A Camera as the Pencil


Sean Smith is a full time Videojournalist with The Guardian, the UK newspaper.

He is one of a new breed of journalists who carry their own small digital camera and report on their own.

Last week he won a Royal Television Society award for best news – International. This is particularly noteworthy as Smith works for a newspaper and not a TV network. But as newspapers move to the web and the web moves to video, the distinction between print journalist and video journalist is rapidly vanishing.

Here, I quote from The Guardian itself: Sean Smith, the Guardian’s award-winning war photographer, spent nearly six weeks with the 101st Division of the US army in Iraq. Watch his haunting observational film that explodes the myth around the claims that the Iraqis are preparing to take control of their own country.

Pretty good.

Pretty impressive work.. particularly from a newspaper.

Increasingly, I am coming to believe that the future of television news will in fact be found as newspapers move aggressively to re-invent themselves and TV news crews tragically simply talk themselves into irrelevance.

I am indebted to John Naughton for making me aware of this.


5 responses to “A Camera as the Pencil

  1. Are you sure about that Michael? I looked at the results page http://www.rts.org.uk/Information_page_+_3_pic_det.asp?id=34905&sec_id=503
    There doesn’t seem to be an “excellence in journalism” award.

    And I tried a search:
    Royal Society of Television.

    Search Results

    Nothing was found matching “Sean Smith”.

  2. Oh yeah.I am pretty sure. It was in the Guardian.Its also with his credits on Youtube, but I am just going to bed and then have an early flight to Brussels tomorrow, but as soon as I get in I will make the appropriate calls.

  3. Found it. Not and award for Excellence in Journalism… but best News – International.
    Not to take anything away from Sean, it took real guts to be there, he was part of a team that won the award. Yes he provided the incredible content but they put it together in a way to highlight the content and minimize the terrible shooting. Even you must admit it was terrible shooting.
    Can you imagine if a local news show shot stories this badly without the extraordinary content to hold it just how awful that would look?
    Oh wait you don’t have to imagine just visit KRON’s wbsite.
    As to a newspaper winning a TV award? So some TV people “Channel 4 reporter Keme Nzerem” took some pictures with amazing content and made award winning TV… sorry what was the surprising bit again?

    From the Guardian:
    Channel 4 News’ brace of awards included the best news – international category, where Channel 4 News ITN and Guardian Film’s Iraq: Apache Company was the winner.
    The report by Guardian photographer Sean Smith – narrated by Channel 4 reporter Keme Nzerem – beat competition from Newsnight and al-Jazeera English, and is the first time a newspaper has won an RTS television journalism award.
    Smith spent eight weeks with the US military’s Apache company and filmed them as they went on daily routine investigations.
    The film was described by the judges as “raw, brave, atmospheric and profoundly memorable – an important story very powerfully realised”.

  4. Probably the very first thing on the list:

    News – International
    Iraq: Apache Company – Channel 4 News ITN & Guardian Films for Channel 4
    “The winner was described as raw, brave, atmospheric and profoundly memorable. An important story very powerfully realised.”

    Since he was working for The Guardian and that one is for Guardian Films and is on the US Army in Iraq, it would follow that is the story being referred to.

  5. In other words, the product, by the time it got to the actual viewers, was a team effort.

    Not a single individual working all by themselves from beginning to end.

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