Video journalism – on the radio???

By Phil Georgiadis

Building on Chris Creegan’s post about the role of video journalism on radio station websites, for our latest post Video Journalism Online has been speaking to the BBC’s Vassos Alexander about the ever expanding use of video content on the 5 Live website.

Vassos is the voice of sport on the 5 Live Breakfast show, and also presents many of 5 Live Sport’s outside broadcasts from around the world.

Vassos told us that video content is a key growth area on the website: ‘5 Live are trying to offer a fresh and distinctive product online, and an important part of that is our live streams of the shows. Not only can you, of course, listen live and back to programmes on the iPlayer, but you can also watch them, as they go out, live.’

Vassos continued that ‘this is a completely different way of offering content to the consumer, and I think it has been very successful’.

But what about the presenters themselves? Does the increasing role of video content change the way they broadcast?

‘To be honest, we forget that the cameras are there and get on with it, we aren’t treating it like TV, and constantly thinking where the cameras are and so on. I mean the thing is, essentially all your are seeing is a load of people in a studio talking into the mics, we aren’t looking into the cameras or anything, the audio still drives the experience- but web users seem to like being able to see what we’re doing’.

In addition to this, the 5 Live website offers highlight clips of big name guests in the studio, which allows one to watch edited clips of programmes.

There is a lot of discussion on this blog and elsewhere considering the relationship between TV and web video- but it seems that the radio is successfully getting in on the act too.

A Passion for Pictures

 

Cameraman (by Pansa Sunavee)

By Umar Farooq

In my journey through the world of video journalism, I’ve been asking experts for their advice for aspiring video journalists. We’ve already established that the area of video journalism is growing. The internet is a great platform for those wanting to practice their film-making skills and build a profile. However, a wider platform and more opportunities don’t necessarily make you a professional or successful VJ. The web is like a training ground but the hard work must come from the individual.

In this post, I will look back at what some of the interviewees said regarding skills needed to succeed, before bringing in my final interviewee.

 

The question:

  • What sort of advice do you have for aspiring video journalists?

David Parkin, TheBusinessDesk.tv

“The media is changing and so must the journalist. As the founder of the Business Desk, any journalist working for me needs to have three important qualities.

  • Firstly, know your subject. In our case that’s business. We need people with a genuine passion for business news.
  • Secondly, be multi-skilled. The modern-day journalist needs to be able to shoot, edit, write and work online.
  • Thirdly, just be enthusiastic. We’re looking for people who can create powerful and interesting content and are fascinated about the future of the technology.”

Lewis Wiltshire, Editor, BBC Sport Online

“I think it’s important for trainee journalists to be as multi-skilled as possible and video is a huge part of it, as is social media and written content. So the journalists at the BBC are always encouraged to have as many skills as possible. In terms of video, it’s a growing industry and an exciting industry to be in so good luck to all those involved because you never stop learning.”

Tom Chown, freelance video journalist, DigiTomTV

“In terms of advice for aspiring video journalists. Get yourself a camera, learn how to use some simple editing software and then go out there and find a story to tell. I remember when Michael Rosenblum was training us at the BBC, one think he said was that everyone’s got a story to tell and they have. You just have to engage with people and develop your journalistic skills. You have to learn, and you will learn the right questions to ask people to draw themselves, out of themselves. Put people at ease, make them relaxed and they’ll tell you the most fascinating things you never thought possible.”

Wise words from the three experts. I think David pretty much covers all ground in terms of journalistic qualities. Lewis from the BBC places emphasis on being multi-skilled and Tom speaks as an experienced video journalist.

My next interviewee is Abrar Hussain, Creative Director at Life Of This World Media. He started the company around 5 years ago and specialises in video production for charities.  I met Abrar outside Finchley Central Underground station to discuss video journalism online.

Abrar provides a very good explanation of how the internet is slowly transforming his business and video journalism. Once again we see emphasis on how video is being produced only for the online world, when he says that the number one question in any kind of production meeting now is how can we make this work online? However, for me, I think Abrar’s advice to aspiring journalist comes from the heart and he captures this overarching principle of ‘passion’ really well. There is no doubt that the modern-day journalist has to be multi-skilled and work across platforms. In video journalism, he/she must be able to pitch, shoot, edit, script, voice and deliver content for the target audience. Yet equally as important is the passion for pictures, the enthusiasm and the willingness to just go for it. Video journalism is an area where you’re constantly learning by watching and making mistakes so the passion must be there.

Here’s a transcript of Abrar’s response when asked to give advice to aspiring video journalists.

Abrar Hussain, Creative Director, Life Of This World Media

“Just make sure you’ve got a passion. Don’t be doing it because you think ‘oh this is cool, I’ll do this and get into it because it’s cool.’ Look at me, I was running around with a video camera when I was 10 years old, I was filming the family events. I had a video camera, I was doing it and I loved it because it was my passion. At University, I studied Business and IT, not media but I started making documentaries for my university and they were paying me for it. It was a passion and I grew up with it. Don’t think ‘I’ll get to meet celebrities’ or ‘I’ll get to travel,’ they’re the wrong kind of motivations. Just be really really passionate. The other thing, work very very hard. Work while other people are sleeping and you’ll get ahead.”

