to another.
  • Bloggernaut - One who spends a great deal of time in blogland
  • Togger - A blogger who blogs about clothes and fashions.
  • and my own 5 O'clock alpha waves thinking, Vlog Butterfly.

There's still a number of letters that need submissions, as well as existing ones that could do with that oft-thought obscure word, such as blagger, which I would have thought is a blogger who's very persuasive at getting their own way.

BTW it's also a Brit term around the same description.

or TWOCKER - a crim reference in the UK, but would do as a blogger taking without consent.

Anyways here's their details. Better hurry up as it's complementary before the 1st december for getting your word in and entering the awards

VJ awards deadline - a new style of videojournalism?

Video journalism the "it" thing at the moment.

Is there a new style set to emerge?
Will its maturity yield a new taxonomy?
Are the rules of video journalism specific to regions?
Do you need to put stand ups in the form?
And how can Vjism bring about a more expansive, credible, and innovative form of journalism in the wake of media closures?

While these specifics may not be answered, the entrants to the VJ Awards 2008/9 may give some clue to video journalism's maturity and direction.

The competition closes on the 1st of December from its already extended deadline. Your chance to win some cash and get noticed, but you'd better hurry with less than 24 hours to go.

Go here VJ Awards 2008/9

The amazing Angela Grant - Interview

Picture by John Davenport from Angela Grant's portfolio

Coming up this week, a video interview with the amazingly talented and humble multimedia journalist, Angela Grant.

Angela's site News Videographer has become required reading for anyone practicing multimedia and video journalism. It's a people's site, with Angela moderating.

I'm a big fan and caught up with her in Chicago, when she was a training at Camp VJ.

She's self-effacing and shoots way way above the time she's spent in her job, and like the pro she is admits she's still learning.

It never stops.

The interview I'll post either tomorrow or Tuesday is us ( Angela, Rob Montgomery an I) talking over dinner. It's a bit noisy, but Angela's answers engage you so much, you'll soon forget about it.

I shot it on my small palm size Canon stills camera. The following day I did a more considered interview on the Sony A1, which I'll have to fish out some time.

There are a few choice moments in this interview coming up.

On two occasions Rob an I get into a spirited discussion about Angela as if she wasn't there.

David: Angela are you being magnanimous?
Rob: I don't think she's being disingenuous
David: No, no, I didn't mean that.

Meanwhile, Angela's looking on bemused as these two idiots (us) then look at her and realise what we're doing.

I'd love that as many students watch this only because, it's incredible when you realise Angela's been a multimedia journalist for two years, yet as I put it, it seems like she's been around for ever, which starts off another amusing dialogue between Rob and I.

Anyways, the amazing Angela Grant coming soon.

Have camera, will travel; travelogue Video Journalism and the Kwa.

Have camera, will travel - Travelogue Journalism.

Looking through my tapes, I came across quite a few labeled: Jordan, Turkey, Greece, Norway, UK and so on and realised they 're travelogue tapes from some of my travels, which I just haven't had the time to put together.

Undoubtedly, a key outlet for video journalism are programmes about travel and adventure.

Way back at Channel One, one genius of a Vj, Dan Rowland, made travelogue programmes his own.

Dan had that something that made you miss dinner to watch him: a vital point, as whilst anyone can be a VJ, not everyone has that kwa quality.

Dan Rowland covered Europe as a soloVj on a programme called Eurodan. The shot on the far left from 1995 shows Dan as one of the first VJs to perfect the walking Stand up/ piece to Camera.

The kwa - you can't buy or fake it, yet it's something an audience implicitly knows you have or don't and the more personal the programme the more the audience relies on the kwa to make sense of you.

And yes often the audience can be divided, but by and large that kwa is something that you can spot: a natural born performer and often it lurks amongst those who often are unaware of their star quality - that chemistry.

Have you got the Kwa
Dan was belly-ache funny. In the flesh, he was extremely like able, but give him a camera and he was Harry ''the travelogue-artist" Houdini Magic!

If Michael [ Rosenblum] can recall there were many times he had everyone in stitches and if I'm right Micheal wouldn't have said no to Dan joining his outfit. BTW if you haven't seen Michael's kwa [presenting], do

Some people have the kwa. And for some people the kwa takes up the room even before they enter.

Online, Amanda Congdon's kwa was certainly presenting Rocketboom, Christiane Amanpour's is in the front line of wars; and Noemi Hernandez, a News presenter on Spanish TV, a Masters student two years ago irradiates kwa personality.

I once met and shook hands with ABC's great Peter Jennings when I was news producer for ABC News in South Africa.

Peter Jennings was Kwa personified.

You can have many attributes:
  • great reporting voice [incidentally have I told you the story about eating chocolates before going on air]
  • great creative skills
  • great reporting face, and they all matter

but without the kwa, well?

And the kwa is one of those things that can be hard to pin down. But, but, you do begin to develop an eye for it, working around others who have that 3rd eye.

And when you do it's instinctive. A creative music producer will tell you, that s/he can sense something in the opening bars, and take out their cheque by the chorus.

Looking for the kwa

Me, aged 11 at boarding school in Ghana. Check out the Michael Jackson "Off the Wall" pose. An appeal for the kwa?

In my broadcasting days, I led such a peripatetic life working with some key producers and directors within Channel 4, and BBC that I could see how commissioners made subjective judgements hiring around the elusive kwa.

Whilst working at the BBC, the editor of fabulously hipster Def II programme would tell us the reporting crew: "look straight down the lens and flirt with your girlfriend/boyfriend. Huh!

Believe me though if you weren't up for it, you got shown the front door.

In radio, one of my all time radio producer editors [BBC Radio 4] would say slow down and speak in your natural voice and just be yourself. If you had the kwa, you'd know.

I don't know that we (my co-presenter Cheryl Simms and I ) had it but we managed two years presenting on BBC GLR. Often it's easy to develop a chemistry kwa with a co-presenter which is why a lot shows double-head.

Rob Montgomery from Visual Editors has a wonderful mellifluous Kwa radio voice.

And then in teaching, some people have the kwa. They walk into a room and it's "nuff respect".

Ade a music lecturer at the University of Westminster consistently has herograms scribbled on a cards telling him how *****ing brilliant he is. Ahh the power of the kwa.

TV and agents work on the premise of a limiting the supply of Kwa-ites that way we the TV audiences are forever left wanting more.

Online obviously it's a different matter, and even if you can't don't have the kwa, you can always count on the long tail. Some one's bound to like you.

Travelogues are such personal essays, that the danger is what you might find interesting may not have the same value outside your immediate group of friends.

