Briggs Chapter 8

March 20, 2012 | 3 Comments

Video is a great way to tell a story because it includes audio and visual elements.  It makes it possible to present actual footage from the event of interest or related footage while simultaneously providing audio and/or text narration.

It is becoming increasingly important for well-rounded journalists to possess at least basic video shooting and editing skills.  Video technology has progressed so much in the past decade or two that a single well-equipped person can do what used to take an entire crew and a truckful of equipment.

Producing a good video doesn’t even require a ton of gear.  Since video has become such a ubiquitous medium, the expectations of the audience have decreased.  More often than not, a video of lower production quality but covering an interesting story well will do better than a well-produced video on a story of lesser interest.

A decent video can be created using only a smartphone.  However, if the journalist has time to plan ahead, it is recommended that the journalist take a few small steps to ensure that the video carries the story as effectively as possible.

Stand-alone cameras will improve the quality of video, but they are by no means necessary to catch decent footage.  Many point-and-shoot cameras and DSLRs have video capture abilities, and often produce very good videos.

Sound is critical in videos, so investing in a shotgun microphone or similar external device is worthwhile.  Dedicated audio capture devices ensure that you only capture the sound you want in your video, as opposed to capturing sound mixed with unwanted backround noise, which is usually the case with built-in microphones.

When shooting, avoid panning and zooming if possible.  Mix up the types of shots used to make the video more visually interesting. Once the video is captured, edit it in a way that makes the video as streamlined as possible.  Videos should be short to maintain the attention of the audience.

The final step in the video process is uploading the video.  YouTube is a popular video hosting site, and videos from YouTube can be embedded across a vast array of web-building platforms.  However, there are many different video hosting sites, many of which have unique benefits and capabilities.


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