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June 25, 2005
WKRN-TV Gets It, They Really Get It
Lostremote is reporting from Gnomedex about the future of media and Terry Heaton talks about what WKRN in Nashville is doing (The WKRN-TV 'Breakthrough'). Read the whole thing, but this really caught my attention:
On July 17th, WKRN's chief photographer will host a video workshop for bloggers -- which will become a monthly event. Twenty bloggers or so are signed up to learn tricks of the trade so they can become better photographers.
By the end of the summer, Heaton says WKRN will offer portions of raw news video online that fall under Creative Commons (this is a first for a local TV station). The crowd applauded. "[We're] involving the citizenry of Nashville in producing our news," he said.
Now that is really something. Teaching and sharing. That is the future of news.
Related news also from lostremote, WKRN-TV to Switch to VJs.
The Nashville ABC affiliate is expected to announce on Monday that the station is switching to the video journalist (VJ) model of news -- reporters who shoot and edit their own video.UPDATE
Viewfinder Blues, an actual VJ, discusses how this change is being taken by various of his colleagues, and what it might portend for TV news (The Age of Convergence (Part 2)).
Imagine a TV newsroom where even the top anchor schleps gear, thus tarnishing the artifice of suave superiority inherent in the dapper newsreader model. While thats not likely to happen, one aspect of the changing times does excite me: the gradual transformation of local correspondents from overdressed poseurs to blue-collar news gatherers. Blasphemy you say? Perhaps, but a newscast focused more on stories than storytellers is one even I might watch. Might.
But I digress. What will most probably transpire is an amalgamation of the fears and concerns wafting over the internet right now. Depth and aesthetics WILL suffer, at least until practitioners of these new methods get the formula right. Even then, TV news wont be the same. Higher story counts will be delivered with far cruder execution. Smaller, lighter lenses will open up new frontiers, but it will be a bumpy, often out-of-focus ride. Reporters will still go live(!) for no apparent reason, but they may be a little more out of breath from shooting and editing their own stuff. Legions of reporters and photogs opposed to cross-training will leave the fold, making room for a new generation of loners with lenses who will merrily take their place. Not so long from now, this group of 21st century newsies will sit around their magic laptops, wi-fi wristbands and sat-dish jetpacks, and wonder what all the fuss was about.
Read the whole thing.
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