We Take The Newark Star Ledger to Video

The morning meeting – now its print, online and video

This morning we began a project we have been awaiting with great anticipation- taking The Newark Star Ledger into the world of video.

The Star Ledger is the 15th largest newspaper in the country, and the dominant paper in New Jersey.

It’s an enormous challenge for us. We’re going to take both the still photographers and the written word folks into the realm of digital journalism, which encompasses both text and images (still and moving). It’s a new way to think about reporting, but one commensurate with the current state of technology – both in terms of acquisition as well as online and hard distribution. We think its going to be a very exciting time.

Today was the first day, and we have a long path ahead of us, but we’ll keep you posted on our progress.

New Jersey is often referred to as The Bellwether State. It’s a kind of microcosm of the nation, and what works in Jersey first works in the rest of America later. We think this applies to the new world of digital journalism as well.


14 responses to “We Take The Newark Star Ledger to Video

  1. New Jersey, the bellweather state, is more commonly called many other things. The Garden State for one. Dirty Jerzey or the Garbage State are more common, even among those who live there.

    “What works in Jersey first works in the rest of America later”

    Famous last words, again.

    You claimed the same thing at WKRN, KRON and elsewhere. It sure worked! Look where they are now! Still last place and barely able to keep a competitive newsroom running. Keeping a company who pays you money to improve them in last place is known as failing no matter how you try and spin it.

    I’m sure the Star Ledger kids will follow the same path as others. A few will begin blogs, that you’ll proudly link to, then they’ll abandon them. You’ll cash your paycheck and run back to Europe to open more schools.
    You’ll tell us about your boat some more and your ever expanding black wardrobe.

    The simple fact this New Jersey paper hired you to teach them anything shows the direction they are headed. Down and out, like all the rest.

  2. I have to say that I think your comments about New Jersey are not only wrong, but that they will not sit very well with the 9 million or so folks who call it home. As well, I think that the ignorance and pure prejudice you show the state are equally translated to your ignorance and prejudice against the new video movement,

    As an employee of a conventional local tv station, I understand your fear and anger. After all, as papers move onto the web and into the realm of video, it is local tv news that they’re going to be competing against. And after all, haven’t you started your own morning meetings by taking stories from the local paper to give to your own crews as assignments? Of course, you have. That’s how local TV news works. Well, what happens when local papers send out video crews? Answer: in the long run, you are out of a job. Your fear is indeed well placed.

    Did I read about massive layoffs today at the CBS stations? I think I did. I am sure Fox is not far behind. And this is an election year. This is supposed to be the year the local TV news stations make their money. What will happen next year? Hmmm.. Could be the local TV news biz is changing? I bet it is! Maybe you SHOULD sign up for one of my courses, while there is still time. You might want to beat the rush. Wait! I think I hear them printing those pink slips now.

  3. Dirck,
    Thanks for the links to the videos we have been doing here at the Star-Ledger.

    For the past two years a dozen or so of us in the photo department (plus a few reporters too) have been having a great time learning this new craft.

  4. $ – NPPA’s article delves pretty deeply into the changes occurring. It’s understandable how you feel about what you do and why – bottom line is, the profession is changing at a rapid pace. If you don’t want to change – you have no one to blame but yourself if you become a casualty of your own making.

  5. Ah yes, more leaping to conclusions by those who are unemployed and have no experience.

    More of the same, as usual.

    Let’s see what happens shall we? Who do you think is really going to lay off employees? Companies letting less than one percent of those on staff and part timers go or newspapers with printing press’s and printers to get rid of along with reporters and photographers who have never shot and edited daily video in their lives. Now they have hopes and dreams of learning how to do something as fast as possible and compete against others who have been doing it successfully for years. Like rank amateur baseball players who know the rules of the game but can never get good enough to compete against pros in the real world.

    Watch and learn newspaper VJs and soon you can talk about truly MASSIVE layoffs and shuttering business’s. That is the unavoidable future for newspapers no matter how big.

    Keep one thing very clear in your minds. Rosenblum has yet to have a success he can point to. At best he has given life to dying stations for a very short time before they are sold off to others.

    Meanwhile I continue to do both, broadcast and internet for a company that continues to change and adapt while others continue their unemployed lives on the sidelines.

  6. I feel so proud of what the Star-Ledger people are doing. But also to so many other papers who have either sent their staff through the Platypus Workshops or asked us to come in and do special
    short courses and workshops for them.