And if you have a nasal voice or a Tyson lisp, that might just prevent your kwa quality from shinning through.

Media is such a harsh terrain, particularly if you plan on being in front of the camera on TV.

Developing the kwa.

Some people have a knack of spotting the kwas.

A talent scout, your mother, Mr Jones - the second grade teacher. Sometimes those who've lived the life have a leg over, but that doesn't guarantee they'll be right, which is why critics and the public can be divided over a talent.

We may not like Simon Cowell, from American pop idol and X-factor, but more often than not, he's got the Kwa x-rays working.

So what do you do if you think you don't have it, but want it? Well a couple of things.

  • Weekend acting classes - just for fun, but it'll bring you out of your shell and give you confidence and let us assess your strengths. Yes even though you want to work in TV!
  • Work with Talent - Get Grandmothered or grandfathered as we say. Find someone who has the kwa and seek mentor ship. News presenters like Trevor MacDonald could pass on an encyclopedia of tips that gives you more chutzpah on air/online.
  • Get your friends and yourself to be brutally honest. Thinking yourself brilliant is no bad thing, but then finding out you're not making any headway can be shattering.
  • And don't worry about it, you can work behind the scenes making programmes - sod the kwa.
  • And finally, be yourself. This media, online blah blah blah is transient. Fame is transient. There are no rights ( semantically) and wrongs - just opinions.

But here's a leaf I think comes out of Peter Jennings Kwa quality. Be humble. The bigger you get, the more humbler it pays to become.

Now what about those tapes from Jordan?

Mmm still can't find the time. But did you know spending an evening in the desert where it's deathly silent; no sound at all, is very eery. Whrreerr!

Politics - the whiff of a bad scent

A British politician is investigated by the police. They visit his home searching for evidence. His daughter is said to witness the event and is distraught. His wife is distraught.

The politician is held for questioning for 9 hours on the basis:

"on suspicion of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office and aiding and abetting, counselling or procuring misconduct in a public office".

He denies any wrong doing.

The police, Special Branch, continue their search at the House of Commons;think the offices of a congressman as the equivalent.

The Home Office Minister makes it clear that Police independence is paramount and that the investigation is into a a series of breaches, systematic leaks from within a government department which handles sensitive information.

Did the home office minister grant the warrant for the search. She is not committed. But denies any involvement in the case.

Will she apologise for the way in which the police went about investigating causing distress to his family.

She does not commit. It is a police investigation.

Rightly or wrongly, there is a bad whiff about this.

Read here for one of the UK's most respected journalist's Joshua Rozenberg's take on this case. Very interesting indeed.

In the late 90s/ early 2000s I worked as a producer on a political programme edited by Andrew Brown, the brother of Gordon Brown, Prime Minister. Politics can often be predictable at the best of times, but I was wondering how we'd get our teeth into this, if the programme was still running.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Video Journalism at play what is video journalism?

Video journalism is the Bauhaus of television's news' pictures - a shift away from the staid 3:6:9 approach television has stuck to doggedly.

At its best use it usurps the ideal of standardised pictures, discarding order and predictability instead for self expressionism and a leaning towards auterism.

As a movement the form merges a graphical and photo journalistic stanza; a poster cover depiction of the moving image, where each shot matters, each shot counts.

If Capa lived to capture images on light- weight, hi-tech cameras, he'd be the classic video journalist and his dictum that if you're not close enough you haven't got the shot would still count.

Unlike television news, VJism mimics the language of film making [cine-vjism], itself predicated on the frame-image[ c.f storyboarding]

**The New Rules **

Vloggers, video bloggers, will undoubtedly rule the net and indeed lead the charge in video journalism: their short, sometimes idiosyncratic, deliverables well suited for a medium in which time is compressed.

It's acknowledged that video journalism has its roots in a number of early forms; the advent of film itself, yet more specifically from the likes of Slim Hewitt, a one man camera man/producer at the BBC in the 60s.

The use of video VHS, hi-8, and early digicams predates the meta-trans-digital age, which has seen video journalism come into its own, yielding divergent nascent forms.

Here, increasingly the construct of factual based features is being tested with offerings from solo VJ. Simply placing a television hit online, does not guarantee success.

The rules of contraction apply, as does manipulating the exposition in the visual essay.

Today in the new paradigm, video telling is also influenced by the paradigm and socialness of the web; the way we write, consume text, spider key words and inhabit the virtual world.

The equipment, whilst important takes ebbs in importance between primary and secondary importance. Knowing what you want without waste and eschewing churnalism is the key.

The USP is flexibility, individuality, immediacy and being light on feet.


Video journalism is not a one-size-fits-all.

NB In Nick Davies' Flat Earth Video journalism is mentioned and how it's being used in Churnalism. Practising reporters/video journalists simply don't have enough time to double up on stories leading.

This was always going to be one of the dangers of video journalism from an exec's point of view. Here, in this report, one UK regional newspaper made the decision that VJs would not write articles and VJ at the same time.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Creative affairs at Wemedia

Been over at Wemedia - game changers - and in browsing came across the ff, which is pretty neat/cool/ok. You know what I mean.'s
Social network for two - Groovy animation against sing along track

Peter Gabriel's social news see it, film it, change it :

Out of this world creatures. think Darwin meets disney: Spore

Giving to a cause and looking hip doing it: social vibe

If something's out there, beyond our galaxy - you'll likely discover the answer here: Seti

What can't you say about the Huffington Post? Obama go

For more good stuff go to Wemedia GameChangers . I'll post some more tomorrow

Damn it watch this. Iraq montaged through film and pics: reuters

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Adieu she says

.. and so to another colleague who has just left the BBC to set up, I wish her all the very best.

18 years with the BBC, in almost all of the current affair departments.

Is she missing it. No she says.

After a while you cross the proverbial rubicon.

You either stay the course for the long game, the news animal you are.

Or you cut your losses and bail.

At 40 plus, the news beast hasn't got less ravenous and you aren't so zippy.

As another BBC bod put it, whom I now work with. I achieved everything I knew I could.

Now that's every reason to move on.

Now he's taking stock, a broadside view of the industry, and has a few ideas to impart.

Video journalism - BBC Interview. Deconstructing the snatch multiple angle videojournalism interview

Results - How to create a multiple angle interview in 3 mins from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

This is the interview above. And below a second camera shows how I made it. Here's some more tips below.

Untitled from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

David interviews Mary Hockaday, deputy head of BBC Newsroom

The r-o-interview which in Video Journalism stands for Reverse, over the shoulder, interview is one of the quick fire interviews every VJ should have as part of their kit of tips and tools.

