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.
Sounds great. I hope there’s a similar central Illinois project in the works.
What’s your plan for how all that video gets edited?
Depends … much of it is just quick splice stuff that can be done quickly and easily in iMovie or MovieMaker and reporters or their editors will do it (it could also be spliced in the onboard camera editor). For more complicated stuff, we have multimedia editors.
yep, I think you *are* the first in the U.S. to give out vidcams. Some local UK papers have tried it. There’s interesting things going on in the UK, but some is, perhaps, an over-reaction and a tad neurotic….
I like your approach of just pay attention and understand. Once you get past the basics, that’s really the only way to learn anything
(p.s.–nice meeting you at NENF and getting the chance to compare notes :-) )
[…] Howard Owens posted about his companies video roll-out. I look forward to seeing the fruits of that one but a comment by Tish Gier that “Thereâ€™s interesting things going on in the UK, but some is, perhaps, an over-reaction and a tad neuroticâ€¦.” raised my eyebrow a little. Interesting, yes. Neurotic, I’m not sure how. Maybe she means that we aren’t doing the all out beating of chests and hand wringing that oranisations in the states are doing. Who knows. […]
[…] According to Howard Owens in his blog Gatehouse Media has issued 123 reporters in their New England papers small point and shoot cameras with video capability. “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. […]
Congrats. I know you’ve been talking about how newspapers should hand out cameras on this blog for some time… I don’t know why some people still have to cry about editing. If it’s a great story, the reporter is going to want to see that video in the click stream… and they’re going to be damn glad they had the camera on them.