VJ apps for your phone

OK, so it’s not strictly online journalism, but close enough. We’ve discussed many times on this blog the content implications of widespread use of smartphones nowadays – it’s helped to spur a wave of citizen journalism and create video stories out of amateur footage that are then picked up by major news.

But a development that tends to be overlooked is that those same devices are having an impact upon the availability and accessability of major news – in particular, rolling news.

Mobiles have been web-enabled for some time now, so it’s long been possible to bring up the Guardian or the Telegraph on your phone – albeit in the ‘mobile site’ format. However, now iPhones or Android phones are bringing rolling news coverage to the world of mobile.

Yesterday, Business Insider posted an interview (in video no less) with Jim Spencer, CEO of Newsy. Their business model is entirely app-focused – they aggregate their content from different sources, and deliver it to mobile devices.

The only limit to these apps’ use are the pesky download limits imposed by mobile firms – and streaming video to your phone can use it up rather quickly…

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Thailand’s Got Talent contestant: another YouTube phenomena

Following the footsteps of Susan Boyle’s glory, Thailands got talent transgender contestant suprises the judges and the audience with her unique voice. Since the video was uploaded on the 14th of March, Bell Nuntita’s performance has received over 3 million views on youtube- and many commenters of the video don’t know whether to address her/he as a “he” or “she”. Oh, I’m confused now.

I think I’m spoiling it for you, I don’t know want to give to much details about it. Watch the video here:

After 10 blog posts about online video journalism, I’ve realised it works the same as print stories. Only those videos with a real human interest get the most amount of hits. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how word of mouth spreads so quickly on the Internet. How I can hear about something thats happened in Thailand, when I’m all the way here in London.

I’ve grasped the fact that online video journalism is useful in the sense that you feel closer to events. You suddenly decide to care more about an issue after you’ve watched it online compared to when you read about the same thing in print.

And also, one thing I’ve realised about myself is that I’m always clicking on videos that have had the most views. I’m never clicking on something that not many people have watched before. I don’t really know why, but I guess because theres so many videos out there- and if so many people are watching what ever it is- then it must be interesting.

One of my first blog posts I wrote for journalism in motion, I remember raising a question- is online video journalism the way forward?

I was convinced that it was when I wrote the blog, and after 10 blog posts… dam it feels good to be right.

Want to get your story out there? Post it on youtube. That’s my advice.

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Broadcasting watchdog to oversee newspapers’ online videos

Image by Shenghung Lin via Flickr Creative Commons

This is a few days old, but it could shake things up: the body that regulates video on demand intends to start monitoring the online video output of several UK newspapers and magazines, including Sun Video, News of the World Video, Elle TV and Sunday Times Video Library. This means that the output of traditional newspaper sites, previously covered by the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), will fall under the Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD), which is a regulatory body with far more powers than the PCC.

ATVOD has sought control of these services because it they are “designed to offer TV-like programmes on-demand”, which is the authority’s remit. Publishers have battled the decision, saying that the videos are part of their newspapers’ output and should be governed by the PCC’s code of practice.

Twenty years ago we were all absolutely certain what a newspaper was. Now newspapers are sprawling, nebulous entities, and newspaper journalism covers everything from the printed article to blogs, comment moderating, interactives, events, podcasting, slideshows, and increasing quantities of video. And as journalists, we can flourish – but must be at least competent in more than one of the above. When this isn’t terrifying, it’s quite exciting.

Anyway. Back to ATVOD versus the newspapers. ATVOD chair Ruth Evans said her organisation had “no desire or remit to regulate the press”, and gave a clear, if debatable, definition of where she thinks newspapers end and on-demand TV begins: “Where video content appears as an integral part of an online version of a newspaper, for example alongside a text based story, then the service falls outside our remit.” The full ruling is here.

When you watch videos on a newspaper site, do you view it as inherently different from the rest of their content?

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Digital segregation: why do publishers not integrate video?

Originally I was going to call this post ‘Digital Apartheid’, but upon reflection, that’s probably a little strongly phrased. It would have made the point though.

There seems to be an odd trend I’ve noticed lately whereby website publishers deliberately try to sepearate their video from the rest of their content. Instead, they relegate it to a kind of visual leper colony, where it doesn’t intrude upon good, clean print stories.

Take, Huffington Post Video, for instance. The HuffPo is one of the Internet’s stand-out success stories. According to Alexa, it’s the 116th most popular site on the web. The brainchild of purring millionaire Arianna Huffington, it’s caused controversy by using unpaid bloggers and aggregation to gather some of its content. But there’s no quibbling its success: it was recently sold to AOL for £196m.

So why is all of its video content kept on a seperate page?

Another example is Gawker.tv, and I apologise in advance for linking to it.  Gawker used to be formatted in a traditional blog format – it honestly wasn’t much more complicated than the one you’re looking at now. It worked, it was simple, and people liked it. Their new site, however, looks like it was coded by a blind man with no fingers. So once again, sorry for linking.

Now, in the case of Gawker, their main site will post links to Gawker.tv in the event that there’s a good story available. But otherwise the video content remains unconnected with their most popular website. This seems self-defeating; why not just integrate the two sites? Is there some immensely technical reasoning behind this that I don’t understand? Any elucidation from readers would be much appreciated.

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First look at Virgin Galactic – a work in progress

By mjtasker at flickr


The BBC’s Richard Scott has shown us around the Virgin Galactic spaceship, the first journalist to be allowed inside.


It is very obviously not finished yet – but it would appear that £125,000 (we assume for a return ticket) may not get you a comfortable seat in a spacious cabin. There certainly isn’t room for a trolly dolly to serve nibbles.

This video does show that that the plane, which is going to take members of the public on such a spectacular journey, is actually being made just like a normal plane – in a hanger and there seem to be gym weights acting as ballast. It makes the concept of “outer space” seem quite close.

A good short film which is very informative. This is where I think video reporting has an important role – this simply wouldn’t work as effectively in print.

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VJ Virgin – this is stressful stuff

by Fantastic Haru's Photostream at flickr

I write having just shot my first footage on a flip camera, uploaded the three videos to youtube and then tweeted them to people – I am so proud!


However, I am also fairly exhausted.

Whilst I appreciate that this is primarily because I am learning how to do all this stuff, I got quite tense as I wanted to get my footage out on the web first. And this was a small scale event – I can now try to imagine the stress that a journalist must experience if they have footage which is truly groundbreaking and they must be the one to break the news.

I am satisfied though, the technology has meant that I can air the views expressed within a few hours (told you I was learning) and the world at large can now see what happened.

After my previous concerns (see other blog posts) about the medium of video in journalism, I can see how it can be useful. Not that I take back any of my previous blogs obviously.

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Video from RTS meeting about Big Fat Gypsy Weddings

by Swanny's at flickr

Just been to the meeting at the Royal Television Society hosted by Firecracker Productions – makers of the series Big Fat Gypsy Weddings.

Very lively debate, particularly as there were a number of gypsies and travellers in the audience who wanted Firecracker to be aware of the damage that the series has done to them. Outside, many of the women were telling us about the bullying and abuse their children have had to face in school since the series aired.

Footage on youtube: BFGW Royal Television Society 30th March 2011




The Firecracker team seemed surprised by the outrage – they had been saying that they were “proud”, it had been a “very gratifying experience”, that had received “universal acclaim” and that the series had been an attempt to “counter prejudice”.

From the reactions tonight, it seems they failed then…………….

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