In the second interview you see me move the camera to two outside -the-zone locations.

In most interviews that will do, though as you'll see from the further links to interviews below, there are at least four more spots to increase the arc of the film.

The arc of th film refers to creating a level of interest before the film flattens. It's a Hollywood term, as much.

At the point I ask a question, there's an L cut or split edit, so the impression is created that indeed the camera on me constitutes a second lens. In this instance I haven't crossed the line, but in many cases I do, but it's still hard to spot because of the parrallex affect.

Essentially crossing the line is a visualisation stunt the brain has difficulty rationalising. Done well however and it works to make your film more creative.

Watch Bourne or any of the contemporary films and you'll see how creatively it's done.

Deconstructing video Journalism some more
I have played with the gamma and some other areas to give the video a false sense of depth of field thus mimicing 16mm.

I have also constructed a slow zoom. This is for two reasons.

Firstly, the zoom , a movement-image affects the pace of the film. Remember the arc again.

Secondly, I'm masking what is not obvious in the film, a jump cut and the extraneous use of the hand held microphone.

If you look on the second video, you'll see where I have positioned the mic. Yep right next to me. This is where the purists lament my basic lack of techniques.

But the mic you see in question has no function for the interview.

It's what the interpreters on the left side of the screen are listening to for their translation to Russian, French, Serb etc. Sorry I should have explained, we're at an international seminar.

To a lay person therefore the microphone looks out of sorts so I have hidden it altogether.

It took 5 mins odd, 3 mins to edit, and 5 mins to upload. I spend 20 mins rendering the effects attached to the video.

If I had archive of Mary I would have dropped that into the film. It adds value, but has to be relevant to the subject.

Here, below are examples of interviews using tripods etc. For hand held and tagging interviews, hopefully another gig will come up when I can show how that works.

Interview Yahoo's VP for Product Strategy, Bradley Horowitz.

Interview Rachel North, who survived 7/7 bomb in London. An example of a quick snatch interview. We were on the same panel and I spoke to her soon afterwards.

By the way, there are no controls on this video. If you used Flash before 2004, then you would have noticed Flash did not have a player system. I'll redo this interview with a player at some point.

David Dunkley Gyimah is a jury member for the RTS Innovation Awards 2009 and International Video Journalism Awards in Berlin 2009. Currently a lecturer, he's been a broadcaster since 1987  working on programmes like Newsnight, Channel 4 News and ABC News ( South Africa) and has been a video journalist since 1994.  More

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Inquest for BBC Reporter shot in Mogadishu leads to admonition from Coroner

The story of Kate Peyton is tragic. Very sad indeed, both for her family and friends and for the people she worked with at the BBC.

No one who enters journalism suspects they might pay with their life.

Kate was 39 years old from Suffolk. The circumstances surrounding her death were heard at an inquest today.

The outcome, reported on BBC News, the coroner would be writing to the BBC requesting that journalists are not put under pressure to prove their loyalty to the organisation working in risky areas.

Kate, it's reported was a talented journalist and producer who had first worked in Africa in 1995 and was nearing the end of her contract.

So it would have been likely she felt she had to take the assignment, a colour piece for BBC World Service Television in Mogadishu, to demonstrate her commitment.

The Guardian reports Peyton told a friend, she was "always reluctant to go to Somalia".

The BBC it's repiorted felt the "colour piece" was important.

Kate was shot and killed a few hours arriving in Mogadishu coming out of a car.

In the line of duty
A couple of CNN documentaries including "journalist killed in the line of duty", give some idea about the perils of reporting in hot spots.

And the de facto ambitions [ I don't mean this in a bravado way, journalists want to do their best] of journalists, and the need for media corporations to extend their coverage means there is always a risk factor.

Joburg April 1994 - a bomb blast in the capital

In this picture here on the eve of South Africa's troubles, Barry Sandland a journalist [on my right], now international web editor for MSF was recently stabbed in the chest in downtown Joburg. It just missed his heart.

Richard [ far right] who was visiting me, I'd warned to be careful as he went for a walk. He got mugged at knife point.

And I had a few scrapes myself. The shots in the towsnhips and centre of town, and completing a night time ride in the murder capital of the world Katlehong, running around Soweto, as a journalist I interviewed emptied a whole clip of bullets into a potential carjacker.

He reported himself to the police who duely told him when he enters three clips ( a clip carries 7 bullets) then he had something to worry about.

But I was young and still had my nine lives and as a freelancer wanted to impress my editors back in London.

Kate was by all measures highly experienced.

In 2003, a 24 year old video journalist Richard Wild was killed as he stood on a traffic island waiting for a taxi. As reported in the Guardian, it's unclear whether he was targeted because he was a reporter as he was not carrying a camera at the time.

Observer senior reporter Jason Burke is reported saying he'd visited a Palestinian refugee camp, and excited at filming the whole thing himself "thought it was going to be his big break".

Tough Call
It's a difficult call. At a time when jobs are scarce, many journalists will feel inclined to raise their hands to undertake the assignment many others might shy away from.

Rageh Omar, now famous, was young in his career, when he freelanced from East Africa with considerable risk. I knew him well as we criss- crossed each other in the corridors of the African service selling our reports.

In reality that assignment could make all the difference to you as a "can-do" journalist and your bosses deciding in committee, you're the right person for the job.

It may even win you an award. Mark Norman, a regional journalist from the BBC, picked up Circom's first video journalism awards for EU broadcasters with a report from Iraq.

There's no doubting Mark's talent, but cowering under a table as insurgents' bombs rained on his location, added to the drama of his award winning video.

There have been many occasions when I have advised freelancers looking for a fillip to their careers to consider reporting from remote areas, whilst at the same time strongly countering with the risks.

And in reality, the deconstruction and dismemberment of media houses means freelancing and finding pockets to report from which aren't crowded may well increase.

Safety schemes and risk assessment programmes will thus become a pre-requesite and even then one's safety can never be fully guaranteed.

Our thoughts go out to those who have been injured, fatally or otherwise for merely wanting to do their job.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Is the Guardian going hyper local?

It would be a brilliant tactical move if as reported by Paid Content the Guardian Media Group really is considering starting local news websites around the UK.

It's been barely a week that the UK's regional newspapers loosened their belts and took in a sharp long hale of breath after the BBC's stalled bid for hyperlocal news.

I mentioned newspapers should up their game. United against the BBC it was easier, as separate entities, businesses' with different boardroom strategies, it may not be that simple.

