Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Video Journalism overall muscle power-speed

Vjism - nimble, less load, small, if you're not fast, what's the point?

It's not that as a videojournalist you'll necessarily be quick. The project has a lot to do with it and I believe so does your experience, which comes from developing a critical eye c.f Cahiers du Cinema.

Truffaut et co studied so much cinema, that they were ready to go it alone sans baggage.

There is no substitute for experience and bloody mindedness. The film isn't finished until its finished and then some.

If you've never done a TDB, till day break, you're missing something.

No I'm being facetious. But a televisual mindset heightened by VJ practice, knowing appropriate short cuts and techniques goes some way in alleviating deadline nerves.

In part and I've had this confirmed by many of the former C1 videojournalists, shooting 2 sometimes 3 stories a day over years, varying from politics to crime quickens the senses.

And there are praxis exercises I use in advanced videojournalism e.g. Track & Rushes, Image-syntax etc. for those who already know how to shoot and are looking for speed.

In Norway, as an exercise approaching an interviewee cold, it took 9 minutes in total from an initial meeting to the interview being online.

Here's one I demoed in Podgorica - Macedonia

Untitled from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

And here's the result with effectively little editing

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

Now there's no bravado in speed if that compromises professionalism. That's not what this is about.

Tomorrow I'm going to test that theory for the umpteenth time again. The Obama Video I have made for the Orchestra will have to be redone in a matter of minutes, as new stronger material has been pledged.

Recent Updates (August 2010)
Lots of interest in this short piece, so I wanted to update you.

The Obama Piece took three hours to do before the main orchestral performance. You can see that on after the preview on the site illustrated below

The issue is a balance between the premeditated which TV often subscribes to; the researched item must fit the shoot, and looking for and interpreting fresh material.

I remember reading a review of Japanese actor-director Takeshi Kitano and his fim Brother in which actor Omap Epps said he was amazed at how many scenes they'd get through in a day. Kitano, shot one scene, got his cover shots and moved on.

Similarly if you liken cinema to a language, as James Motano in How to read a film does, you can begin to understand how n improves ones skills. I have spoke about this at length on other posts. Also see the Matrix Lecture for approaching a subject sideways

So, as I write this, I'm rarely making any mistakes and crossing them out; as I speak to a friend I'm able to string together coherent sentences.

There is no difference, only that constructed in the wilderness of semitotics to the way we may think when we arrive at a scene. I consider myself the same as a newspaper copy editor, able to spot the buried lead.

Speed at the expense of accuracy is one thing; speed; the artists' temperament is quite something else. See you on

EAT from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Survive the fall

"'Come to the edge'. He said. They said, "We are afraid"
'Come to the edge'. He said.
They Came
He Pushed them
And they flew."

Guillaume Apollinaire

It's not how you fall down. Everyone falls. It's how you get up again

Sunday, April 26, 2009


现今的录像新闻是一种最先进的电视新闻产品,它是可预测的电视新闻作品的一种另一种形式,(而电视新闻从其开始产生时就在顽强的克服自身弱点)。录像新闻是下一个时代的电视新闻:它的新闻制作不受到传统新闻制作模式的限制 - 英国录像新闻记者领头人和录像新闻制作指导,多个国际新闻大奖获得者, viewmagazine网站制作者 David Dunkley Gyimah 说。

David是英国媒体领域的杰出人士,在其22年的职业生涯中,他先后在英国电视广播公司, ITN4频道新闻,ABC新闻和一频道工作,其中一频道是英国第一个录像新闻的电视台。 他运用自己被广泛公认的教学模式已经训练全球上千余记者,这些记者来自与:英国金融时报,芝加哥太阳报,和英国媒体协会。其中在英国媒体协会,他协助并且创办了录像新闻节目。

Barack Obama: 100 days - Video journalism

Nearly there! As featured on Viewmagazine, Shirley Thompson a composer and conductor tipped to be a contributor for London's Olympic 2012.

Shirley has scored an original and oustandingly uplifting piece : Voice of Change, which will be played at the Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, Thursday 30th April 2009 at 7.45 pm.

It fuses, classical, gospel, jazz, drum and beat. Pure magic!

The gathering features the BBC Orchestra; Katherin Jenkins - Opera singer- who's opened a couple of big Rugby games; and Mark de Lisser from the BBC's Last Choir Standing.

I have been asked to make a video accompanying Voice of Change.

There's quite a drama behind how this whole thing is coming together, video n' all. This isn't the place to talk about it, but a Video journalism piece behind the scenes afterwards, might shed some light.

As a footnote, what an amazing thing, amazing thing...

The Big Videojournalism pieces - Successor Generation

Showing on, one of the videojournalism features made for Network Television, Channel 4 News. South Africa's recent general election provides the currency to look at this feature.

Channel 4 News, could not afford to send a reporter to South Africa, so I explained what I had in mind and paid my way to South Africa, without any gear.

I had about a week to put this together from a standing start. Finding good subjects had its moments. The piece was about the Successor Generation, Young black South Africans- future architects, now custodians of South Africa and the new schism seeping into society.

Gayle had already featured in my BBC radio 4 40 minute documentary. An extraordinary powerful woman, articulate, well respected, and most definitely in my books a future minister.

Itumelang, amazing talent. Then the editor of a youth magazine, now working with some of South Africa's brokers. If you look closely you'll see the camera I'm using: the digibeta 900.

