Sunday, 28 July 2013

Local News Videos Blaze Internet Trail.

Here, deep in the bowels of the ukcameraman institute of TV news studies, we are always on the lookout for evidence that video news from the Internet is about to ruin the careers of us TV news cameramen and broadcast TV journalism. That, and good locations for a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea... And cake.

Newspaper video news... produced on a shoestring... and elbows.

Time and again, we are told that video news will migrate to the Internet and that local TV news is doomed on the telly box, to be replaced by the jack of all trades, the internet Video Journalist, IPhones and news websites.

Now don't get me wrong, there are a lot of good quality VJ's out there for the nationals doing some good quality work, and is worth watching. They are however, few and far between and are being horribly let down by the dross that passes for video news in many newspapers around the country, local and national. I know that video is produced on a shoestring budget, and is still an afterthought for many newspaper publishers, but it doesn't take a lot to improve the quality ten fold.

What i'm saying is, if you are going to do it... Do it properly, ramp up the quality and produce video that we want to watch.

I really don't think that we, as TV news cameramen and women in broadcast news have much to worry about. For example, I came across the scene above a few days ago. Having filmed my tv news piece using camera, tripod, mic's and making good use of natural light and a sweeping backdrop of a top class venue, the local paper took over...

I wanted to say something as I watched. This wasn't a fast moving, breaking story. They had time to set up... Where's your tripod and microphone..? Did you get any useful cutaways of what happened as you were waiting your turn? If you turn your interviewee around there is a wonderful backdrop to your interview... and to help you, the sun won't be behind him. I bit my lip...

No, what I actually did was giggle and let him get on with it. Nothing to do with me Guv'nor... So I checked it out online a few days later, to see if the Internet competition is blazing a trail on the video news front.

Judging by the (cough) millions of views on their YouTube channel, it looks like its got nothing to do with their readership either. 4:3 aspect ratio and cutaways of wall posters..? As for the crisp clear sound, I was hooked on every word that I didn't hear.

Ahh well... I think we TV news bods have a few more years on the road yet, before us cameramen are sucked into a world of page rankings, video hits and buffering. At least it hasn't got my name written all over it. Oh, and whatever you do, don't search the Internet for 'Cameraman' 'Sucked' and 'Ranking'... The results will not be news related. I tried... And now the Missus thinks i'm a pervert and won't talk to me.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.