Interview with video journalist – The internet has given video journalism a platform

I seem to have spent a lot of time on this blog talking about video journalism, without having spoken to many professional video journalists.

In a bid to rectify this I spoke to Tom Chown, a BBC trained video journalist  who worked for Kent TV before becoming a freelance broadcaster and Director of Digitom

TV journalist of the Year in 2008,  Tom has a wide range of experience in broadcasting, with pieces ranging from current affairs reports to film features.

We spoke about the opportunities the internet has provided for   aspiring video journalists.

How has the internet changed video journalism?

Online video content has been around for a number of years now, often as a subsidiary to print still. For mainstream media in particular, it has meant a cheap and relatively quick way of increasing the dissemination of content.  That’s certainly not going to slow down any time soon.

How about for independent video journalists?

Again, it has provided a widening of the audience for your work. It’s easy to set up your own channel on YouYube and if you’re committed you can build a strong community and appreciation for your work.

For example, at the student protests, you’re getting independent journalists down there getting footage that broadcasters with full-on camera crews, just can’t get.

However, it’s more of a platform than a money-making venture. It’s still tough to make money from internet videos- that’s the next challenge.

Is freelancing the way forward for aspiring video journalists?

Freelance was certainly good move for me but I needed the years of training at the BBC.

I’d recommend that students get their University video projects online, as they’ve invested time into it and it’s a great way to start building that interest in their work.

The world of video journalism is competitive, but no more than any other creative industry right now.

TOM CHOWN: Documentary Reel from Tom Chown on Vimeo.


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