I might be a big fan of small cameras which have their place, but cameras like the Digi 900 give you a breadth of control and texture unparalleled. You'll need to have a good understanding of the camera, white balancing, lenses etc.

At the times of hiring it, the average cost for a digi-beta with the lens I'm using was about $50,000
In Cape Town, Beth, whom I worked with on one of my first features in South Africa circa 1992, Through the Eyes of a Child talks about the problems she still faces.

Bassie, couple of years earlier, she'd been crowned Miss South Africa, and runner up in Miss Universe. But again like all my interviewees a formidable mind. I didn't take as many clips from her as I should have, but packaged here interview later as a self contained one-on-one.

The lengthy feature Seven minutes plus is not as easy at it looks particularly if you're starting out, but my Masters students should probably rest in the knowledge that everything I'm telling them in terms of character building, and exposition plays up here.

This sort of feature could take us up two weeks when I was at the BBC on Reportage with a team. Today, as a videojournalist this should be anything from a day or more depending on the set up.

I'm currently writing a book about my time working across as many broadcast networks and how some of this stuff works. I'll keep you posted :) Drop me a line if you're interested in learning about training programmes.

Gimp your twitter site

In response to earlier post, if you don't have photoshop to spruce up you twitter site, Rob suggest you try GIMP.

I have not used it before. It's free. So what are we waiting for :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

If nothing else passion for what we do

Recently I felt compelled to recount a story to students. If I could give it a name, it would be called "the passion of what we do".

Passion; the kind you see on the football pitch particularly from an Milan player scoring a goal, or a six year old running their first competitive race at a school event, or that climber seeking to scale a mountain, walk large distances, with that burning desire to succeed.

Emerging from the subway, I witnessed an argument between a road sweeper and what appeared to be a bystander.

I'm not the type to stick my nose where it's not needed, but I'm equally not at home walking away from something when you think there's something you could have done, or should have done.

I can recount times when I'm halfway down the street, only to double back to the amusement of a companion because a broken glass lay precariously in the street waiting to injure someone and which I ignored first time around.

The argument
So after a few minutes of gesticulating, the bystander left the road sweeper prompted by the command: "get away, you don't know what you're talking about".

I enquired. The road sweeper who's name it turned out to be kojo said he was accused of being lazy. The man standing next to him was also a sweeper and was chiding him for his sloppiness, that he had to do kojo's clearing up when he took over kojo's shift the following day.

Kojo explained: "This can't be. I cannot be sloppy. I know this and my bosses know this. And if I had been sloppy, why would I have won Street sweeper of the year last year".

More was said afterwards, and as I left I spoke in Ashanti/Twi a language I rarely uses but am well versed in from Ghana. I said to him "well done".

Kojo I could see took great pride in his work, and after 9 years at it had clearly not lost any passion, so the accusation must have hurt.

Passion. It is that which drives us and that which makes us seek out that we do not know, yet seek to understand.

A school I went to in Ghana burrowed that them and the word "faith" into its charges.

You can be anyone its lecturers would often say, with passion and faith.

A sermon delivered one Sunday has always stuck with me. To a sea of white shirted and shorted youngsters, the evangelist spoke about faith.

We all have it he said, because if you didn't you would not attempt to sit in this chair, you would not get onto that bus, you would not drink that water.

For every time you carry out such an action you depend on the notion of faith that what you're expecting will come to pass. The chair will not collapse, the bus will move, and the water from the tap will quench your thirst.

The passion of film making
Film making and communications, our work we do employs faith and passion.

For even though we require a skillset, a knowledge of how to, guidance of where to go and what to do, our passion is a redeeming quality that others feed on and off to make things happen.

If you are passionate about your work, others will step forward to aid you in times of need. If you are sloven, then it should not come as a surprise that people aren't rushing to support you.

With passion and faith, the " I want to know" drive, the rewards often materialise.

End note: I got into thinking about this after constructing the Obama video, then Shirley Thompson, the composer rang. I have just come of the phone after 40 mins.

The making of the Obama score follows its own drama, one which she now has a documentary maker shooting.

It involves scripts going lost in the post of rehearsals on the eve of the event, of key members attending to family matters, of the BBC Orchestra commenting on the score. Passion and Faith, Shirley Thompson has that in abundance.

Friday, April 24, 2009 -Designing twitter background

So there you have it. Twitermania - this year's blog fandom.

A colleague showed me an article. Blogging is dead. It's soo passe'. So fickle is our ferreting for the new, that blogs are losing a bit of their sheen.

It's not unexpected, though blogging isn't and will not quite crash and fizzle. But our penchant for the sound-bite 5 sec clip news; the average length was 20 sec at one point is being mirrored in the new matrix of digital media.

And yes presumably at some point, which I tongue and cheek posted about a while back, the Tweets 140 characters will be under threat.

Two words: " tired"
12.03 : Got job
12.05: I'm so happy. Ur uh! That's three words doh!

Twit backgrounds
So after some attempts at uploading the background, an exercise in bite-size branding it's up.

In the event I trawled the web looking at the number of outfits providing design templates. It's huge. In the absence of Photoshop et al, a worthwhile pursuit indeed.

If you do have pshop however it's worth a punt at customising your online presence

I wanted something that flagged up and played to the wonderful shoot by David Berman, but was also mindful of being to excessive.

The result I think looks more like a DVD cover with pulled comments from a number of key figures.

Is it worth it? Well you can never tell, but personal branding certainly has moved on since I wrestled with the idea of even having a site.