Fiscal tightening, a worsening economy. Now could not be a more worse time to invest in video.

And whilst video journalism is relatively inexpensive compared to a full blown TV Newsroom, an important fact is often overlooked.

That is the capital costs for new inventory will have to be worked against the amortisation of legacy stock.

Change one thing in the equation and you may well have to change a chain of others to ensure an efficient work flow.

Investment matters
But there is instruction the newspapers could take to heart, history unfurling a solution worth looking at.
In May 1846 a group of American newspapers pooled their resources to maximise their range, news gathering from Europe.

Back then the Internet was the catalyst, a Victorian Internet - The Telegraph.

So what if now, online news makers pooled their video.

I understand how video made in Cumbria will be specific to that region, but here's where the VJs rethink more laterally.

The 1st quadrant body of the video could be loose enough to refer to any community. This might give rise to an evolving format, and a new video agency could emerge.

It would foster competition amongst newspaper groups. They'll become their own arbiters of the content and the politics of aesthetic.

To quote an old MIT maxim: demo or die.

The point, doing nothing is probably the worse option and doing something may require cooperation of a kind mustered to take on the BBC.

How much time do the newspapers really have?

When multimedia dreams come true - Yixiang's story

She was like any other international student.

Eager, if not a little unsteady. Willing, if at times somewhat confused.

If it wasn't the bullet-speed variable accented English she had to get used to, it would have been the weather - muggy, grey and oh so uninspiring.

But Yixiang, proud to be in the UK, fulfilling the wishes she harboured for so long, soldiered on.

Yixiang, slight, with an infectious laugh, at first by default, went about things the not-so-easy-way.

I once invaded her privacy enquiring about the province she grew up in China and whether her parents could afford her being in the UK. The question, I suspect at the time had the undertone of.."are you rich?"

The response was courteous and parried. She was like so many other ambitious children, whose parents could just about afford to give their daughter the dream she wanted to pursue: study in the UK.

That's one of the few times I pried into a student's life.

Emerging Yixiang
In the second semester, Yixiang lit up. She became more enquiring. The shy girl was now doing twenty questions with me ever so often.

In fact there were many times when I'd appear in the door way, spot Yixiang and then think "oh no!"

By now Yixiang would have spotted me and made light of the distance between us, with another question.

Yixiang, I just saw you thirty seconds ago with the same question, I would bemoan. We've laughed about it many times since.

Then I'd set about explaining or sending her off to the library for the specific book.

What Yixiang might have lacked in the quick grasp, she more than made up in her undiminshing zeal.

I'm certain if I'd set her a task in the freezing snow, I'd come back three days later to see her persevering to finish the job, with indentions in the snow; more questions.

Last May, she mentioned she was applying for a BBC Scheme. What would they ask? And what did she need?

I listened and it was clear as always she had the answers, but was seeking validation.

You write and I'll check, I mentioned.

I didn't have to. Armed with her blog, her videos, radio packages et al, I would learn later that she ran over her interviewers.

They asked one question and Yixiang turned into a Banshee extolling what she had done and how, and why she needed to be a BBC Intern. She got the place.

Behind Yixiang
What I haven't told you was she was the last interviewee and first saw and applied for the position with a day to spare.

Her BBC mentors spoke highly of her. At the point she was into 3 minutes of her 8 minute soliloquy, they'd decided to giver her the much coveted place.

In final projects, Yixiang, back from the BBC, would burn the candle both ends and was rewarded for it: a distinction.

She had managed to convince some of the best musicians from around the world, studying at the Royal College of Music to film them, write about them, become part of their lives.

The email traffic between herself and interviewees is the stuff of book plots. You don't get to be one of the best musicians in the world by not wanting to control your own PR.

The Now Yixiang
Today I heard back from Yixiang, doing some shifts at a local newspaper nearby, but now, now, she has secured an internship with CNN International.

Many of us teared up. Yes I did as well. Brilliant!

That little shy girl has transformed and continues to do so.

Her willingness to learn and general outlook is intoxicating, and if she will afford me this indulgence, it's something I kicked myself about, attempting to study for my degree having spent many years in Ghana.

And perhaps like Yixiang not quite understanding the environment around me.

So please raise a glass, water-filled even, for Yixiang, and for the triumph of perseverance, the right attitude and that age old mantra - if you want help, you must try and help yourself first.

Last week I received an anonymous email. As I recall that moment I'm smiling now. It was from the RTS, the Royal Television Society, an august body, requesting whether I would be interested in being one of the jury members at the 2009 awards.

I smiled because in my heart I believe in years to come one Yixiang will be emailing me to say she's been invited to judge the extraordinary work of others.

In my heart, there are many Yixiangs, but only one Yixiang and she is testimony that dreams do come true.

I pray and hope her new custodians, CNN, take good care of her.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Class of 2008 - the cool hunters, hire her

pic by david dunkley gyimah

One of the Cool Hunters I have tipped to do great things in the future. I talked about Alex to the Russian delegates at our media gathering.

Alex was one of our Masters students from last year. Fiercely independent, creative and not afraid to get stuck in.

She went off to Georgia just before it kicked off to make her final project doc.

She speaks fluent Russian, Chinese and English.

Hire Her.

Top Gear - VJ style


Hi David - I've got a new Lamborghini coming in a couple of weeks - do you want to film it?



hahahahahaha sure. Do I get to spin it on a race track this time?


p.s I'm buying a new lens attachment to give me filmic shallow depths of field and will use a suction mounted lens for extra effect. For David and Kevins previous exploits with a Ferrari 599 GTB - go here

How to create an interview - the Videojournalism way

Untitled from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

David interviews Mary Hockaday is deputy head of BBC Newsroom

David's shoot uploaded tomorrow

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Montenegro - Innovative media, Media Development Loan Fund

Loads to blog and talk about from this media gathering in Podgorica in Montenegro. On the map I've highlighted it with a red arrow, nestling between Albania, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Some amazing software development for a news CMS system within the local television station, Televizija Vijesti.

Dave Brewer, a consultant whose pedigree is just whoah.

He was one of the set up editors for BBC News Online way back when, then went on to redevelop CNNI's online news presence, then Al Jazeera. Dave talks about setting up a newsroom.

Lots of confidential candid stuff being discussed about figures, bottomlines, which Chatham House rules I won't be repeating, but it was thoroughly illuminating.

My new Russian friends, who have taken to referring to me as "David- four hands" - sounds like something out of the Sopranos have asked if I'll come out to Russia.

Tomorrow I'll bring you the cut on how you knock off a quick interview as a solo video journalist and Vin Crosbie.

