Posted on September 24, 2008
What is your strategy for video?
I get excited when my RSS reader tells me Colin Mulvany, of The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Washington, has put up a new blog post. Colin has taught me a lot about visual storytelling through his online work and his blogs. This new post is particularly good, because he tackles the quality vs. quantity debate about news video online.
I especially like his list of 10 questions, the first two of which are:
- What is the overall vision for video in your newsroom?
- Why are you doing video in the first place?
Moreover, I’d like to throw in my two cents. It seems sensible that you, as a newsroom manager, would want to be able to send a skilled videographer out to the highway to shoot images of a burning truck that stopped traffic across four lanes. It is breaking news, and a lot of people would like to watch it. You’d want her to bring it back fast, edit it fast, get it up on the home page fast.
That video might not be big on storytelling or artistic merit, but it serves a distinct purpose that is valued in journalism. In other words, it might not be high quality, but you made some tradeoffs for speed.
My question — to add to Colin’s list — is, Do you really want ALL your video to look like that, and to lack strong storytelling?
Because 90 percent of journalism is NOT breaking news.