The rest is the ambient awareness posts that presumably draw in an audience. Supposedly the jury's still out on whether feeding the cat constitutes a level of excitement to draw massive followings.

But clearly there's a celebrity quotient at play; celebrity by your friend's standard and those than don't know you.

Paris Hilton could seemingly sneeze and that'd attract 500 more. Reason, people just wanna know. For me, perhaps you, no such luck.

Then there's the volume. Imagine living your life through tweets ala Truman. That is every half hour a tweet. That's some doing. If you're like me I go in spurts. My life aint that interesting!

And then how much do you follow? This new simulacrum culture of open sms is still sorting itself out.

But ambient awareness is a strange phenom. Hey, I sense a cat rescue coming along.

David tweets at and is producing a video for Classical Composer Shirley Thompson new score for Obama 100 Days, and truthfully it's turning into a min-drama. I need more pics

Videojournalism diary log-leaving orbit

Fans of Capt Jim T. Kirk will recognise the play on the title.

All in day's work having slain a Klingon, fallen for some beau, and had an existential discussion with Spock.

Moments of grand illusion, as this moment I feel like I'm having a Kirk moment, except for the beau. Yeah shucks.

I haven't stopped writing. Our Masters in journalism students are in the final furlong of submission: online journalism and videojournalism. There have already been notable successes in their ranks. But some heavy lifting remains for the coming days.

Meanwhile the Obama video for the South Bank. I have produced a first draft. Reason? I'm still not satisfied with the footage and pics I have, but ever the optimist, I'll push harder next week.
Thanks to Tom ( Kennedy) formerly Wash Post for the contacts his throw me.

Miami University are compiling a multimedia template of ideas, so had a delightful Knight scholar ping me for info. We'll do it, we'll definitely do it.

Next week I'm looking forward also to seeing supervisors of my Phd prog. Liz, the Dean of the programme had some good news around the Outernet, that I have been obsessing about, but not mentioned in recent posts.

I need to give my Phd more love, even though it consumes my waking life. The more I know, the more I understand, the more I understand, the more I know, the more I know, the more confusing it becomes.

Last time I used that was in an article about South African politics, when I was thrust into its politics at the dying end of apartheid.

Logbook some more
This week South Africa went to the polls to elect a new government. I miss South Africa. But hopefully will be there in the Summer doing some training and catching up on friends, and people in documentaries made in the early 90s.

Then it's a 500 days or so towards chapters for my book, which has been very cathartic in some way, committing years of trials and tribulations to this thing we do to paper.

I'm interviewing one of the heavyweights next week in the videojournalism firmament. He Julian was responsible for bringing video journalism to Britain in the mid 90s.

Julian I have recently discovered was the class mate of Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones) at the London School of Economics and has more than his fair share of stories to tell, that made a gathering of us laugh.

Mick: " **** this I'm off to get famous
Everyone else: Yeah yeah yeah.....

Videojournalism... yeah what's that? Should get back to shooting a story at some point. LOL

Monday, April 20, 2009

What's in an idea

It got me thinking, what's in an idea?

For two weeks or so Shirley Thompson, a gifted composer and conductor, whose scores have lit up Broadway, London et al, had asked if I would produce a video for a piece she had been commissioned to make for Obama's 100 days.

Truthfully, I was excited and also fatigued.

At my Saturday morning aerobics gym, party to forty women and three men, myself included, I floated the idea to the group after our morning near-collapse work out.

I rang up a friend Dotun Adebayo who presents on the BBC and left him the idea. He duly emailed back saying he would do so on his next show.

The idea was a little ambitious. I wanted to find a family having a baby likely to call the child Obama. I would film the process; the parting shot, a baby held up to its parents as Obama's name faded onto the screen.

For the parents, it would hopefully be a moving piece, for the birth would be associated with the UK's festival Hall celebrations. I can't say it would make them famous, but I could imagine a quiet sense of satisfaction, looking at their video, with their child, with Shirley's score, played to the public.

The idea worked because it matched the score; the synergy of light and shade in birth and in Shirley's production - an undulating blend of contemporary fusion, crescendos and troughs.

Whats this?
Then something happened!

Nothing. My attempt to produce this on its budget, against the welter of other things was akin to that bout of creative turmoil we all go through when you're working the subject hard- creative angsts.

Then something else happened, two things actually Il Sistema, the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra were in town. I went to see them and their magic, their passion, their fullness was infectious.

I whistled so loudly I almost blew the ear drums out of Yoletta, my host on the day.

I came home reinvigorated, but still not thinking of Obama's piece.

But frankly you could have put a metal sheet in front of me and I would have attempted to produce a miniature Bo, through the wonders of origami.

The next day, Shirley rang: " I have been up all night she said. I have finished the score and am set for our first rehearsals"

Such is Shirley's pulling power that a number of high profiles - an opera singer and Mark, the inspiring leader from the BBC's highly acclaimed Last Choir standing wanted to get involved.

We met at the South Bank. She opened her Mac, with Sibelius chiming - a software programme for classical musicians - and with two mums and their toddlers gurgling and throwing toys in the background she guided me through five minutes of the transcendetal.

What happened next?

Shirley leaped out of her seat and hugged me.

"Obama" - we all both looked at each other.

It may see obvious now that a score celebrating Obama, should in fact have Obama.

But the first time she played the piece it wasn't. This one was.

Simply take video of the president and treat it in post to the score.

It was so obvious, you're probably going "Phut! "You creatives, problem is you're not".

