Gyimah on online video journalism

Posted on August 5, 2006 
Filed Under Uncategorized

David Dunkley Gyimah laments on how big media boys muscling into broadband may kill the creative solo producer.

The real risk exists for small producers oxymoronically being ‘crowded out’ of this vast space.

Competition for eyeballs is getting tougher as there are just so many sites for your average netizen to visit. The key to success? Aggregate; build a city like Global Voices or atrophy.

With broadband set to ape television the sad prospect of a digital winter for diversity looms.

That’s if satellite and cable TV’s story in the 90s is anything to go by. There will be more-of-the-same in online content production, rather than an explosion of original material.

He points to the fact, however, that although video on the net has finally reached maturity, but video journalism “has become a pre-pubescent teenager”

“(Video’s) accessibility – youtubeness: taut, short, often sensational pieces – has rekindled interest in video journalism.

“We’ve learned it’s simply not enough now to lift the single source offline product online. Now, a matrix of video clips from non-professionals recording major and minor stories has proved, by the audience it commands, to possess potent news value.

“…We’re stripping the film for the audio podcast, the promo, the viral campaign, the article and the series of still images for the multimedia display.

In short we’re cannibalising an old CNN newsroom adage and updating it: ‘kill what you can eat, no waste!’.”

Gyimah, a senior lecturer and media consultant, and one of the first video journalists in the UK says the quiet revolution is gaining much speed — transforming journos on big regional papers into visual essayists.

“I hope to see more experimenting with video hyperlinking, where users/other journos can attach generated video comments, and video paste into blogs. This, I hope, will lead to more remote reportage where multiple sources create a report that will put an end to the oft-knocked parachute journalism debate.”

He points to Rob Chiu’s film black day to freedom,, Resfest, OnedotZero, and his own creation that demonstrate that the door’s still open for diversity and for creative people to add to the mix.

“We need to realise that vloggers, bloggers, videocasters and mashers are an addition to the news status quo. We need to acknowledge that technologists have become as integral to story telling as traditional scribes.

“Richard Deverell, former BBC Head of New Interactive, once said to me ‘we’re still probably not using the net for anywhere near its use’.

“He’s right, which means there’s still reason to be excited about the future and perhaps that’s where the internet on public space visual interfaces – the outernet -will come into its own.”


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