French news

In Uncategorized on April 24, 2009 at 8:53 AM

This is an interesting piece by Nicolas Weinberg of Radio-Canada. He thinks reporters should gather two sets of information–he puts them on a first and second level basis–while writing event driven stories. The first level would be the factual story about some news conference, fire, election, whatever. The second story would be driven by the journalists experiences pre or post event–did they meet an interesting person who has a new perspective on the event, did they see protesters outside the conference room? These situations, he says, can lead to what he calls “videodocuments” that can supplement the story.

My take: This only works if the reporter covering the event is creative. Often print reporters don’t think with video in mind. And boring videos do not work. I think the videos would also have to run somewhere around 90 seconds–anything longer and you’ll lose the online audience. Also, not all consumers want some weird, “organic” (that’s how the Canadian describes the “videodocuments”) video. It has to have some sort of journalistic value. It has to add something salient to the story. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time.

  1. Hi Britanny,

    I totally agree with you. The reporter has to be creative, and skilled. A video reporter needs a little training if he wants to write a story (with words), otherwise the chances the story has to be dull are great. And people won’t read it. The same is true for a newspaper or web editor who wants to write a story with images and/or video and sound.

    But I believe that if you’re a true, good journalist, you stay a true, good journalist wathever the tools you use to create your story. Juste learn to use the tool, and do it.

    About “organic” vidodocuments… it may be organic and journalistic, not necessarily “weird”. If it’s weird (for the public), it’s a failure.

    Any isolated data may have a journalistic value, but this value is often wasted, because of data invisibility. It’s up to you to make use of it. To do that, you have to be aware of the isolated journalistic value of isolated data then, put all that in perspective to make your story. That’s my vision of “organic” journalism.

    Organic journalism is a kind of intellectual posture that allows you to take into consideration informations that the classisal “Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How” usually neglects.

    Of course, you can write a dull organic story as you can write a dull paper.

    No matter the tools. Tools do not think. The journalist does!

    Cheers !


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