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It 2006 all over again

Rep: 141
Colin Mulvany Nov. 1, 2011, 12:25 p.m. permalink

 Gannett is handing out video cameras to reporters because they laid off so many videographers and photographers. So now they are pushing a "newsroom cultural shift" by making everyone visual reporters. Good luck with that.

Rep: 444
Eric Seals Nov. 1, 2011, 5:19 p.m. permalink

Not in Detroit!!

Rep: 7
John Harte Nov. 1, 2011, 9:57 p.m. permalink

They tried that in Bakersfield. The reporters literally went home one night as writers, came to work the next morning, were handed video cameras and told they were videographers. It was an absolute disaster, as you could only imagine.

Rep: 141
Colin Mulvany Nov. 1, 2011, 11:29 p.m. permalink

If I remember right John, Bakersfield was the epicenter of where the point-and-shoot video movement started. But like everywhere else that followed, massive staff cuts put an end to that nonsense. I'm scratching my head as to what Gannett is thinking here. Their newspaper's newsroom staffs have been decimated over the past few years. I'm not sure where they think all this extra video productivity is going to come from. They still have print products to fill. 

I bet there are a lot of Gannett reporter's sphincters puckering right now. 

Rep: 444
Eric Seals Nov. 2, 2011, 6:27 a.m. permalink

Watching that video in the link you provided

I got the creeps at how genuinely excited that woman was about it all and more so how she mentioned CONTENT about 1,000 times and never once did she utter the more important word...QUALITY....cause it's all about numbers and unfortunately quality takes a back seat to corporate.

The video thing with reporters would not happen in Detroit for two reasons;

1. We have a track record with video storytelling and if it ain't broke don't fix it 
2. We have a strong union here and giving reporters video cameras is not in line with their job description laid out in the contract


Rep: 91
Peter Huoppi Nov. 3, 2011, 7:14 a.m. permalink

I have no idea what this new initiative entails, but to be fair, parts of the 2006 effort were actually well-thought-out and done with an eye toward quality.
I was one of four members of our paper's staff sent to a week-long video "boot camp" in 2006. Our classmates were from five other Gannett papers, and the courses were taught by a pair of talented photographer and editor from the broadcast side.
We came back with two Sony A1U kits, two brand new Macs, and even had our old darkrooms demolished for a new video editing room. I think the problem was that there was no plan laid out for how to fit video work into the schedules of the staff of a small-to-medium paper.
All of us who did that original training are no longer at the paper, and the newsroom staff is even smaller than when I left in 2007. The three remaining photographers shoot videos from time to time, but I have no idea how they fit it in to the daily workload.
I hope that this new initiative comes with a similar level of training as well as some additional thought to how a member of the newsroom staff can add a difficult and time-consuming job responsibility and still fulfill their original job requirements.

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