Newspaper video:Fear and loathing

My post on Mark Comerfords comments about fear and problems with a lack of digital illiteracy prompted a number of comments

Robb Mongomery posted a scary bunch of questions that he asks news executives:

Is your IT department under editorial control? Why not?
Has you boss ever blogged?, or hand-coded anything in HTML?
Have they ever posted a photo on Flickr, mixed multi-track audio or edited news video?
Does it feel like your paper’s IT department has turned off the most vital parts of the internet and are filtering your access as digital reporters and editors?
How are you going to transform into multi-platform news operationsd if you are a journalist working in a newsroom that can’t even use the internet as well as your readers and users can at their home?

These strike me as a bit like *Ryan Sholin’s requirements for new journalists looking for a job in this changing world – scary if they actually have to do all of them but even if they just know what you are on a bout they are a good indicator of the digital literacy

But David Berman from the Corydon advertiser commented that it wasn’t just MD’s that had issues with the new media

It strikes me that any working photographer who is not at least looking at learning how to shoot video is going to shortly be out of a job.

This keys in to a post by Richard Hernandez at Multimedia shooter where he makes a desperate plea to photographers to engage in more direct way as a response to a piece by Preserving our Vision by David Leeson,of the Dallas Morning News

Let’s grab this opportunity to be risky and take chances. My desperate plea to all of us is to experiment. So what if we fail. Now is the time to fail. We have the power right now to show the industry how we want to tell stories. And we better hurry.

You need to read Richard’s post for the whole context and the excellent comments that follow. He ends his post with his idea of where thing should

Finally, my only direction or advice for the way I’d like to see our industry grow and flourish is to follow the cinematic approach over the broadcast model. When I say cinematic, I don’t just mean just video. Well told stories have no boundaries. Who cares if it’s video, stills or an HD frame grab? If it touches my heart, mind and soul, like the work of many who came before me– photojournalists, photographers, artists, film-makers, whatever you want to call them– then who cares what “brush” we use to paint the picture?

That’s an interesting one for me. To distinguish between broadcast and cinema along the lines of creativity seems a little artificial; as if broadcast video is set with all kinds of restrictions and boundaries and cinema isn’t. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the idea that ‘cinema’ is somehow higher up the creative food chain in that way. But I think I know what he means. Let’s just tell stories that are worth telling, regardless of how.

It’s true , the web is a different medium and means we can do things in different ways. Richard is right, we should be thinking of this stuff regardless of how.

Perhaps that why some people are finding this multimedia thing so hard to approach. Maybe we mix up too much of this new technology stuff , creating a mess of possibilities, instead of working out what it is we want to do.

Maybe a lot of MD’s and Photogs have stayed away this long because it’s only know that they can see some clarity in our thinking. Mellissa Wordon commenting on Richards plea, highlights this thinks about how far we have come

As we continue to develop audio, video, google maps and databases and then figure out how to best interweave them into a story, I truly think we’re sitting on the tipping point where soon we’ll be able to look back and see how far we’ve come in creating multimedia.

Changed this after Mellisa’s comment  It worries me a little that we are developing, or letting develop around us, all this technology and then figuring out how best to ‘weave them in to a story’. I’m aware that I’m as guilty of this sometimes.

We have come a long way, but maybe not all of us. Those of us embedded in this stuff need to be careful that in developing, or letting develop around us, all this technology that we leave figuring out how best to ‘weave them in to a story’ till later. I’m aware that I’m as guilty of this sometimes.
From, time to time, I forget that most important of rules in journalism – know the audience. In getting excited about all the possibilities, in building a tidal wave of technology to tipping point that we hope to ride to multimedia heaven, perhaps we miss the fundamentals, fundamentals that are all people recognize in this fast changing environment,  and generate fear in the process.

*This is the second time I have said that Ryan’s comments are scary. Doesnt mean I don’t think that they are really important or essential to the debate.

4 Replies to “Newspaper video:Fear and loathing”

  1. It worries me a little that we are developing, or letting develop around us, all this technology and then figuring out how best to ‘weave them in to a story’. I’m aware that I’m as guilty of this sometimes.

    That’s not what I meant, although I see how you could take it that way. I think it was a misplaced “then.”

    The point I was trying to make actually is in agreement with what you’re saying: As we continue to experiment with the technologies we need to concentrate on the storytelling. I think the rest of my post supports that. (I’m going to go back and edit that word right now to more accurately describe what I meant.)

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