Another date for the diary

31 03 2011

Getting lots of hits to your video uploads is easier said than done. You might have created a masterpiece of video journalism, but you’re not sure what to do with it to maximise it’s effect. But help is at hand!

If you want to be part of the new wave of online creators and if you want to discover how to successfully create, distribute and earn money from your videos on YouTube, the following event is for you.

The first ever European YouTube Partnerships event dedicated to producers, directors, writers, artists, video and media professionals of the future is coming up and it promises to provide some valuable advice and tips to make you and your videos stand out and even make cash by sharing advertising revenue.

YouTube, in partnership with British Film Institute (BFI), on 14th April, are holding a “Becoming YouTube Stars” event at Ravensbourne College.

Spaces are strictly limited so you’ll need register.

If you have any questions, contact:

Sarah Stewart


Industry tips #5 – Voices of Africa mobile video journalism (part 2)

31 03 2011

By Dale Sean McEwan

Kampala: co-wives fight, public watches.

Kampala: man slips and dies.

Kampala: man punches wife live on mobile.

Voices of Africa

Big fat protest

31 03 2011

Jes Wilkins holds his hands up to tough questioning from the Gypsies and Travellers

Gypsy activists gave Firecracker, the makers of the hit channel 4 TV series ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Weddings,’ a big fat suprise at a Royal Television event on Wednesday night (30th March).

Incensed by the increase in discrimination and racism that they say is a direct result of the series, Gypsies and Travellers, lead byTravellers Times editor Jake Bowers, booked tickets for the ‘production focus’ seminar given Executive Producer, Jes Wilkins for Firecracker Films.

Gypsy and Travellers Times Editor questions Jes Wilkins

Instead of the more usual audience of TV industry professionals and media students, the Firecracker team had to defend their methodology, their claim that the TV series is a ‘cutting edge documentary’ , and the ethics behind making a sensationalist and salacious series on an ethnic minority that already suffers from wide-spread discrimination and racism.

A Gypsy activist confronts the Firecracker team

Myself and Dawn were invited to the event by Jake Bowers, who we came into contact during the making of a short film. Working as a team Dawn wielded the flip camera and I recorded the sound for a later write up for a print article on the event.

Outside we talked to Gypsies and Travellers who had come from all over the country to attend the seminar

By Mike Doherty

The VJ monologues cont…

30 03 2011

By Richard Dodwell








Hi everyone,

I thought in relation to Dale’s previous post you would be interested in the above 2009 graphic which, according to the Guardian newspaper in which it featured, shows that ‘In Africa, mobile phone penetration is higher than electricity penetration.’

This struck me as interesting, particularly as internet penetration is so low for the continent. We in the UK and the west rely so heavily on our mobile phones for casual conversations and text messages, yet in the developing world they play a pivotal role in the dissemination of news and stories. Is it our endless rules and regulations that prohibit a new wave of citizen journalism? And who may have an invested interest in these rules?

The following is a really nice video that demonstrates the role of the mobile in Africa (something we can all learn from):

Hello Africa from UZI FILM on Vimeo. 

<p><a href=”″>Hello Africa</a> from <a href=”″>UZI FILM</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Industry tips #4 – Voices of Africa mobile video journalism (part 1)

30 03 2011

By Dale Sean McEwan

Voices of Africa.

Video: man batters wife live on mobile.

Voices of Africa mobile reporters currently under training.

In mobile phone journalism, Africa is ahead of the west (Guardian article).

Voices of Africa


VJ on the road – are you as prepared as UNICEF?

30 03 2011

By Richard Dodwell

You never know what you may find while driving down the road.

The unexpected is often what makes the best video journalism stand out from the crowd – that fresh insight into a familiar story.

Charities, production companies and news organisations are all taught how best to prepare themselves and save time on uploading footage – but who better to learn from – particularly in developing countries – than UNICEF.

Here we include some of the helpful guidance from Bob Coen, a video producer and global correspondent at UNICEF, the agency of the United Nations which upholds the rights of children around the world.


“I work as a ‘one-man-band’ – shooting, writing, editing, and transmitting my stories on the road via FTP to UNICEF headquarters. The videos are also made available to international broadcasters and news organizations through UNIFEED, the daily satellite news feed from United Nations Headquarters in New York,” Bob commented. “So, the quick turnaround of broadcast quality video from remote and difficult locations is an essential part of what I do.”

“I shoot primarily to AVCHD files with a Panasonic Lumix HDSLR camera and edit on a MacBook Pro running Final Cut Pro and Compressor. Most of the time I need to turn around stories quickly, in challenging conditions further complicated by a multi-step post-production workflow and very slow Internet connections in the places I work. Using the Matrox MXO2 Mini with MAX technology helps me save precious time producing my broadcast-quality H.264 encodes.”

“In 2010 I made several trips to cover humanitarian disasters, including the famine in Niger as well as the post-earthquake recovery and the cholera epidemic in Haiti. The unit was especially useful during my most recent trip to Haiti in late 2010. I was typically working 18 to 20 hour days – shooting all day, then spending long hours at night, editing, encoding, and transmitting. Using MXO2 Mini with MAX cut my H.264 encode times by up to 90% compared to when I previously used either Compressor or QuickTime to do it. I was assured of quick, high-quality encodes that also allowed me several extra hours of precious sleep!”

Read the full article here.

Recruiting Citizen Journalists

30 03 2011

I have just got back from citizen journalism workshop at the Crisis Skylight educational project in Aldgate, London on Tuesday 30th March.

In the workshop I taught basic journalism craft skills to a small group of people who use the project. The idea is that we will research a story over the next two days and bring it back on Friday for a ‘press day’ workshop where we will create, with the help of Jamie Thunder – another MA investigative- a ‘newsy’ group blog called the Daily Gorgon.

So what is citizen journalism? For a start British people are subgects, not citizens, so the title is a bit of a misnomer. However, for me it means ‘journalism from below’ as opposed to journalism from the giddy heights of the mass media industry.

This doesn’t mean that journalism craft skills, media law and ethics, and the motive of an enquiry into the truth do not translate to citizen journalism and this was what my workshops are trying to encourage.

Citizen journalists tend to have an advantage over proffessionals who have to work to an editorial and commercial agenda set by the organisation that employs them. The public know this, and this is one of the reasons why professional journalists find it hard to gain the trust of their sources and subjects. Their advantage, of course, is access to a wide audience/readership through the mass media organisation that they are working for.

Two of the Daily Gorgon group are covering a story that I commissioned. On Thursday the Choir With No Name – a choir made up of homeless and ex-homeless people – will be doing a gig in Shoreditch to celebrate their third birthday. I got press passes for two citizen journalists from the Daily Gorgon who are going to write it up as a news blog. I will also be going to get some flip footage for both WVJ and the Daily Gorgon.

The Choir With No Name in action- courtesy of the Choir With No Name.

Hopefully the Daily Gorgon will survive the end of the two workshops and some of the group will continue to write for it, and the next series of workshops in the summer will recruit more citizen journalists. I will use WVJ to help expand the skill base of the Daily Gorgon so that we are a multi-media site. This will take commitment from both myself and the Daily Gorgon journalists.

Like all the best citizen journalism – It will be a labour of Love!

By Mike Doherty