Cheap camera video journalism going mainstream

Ok, so I’m going to show bad form and gloat a bit.

I read this post from Beet.tv this morning with some sense of vindication.

With hand held cameras, video reporting is a natural extension of print reporting and holds great advantage for newspaper publishers, says pioneering news producer Tammy Haddad.

In the world of innovative television news producing, Tammy is at the top. She has produced “Larry King Live,” “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and others. These days, she’s reporting on the presidential campaign as a contributor to Newsweek.com with her small Sanyo video camera.

Newspapers, with legions of print reporters, are positioned to expand in video coverage, Tammy says. The equipment is not expensive . Tammy’s Sanyo costs less than $800. The Flip used by Kara Swisher and CNET News.com’s Dan Farber is under $200.

Last week, we reported that the Washington Post has trained nearly 200 staffers in how to use video cameras.

In the fall of 2005, I handed out point-and-shoot cameras to the Bakersfield Californian newsroom (an idea I stole from Jack Lail). My earliest blog post advocating small-camera video can be found here. Of course, this line of thinking has pissed off a lot of people over the past two or three years. I’ve been called a few names and dismissed as a crank.

For some hint of that, look at this post and this post.

Now you’ve got Newsweek, the Washington Post and even some network TV people, going the cheap camera route.

The party is just getting started.

BTW:  GateHouse Media is approaching some 400 small video cameras in the field.  The results vary (some good video, some bad video, and unfortunately, some “no video”), but we continue to push the effort and are improving and refining our training efforts.

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  • rottenchester

    Of course, this line of thinking has pissed off a lot of people over the past two or three years. I’ve been called a few names and dismissed as a crank.

    Funny that something that’s just taken as obvious by the rest of the world (cheap video is good enough) requires evangelizing in the journalism community.

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