Shirley and I share something in common which we discuss her music. We visualise it. It's not anything special other than a photographic interpretation of sound. We all do it. You hear a bip on the road you think car. In our case we're walking through the script of a film evolving.

And so, this morning after thinking where can I find Obama copyright video, the US Embassy, a delightful and helpful woman pointed me to mp4s, which are now downloaded to my Mac, sitting there, well, waiting to be treated.

Some time later this week I will have the score on my laptop to play around with. So much ado about nothing then. A score about President Obama, featuring Obama.

What's in an idea? Sometimes the idea, simple, unburdened, seemingly ethereal out-of-reach at first is the story. And when that happens it's a mesmerising experience.

Call for Obama pics

Call for Obama pics for 100 Days festival at the South Bank Centre


Hi there I'd like to mix your pics of Obama with an original score of Brit composer Shirley Thompson Interested ? Please contact me at

The montage will be playing at the festival hall and I'll make sure you get your image credit.

p.s I have heard the score it's brill

Sunday, April 19, 2009

PR Video - say it again and again and again

Like the say, say it again, and again, until it becomes part of the subconscious. Good selling. Good promotion. but how do you say the same thing over and over again without turning off the audience.

Humour and a good script

Friday, April 17, 2009 - how tos and Advanced Videojournlism and storytelling - how tos and Advanced Videojournlism and storytelling

The VJs -inspired by The Wire

Editor: so you one of those VJs?
Senior Editor: what!
Editor: VJs!
Senior Editor: DJs?
Editor: VJ, VJ, short for videojournalism
Senior Editor: V-O-D-O-O J-O-U-R-N-A-L-I-S-M What's that?
Young guy: Hey Ol Man It's video journalism. Not Vodoo, Not Vagner spelt with a "W", Not venerable. VIDEO. But I guess you're too past it to know we stopped using film in the 80s.
Everyone looks stunned.
***n it. I'm not going to get job now so I might as well speak my mind.
Trouble with you guys is you see a guy with a camera and think cheap. You'd balk at the idea of seeing Velázquez hold his own brush. Or that it takes two people to drive a car: one on the gear lever while the other shouts "move away". We've moved on. But I guess you still think Citizen journalism is some one's dyslexia for Citizen Kane.
Stop. Look out of the window and watch. We're now in colour. Video. Video. One person and a camera Phut! ( Shakes his head)
Door shuts
Senior Editor and Editor: What a strange man!
Senior Editor: So who's next outside?
Editor: Some guy with typewriter sowed to his head. Calls it blogging!
Senior Editor and Editor: Ahhhhhhhh

Series tweetish 1 here Does he get a vest

Use the web for this Gov.20

Looks Brill. FAB
Former student of mine, talented videojournalist Matan emailed me.

"Us Now

A film project about the power of mass collaboration, government and the internet"

This is why I got into film and then videojournalism story telling to break free of reductionist 8 calories newsbite. Take a big subject, Nat Geo in scale and go at it.

In some respect this isn't easy. It employs metronome and a skilled visualist, but it's what videojournalism producing/directing was born to do.

Rip out and create your own agendas via the use of charges, character development, sub arcings - all terms that might be anathema at first.

I'm not here to steal US Now's thunder, but it reminds me of a programme. BBC Reportage circa 1991, when as young film makers we were playing with MTV's accelarated form. This is about Crime

Many of the film makers here have gone off to make top flight shows today.

Right! back to this film. I hope USNow continue in this vein. There are many more of these that need to be made and the resources lie in the hands of those with the passion and commitment: and the doc-feature skillset. Give me a call :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

VideoJournalism CV, Global Training and Thanks visit map

Thought I'd take time out to say thank you for your company. It's easy to take the web for granted now, but this map illustrates how far and near you've come to pop by and share in some of the debates and, sorry, the odd pontificate.

David Dunkley Gyimah -Videojournalism Trainer from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

I'm not posting as frequently as I can, but as the summer draws near and I look forward to the traveling, sometimes to conferences to talk, or training, please allow me to post here a video CV.

It's fairly dated, (2006/7) for the speed of change in web and videojournalism standards, but hopefully it should provide a snap shot of my past. For more up to date info please visit

If you're interested in talking or exploring some ideas do drop me a line at Look forward to hearing from you.

Talks and debates

1. David in conversation at the Front line Club with Christiane Amanpour about future TV and the web

Radio and podcasts

2. The pressures in international reportage reporting Radio and TV. How do you perform fast turn arounds sometimes with no time to think? What are some of the techniques which can also be transfered to videojournalism.

  • a. Clip of report whether South Africa will have an election and rid itself of Apartheid

  • b. Various clips from presenting BBC radio in London, national radio's 4 and 5 and reporting for the BBC World Service

  • c. Working as an Associate Producer for ABC News. Just how do the US networks do things differently from UK media?

Multimedia and International Relations
Britain's leading think tank in international relations and diplomacy and which coined the phrase after its name, Chatham House. Its sister organisation which it shares much in common is the Council for Foreign Relations ( US).

Chatham House rules when invoked request that name, identity and affiliation of the speaker is not revealed.

I have been a member of the think tank for 15 years and am a firm believer in its ethos. Here in an extended interview I'm about to interview the director. Previously produced a range of multimedia promos for them.

Future of Videojournalism

Bold claim! The Future of videojournalism. I have been working in video and journalism for 20 years for some of the top brands in broadcasting.

Many of those played with the image and broadcasting techniques. Reportage, BBC Newsnight, Channel 4 News

In 1994 when I first became a dedicated videojournalist, I'd had some experience with the image-narrative and image movement.