My thanks to Vin and Mary, deputy head of Multimedia News at the BBC, who stood in as the interviewees.

See you tomorrow.

UK Regional Press must up Video Journalism Game

The BBC will not be able to launch its hyperlocal TV.

That was the view arrived by its Board of Trustees, the public's overseers of one of the world's leading broadcasters.

They cited commercial reasons, the damage it will have on the commercial sector and regional newspapers as a principle reason.

The decision greeted by the UK's regional press with a degree of relief and delight should also be tempered with some caution.

When I posted recently on this, many including me, were certain the BBC would get the nod.

The press had indeed geared up to take a BBC endorsement to the high court.

Reported by the Press Gazette, two months ago, BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons said:

"There's nobody who can be satisfied with the quality of local news in most parts of the United Kingdom," Lyons told a Broadcasting Press Guild lunch in London this afternoon.

"The local press has nothing like the strength that it once had. It's not the same proposition that it was 15 years ago. Will the BBC make it better or worse? That's exactly the issue to be explored."

Is this the End
The BBC's supposed £68m investment over four years for 65 local video broadband hubs will now have to be shelved.

Sir Michael is reported to have said he 'personally hopes' that the decision they've come to gives the regional press room to sustain its business and improve its own video initiatives.

It appears the Trusts' own research from license fee payers seeking greater improvement to existing TV and Radio services and a cap on expansion plans in these constrained economic ties was the crux to the decision.

However inside the Trust, some do acknowledge that the BBC's video scheme could have been a powerful service.

But I believe unless regional press up their game, the next approach may not be so easy to fend off and indeed may not come from the BBC.

Invest in Video
At a meeting in Podgorica, briefing newspapers seeking to enter or expand into video online, there is a strong consensus from a body of media experts.

Vin Crosbie and Craig Neable from Zattoo Europe spoke about the growing interest from telecommunications companies to acquire content for their expanding networks.

In the US Verizon has already moved into this area with VJ Pioneer Michael Rosenblum at the helm of a number of initiatives.

Professor Vin, from the SI NewHouse School of Public Communications has urged newspaper groups to grasp video, claiming US newspapers failed to invest in video and new social web technologies to stave of their current worries.

I'll bring you video and more comments on this tomorrow.

David Dunkley Gyimah has been consulting for the Press Association working with the UK's regional press since 2005

Friday, November 21, 2008

Video pioneers in Montenegro

David tries out the Televizija Vijesti's newsroom - a great illustration of broadcasting ingenuity on a tight budget

A small station, which punches above its weight in a region that rarely gets talked about for its innovation.

Televizija Vijesti in the town/small city of Podgorica has been attracting some attention amongst Montengrans and for reasons we found out today.

I've just flown out to Montenegro for the weekend to present and deconstruct ideas on video journalism and how and what to do setting up a unit.

I'll post more details soon, with quite some wonderful presentations from the likes of

  • Vin Crosbie Adjunct Prof of Visual & Narrative Communications, SI Newhouse School of Public Communications.
  • Howard Elston, Digital Productions Manager from the Telegraph- a wonderful candid presentation on the market, The Telegraph's work and the future
  • Mary Hockaday, Deputy Head, BBC Newsroom.
  • Per Fjeld, TV Editor Aftenbladet Multimedia AS Norway
  • And Craig Neable, Dir of Product Management, Zattoo Europa AG.

During the TechCrunch MeetUp in Zurich: Zattoo' interview from Thierry on Vimeo.
Video NOT from podgorica confrence

It's really a gathering of newspapers and publisher from SA, Russia and the region looking for solutions to expand into these new digital mash-up areas and well worth dissecting.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Points of Interest

Recent spectrum assignment interests in the US and coming up I have been talking to Brightcove and Roo about their offerings. And could Adobe Flash be on the verge of releasing its next generation players that offer turn key solutions matching populist video players?

And coming up over the weekend, I'll be reporting from Montenegro on media developments with video.

Meanwhile good read on this article from Bryan Murley, assistant professor of new and emerging media at Eastern Illinois University, looking at how far college media has come.

Wonder if anyone's planning a UK equivalent.. Andy Dickinson??

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Death of the Story - Redux. Responding to Prof Ken Kobre

Prof Ken Kobre posted this on his site, which got me replying below.

Here's two paras of his post.

The Death of the Story?

"We've often said that videojournalists have much to learn from Hollywood when it comes to storytelling and creating dramatic narrative arcs.

But now it seems that even Hollywood is beginning to lose its way, according to this New York Times report about a new MIT Media Lab project called The Center for Future Storytelling".

Hello Professor Kobre,

Very topical post and link.

I wholeheartedly agree that video journalism has a huge amount to learn from cinema-making and not necessarily in structure per se, but in production drawing audiences to their films.

We’re seeing some of the best VJs grasp that, but video journalism is still new territory for many and therefore a sizeable number of practitioners appear more susceptible to exclusively use TV’s lingua franca.

I just happened to have posted about this yesterday on - Video Journalism is not a one-size-fits-all medium.

Hollywood’s dominance in story telling has consistently been under threat from one wing or another. Take for instance film movements such as French New Wave and dogme.

It was only the grand plan, the emergence of the pop corn Blockbuster, mega movie merchandising and TV/DVD rights sales that saved Hollywood from disappearing.

And then there was digital which has yielded youtubing, torrenting and outfits such as Onedotzero, Filminute, and a new wave of independent digital film makers [remember 405] making their mark.

Microcinemas, outdoor screens, urinal video faces, XTPs and a whole glut of platforms have been the interesting developments in disrupting Hollywood’s film going process.

Here, a new brand of marketers have emerged believing anywhere people gather or pause for a minute [holograms on cereal boxes one day –Minority Report] is an opportunity to show your wares.

In 2001 we (colleagues and I) contributed towards the thinking and short films/ adverts that would go on London Undergrounds Cross Track Projection ( XTP). That’s short ads on the subways, which have only recently come on stream.

Then we played around with non narrative forms such as this The Family, which I have been redeveloping into a form that is video hyperlinking, which subverts the narrative - reported by The Economist.

At the UK’s film representative body, The Film Council, whilst hosting their event in digital opportunities one company talked about its video jump system called Avalon.

Narrative mania
My opinion, I think the narrative will always matter.

That’s what we do, tell stories, whether here in the UK or indeed Ghana and South Africa TV whereo I has the pleasure of working alongside on a unique video journalism co-production.

