picking the right media for a story
Here are the types of stories or aspects of stories that lend themselves to video:
Action - natural disasters, sporting events, dance performances, etc. Examples:
- San Bruno fire - YouTube video by San Bruno filmmaker, 9/9/2010
- Fuel truck explosion - Spokane Spokesman Review
- Michael Jackson tribute brings zombies to North Oakland - Oakland North
- Sound of Music - Central Station Antwerp - YouTube, 3/23/2009
- Wrecking the Spectrum - Philadelphia Inquirer (Laurence Kesterson, KDMC fellow)
Central place in a story – video takes you there and gives you a sense of what a place is like.
- Trapped in an Elevator - New Yorker
- Trapped in an Elevator - YouTube
- We Are All Workers - Braddock, Pennsylvania - Levi's video on YouTube
Central characters in a story – video lets you see and hear them and how they behave. Especially use video if they’re interesting or animated.
- Ernie's Market - Detroit Free Press
Drama - not so much an emotional moment, but a story that’s part of larger drama. Examples:
- Sen. Larry Craig press conference
- New York City Mayoral Candidate Anthony Weiner press conference with his wife
- Damon Conrow: Heroin Addict Finds Hope - Standard-Examiner
Humor - think about the most popular videos on YouTube. Examples:
- The Daily Show Visits the New York Times
- A Good Republican is Hard to Find - Mission Local
- The secret, dark lives of Peeps - St. Paul Pioneer Press
- How To Report The News - Charlie Brooker
- Boston Globe Tailors Print Edition For Three Remaining Subscribers - The Onion
- Get the new Newsday iPad application
- Fox 4 DFW Roast of Social Media
- That Mitchell and Webb Look - Send us your reckons - BBC
- What If We Talked Like Reporters All The Time?
Kids - especially if there's a group of them interacting. Examples:
Animals - People love to see how animals act. Examples:
- Oscar the featherless bird - South Florida Sun Sentinel
- Elvira the City Chicken - Mission Local
- Pig on a trampoline - The Telegraph. A great photo, but imagine this as a video
- Do tigers like catnip - BigCatRescue
Crimes and crime scenes - it almost doesn't matter how boring the crime scene is or how bad the video is, many people will want to watch it
- Shootout on Oakland Avenue - YouTube, citizen video
- CHP releases video of reckless driving by Sacramento Kings' star - Sacramento Bee
Food - video engages the senses. So use video for food preparation or eating, not necessarily for recipes (recipes might be text with a video to illustrate how to prepare the food)
- Ernie's Market - Detroit Free Press
How things work or how to do something - video is good for showing simple processes, such as things with moving parts.
Raw Video - people really like raw video that provides an unfiltered look of what happened, especially on a breaking news story.
- University of Florida student Tasered at Kerry forum - Gainesville Sun via YouTube
- Woman Flies Into a Rage Over McNuggets - ABC News via Yahoo News
- Security guard incident - J-School student films on iPhone
- Syria Behind the Lines: The Bombing of al-Bara - Frontline. This raw footage was edited for length and narration was added by the reporter who shot the video.
Readings and Resources
- Transformation to Digital Journalism - Video - a section on video in another KDMC guide
- Video Techniques - KDMC tutorial
- CNNMoney.com Video Chief: Videos Should "Amplify not Echo" Text Reporting - Beet.TV interview with Caleb Silver, executive producer for video at CNNMoney.com
- Beet.TV Online Video Journalism Summit at The Washington Post - Beet.TV, 2/1/2011. A panel of people from national news organizations discuss what's worked and what hasn't with online news video and the strategies they've adopted for doing video and generating revenue from it.
- 10 common video storytelling mistakes (and how to avoid them) - Adam Westbrook, Online Video & Entrepreneurial Journalism, 10/24/2011