Today we might ask with the ubiquity of video, what determining variables will ensure future targeted audiences. That's what I have been researching. This is approached in another way in The Tipping Point.

What is, and I apologise for putting it this way, the subconscious play between the image and user? How can you the news videojournalist construct the image and narrative in an evolving language that meets our televisual literacy?

Some key figures in the annals of film and TV have asked this e.g. Hitchcock and I believe there's a strong purpose to resurrect the debate in the context of the videojournalism auter and video-gandist - exploding movement.

The four images here have me back in the lab testing the entry point of the narrative against the visceral quotient of the image. I hope to bring you some results soonish.

Previous article here on life after videojournalism .

Thinking inside the BBC's multimedia Newsroom

A year ago I interviewed the BBC Head of Newsrooms, Peter Horrocks in a vlog butterfly, inviting bloggers from around the world to ask a question.

I had wanted to explore the BBC's move towards a multimedia workflow, but they were in the middle of the move, which remarkably given the wholesale changes to the newsroom, it's any wonder there were no major clangers to the BBC's broadcasts.

Today, courtesy of the Deputy Head of Mary Hockaday, whom last year I shared a panel with in Podgorica, I was given a tour and the thinking behind the BBC's structural change.

I worked on and off at the BBC between 1987 and 1999, so there's some context I'll be adding to a longer post or book chapter later.

Inside the BBC's multimedia Newsroom
So what did I find out?

A snap shot. The web team's integral relationship to the news operation both in terms of configuration and placement along what Mary referred to as the "hot zones" and "cooler zones" in the news space.

Nothing new you might think, but it impacts on any trend analyses to scalability on the one hand and how new and existing broadcast networks might shape up for future news brokering.

The BBC moves to a new newsroom in central London, broadcasting House in 3 years time.

Three years is a long time in media, and it'll be interesting to see any alterations based on their existing structure, particularly towards servicing IPTV and mobiles, ever growing in prominence.

Broadly the other noticeable, how internally the different machinery within the BBC, which once fostered an internal competitive market, seemed to link together.

There's always been a healthy rivalry within different networks within the BBC, Radio 4 vs News in the days of Rod Liddle (1998 - 2002) and there still might be, but the "eyes across" each other renders programming more transparent.

New posts - a sort of super editor, the Multimedia Editor; and BBC intakes meticulous eye across agency output as much as their own.

In the past I have written on the Financial Times Multimedia Newsroom, the Telegraph and Channel 4 - which dovetails in an ongoing analyses into work practices and how to set up a newsroom from scratch.

Some contextual information. In 1994 the station Channel One, where I worked, and which pioneered VJ as an exclusive work practice produced a template for working multimedia which would be apt amongst today's varying configurations.

I'll write more extensively later.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

videoperiodismo - Videojournlism David Dunkley Gyimah's background

I find myself short of time at the moment. I'll resume a level of normative posting at some point, but in the meantime, I'm thankful to Noemi for the translation on my background, and the invitation to South America.

8 days: VideoJournalism from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

"El videoperiodismo es un paso hacia adelante en la producción de noticias televisivas- supone un alejamiento del predecible enfoque que se da en la televisión, el cual, ha permanecido atascado, extrañamente, desde el principio.

Se trata de la nueva generación de la televisión: contar historias sin restricciones, sin los límites de las redacciones tradicionales"

Son las palabras de uno de los líderes videoperiodistas, formador de periodistas en este género de comunicación en el Reino Unido, multipremiado internacionalmente y editor de, David Dunkley Gyimah.

En el año 2009 David Gyimah junto a David Plouffe, director de la campaña de Barack Obama, fue finalista de Twitter at the We Media Game Changers. El jurado opinó sobre el trabajo de David lo siguiente:"Una elevadísima manera de narrar en el periodismo multimedia a través de experimentar incansablemente, impulsándolo al más alto nivel, más allá de lo esperable, de lo tópico"

David es un consumado profesional de los medios de comunicación. En sus 22 años de carrera ha trabajado para cadenas como la BBC, Channel 4, ABC news, Channel One, este último, uno de los primeros canales para videoperiodistas del Reino Unido.

Formador de videoperiodistas

David ha ampliamente desarrollado su visión sobre el videoperiodismo y enseñado a más de mil profesionales de la comunicación alrededor del mundo, ayudándoles a lanzar sus páginas webs,
mostrando plenamente cómo funciona este nuevo lenguaje audiovisual. Periodistas de empresas como Financial Times, el Chicago Sun Times y la Asociación de la Prensa del Reino Unido son algunos ejemplos.

David es también parte del jurado de la prestigiosa Royal Television Society, la Sociedad Real de Televisión, y ha realizado presentaciones para The World Association of Newspapers o empresas como Apple Inc, por nombrar sólo algunos ejemplos. Andrew Brown, editor de política, y Jon Snow, uno de los presentadores de noticias más prestigiosos, han destacado sus trabajos por la originalidad.

Si te gustaría averiguar más sobre su carrera, contar con David como asesor o formador para tus proyectos online, multimedia y de videoperiodismo, puedes hacerlo visitando su web en inglés, aquí (Enter).

Friday, April 10, 2009

Creative walk abouts

Brilliant day down in central London at the South Bank centre talking creative stuff with Rob, the ronin, whom I consider one of the UK's most contemporary visual essayist for his generation.

We got to hang out exploring some of the world movies on show e.g. French and history of Cubby Broccoli, behind James Bond.

