4G auction means a step closer to quicker uploads

31 03 2011

Ofcom has announced that the 4G auction, is expected to start in the first few months 2012.

4G capability should enable mobile networks to provide connections that are approximately 25 times faster than the average home broadband connection. The 4G auction is expected to be the largest ever, with Ofcom aiming to sell the equivalent of three quarters of the mobile network spectrum in use today.

For video journalists, the prospect of 4G means quicker uploads, so breaking news stories can be disseminated to the public almost instantly.  In theory, this means that you will be able to break a story faster than the news wire, which is pretty exciting stuff.

The competition lies between the main mobile network operators: Vodafone, O2, Three and Everything Everywhere), Ofcom plans to auction off the 4G network in five parts and limit the amount of bandwidth spectrum (Spectrum refers to the airwaves over which support wireless communication) any one bidder can win.

The UK, still on 3G, is behind the US, Sweden and Germany, who have already started using 4G.

Sarah Stewart


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: becomingyoutubestars@google.com

Sarah Stewart

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


7 tips for video journalism success

30 03 2011

By Richard Dodwell

In a world of mass media, it is often difficult to grasp the basics. Outtake TV is a prime example of video journalism gone wrong. Here we help you to better prepare yourself before, during and after shooting your video to avoid any accidents.

  1. Master the art of the interview. – Tricky, we know. But sometimes just listening to everything your interviewee says is the key to producing a fantastic piece of video journalism. Look out for key points, topical pegs and anything else that may drive your story through the narrative.
  2. Learn your narrative. And keep it. – Editing a piece of footage for publication, or to share on the internet, can be a time-consuming business if you lose your narrative. That is, the story or thread to your piece of journalism. By knowing which direction you want your story to go – you are more likely to pick up on the best points and visuals that will highlight the point, or world view, you are trying to share with the world.
  3. Ask but don’t tell. – Asking questions of interviewees or in a rhetorical fashion to accompany a GV (general view or shot) is fine. But don’t feel the need to tell your viewer what they are seeing. Unless they are blind, they are most likely to be able to get what they should from the visuals themselves. This is a much more powerful way of telling the same story.
  4. Learn from the experts. – Pick your favourite video journalist and try to gauge exactly how they make their films so engaging. What angles do they chose? How many sequences are there? What colours do you see? What is this person in the shot telling me? Burma VJ‘s Anders Østergaard is a very good example to learn from.
  5. Perspectives are the key. – The most powerful video journalism often involves a wide variety of perspectives. Whether the majority of voices in your video are on one side or the other, the variety of tone, sound and language can really diversify your piece – not only validating your story but showing your passion for human interest.
  6. Learn to communicate on group projects. – Often when out on a shoot with more than one person, it can be difficult for a video journalist to exercise their true creativity when they feel pressured by a weary accomplice or scrutinising teammate. Communication is one good way to resolve this and ensure greater efficiency and general wellbeing.
  7. Have fun. – Video journalism should involve a good amount of enthusiasm and passion. Even in the most dire consequences your reasoning for being present and filming should remain genuine and compassionate. You must also learn to have fun, as this can come across well in video journalism – causing your creative flair to further release itself and ensure audiences are gripped by your craftily sought-out footage.

We appreciate feedback on any of our practical tips. Or if you just want to communicate with us then you can contact us on Twitter at World_VJ.

Are DIY video journalists making the professionals redundant?

30 03 2011

With the general public becoming more and more key to providing footage for news stories online, or even on TV we have to ask ourselves are we in danger of losing professionalism, and reliability in news stories.

As not only blogs begin to make their way in to main stream news, but home captured films, such as those in natural disasters, become headline stories, are we at risk of putting business professional photographers and cameramen out of work?

Some may cry that perhaps our license fee should not be going towards these if they are no longer needed. But does this mean we will begin to lose perspective and balanced arguments in a story?

When the composer Ronnie Hazlehurst died, a few years ago, within hours many respected news sites were claiming he had written a song for S Club 7, based purely on his Wikipedia page. When it became obvious this was untrue, the research, or lack of, by many respected journalists became apparent.

Freedom of speech is a great thing, but we must do our best to ensure that our research doesn’t become lax or sloppy.

Sarah Stewart

Canon in D…a lust-have for the budding video journalist

30 03 2011

The newest Canon D series provide a perfect opportunity for budding photo and video journalists.

With the HD capture for film, and the high quality pictures these cameras can take anyone can suddenly become a video journalist.

Previously, where it may have been difficult to bring in proper filming equipment, you can now use a standard SLR camera and capture High Definition video in the palm of your hand.

This camera has a wide range of lenses to use and very easy to grasp controls. Its quality is outstanding and it has been used for a number of successful short films.

It is becoming more and more obvious that anybody with a journalistic flare can begin to become a video journalist.

Check out the latest models here

Sarah Stewart

Video Journalism Courses…money well spent?

29 03 2011

New York magazine has announced that it will unite with  partnered with video Rosenblum TV journalism training and consulting company to launch its Video Academy, offering a course to aspiring video journalists in the US.

At $995 (£621.53) it’s not a cheap weekend’s training, but following the success of other video academies established in the city by Rosenblum TV founder Michael Rosenblum, students will be able to study with filmmaking and video production experts.  The final video projects produced will be showcased on nymag.com.

London offers a similar training course for video journalists. The Frontline Club promote a 5 day course in Final Cut Pro for £735 with a discounted rate for freelancers at £580.

Neither the Frontline Club nor the Rosenblum TV weekend training school offer a formal qualification at the end, so we’re left to wonder if an aspiring video journalist, with access to even the most basic filming equipment, could manange to gain the skills necessary to create and distribute a high quality piece of video journalism without shelling out a month’s rent.

We think it’s possible. It’s always nice to have someone in the industry to guide you along and point out the pitfalls and perils of video journalism, but it IS possible to go it alone, especially  in the face of areas we’ve run into difficulty with. For example, getting to grips with Final Cut Pro- there is some amazingly clear advice out there. Well, here, actually.

Sarah Stewart