It’s all about motivation.

Finally, here’s another plug for the “Online News Video Watchers Survey” with some interesting entries in so far, so keep them coming. In the next few posts, I’ll be disclosing the results from the survey and look into some of the technology/devices used to film the interviews.

Carry on filming!

* The links in this post can be accessed and shared on the VJO delicious page.

You Chose the News- Skynews.com TV

By Phil Georgiadis

The blurring boundaries between TV news and online journalism- a new phenomenon which has only taken off in the past year or so? Maybe not.

Between 2007 and 2010 Sky News aired a half hour long evening programme called ‘SkyNews.com’, presented by the brilliant Martin Stanford, which brought the web’s agenda onto our TV’s for the first time.

As the channel proudly proclaimed, it was a groundbreaking programme, which ‘set out to change the shape of television news by integrating the web and TV’. Sky and Stanford realised that web content worked well on TV, and also that streaming TV content online offered access to a wider audience.

It won a prestigious Royal Television Society gong in 2008 for innovation, with the judges praising it because “it lets the public rather than the news editor set the agenda.”

Well before it was the accepted norm for channels to stream their content live online it simulcast on TV and on the Web, and even offered exclusive content for web viewers while the main TV channel was off on advert breaks.

The show would track topics which were ‘trending’ across the web, and offer a rundown of the day’s viral videos, taken from sites such as Youtube. It also took a serious journalistic interest in the internet, and how it was increasingly shaping the news agenda.

It created a ‘user-generated agenda’ well ahead of its time, and is missed.

Take a look at the clips below to get an idea of how the show worked:

Setting Up Citizen Journalism

By Alex Dibble

Your role and mine in shaping the world of online media

Since a camera was first added to a mobile phone, citizen journalism has come alive. A story without an image is much less of a story (at least in the eyes of online media organisations) than a story accompanied by visuals.

And so with a mobile, Joe Bloggs suddenly had the potential to generate online news content.

Stephen Jio is the eBusiness Programme Manager at Dell, and says that “no discussion about citizen journalism can happen without talking about the photo taken by Janis Krums on the 15th January 2009.”

On that date a US Airways airliner crash-landed in the Hudson, with all passengers and crew surviving. Krums happened to be crossing the river on a ferry, and took this photo.

The image has come to all but represent the new media phenomenon. If you search ‘citizen journalism’ on Google images, it’s right at the top.

Within 24 hours it had been viewed more than 40,000 times. More importantly, it was used by news media around the world. It couldn’t have been a better shot.

While that’s a fantastic photo, we’re here to uncover the role of video in online journalism.

Smart-phones have made citizen journalism incredibly easy from a video point of view: get your phone out, record something and upload it. All in a matter of minutes.

The value of this user generated video content will be the subject of future posts.

Log On to Latin America and Watch

By Ross Cullen

How do you explain the Latin American proficiency at using video as an online medium?

Gordon Brown and David Cameron have both tried to tap into YouTube as a way of engaging a new range of supporters. Yet it is only really around election time that there is any focus on their efforts.

The story is different in Latin America. Felipe Calderon, the Mexican president, has addressed the nation many times, most recently as a plea to bear with his policy towards the drugs gangs, and he knows that the televised content would be uploaded in video format online immediately.

After his televised addresses, the soap operas come back on and television audiences move on. But by not trying to stop his speeches appearing online in videos he ensures that the content is viewed many more times over an infinite time period. Online broadcasting is a free-flowing medium allowing users to engage with content as and when they want, without time restrictions.

Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan premier, has fine-tuned this technique. He has a popular Twitter account (@chavezcandanga), just like Calderon (@FelipeCalderon). He has a regular television show ‘Alo Presidente’. His is an online, modern socialism that is developed through online media, particularly edited packages from television appearances published online in video format, through which he likes to grandstand and promote his bombastic, controversial diplomatic opinions. And he knows that this political theatre will be enshrined online.

At the other end of the continent, the Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is another prolific exploiter of the video medium and Twitter user (@CFKArgentina). She knows that a speech delivered looking straight into the camera speaks directly to the online community and has her own YouTube account.

The Latin American politicians have recognised that there is constant global traffic online. They understand the transience of television and the breadth and openness of video content when it is viewed online. Viewers (and potential voters) do not have to tune in to a certain channel at a specified time to watch. They can view on the move; they can view 6 months later. They can also listen to the content and browse other websites while the content plays out.

The mobile and fast-growing market of Latin America welcomes forward-thinking developments with which it can engage. The politicians have seen this and adopted video online as a continuous and open platform to project their politics and they continue to adapt as the medium itself changes.

Source – Video One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyQ_9AHpsr8&feature=relmfu

Source – Video Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnvsT5IymHA