Interview with VJ Movement- video journalism and international reporting

Video CameraThe other day I mentioned The VJ movement on a blog.  The organisation’s website hosts some pretty impressive videos and brings together work from over 150 video journalists. It’s also based on some worthy objectives including a wish to improve international reporting and to support journalists in regions where the freedom of press is under pressure.

I spoke to the VJ Movement’s editor, Paul Scheltus, to find out more;

Are the videos of citizen journalists ever published by the organisation?

No. We made a conscious decision not to involve citizens. At the outset we wanted to involve the users, by asking them to pitch ideas and then vote on pitches. Professional journalists undertake the project and create the films. It’s kind of crowd-sourcing ideas from the public

Why the emphasis on using professional video journalists?

It’s partly to do with the ethical challenges that come with making a piece of journalism. We wanted to be assured that all sides of the story were being shown.

And then, I guess, the second aspect is because of the aesthetics- the need to make sure there’s a clear narrative, an engaging story, that the visuals are up to scratch and being able to rely on the fact that the journalist has familiarity with the camera.

Why just video, rather than other media?

There was already stuff out there for print. We felt for professional video journalists the platform was previously quite restricted and we wanted to give journalists in developing countries a chance to show their work.

The VJ movement’s work can be found here and is well worth a visit.

This video of teenage rebels in Tubruq, by Daniel Iriarte, is one of the more recent pieces.The simplicity of the production and lack of a reporter-type voice over, shows how effectively video can get across a message.

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