It’s how fast we can arc the story, play around with its form and get into the exposition in our contracted time span that’s exciting [see film minute] and it’s here where spatial films spoken at length by Lev Manovich leads to the sort of work we’re doing here at the Smart Lab.

That MIT is doing this should come as no surprise given their pioneering work, Negroponte et al did in paperback movies and spatial data systems brilliantly captured in Stewart Brand’s The Media Lab Inventing the Future at MIT

Thanks for triggering this.

site: &

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Now and When Journalists - creative journalism

Everyone talks about the "Now and "When" journalists as if there's a magic elixir connecting the two.

Young savvy versus old fogey
Tech heads versus the paper toolers
The Yes-I cans versus the No you should not.

There is no science to this other than old fashion grease monkey hard work. All the aforementioned are fallacies in their own right.

However, met with a blistering array of new tech tools, it's easy to put off the learning process and say "when I have time"..

Multimedia for instance is more than re-arranging the furniture to disseminate more of the same via other platforms - a practice enviable in itself.

We flock to the now journalists because they offer both substance, innovation and food for thought.

And in conversation we soon come to realise they plough a different approach in thinking, often borrowing ideas from different disciplines. Roger Martin's How Successful Leaders Think plays to this idea.

Creative Journalism

One of the exercises I run in Video Journalism training is the primacy dump.

Get hold of an assignment and through sheer gut instinct figure out how you might execute the job. Then discard the idea, and again, and again.

There's nothing wrong with it, but it came too easy. The more we're forced to think beyond our own comforts, the greater variation we might introduce into production of the story.

When you're back from that course on "creative thinking" imbibed new methodologies, been ridiculed and thought why bother, see whether you're better informed at tackling the story another way.

I came to realise the value of working multiples on a story working alongside an advertising mentor, John Staton, at

It is easy to turn from a now journalists to a when, particularly when cynicism sets in.

Video is the richer media and there's just so much you can do with other than talking heads, but you'll still have to know why you're using it. If not even the most enthusiastic of now journos can turn sour.

Exchanging ideas with some senior journalists last week, one of them exclaimed his company hadn't had that conversation yet: the what are we doing and why?

And sometimes unless you've brought someone to shake things up [a consultant/ expert etc.] it's difficult to know where to start.

But try we must, experiment we should, and fail every so often we must not be afraid of.

If you're not a high consumer of news, [read Blog - Hugh Hewitt], can still find time to blog after a knackering day, and not afraid to experiment, then small wonder you're in touch with the Now, and age has little to do with it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Videojournalism is not a one-size-fits-all medium'

Videojournalism is not a one-size-fits-all medium'

Profile picture of David Dunkley Gyimah Tom Donaldson of Pencil Technologies has seen tomorrow: a Bluetooth device which sends a message by proxy, flea-hopping to contacts in your network.

As a group of us observe this technology at a London research gathering of The Smart Lab I can see other apps: a Star Trek moment of literally calling up video to your desktop; and video hyperlinking [linking videos together in the same way as a hyperlink] to extend the timeline of the story - an area I have been researching.

But that's for tomorrow.

Here and now it is video that continues its mushroom cloud expansion online and videojournalism rising upon the crest. It's a far cry from writing in this column almost two years ago when video on broadband was found a tad wanting.

Some interesting observations are unfolding: videojournalism's pervasiveness yields passionate debate with online you'll find stern voices defining its genius and standards of production and delivery.

Continues on

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What is videojournalism -design aesthetic

Video Journalism = motion graphics + photography+ multimedia + cinema + television+ radio + online users' behaviour * dx

I comped this in photoshop - a sort of x-ray vision within a multiplicity of cameras inspired by the Futurists and pal, Rob Chiu.

In the hands of a toddler a paint brush becomes an amazing source for expressionism. Then as we grow technique is introduced. And often from that technique, self expressionism is subdued.

The Brazilians, we all acknowledge play expressive football ( soccer). We Brits play technical football, sometimes blindingly, sometimes not so well which is why we have an Italian manager Fabio Capello to brings some flare.

We provide structure and boundaries to those we train/ teach to give form. This is the beginning, the middle and the end. It provides comfort; closure. It staves of anarchy.

But it does and must not exclude tapping into our dexterity for seeking the original, new ways and manners at accomplishing fresh challenges.

Thank goodness and Tim Berners Lee that the Net was let loose as a free-for-all. Now if only the Brazillians could have invented Video Journalism?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Videojournalism - USA

Front page of

Way before videojournalism became de rigeur in the West, two African broadcasters mashed up to create their first ever co-production using videojournalism as their production base.

The deal was brokered then by one of CNN International's shinning lights, Edward Boateng.

He called me up with what could only be one of the most ambitious plans i have ever encoutered to date.

On Monday 17th November I'll bring you the story with video from that amazing shoot in including archive given to us at the time showing Stevie Wonder performing for Nelson Mandela and hopefully my interview with Quincy Jones.

The name of the show: The United States of Africa. One of the follow ups of that was an interview with Dirk Coetzee, which also became the subject of a double page newspaper spread article. See you then

Friday, November 14, 2008

Video journalism matures into multiple genres

books I'm reading

It's been an interesting few weeks.

Video Journalism matures, grows up, could be one of my headlines. I had the pleasure of meeting some regional senior UK journalists whose views I'll post soon.

Through various exchanges and findings, we discussed the merits of video journalism. I have my own views about the genre, but am always keen to find out other journalists' stance.

Next weekend I have been invited to talk to a couple of national newspapers from Russia, Czechoslovakia and South Africa. It's likely going to be Chatham House rules, but what I can share, I will.

The simple question I posit is, how do you convince consumers to watch your product?
  • What and how can you make your video product stand out from others?
  • Is there a fundamental difference between television and video journalism?
  • What about style and end format?
  • What's the novella equivalent for video journalism?

New Story telling research
I have been loading my own research and hope to have a couple of films ready by the time I present at SXSW in Austin - a hugely popular creative affair.

In fact, in conjunction with my research, next year looks to be an interesting year. I'd like to thank the many friends and those I don't know who have said kind things about me on Game Changers.

Often, it's just plain strange to think what we do has any value beyond the digits of our own fingers. Therefore the dialogues and exchanges I have are extremely gratifying, rewarding and mesmerizing

This morning I received an email from the UK's most respected film/TV body, the UK equivalent of the Emmy's inviting me to be one of their judges.

So once again I'm deeply humbled.

Then there's the international video journalism awards which I'm one of the jury members and am so looking forward to.

It's about doing it
Ultimately, it isn't about the stripes one picks up. It simple can't be.

The whole notion about posting into virtual space, not knowing who's reading is because we feel we might have something to say and share.

