Friday, April 03, 2015

Traditional TV News is Watching it’s Final Sunset.

Los Angeles, CA—Journalism school may give you building blocks and give you the polish to craft a news story, but the future of traditional reporting is beyond bleak.
In the end journalist show us in print, photos, audio and video what’s going on in our world.  Can someone that never paid tuition to Northwestern or Columbia or sweated those final exams steal your job?  It’s already happening!
There is no special magic to TV news reporting.  At the most, it’s all about monkey see, monkey do!  
The way to get compensation for reporting has changed dramatically.  It’s your audience that determines how well you’re paid.  Balancing sensationalism with truth to gain and maintain an audience is the difficult challenge.
This past January I took a part-time model and turned her into reporter to cover the Shooting, Hunting Outdoor Trade show in Las Vegas.
I could have done this all myself but it’s much easier when there are two people sharing the duties. 
There has been movement by news organizations to force the reporting, photography, producing, writing, audio and video editing on one person.  Juggling and keeping the equipment is no small challenge.  Adding the hairspray and presentation duties makes for an overload.
Ariel Vitale had zero experience but looked pretty good on camera and could follow simple instructions. She looked every bit the part of a reporter and I did the rest.
Ariel had minimal knowledge of firearms but I told her that she can ask a few questions and the company spokespeople would expertly explain their products.  As long as Ariel could look good, speak well and hold the microphone she’d win. 
I gave Arial a few hints and Arial took over like any journeyman reporter. Here is one of her many stories:
Next is Daniel Soulman.  Daniel is somewhat of a unique reporter.  Daniel armed with all manner of video devices has rained serious criticism on several South Bay police agencies.
Daniel’s work has been a bit rough around the edges. His gift is that that he uses his cameras to provoke cops he felt were abusive or acting unlawfully.  Needless to say many cops have targeted him for retaliation.  
Daniel has used a camera drone to report on DUI checkpoints and recently an officer involved shooting.  The paradox here was he praised the officer that killed the offender. 
I’ve talked with Daniel at length about keeping his credibility by letting his camera tell the story.  I explained to him about using voiceover video in post-production, as is the standard of TV news reporters.
Experience is Daniel’s teacher and his YouTube videos are getting better.  His YouTube channel appeals to an audience of both cops and cop haters.   Oddly enough I see him with a financially secure future doing his specialized reporting on YouTube.
Here is Daniel’s video multi-media (including camera drone) story on the police shooting:
TV journalism is dead.  Video journalism is what’s replaced it. The Internet has both unlimited channels and content providers feeding it.
You might think that Ariel or Daniel are a little rough around the edges but they both could present their stories in an understandable way. 
To be fair to Daniel he needed a little coaching in the editing process but he’s well on his way to improvement.
Imagine if everyone with a smartphone put up news stories with a hashtag on Twitter.  No news organization could begin to compete. 
Blogs like mine must be heavy with interesting video or it will die.  Successful monetization of content will determine is you can make a living.  Making good content alone is not enough.

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