I’ve read some of the posts on TV Spy and MediaLine regarding the new concept in television journalism called “vjs”. Most of the discussion is from veteran tv reporters who hate the idea of picking up a camera themselves and doing the job of two people: reporting and shooting/editing.
Media Channel has a new article on the vj concept now in use at KRON in San Francisco.
Now, let me say I think the vj concept is a good idea. For some stations, it’s a great idea. It’s what I’ll be doing in Nashville at WKRN.
I admit, I didn’t see myself picking up a camera and going it alone like I did back in the days of WOWL, WJSU and in college for LCNC. I hated it back then and couldn’t wait until I earned my stripes enough to find employment at a station with bonafide news photographers.
Of course, back in those days one-man-bands had to lug around a 75 pound record deck along with the 50 pound 3/4″ camera. Standups were almost impossible since you couldn’t look through the viewfinder at yourself standing 10 feet in front of the camera.
Technology though, makes a one-man-band not only possible, but easy. The camera I’ll be using, Sony’s new HD cam weighs about 10 pounds. It has a flip screen which can be rotated to frame yourself up standing 10 or more feet away from the camera. It has an auto focus feature so you don’t have to zoom in and focus on a light stand and then try to stand where you placed the stand.
Editing though, is the real key to the vj concept. Instead of fighting for one of the 5 edit bays back in the newsroom, vjs have their own Dell laptop loaded with the editing software. You can edit back in the newsroom or in your car, a library or even a Starbucks. You can feed the story back from there too via a broadband connection.
Now I undertand that some reporters are resistant to this concept. I understand why some reporters are leaving stations that make the change. I’m suited for this and have been a one-man-band for the past year and a half working for my own company.
But I’d love to open this vj concept up for debate and discussion. I know some reporters and photographers check this blog from time to time. What do you think? Now, what do you think as a viewer?