Hooray for video journalism!

It is OK to use a tripod just as it’s OK to not use one. Video journalists have the best job in the newsroom, Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon said in my “Video Journalism for the Web” workshop this afternoon. We get to cover anything and everything we want. And we are not glued into a beat. Video journalists are also not limited to real estate (inches in a paper). Online, you’re just limited to attention span and can tell a pretty solid story in three or four minutes.

Video should not be the video version of a story, nor should it be a “sidebar” to a print story (the article should be a sidebar to the video!). Video should be something completely different, and probably by another reporter – let them tell the story from their own angle. The more you edit, the better shooter you become and you begin to have a template in your mind of what you need to shoot to complete the story.

A few other notes:

  • You can shoot with a still camera just like you would shoot video. Collect audio, runs the stills over it, and it makes for one heck of a cool piece.
  • The number of video views depends on placement rather than content.
  • Video is the cool thing right now, but it won’t always be.
  • Demo, don’t Memo – show what new stuff you want to try rather than explain it.
  • Be happy when you screw up – you’ll learn from it.

One really funny thing Sanhueza-Lyon said was the difference between Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express: about $1,000. Also, Final Cut Pro is a little sexier.

~Ashley Barnas


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