Catch up post: Tripods, multimedia and more

As I said yesterday, it’s been busy at Dickinson mansions so I’m catching up on reading as much as anything else at the moment. Here is some of what has caught my eye: (cue Journerdism style long post)

Ian Reeves continues to entertain with his Vlog on all things video journalism

More cams on the street

Howard Owens posted about his companies video roll-out. I look forward to seeing the fruits of that one but a comment by Tish Gier that “There’s interesting things going on in the UK, but some is, perhaps, an over-reaction and a tad neurotic….” raised my eyebrow a little. Interesting, yes. Neurotic, I’m not sure how. Maybe she means that we aren’t doing the all out beating of chests and hand wringing that oranisations in the states are doing. Who knows.

Tripod’s – use ’em if you got ’em

The newspaper video group is usually gripped by one or two ‘for and against’ style arguments at any one time and one of the current ones is about the use of tripods. It was kicked off by Michael Rosenblum who continues the thread on his blog. It’s clear from his post that rather than having a pop at tripods, which he concedes are one of those things to be used when appropriate, he is saying that tripods represent a TV structure. For Rosenblum, hand-held represents a photographic approach and Rosenblum believes that this is inherently superior.

Despite the fact that it is largely a visual medium, television has not entered the realm of art and power of image that photojournalism carved out for itself. Despite airing 24 hours a day on hundreds of channels globally for half a century, we have no Capa of television journalism, no Cartier Bresson, no Sebastao Salgado.

That is a tragedy.

As newspapers move into online video, they can embrace the traditions of photojournalism – or they can embrace the traditions of television.

Let us hope they move toward the former….

Let us hope they do neither Micheal. Aligning the use of tripods with a fundamentalist view of what video on the web should be is a pretty shaky premise. If only photography where that clear cut. Let online video develop and don’t confuse technology and technique. Or do we need to restart the debate about b+w vs. colour or film Vs. digital for stills shooters?

Angela Grant takes Micheal to task over his idealogical objections and generates some interesting comments in the meantime. Jim Long picks up from a TV camera point of view and Cyndy Green also has a nice post about tripods, picking up on what was said on the list
Multimedia writing

In other parts of the web, I came across a very interesting site from Dave Brewer. Once of BBC news, then of CNN and now a media consultant. Amongst the interesting stuff on his pages is a MultiPlatform authoring tutorial. It would take a while to explain so go and have a go.

A lot of Dave’s work seems to be in helping establish media skills in emerging democracies and in a similar vein Dave is also involved in a site called Media Helping Media :

Media Helping Media (MHM) has been set up to provide a platform for those involved in establishing independent media in transition states, post-conflict countries and areas where freedom of expression and media freedom is under threat.

Well worth a look.

It was set up in conjunction with a guy called Bob Eggington. Amongst other stuff Bob helped set up BBC news online. He was also the external adviser on our MA Online Journalism for a number of years. A thoroughly decent fella he was too. In that freaky way that the web seems to work Bob is in the chair for the 6th Journalism Leaders Forum at the University.

Radio and Multimedia

Mike Mullane at Multimediameetsradio continues to ponder how all this new media impacts on Radio with his 10 ideas for a successful multimedia strategy

Student Blog

Last but not least a heads up to Megan Taylor who popped up in my technorati list the other day. Megan has a great site which is an example of how trainee journalists are embracing this stuff in a thoughtful and exciting way.

7 Replies to “Catch up post: Tripods, multimedia and more”

  1. Andy,
    It is almost impossible to separate technology from technique, for it is technology that drives and/or limits technique. The web itself is a product of technology. The trick is to look at the technology and see what IT can do, instead of jamming old ways of working and thinking into new technologies. I am all for letting a thousand flowers bloom, but we have to clear the weeds first.

  2. I think you can, and we must, separate technology from technique if we want more than a polarised debate.

    There are all kinds of discussions that we can get in to about the relative merits of video over stills – what about the ethical impact of cutting out the before an after of an event and the re-creation of reality within a single frame. All of that discussion can be divorced from technology, as much as a tripod is technology, and would be a lot more interesting.

    You can’t attack the lack of ‘art’ in video by using the tripod. It’s like trying to argue that a photograph is better at capturing an emotion than video because it has a better relative vertical resolution.

    So I’m not sure a tripod is a weed in the video garden but i get your point. I agree that we should explore every angle and look for new ideas. However, looking at your post, you could be accused of “jamming old ways of working and thinking into new technologies” by citing photojournalism as a benchmark.

    I’m not saying that photojournalism isn’t a good benchmark. It just seems a pretty reductionist argument.

    Photography = good, video = bad. Tripods are used a lot in video therefore Tripods are bad . QED

    Surely life, and art, is more complex than that.

  3. Hi Andy…just saw the trackback to this on Howard Owen’s blog and thought I’d stop by and clarify what I meant by “neurotic”…

    Granted, we in the U.S. do a boatload of handwringing and hemming-and-hawing. That’s more anxiety than neurosis.

    By the U.K.’s neurosis, I mean the mogul (I wish I could remember his name) who declaired that the news had to be interactive on a 24/7 basis, with podcasts and video and mobile and everything all the time (although those things aren’t interactive as much as uses of new technology to shove more content at people.) As I recall, there was a giant groan of exasperation (heard clearly on over how much one reporter or understaffed newsroom would have to do in one day (remember: there’s been huge newsroom cuts over in the U.K. as in the U.S.)

    Sometime the hurry-scurried “we should have done it yesterday!” attitude of some folks is just a kind of neurosis–borne out of fear that they’re losing out not because there isn’t enough news in different formats, but that the news they’re putting out is just a load of info-tainment.

    Hope that clarifies it 🙂

  4. Thanks Tish. It does.

    I agree that the actions of the ‘should have done it yesterday’ brigade have put stresses on the newsroom. Some may take a different view and say that it’s resulted in the biggest investment in to newsrooms in the last 10 years – I know that’s not starting from a high base, but you get my drift.

    The general neurosis in journalism tends to be the attitude that when an executive jumps (often from the surprise of reality sneaking up on them) the feeling is that journalists feel the aftershock of then landing. Whats positive is that the journalists that I have come in to contact with (and I will have finished training 100 in video by the end of this month with more to go) are not neurotic. The are very positive about the potential for their careers.

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