That's why millions of bloggers exist.

But I guess like a small stone wedged against toe and the inside of our shoe we're trying to figure out why, what and how we might make this thing work.

It's alchemy in public view. As an Applied Chemistry grad [moons ago] I can only imagine the response to being told to reveal details of all my experiments.

By design we hide those flaws. What matters is the final one amongst thousands proving our hypothesis.

You know what it's like - that long walk out of the office pondering the story and code, and then the eureka moment of running full pelt to your mac to capture that "kwaa" moment before it dissipates.

Part of the answer, a strong element of it truly lies in diversity, our differences, new theories and philosophies and how they might apply to new systems.

If there was ever a firmer reason for a broadcaster or publisher to embrace employees with a broad church of opinion, culture, background, race, it's is now.

I don't think anyone could have predicted the use of Flash when it first launched in the late 90s. Or even the less talked about Director [ now considered redundant].

The answer sometimes lies in the reapplication of historical antecedents. There we find the DNA to our New Media existence.

Remarkably for instance, pre Renaissance literary form involved multiple narratives.

British Pioneers, Addison and Steele transformed such prose, which would later lead to the singular narrative voice and easily discernible texts.

Then post modernism and more acutely now, we see the delineation of multiple voices again this time being accessed through interactivity.

Arrgg History
History also tells us that disruptions and paradigm shifts are regular occurrences and that each time there is the mother of hue and cry.

The web and video journalism and newspapers fait a complit with it is just planet earth tilting on its axis again. And it'll do it again, and again, and again.

The interesting bit is hearing those squarely rejecting any such changes.

And what about now?

For instance, the very prose we use now in writing is actually up for grabs.

I've no idea like the rest of us what it will be , but if we seek to get our message across more effectively we have to pass google's [ a new high priests] scrutiny.

A while back I carried out my own experiment. I posted an article into an index which google returned almost 3 million listings.

Within 4 weeks the article climbed to number 5 and as it now ebbs between 1 and 3.

Did I necessarily have had to be a 'good' writer to get there?

My point, to make headway are we writing for robots first and humans second?

This is an important question because it impacts on the human quality of our writing.

To appeal to a burgeoning net-televisual audience does the existing exposition for TV news story telling work?

Will websites at some point come to play multiple roles, even a televisual one going beyond online incarnations to habiting other platforms, thus crystallising thebrand? Have you noticed how many news sites have come to ape the 'rich film sites'.

How soon before we'll be video hyperlinking each other?

How soon before protectionism from ISPs appears on the web wall-gardening our browsing habits?

And just when will we accept that video journalism exists in multiple genres?

The answers aren't so far off.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Adam Westbrook on a TV Manifesto

Every year you come across a student, who has lived many years past their own.

One whose maturity seizing up the industry, as well as future casting offers food for thought.

They blog, twit, video - a veritable broadcast outfit in themselves.

Begs the question why they need education, say a Masters certificate in Journalism in the first place.

But for a number of reasons, not least cultural and socio-politically they do - and things turn alright for them.

From within the institution I know too well there are many, but I have been fortunate to come across others outside - the next generation of meta-journalists.

  • Dave Lee, from the University of Lincolnshire now at BBC Futures.
  • and Adam Westbrook, formerly at City University.

Adam has this post on his site, which I advised you go have a look. Just got an ee from him. So I really should digest it in detail myself :)

It's a manifesto for TV.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Conflict Video Journalism - a gritty personal perspective

Corrine L. McDermid, a former Masters in Journalism student writes to me having been enveloped by tear gas at a Republican National Convention:
"I never figured Loyal Mariner [military] training would come in handy at home"
Please let me explain. At the University of Westminster we run a unique programme. Journalism students are airlifted into a war zone in Sweden, where Nato carries out its war games.

There students come into close contact with armed forces in evacuations, snipers at work, soldiers quelling riots and real Special Forces, who do get very aggressive. [sorry no controls on this video yet].

Nato welcomes us the first day, then tells us the gloves are off. It's a game within a game. They're not there to help you, rather treat you as real journalists after a story.

At the launch of the programme, I was the editor in the field, having reported for broadcasters in a few conflicts myself. We had about 20 different personnel; our students, others from elsewhere and some BBC reporters.

My colleague then Geoffrey Davies was running a news team back at the university putting together a half hour programme that was being beamed to the UK's highest military brass in Northholt.

The programme gives the military a chance to see what journalists, the new breed armed with tech stuff are like and it gives journalists the rare opportunity to go into a combat zone without actually getting killed.

After each day of the two week exercise we evaluate back at base where students went wrong and what they could do if they found themselves in a "hot zone".

The Pay-off for Conflict Reportage

Most students who've made the programme have gone onto the types of jobs, newly qualified and seasoned journalists dream off.

So back to Corrine, now a senior journo with The This is the video where she makes a reference to Loyal Mariner.

Still with my editor's hat on, I'd ask you to evaluate and recognise what you would have done differently?
  • Is it all in the preparation?
  • What might help the filming?
  • What might aid the reportage
Corrine concludes:
"We've been living the dream-- uploading strait to the internet via a 3G connection with an iPhone or a Nokia N95!"

Video Journalism Winner, Idar Eduin Krogstad

Idar Eduin Krogstad was last year crowned Concentra's Outstanding video Journalism winner 2008.

His film "The Nightwatch" a touching story of two nurses dealing with life and death as they work the night shift at a home for the elderly".

Idar's pedigree precedes him - a doc maker since 1997 now working for NRK in Norway who've been at the forefront of video journalism for a good while.

Igar deploys a range of techniques, but also plays with conventions.
This was my review of his film.

What I like about this film is perhaps not the obvious at first, the isolationism.

Idar's lingering shots and play on space, sound and time brings to the fore the hopelessness of a situation and those struggling to make a difference.

And whilst shooting a whole feature with two main characters in one main location could have tested the arc of film making, it's precisely this that makes the film work.

It's claustrophobic, uses muted colours and the metronome of editing is in pace with the substance of the film.

Good access into sensitive areas, for example a hospital, can often be a recipe for a strong story, but it takes a film maker empathetic with the subject and interviewees to do the rest.

Legal (release forms) aside we don't see the stricken patients and the use of wide shots apart from yielding obvious sequences illustrates a respect for their privacy.


Monday, November 10, 2008

The New face of journalism

The greatness of the web.

An old Channel One colleague, a lost friend and talented soul pinged me.

Sacha Van Straten adds to the fray as a genuine voice, having lived and breathed the Video Journalism paradigm circa 1994.