For a bank holiday and in spite of the rain, the centre was pretty packed. It's such a creative place to settle down for a coffee. In fact next time I there I'm going with my laptop as the lounge bars offer free wifi access.

On my way home I was inspired to make this doodle. Can't remember the last time I tried to draw. LOL The Birth of VJ Cool.

VideoJournalism - the art of

Videojournalism on

It would be simple enough to assume videojournalism is an outright extension of TV news journalism, just as printing was initially thought to be nothing more than a medium to expand one's teachings.

But it misses the point that plugged into the environment, armed with a camera, you're across the myriad operas that surround you.

To be capable of hearing visuals, seeing sound, being empathetic with your canvas, affords the video journalism I have come to practice and teach that bit more credibility it deserves as an art form.

Viewmagazine's David on The Videojournalism Manifesto Redux and how Vj is being used to produce international programmes.

I'm going to be on and offline intermittently for a while as I'm involved in a related project to my thesis which involves one of the largest creative content providers in Europe.

I believe the outcome/findings will be kinda cool for the art/science of solo Vjism.
When I'm back in the swing of things, hopefully I'll have the interviews up with Nelson Mandela at a press conference, Louis Farrakhan the Nation of Islam and how we made the Obama film.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

videojournalism - writing the next training chapter

IMVideojournalism - a 3rd way to visual data representation,
in so far as the film is not enough on

Videojournalism Chapter -Training.

What hasn't been written about videojournalism today in blogs and tweets that needs writing about?

Sorry. Im being glib. To suggest we know everything there is about this visual creative process. Not so. Art evolves and continues to do so and videojournalism is an art as much as a science. It would be a brave person that said videojournalism, this is it folks.

That said there's sufficient data and info online to launch endless regiments of videojournalists: "Ten ways to do this and the three rules of framing". Much of this is good brain food.

The future of journalism? Made a couple of years back, soon to be reduxed from's david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

Then there's being in the ring sparring with a tutor. Being told the earth really is round and then finding empirical data to support this through countless experiments is my joy of the journey.

Fascinatingly, videojournalism is maturing, beginning to splinter into many genres. We can duff our caps to those that have worked the genre, unravelled or designed its core and continue to do so. Rosenblum, Tom Kennedy, Travis Fox, Peter Ralph are are but a few name drops in this now vast ocean.

But as the net, now today less dominated by the English language, or in English is being enveloped by territories such as India, China and native Spanish, French, German, Italian and Arabic speaking countries, we'll begin to learn more of the auters whose culture impacts their visual sensibilities and thus have quietly been carving their niche and style.

Framing Videojournalism
The UK's first regional newspapers to turn
videojournalist feed back to David their trainer

We're entering an exciting tipping point, when soon, just soon, we'll see videojournalism become somethings it's presently not; pull itself away from being "the illegitimate off-spring" of news. Divorce itself as the derivative of point-shoot, to a semiotic of re framing of factual info.

And by framing I don't mean that literally in the sense of mis en scene, but how visual narratology in the hands of creative technicians can create strong intoxicating emotional codes.

In years gone by at the BBC - bimedia- working, radio and TV, had huge detractors. Now we're being birthed into a heter-homogeneous media: many media have now become one.

Training Days - the Videojournalism Way.
Videojournalism presentation at the world association of Newspaper and some conference humour on

The medium I first fell in love with listening to the crackles of short wave radio in a dormitory almost literally under the equator; my first film: Bed knobs and Broomsticks, the novels of Enid Blyton all conspire into these new gene pool - the science of storytelling

Recently a well known US publisher has endorsed the idea of a book, in which I would want to pull together ideas of videojournalism and its pre resonance whilst working within broadcasting as well as punt some of its more imaginative acquisitions.

In 1997 two of Africa's oldest broadcast networks undertook their first state-to-state broadcast using videojournalism to construct not just 3 minute packages of news info but a series of 6 X40 minute programmes in 7 days.

It's one of the most memorable and proudest things I have ever done. But the landscape now demands more. For by pushing at the margins we can build a new mainstream to rework the BBC's Lord Reith, construct, deconstruct and share.

This new economy is rightfully so getting busy.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Major casualty - Press Gazette, death of journalism's caretakers

Major casualty - death of journalism's caretakers. The phrase may seem a bit melodramatic, indeed the "caretaker" bit, but that's what The Press Gazette has been doing for all these years.

A magazine that looks at the journalism industry and goes beyond the headlines, seeking much needed comment and analysis.

There have been a number of high profile casualties, particularly in the US. The Press Gazette will be a huge loss for the UK industry.

Its absence from the shop shelves may go unnoticed, just about, but the wider impact on journalism in the long run will be deep; the lack of insight by those in the know sharing their wisdom and knowledge with outsiders will be marked.

It's difficult to think of how they'll salvage something, as only two years ago their fate also hung in the balance until a reprieve.

My thanks to its staff and Dominic, the editor. I owe him a huge debt of gratitude. In 2004, when I sensed a way of exploring the web and online, pushing embedded video, hypervideo, multimedia stories, Dominic got it.

What started off as a 10 minute meeting in a pub ran for an hour plus as we explored some of the new questions about to impact multimedia, video and the web.

Five months later I was awarded the Batten Award for first place. Dominic must have seen something beyond me waxing about a future of near science fiction.

