Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Videojournalism Lessons Worth Sharing

Wonder what they're teaching the kids these days about videojournalism?

Greg Linch, recent University of Miami grad, now interning at the Dallas Morning News, strikes us as an ambitious and accomplished videojournalist-in-training.

He shares VJ lessons he's picked up along the way from notable practitioners on his blog, The Linchpen, as a bulletpointed "brain dump."

While we don't necessarily agree with all his advice, most tips are well observed, and at least serve as jumping off points for discussions about establishing protocols and standards for this ever evolving field.

Here's a sample, which you'll notice doesn't suffer from stuffy academese:

* The story rules. If it's all pretty pictures, make me a slideshow.

* Ditch standups. I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to hear you. I’m watching your video because I care about the subject — not you. Sorry.

* On that note, I don’t really want to see them talking either. More so if it’s just them sitting in a chair, in a boring office, with their boring talking head. The less talking head, the better. If I only see a talking head once, I’m happy.

* There’s a saying that audio is 70 percent of video. Most people are more forgiving if the visuals aren’t great, but if the audio sucks, they’re probably saying see ya. I can’t emphasize audio enough.

* Headphones. Always. It shouldn’t even need to be on here. And they’re not your be-all-end-all. The audio meter to see levels is your bestest friend in the whole wide world.

*Story. Just wanted to make sure you remembered.
... and our personal favorites:

* There’s no magic. It’s not something you’re born with. It’s almost all skills you can learn with practice.

* You’re doing an important job. Keep at it and kick butt.
So thanks and kudos to Greg, as we wish him well and look forward to following the next chapter of his career, starting this fall as a producer at Publish 2, an online collaborative journalism experiment that itself deserves watching.

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