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NAB: New Media Clashes With Old

4/17/2007 10:00:00 AM Eastern

Traditional and nouveau media bumped heads during “The New V.J.s: Are they Just Another Way of Saying ‘One-Man Band’ Or Are They the Future of News Gathering?” in Vegas.

Panelists representing television and newspapers spoke of arming reporters with handheld video cameras and ordering them to come back with stories. But someone in the audience questioned the quality of a segment that’s shot and edited by an inexperienced camera person with a premium on a quick turnaround. “I think it’s telling that you haven’t showed us any of these reports,” charged one skeptic. 

That prompted moderator Chip Mahaney, managing editor of KDFW Dallas, to cue up a video segment shot by a reporter covering a youth spelling bee.The clip had the entire room laughing (except, perhaps,the aforementioned skeptic), and its quality seemed to be on par with anything shot by a seasoned crew.

Panelist Michael Rosenblum, founder of Rosenblum Associates, told the naysayers to change with the times, or risk having their jobs taken by eager video journalists. “You guys got to get your act together,” he said. “It’s not either/or.” He also questioned whether one of the naysayers were true reporters, or merely actors.

The panelists spoke about how they’re increasing the amount of news they’re producing, and that promoting video journalism was a relatively inexpensive way to fill inventory. They also pointed out that they’re quicker to encourage V.J.s to chase after stories that might not pan out, seeing as the cost and time commitment involved with digital media wasrelatively low.

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