1-Day VJ Turn

Does this answer your question?

The “VJ” question ultimately comes down to one of quality.

Recently at RTNDA, news directors raised this question. Gary Brown, ND from KTGV aired this piece. That was pretty much the end of the discussion.

This piece was shot, written, reported, edited, scripted and produced by Kyle Majors, Digital Correspondent (as they call VJs in San Diego) for KGTV. He was a former cameraman who made the leap to reporter. This was done on a one-day turn.

The piece speaks for itself, and pretty much answers any questions anyone should have in the future about ‘quality’. This is as professional in its shooting, scripting, writing, editing and delivery as anything on news, local or otherwise, anywhere in the country. And we are just at the beginning. As more and more people do this, the quality is only going to get better.

The cameras get smaller, better and cheaper; the edits get smaller, better and cheaper and the number of people who can delivery this quality work will only increase.

Now, can you spell ‘inevitable’?

3 responses to “1-Day VJ Turn

  1. The piece was fine, but at the risk of pssing off our genial host, nothing I haven’t seen a dozen times before. Except for the very appealing mugging by the kid who was agonizing over “penicillin,” there was nothing that struck me as memorable–no unusual take on the story, no creative camera angles, no emotional connection with the kids or their families, no new information.

    So if the lesson is that it’s possible to shoot the obligatory spelling bee story with a single VJ rather than a two- or three-person crew and an editor, with all the cost savings that flow from that reduction in manpower, then fine, the point is made. But if we’re supposed to be seeing benefits for the viewer rather than the budget, I’m afraid that this viewer remains unconvinced.

  2. Rob
    Don’t worry about pissing me off. I have the world’s thickest skin.
    If the piece demonstrates to you that you can produce something as good as a crew can do with one person, then yes, the point has been made, and in my world acceptance is progress.
    I will be showing other pieces that are a bit more aggressive and radical, but like modern art, may not be to everyone’s taste. At least with this one, we have established the baseline and ended (if only) the discussion about ‘quality’.

  3. The piece definitely had a “local news” feel to it — it certainly felt like the ‘obligatory spelling bee story.’ So from that perspective, it doesn’t seem radical or ground-breaking.

    I think the truly interesting stuff happens when, say, 50% of the news gathering is done this way. Then you can produce more stories in less time or do it on a smaller budget or start thinking creatively about presentation. If this is used only as a supplement, then nothing changes. But if this model becomes the core of how you do business, then it will start to change all kinds of other things around a local news outfit.

    For example, how jarring was it to come back to the studio with the talking heads at the shiny desk after that story? Man, the sooner we can dump the moronic chatter from these ill-educated “hosts,” the better.

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