Putting the VJs and ‘news’ issue to rest

In the beginning it was VJs can’t produce quality.

Now that is no longer an issue.

Now it is OK. VJs are good for features, but when it comes to ‘real news’, (whatever that means) you still need crews.

Ummm. No.

Here’s a ‘news’ story, done in video, by the Newark Star Ledger.

End of discussion.

Oh, and by the way, check out Chuck Fadely’s new Newspapervideo site:



13 responses to “Putting the VJs and ‘news’ issue to rest

  1. I guess it is too much to assume that a news story might include the basic answer to the question “why”.

    No reason given for the situation.

    Just fifty seconds of uninformed reaction from others, like the reporter, who don’t know what is going on.

    You claiming this as an example of good work, as a complete news story, proves what many of us already know.

    Your Star Ledger Kids have an unhappy future ahead of them.

  2. $ – SSDD response.

  3. what newspaper can afford to make videos that get 17 views?

    what news consumer can afford to watch a 5 minute video that contains 15 seconds of information?

    the issue has never been about quality – CNN were using TR101 hi-8 cams in the first gulf war.

    the issue is about access – access to newsmakers and access to distribution channels. You know this – your response was to quote JFK “life’s not fair”.

  4. Oh, I don’t disagree with any of this.
    The NPR radio reporter in China has great access. She also has the courage, I suppose, to cover stories that NBC probably will not.
    Will she get the kind of numbers that NBC will get? Not even a fraction of a fraction. But she does not need to generate nearly as much revenue as NBC does to make it worth her while.
    Its a new economy to match the new technology. Stand by while it shakes out, but I think y0u’ll be surprised at who survives and who does not.

  5. the youtube stats are there for everyone to see…

    – did the NPR reporter didn’t attend a video workshop? She has great access – that’s my point.

    The Rosenblum mantra is “any idiot can do this”.

    and in terms of the tech skills that is sound. But that is hardly a revelation – no-one really thinks Capa was a great photographer because he knew a lot about cameras. The world of professional video production is becoming more competitive not less.

    The big $$$ in film/video have never gone to the techies – and I doubt that is going to change with the tech threshold is sinking so fast.

    “any idiot can do this, as long as they have courage, creativity, good interpersonal skills, a good eye, great storytelling skills and unrivalled access” would be my mantra.

    So we agree on the first part.

  6. I also agree on the last part. Any idiot can do this. It does not mean that every idiot is going to be great, but now at least anyone is free to try. What is the formula for success – like anything else, talent, access and then really hard work. inspiration plus persperation, as Thomas Edison says. Now, at least, the barrier to trying is down. Many will try – most will fail. That’s OK. That’s how writing or art or music have always been. Now we add the video.

    In so far as the NPR reporter, she did not attend a workshop. I certainly think I could make her stuff better. I will try by long distance. But she has 20 years of journalistic experience and access. She’s off to a very good start.

    PS. The irony is, she can’t read our comments. The Chinese block the blog!!

  7. whoops – sorry Michael – I misread your first line as “I don’t agree with any of this”

    my bad

    I guess we’ll just have to agree to agree

  8. Wikipedia: “Idiot” was originally created to refer to “layman, person lacking professional skill”, “person so mentally deficient as to be incapable of ordinary reasoning”.
    This sounds a bit contradictory.

    Techies or not, I keep noticing blown out audio. It hurts my ears and speakers. Please stop the insanity!

  9. Its a new economy to match the new technology. Stand by while it shakes out, but I think y0u’ll be surprised at who survives and who does not.

    That’s the part that detractors keep pointing to – this hasn’t established a business model that is making money – not yet. As with anything new – it’s very much like a toddler learning to walk – it falls down gets back up – tries it again until the toddler gets it right.

    That will happen with finding an effective revenue generating business model.

  10. No. VJ quality is still THE issue. Just saying it isn’t won’t change that.
    Quality is less of an issue if you do features… story’s that have a lot of time to deal with the limitations of VJ and fix the inherent problems with VJ quality.

    In day turn around VJ is too slow and too ugly… I know that’s a generalization but if you give it to the masses then you will be judged by what the majority do with it… and generally they suck.

  11. Cliff has made a career of holding his breath.

    Whether it’s under the water in a wet suit.

    Or above the water as a long time, unemployed VJ.

    Many will drown holding their breath for something to happen while the rest of us get a paycheck and actually make the transition to news coverage on the internet.

  12. Stephen – I can see your point – something to chew on this weekend. Thanks for your perspective – at least for me, that is another bulleted item on my list to work towards. 🙂

    On a side note – Someone whom I respect greatly in post production, has said that it’s not necessarily the skill of editing but the tool and workflow when under tight deadline that determines quality and efficiency. He has all the tools at his disposal and he stated in confidence during an editing session with a trained FCP editor that

    I kicked his ass as he worked in FCP. I output a file via the Convergent Design SD Connect and my laptop before he was even close to being finished. We had the same graphics packages, same XDCAM source. It’s not skill, it’s the tool and workflow.

    The editor? Douglas Spotted Eagle – The Tool? SONY Vegas Pro. The setting? A comparison of editing apps for VJ/ENG.

    Just asking here – could it be that the tools being used in post are getting in the way of solo vj’s quality as you stated (at least in post production)? Spot seems to think so. He’s training Associated Press VJ’s who are using Vegas Pro exclusively for their post work.

  13. We cover hard news every day. All of us. Are you guys still debating this? Amazing.

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