Before that he worked at BBC Breakfast. His latest post is ahead of the curve. I chuckled and so might you.

Not because of the loss. No, that's bad plenty, but a vision that does not distinguish between so called print and electronic media journalists.

Please read on

James and Simon - clueless about the war

BBC 9 O'clock News is undertaking  a VJ type report around two boys ignorant of the war.

VJ type, is there such a thing?

Well, it's a feature driven personalised narrative, the outcome of which you could almost predict.

Two Nintendo teenagers without a clue about WWI or armistice  are dragged to a memorial to learn about their great great grandfather, Thatcher who died in the war.

Already you can see a change in their demeanor as they hover around the plaque.

Their great grandmother is herself enraged the boys are not being taught this important footnote in history.

Tomorrow the BBC takes them to France to witness some of the war zones. Worth a watch

I want to become a journalist? What do I need?

I was reminded today of a phrase I hear time and time again to define how journalism is changing aligned with technology and the web: technological determinism.

This from Wikipeedia below
Technological determinism has been defined as an approach that identifies technology, or technological advances, as the central causal element in processes of social change (Croteau and Hoynes). As a technology is stabilized, its design tends to dictate users' behaviors, consequently diminishing human agency. It ignores the social and cultural circumstances in which the technology was developed. More
At a fairly general level, the dash for all things web 2.0, and the ease at becoming one of the new journalist is creating a different standard.

It's something established traditional journalists are saying and I have been ear-wagged: "I told you so".

In the grand ol' days they might argue, it was about being on the hustings, using your guile to unearth a story and exercising a basic tenant of journalism, prioritising.

I remember joining ITN as a lunch time producer from Channel 4 for a period, and I was lucky to work under one its greats, Phil Moger.

As I recall Phil ladened me with multiple tasks on my first day. Bring in a feed, produce this, take that, get these name checked.

I panicked.

But then someone pulled me aside and told me I needed to prioritise. Do what you need to do at the right time.

Sounds quite anodyne, what does it mean?

I'm writing this at the moment at home, yet it would be ill conceived to have written it at Uni when I had other tasks.

Learning to prioritise is just one of many characteristics, which t-determinism muddies the water.

We're becoming so desk bound, processors of information, passers of facts ,often unattributed sources and gossip, that could we one day lose the art of news gathering for news processing?

In a survey I recently read, and I'll have to look for the link, many news managers spoke about what they required in new journalists and it may seem odd, but being technological savvy was low on their list.

  • Passion
  • High consumer of information
  • Maturity at decision making
  • Ability to work in a team or on your own - but no going rogue
  • An enquiring mind
  • Ability to see all sides
  • Determination to keep learning.

These are qualities that often come parcelled with your candidate wishing to become a journalist.

With passion many things can be accomplished.

And its in the selection process where you're able to filter those with the kwa and those who don't have it.

Because for all that new 21st century journalists will acquire from CSS, Action scripting to data base crunching, to make good on these new skills the recidivist characteristic of journalism is still a prerequisite.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Obama effect - journalism

In the UK, the media would like to point out to the political establishment that if Obama were a Brit he wouldn't stand a rat's whisker getting into power.

It's the way our political structure is set up you see. Meritocracy exist in the English dictionary next to Machiavelli.

But I have a broader question, because invariably the press rarely does its own navel gazing.

So could the Obama effect have a knock on effect for a different form of media - one driven by the people, who rally behind someone extoling a different type of journalism?

One that's bottom up rather than trickle down. Good piece in Time Magazine this week, that hits on Obama's electoral success.

It's not that skin colour was exclusively the stealer.

We're doomed. You only have to audit the press here to hear how Obama's introed.

Vote Joseph Harker
Personally I'd vote Joseph Harker over at the Guardian managing Comment is Free.

Journalism is as corporate as Politics, big establishments dictating the show - that is until recently with the surge of blogs and independent voices.

But is that shift in journalism as seismic as Obama's politics. Could there really be a time when a new crop of super sites emerge usurping the interests in the established media?

I know we're comparing apples and pears, but it's a thought none the less.

There is something to be said about diversity and pluralism and that's for conservatives as much for liberals.

Yep the Obama effect eh... We the poeple, we the media - Dan Gillmor!

Belkin router woes

I join millions of brothers and sisters in router's arms; caught out by the sudden rash of Belkin router gone mad.

Simply put. One day it was working fine and then the next, it need three daily reboots. I'll be lucky to get away with this post.

Then I spoke to my ISP, who then reliably informed me, it was not an isolated occurrence.

But despite his good help, I couldn't make heads or tails of his advice.

"Oh you need to download a firmware"

So then I went online and save becoming a human chain in the growing unrest at Belkin, I empathised with a few entries, clearly saw myself and then set about Belkin's website.

No joy...

But lurking somewhere was a number and details to call, which I did.

It was duly answered and I have to say the operator at the end was very helpful taking me step by step through their protocols, until that is we hit a snag, she couldn't resolve.

"Ok sir I'm going to have to get one of my colleagues to ring you back?"
" Er would you, cuz I really need to be online.. when will that be ?"
It pays in these instances to be extra nice.
"Today!", she answered.

Scar bleu - they rang back
Twenty minutes later someone else rang who was a bit alarmed when I answered the phone immediately saying.. "are you from Belkin? "

"Noo, don't worry I spluttered, I'm not from intel or something [Chuckle].. [chuckle]".

He was also very patient and after half an hour he decided this was an interminable problem that would require a new Belkin.

So he's sent me the code for a replacement, which I'll send off tomorrow.

Only thing I'm worried about is whether the new one when it arrives, how long till it goes bonkers.

But anyway Belkin were very helpful.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Videojournalism driven programmes

Filmminute from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

Their show now successfully over, I feel I can now bring you the odd insert from the global show.

The group behind this have an awesome product, which they've planned to turn into a show.

I suppose the point with this is that video journalism goes beyond clip-cut news and can be developed into something that can create a raft of progs.

This was a 2 hour shoot on location starting cold.

We ( Sabaa, Filminute exec) and I met at 12, storyboarded and prepped by 1 pm, and then rang up Selfridges, where the event was showing in a purpose built cinema.

By 2 we were at Selfridges, one of london's premier stores.

We started filming; he presenting around 2.30

By 4.30 we'd wrapped.

Editing at home took me about 5hours with post; reason, I was playing around with tone and we also had to synch the right music.

If I were to do this again, I'd attach my new prime lens to achieve shallow depths of film ie enhance the film look

wassup - returns

Their Last word!