Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Connectivity In The Modern Age....

Today is a day when i feel that my side of the news industry is a dinosaur, lumbering behind a sprightly pack of smaller, lightweight creatures and sharper teeth. As a TV News Cameraman, i am still lumbered with a camera the size of a truck battery, and just as heavy. Whilst my counterparts in the print and web news skip around me with lightweight digital cameras, i unlock the tripod legs and snap my camera into place, giving my shoulder a well earned rest.

The lumbering beast...

By the time i have my pictures on tape, neatly boxed and ready to be shipped out to the studio, the photographers have snapped their pictures, loaded them into their Macs, edited them and filed them to their respective papers. Pictures start to appear on news websites within minutes of them being taken. By this time, i have boxed up my tape and marked it accordingly, my pictures stuck to tape with nobody to take them to where they need to be.

Sometimes, TV News can be a frustrating business. Yes, i can go live into a bulletin, but not without the help of a satellite truck or at the very least a Bgan unit. Without them, i rely on taking my pictures to the studio myself, thereby leaving the place i need to be, or get someone to pick the tape up from me and take it to the studio. It's frustrating because whilst the news is speeding around the world via the web courtesy of the photographers, my news is still stuck in my sweaty little palms until i can offload it to the studio.

News on it's way...

Upload it to my laptop and 3G it to the studio i hear you say. Well, i would, but where i am today, the 3G signal is weak to non existent. Even the photographers are on the edge of being able to send a single JPeg let alone 30 to 40 seconds of Broadcast quality video. So i wait. And i suspect i will still be waiting in a few years time until this country wakes up and sorts out good 3G internet connections for the rural parts of this country, at a speed that can cope with the modern digital data that is in every day usage right now.  Until then, the TV News has to wait for a courier.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter

www.media-attention.co.uk