My heart felt thanks and deepest acknowledgments.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

#Wemedia Film coming

Miami by dawn- part of a shoot/story for #Wemedia 2009 which I'm working on as a videojournalism package
It's an amazing spectacle, but at dawn these birds of prey dance around the skies using early morning convention currents to soar. I tried to match their flight and what I have got will play well to something like Wagner.

Self shot looking at the birds.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Did you know -"Did you know"?

The people who put this together should be congratulated. For at the v least it's a conversation point to interrogate some of their claims and the verification of that or otherwise should get us re-aligning ourselves.

That much is already going on. The G20s's widely reported success in their final communique is in part because the Asian countries had the capacity to play an active part.

It's a while since I visited Chatham House, which I have been a member of for some 15 years, but the org will have been tracking issues like this for a long long while to influence their international relations agenda.

China for instance becoming the largest English speaking country presents a dynamic, hitherto not fully comprehensible.

But the UK knows something, I attended an international seminar on this, that by 2012 the number of international students from China is likely to fall, and with it the foreign currency the UK accrues from students.

If anything the West has a strong motive now to discourage mercantilism and self-interests as illustrated at the recent G20 summit.

I recently was emailed by an international PR group who tell me, and I have no reason not to believe from their figures, that international language websites are the fastest growing on the web, outstripping English language.

So China or India can have their cake and eat it too, either communicating in any number of their native languages and also through English. Either way this has implications for commerce.

Did you know? it's probably a good time to.

The Wire - good for videojournalism

Solo - a film about videojournalism from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

Chapter 13.

The Wire - good for videojournalism

Detective: The reporter comes with us?
Producer: He's a VJ..
Detective: A what?
Producer: You know they film and edit their own stuff
Detective: Unions let you do that shit?
Producer: What unions! Stopped paying subs when we lost an injunction to you guys be able to film us for records.
Detective: Yeah times move on. Guess your VJ will get an Oscar for this.
Reporter: Oscar does films, most likely shot at. Does he get a vest?
Detective: You been watching too many dramas!
Reporter: He gets a vest!
Detective: In the f*****ing Wire he do. Here we so damn down on it, be lucky if you get steel cap boots.
Reporter: Where are we anyways?
Detective: Dagenham.
Reporter **** where?
Detective: Outside London somewhere!
Reporter: Then why the hell are we talking like we Americans
Detective: We're having a "Life on Mars" moment.
Reporter: True...
[ pause]
Reporter: Does he get a vest?

There's no denying The Wire's huge influence. Realms of thesis have been written and combed over. It's only just started its BBC run.

If men would knit in public and police could be exposed for cross dressing, you'd find it in The Wire. So what's it got to do with videojournalism?

Not a lot except that it inspires to go beyond the mundane. For original VJ inspiration, Homicide - Life on the Street, is the bible. In one scene it breaks 5 TV rules. But what The Wire does is inspire thought for the way contemporary chat has moved on.

The way you might speak and access info differs broadly from the way news speaks to you in intellectual high tones. That doesn't mean journalism should dumb down, but that there is a new language that's required, a new semiotic.

As I mentioned at SXSW - the film is not enough. Now where's my vest?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

what you did next?

Mid year recuperation. Not out of the woods yet.

The second semester is like a vice. Some times the students think they have it bad. I compound my diary by my own studies. Actually I'm into learning the new, but the modules on research... ughh!

Sometimes I think I'm the drill seargent in Officer and a Gentleman, except I'm feeble and there's no slugfest ( heaven's forbid) in any ring.

But the recurring message over the years wears on the synapses. Exhaustion isn't really it, more as Denzel Washington's character Cready said in Man O fire: "I wish I had more time".

Lately, I have taken to uploading more of my vids. On ocassions I catch myself out thinking about broadcasting, only fleetingly though, because unless it's punditry or autonomy, it's pretty difficult rolling with commission deadlines and night edits.

If you could only define your own job. In fact you can. I have. Stuart ( Apple) when are we meeting.

Broadcasting certainly isn't what it used to be and is changing by the season. It's a great time to be a trainee producer, just to be part of the new discourse, but it's equally precarious.

It's equally an extraordinary time being in academia helping to shape new ideas. One of my students reading my palms, yes reading my palms says I have more learning to do.

I can do that. Meanwhile: "I wish I had more time". When's the deadline for this book again??

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Reporting conflict from South Africa-BBC WS

Having posted in Adrian Monck's blog re: him talking about the death of a talented young journalists in Iraq, I started thinking of some of the things I got upto in South Africa circa 1992-94.

Here right white militants have exploded a bomb in joberg on the eve of the election. It shook the house I was staying in. The BBC WS whom I'd now built up a relationship with rang and asked for a two way. I'd been down to the scenes past the police cordon flashing my media badge.

Below is the original post from Adrian's site and my reaction.

Whenever people ask me why I left television news (a world which - I have to say - I loved) to run a J-School, I never give the real answer.

Because the real answer is just the name of someone they (and you) probably won’t ever have heard of: Richard Wild.

Richard is gone now. He was shot dead in Baghdad in 2003. I wrote the letter that got him in to Iraq. [more…]

-- my response.

david dunkley gyimah 04.01.09 at 8:46 am

That’s a tough one to carry around Adrian. I remember reading about Richard in The Guardian and posted briefly on him last year.

It struck me as well, as often when asked by friends wanting to get a relative into journalism my advice was along the lines of ..”travel if you can to the story”.

If it’s a hot zone and you consider you have a good head, then be cautious, but go for it. I gave such advice to a senior exec from Chatham House, who would become my mentor.