    As I have said so many times, in the past years, the “rapture” is coming soon, when newspapers will either be lifted up by their photo staffs who have mastered video story telling, or they will die.
    It’s already too late for most TV stations, look at what CBS just did to their news gathering people, especially in Denver, where the new NPPA “Editor of the Year” who was feted one week ago by the station and then let go this week along with 10 newsroom colleagues.

    I have always credited Michael with starting this thing off. We all have more than enough work to do in the months ahead to help photojournalism save itself.


  7. Anyone not moving into the future with their eyes wide open…. is moving into the future with their eyes wide shut. How’s that for wisdom?

    No doubt things are changing. It will be very interesting to see what the landscape looks like in 10 years or so.

    I met Dirck after I gave a presentation of my work in 1996. ( I was more than thrilled to meet Dirck. I called my father and grandmother immediately….telling them who I had just met.) One of the stories I presented…was a solo VJ story I did about Romanian orphans living in tunnels, sewer holes and abandoned buildings in Bucharest. I shot it with a small handheld Hi-8 camera. Dirck was invested in the new movement at that time. I was simply using a tool.

    The concept of shooting solo, writing, producing and editing solo…was not a new concept to me then. I had been doing it, like others, for years. That concept was not new.

    But it was apparant at the time…that the new video cameras would open up a new world of possibilities. And of course digital cameras and computers, along with the internet have exponentially expanded the realm of video journalism. My eyes have been wide open. Wow is all I can say. We are truly in the middle of a revolution….or evolution.

    Dirck explained to me about NYTimes TV. I was sent a letter….probably from Michael…inviting me to shoot with them. At the time, I had a young one and a solid job, and I wasn’t willing to jump ship…and travel often.

    So far, so good. The stablility at a CBS owned and operated station has been solid. (In 1996, I think we were owned by GE, the Westinghouse, then Viacom, then CBS.)

    Now, we are seeing changes. They laid off a number of people here at my shop this week…including the national NPPA editor of the year. He is very talented, in case anyone needs a great editor.

    I shoot, edit, write, produce. My only son moves out of the house this fall to college.

    Who knows what the future holds. I know a lot about video journalism…gathering content….using the best craft when needed….being creative….and what commitment it takes to do the job. I think for a while…these skills will be valueable…whether using a small camera…or a large one. Either way…the concept of the Four Cs are the same.

    CBS is undergoing what probably was inevitable, due to changing times. It is important to have as many skills as possible. That is a safe bet right now.

    It is a very interesting time. Hopefully… employment will not be an issue here at CBS.

  8. P.S.

    NPPA Convergence ’08 will be held in Louisville, KY May 30th and 31st. Please visit http://www.nppa.org for more information about this great seminar showcasing the best video and photojournalists in the country. If you would like to learn and be inspired…it is always a great event.

    Look for Convergence ’08 under the seminars and workshops heading.

  9. And yet again, someone who was so talented as a still photog for so many years, yet still unable to make a living shooting and editing video, unless he’s giving a class to others.

    Does anyone else see this trend?

  10. Congrats to my friends up the Parkway who are getting organized training! Even before this there have been a few shooters who have been producing great pieces.

    Just so you don’t think this is a first for the “Sopranos State,” there have been many VJs created at Gannett Newspapers throughout the state who have gone through an organized four day training program and have already been producing daily video over the last couple years.

  11. hey $,

    glad to see you’re serious about working both the broadcast side and on internet.

    your makeup person really did you a favor- now you can do both at the same time!

    btw- nice shades.

  12. hey $,

    i for one am impressed with your desire to work not only the broadcast side but the internet as well.

    going forward i think it’s almost a must.

    i particularly like how your makeup person was able to figure out how you could do both at the same time!

    btw- nice shades.

  13. $ – Dirck Halstead a wannabe? I can only laugh at your lame comment – you literally have no idea what you’re talking about. Dirck has more experience as a visual journalist than you could ever think of having. He hasn’t pigeon holed himself to one type of visual journalism – thus he and others like him who are trained not only as still shooters but are embracing shooting video are more employable than those who are trained only as TV shooters.

    Keep telling yourself everything is ok. As NPR reported today, among the many casualties, Boston TV stations are in serious trouble and no one is safe from being handed a pink slip. This is widespread throughout the industry – and you think your job is secure?

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