It's often tough to describe the difference between a TV news report and a videojournalism story. Because of the different demands of each medium -- both the way that the video is shot and edited, and the way that it's experienced by their respective audiences -- it's rare that they even cover the same subjects.
However, when a TV reporter and a videojournalist do happen to cross paths, it's illuminating to watch how they each handle their assignments.
Such is the case with this story about a retreat for wounded war veterans, which was covered both by Spokesman-Review multimedia staffers and a TV news reporter for Spokane's KXLY TV news. The videos appear on their respective Websites. The newspaper version is a bit more than twice as long.
Spokesman.com videojournalist Colin Mulvany noted other differences on his Mastering Multimedia blog:
My most recent project “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon,” is yet another collaboration with Spokesman-Review reporter Kevin Graman. We spent a couple of days at a retreat for local wounded war veterans.Tell us, what differences do you perceive between the two styles? Which do you prefer?
Local TV news (KXLY) showed up just after we did. They grabbed a few interviews, shot some b-roll and were gone in 30 minutes. We stayed 48 hours and shot a dozen interviews. When I watched the TV version of the story, I was actually impressed.
They defined the story quickly, gave viewers the pertinent information with context from the injured soldiers. The writing was brisk, and snappy. But as I sit here seven days later, I have not much recollection of their story. It didn’t really stick with me.
I think the narrative, from both the veterans and the reporter voiceover in my video, go much deeper. I tried to keep the pace moving by editing in strong sequences of action between the talking heads. In the end, I can’t say my edit is any better. It’s just a different way to tell the same story.
The TV News version:
"Local veterans getting much needed retreat: The transition back from the battlefield for veterans is by no means a walk in the park, but for one week some local veterans are given a chance to try and put their bad thoughts behind them. KXLY4's Dave Erickson reports." (1:58)
The Videojournalism version:
"Beyond the Yellow Ribbon: The Veterans Outreach Center and the Spokane Valley Fire Department bring 20 severely wounded combat veterans together to share their experiences during four days of healing at the Pinelow Retreat Center in Deer Lake, Washington." (4:15)