The Super-Journalist

January 25, 2008 by  
Filed under Broadcast, Journalists, Media, Online, Videos

Vic Ellis - One man bandCan a single journalist really be a one-stop shop for all your online multimedia needs?

I like the thought of that future, but hadn’t been able to wrap my mind around the concept of how the journalist could record audio, video, get some stills and take a few handwritten notes all at the same time.

The picture I had was similar to that of the one-man band – bass drum strapped to back, harmonica brace, foot pedals, cymbals between the knees and a violin for some fast fiddling.

But for Jane Munro, one of the Radio Online producers for the ABC, it’s just part of the job.

‘When I am shooting a video story I use the camera to acquire everything I need to publish on a range of platforms.
‘I extract the audio from the video package, and sometimes broadcast that audio unchanged as a complete radio package. I then extract still images from the video to accompany a text article. That and a compressed version of the video is published on our local website.’

More available from Issue 48 of Inside the ABC

Some journalists can’t wrap their heads around more than asking questions and taking notes. It’s easy enough to set up and leave a small camera on a tripod while you interview someone, or record audio (which many do for personal record anyway), but the problem comes in the production process.

The editing and posting online of content is where more technical skills are needed. Journalists shouldn’t be expected to learn and do these things themselves, but those who can or want to should be given the opportunity, and this is where organisation-wide collaborative systems need to be in place to make it possible.

It requires just a little effort. If a stills photographer has been taking their own camcorder out on jobs years before newspapers – let alone video – went online, it would be unwise of the organisation to not recognise that persons worth, or encourage their efforts.

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