As far as I know, GateHouse Media just became the first US media company to hand out more than 100 video cameras to news staffers in one pass.
Today, our team completed the first round of a project to arm news reporters at the GateHouse Media New England papers (more than 100 newspapers in and around Boston) with Casio Exilim point and shoot cameras. We did nine training sessions in two days at which we handed out 117 cameras (we handed out five test cameras a month ago, making the total 123 in the group).
For the most part, the staffers were curious and eager to get started. It will be interesting to see how this project evolves. The training was not about setting hard and fast rules about the style or kind of video reporters should produce, but more to help them avoid some of the pitfalls of untrained P&S video.
The training covered issues around audio and lighting (what to avoid and the limitations of P&S) and some pointers on framing and composition. We also included a bit of this Ira Glass video and offered some suggestions on how to improve. Individually and collectively, we want to get better, but the only way we get better is to do, to pay attention and to understand.
This is just a start. It is a place to start.
I should also mention, as part of the New England video project, we are also supplying the photo staff with a number of the Canon XH-A1 camera kits. That’s still a work in progress.