For it was while fortuitously in a BBC studio interviewing South Africa’s Embassy head Kent Durr about the Boipatong Massacres with my soon -to-be-mentor there, that following the discussion, I made the decision to relocate to South Africa for 18 months.

One of the then BBC’s producers in Joberg was a savvy, streetwise, six-languages speaking journo who would take me off to see the local Totseis. ” David you just need these people to see you. They carry a lot of clout”, he’d whisper.

Though I was extremely cautious, I look back on those times travelling around the townships; night time drives in some of the worst troubled spots, and sometimes question what I was doing. I was a freelancer. A report brought in 200 UKP, but on one occasion I signed a disclaimer as I climbed into a truck for a night patrol in Katlehong - then designated the murder capital of the world.

My advice to new journalists now has changed somewhat. Richard’s death was one of the straws.

MA in podcasts and Facebook - what’s the problem?

News reported in The Telegraph that Birmingham City University is to offer a one year Masters in Social Media is likely to produce polarised responses.

You can see it now. From the traditional guardians of journalism practice, a splutter and harumph in their morning Earl Grey, accompanied by a curled lip “MA in Podcasts and Facebook!”

Journalism isn’t what is used to be. And if you recall [Newsnight's] Jeremy Paxman’s salvo on media courses some moons ago, it most certainly isn’t what is used to be. But could Birmingham be onto a thing or two?

One of its most popular academics Paul Bradshaw has certainly proved there is currency to be gained from examining journalism in this mash-up culture.

And it’s obvious from anyone who understands the dynamics of launching and validating a university course there would have been a fair few meetings and thought put to creating the course.

So what’s behind this? For the answer I’d have to get in touch with Jon Hickman, the course convener, according to the Telegraph [an email is on its way]; I have already emailed Paul Bradshaw to find out more.

Broader Issues
But lets look at some broader issues.

There’s no denying Twitter and indeed Facebook have proved useful, if not must-have social accessories for the digital native.

Only a couple of days ago, videojournalism expert Michael Rosenblum proved its worth by advertising for a presenter for a new show only to be inundated within hours.

And during the Mumbai terrorism attacks Twitter became the ticker wire service.

Most students you can almost assume already have a Facebook account, even if they don’t have a blog, and as for twitter, Facebook’s new interface is all but a Twitter in name.

Critics might argue that beyond the common use of @,# and Rt in Tweet speak where’s the beef?

Friends Reunited
Perhaps that while you might have 500 friends and above on Facebook would you know how to mash it with google map? Do you care? Or how would you muster a tweet swarm?

Last month in Miami, Wemedia, a gathering of innovating web 2.0 plus folks they did just that coming second in Twitter’s rankings, much to the delight of organisers.

Whilst sheer finger power might do posting endlessly to your Twit, behind many of the social apps lies an increasingly sophisticated use which requires some understanding of APIs [Application Programme Interfaces] and code.

That much journalism educators have come to know from watching Adrian Holovaty weave his code magic on his Million dollar Knight Foundation funded Everyblock, though I doubt from the telegraph’s article [ still need to speak to Jon Hickman] Birmingham’s going down that road.

Wider journalism debate
The wider debate is whether Journalism should be indulging itself in deconstructing software apps and media?

Until recently a related subject caught steam in the US with academics pondering whether online journalism students needed to learn HTML or how much action scripting they needed to know for devising multimedia reports.

JD Lassica a popular blogger, advocate and pioneering social networker was of the opinion the field should be leveled so those practicing journalism spent less time on the back end and more on the front working the stories.

To an extent that’s almost the case as a raft of blog templates,free Java scripts and templates are now freely available on the web.

Yet somewhere in the mix of new journalism or weburnalism to this generation, gaining an understanding of what new apps can be kneaded together, whilst still retaining the core values of journalism, is becoming a prerequesite.

Question is where does it stop and finish? There are some home truths that if you’re adept at social software, understand your SEO talk and visit your Blog/Twit/Facebook regularly you’re likely to build up a following.

Yes it may even not be journalism per se, but good story telling pulling in an audience. See my boyfriend is a twat that has won a fair few blog awards.

But I take sides with Birmingham’s intent, for in some way as you can see from the work of our students from the International Masters (1), (2), (3) and Masters programme,(1) our journalism department is attempting to inform our students about social networking apps and how they can be used in conjunction with journalism to forge networks.

Birmingham City’s message, reported in The Telegraph, however hints at something lost in translation; that journalism has become a techno ecosystem, which I don’t believe it has.

I imagine a fair number of academics, journalists, social bloggers, entrepreneurs will be watching Birmingham closely.

Postscript: Just before posting this I went on to Paul Bradshaw’s site to discover his own post on their soon-to-be-launched course. After reading it, frankly I was inclined to rewrite the above piece. Paul links through to the MA Social Media programme which says:

This MA programme will explore the techniques of social media, consider the development and direction of social media as a creative industry, and will contribute new research and knowledge to the field.

The course appears to be broader than the Telegraph’s reportage.

Now I am categorically not implying any wrong doing; I’m not to know, but I thought as a way of illustrating to my students about the need to consult widely and contact the subjects when quoting from a reported piece, leaving the post as it is turns it into an example of zoo writing: a piece about a piece illustrating what can happen following up a story.

David Dunkley Gyimah lectures in Online journalism and is one of the Directors of the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC), which provides accreditation and guidelines for University and College courses in Broadcast Journalism. The opinions expressed here are his own.