For all of you who are critical of the whole point-and-shoot-for-reporters ethos, Davin McHenry, web editor for The Bakersfield Californian, has issued a challenge.
Using a point-and-shoot camera and free video editing software, I bet my people could produce a video that would get as many views on an online video site like YouTube as something produced with a $1,000 camera and video editing software to match. Assuming the content is the same.
I don’t know why he picks the $1,000 price point. I’m not sure price point is relevant. I think it’s more about a 3-chip solution against a P&S. I think you could set the price point at $6,000 (including accessories), or even higher if you want to allow for even better audio equipment and pricy tripod.
The matter of subject matter is tricky. It would need to be a subject that both reporting teams would be able to cover locally, but not dependent on the luck of finding a really compelling source or interview subject.
I would suggest that if anybody takes up Davin’s channel, somebody set up a YouTube user account of something like “videochallenge,” and the challenge videos be uploaded at essentially the same time to that account. No outside promotion (except for us bloggers talking about it), and see what happens. To declare a winner, it would have to be a clear winner — where one video just dominates. I think the challenge could be opened to multiple contestants (which would probably provide a better statistical sample, especially if other newspapers besides Bakersfield submitted P&S entrants … I’m sure there would be no shortage of possible 3ccd contenders).
Also read Davin’s comments on this post.