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Posts Tagged ‘video’

The CIR Is On It: Telling the Story of Solitary Confinement for Teens Over, and Over, and Over Again

CIR the boxThis week, the Center for Investigative Reporting released a print story, a short animation, and a photo essay about solitary confinement for adolescents in the U.S. prison system. That’s in addition to a NewsHour and a public radio piece released last month and to a yet unreleased half hour documentary and graphic novel. By the end of the month, there will be around 10 pieces of the adolescent solitary confinement story circling you on one form of media or another.

It’s enough to make you rethink what you’ve been reporting on all year. CIR reporters Daffodil Altan and Trey Bundy started over a year ago trying to gain access into prisons and report on conditions for teens. Altan says that the access issues surrounding the story seemed “almost insurmountable” at a certain point. Instead of being deterred, they pressed on and worked on thinking of different ways to handle the content. Says Altan:

We started of thinking of ways to tell the story even though we were dealing with essentially invisible sights. That’s  where the idea for the animation came up. We had met this very compelling young man in New York who told us about his experience at Rikers very powerfully and we had all this tape of him…we decided to try to take 3 hours of interview and see if we could carve that into something smaller and with a narrative arc.

And so the reporting team of two or three turned into a team of somewhere around 15-20, according to Bundy. Bundy says that as they are reporting they’re “always having conversations about what else we can do besides what we’ve already settled on.” In this case, there was a written story in mind, with photos to boot. But a colleague who acts as a liaison between the CIR and KQED “heard radio all over this,” says Bundy. When New York State started talking about banning the practice of solitary confinement for teenagers, NewsHour suddenly wanted the story sooner. “That wasn’t always supposed to be the first piece that was released on this,” Bundy adds. Having the story told across platforms means you reach more people. Says Bundy, “There’s some overlap between people who listen to public radio or watch NewsHour, or read Medium, but it’s not total overlap. The benefit of having multiple platforms is that you are going to catch multiple, different types of audiences, hopefully.”

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A New Space and Time for News

This is a guest post by Zohar Dayan, CEO and co-founder of Wibbitz, which provides automated text-to-video technologies.

video_iphoneThe ubiquity of the smartphone is changing content consumption. The space in which we get our news has narrowed from a newspaper broadsheet to a 4-inch screen, and the time in which we do it has expanded from distinct periods in the day into a constant checking and re-checking of various streams of content.

As the time and the space in which we get our news changes, traditional media needs to adapt fit these new parameters. It’s not only about the format in which we deliver content, but also about the times we choose to deliver it. As a newsreading app, Wibbitz is in a position to notice trends about how and when people like to get their news. We’ve come up with a few tips to help journalists plan and format their content to pull in more readers. Read more

What If JFK Was Assassinated Today? How The News Would Cover It

The assassination of U.S. president John F. Kennedy was a pivotal moment for the nation — and the nation’s news teams. And in nearly every area of life, a lot has changed since the charismatic leader died 50 years ago today. One of the most pronounced shifts is in the news gathering and reporting process.

In honor of this pivotal historical moment, several news organizations have taken the chance to, in a sense, rewrite history by covering the event again in real time using modern reporting tools.

So what if JFK had died today? Here’s how some news organizations would cover it:

cbs jfk coverage
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How To Maintain a Work Appropriate Social Media Presence

It can be hard to separate the professional from the personal, especially when it comes to social media. Many journalists seem to have a hard time keeping their thoughts to themselves these days and the results are never pretty.

Remember when Shea Allen, the former investigative reporter for WAAY in Huntsville, Ala. got fired for her controversial blog (where she confessed to, among other things, going bra-less on live TV?) Or what about the NBC staffer who was fired for posting an embarrassing video of Bryant Gumbel on the Today Show from 1994, looking foolish and wondering aloud, “What is the Internet, anyway?”

There are so many examples of employees embarrassing themselves on social media platforms (and ultimately paying the price for it). After all, we live in a world where over-sharing is the norm, and privacy has become a thing of the past. Read more

Live-Streaming 101: It’s All About Your Bandwidth

Live streaming video is nothing new, but I find myself watching more and more of them as more and more news organizations utilize them to cover events from all over the globe. I was caught between two thoughts. The first being that the more mobile our news gets, the more important live-streams become as we cover breaking news. The second was that some of the live-streams I was watching were sort of boring and ‘buggy.’

I’m sort of allergic to anything involving more than one wire so I contacted Steve Durham, who’s worked with video and streaming for as long as it’s been possible to hook up a camera to the internet. He shared some crucial insights to remember if you want to start streaming the news, whether it’s a coup from across the globe or your town’s Labor Day parade. 

1) Moderation is Key

As for my complaint that some of the live-streams I perused were boring, Durham notes that it’s sort of the nature of the beast. The stream will only ever “be as interesting as the events themselves” he notes. A lot of the streams I was watching, like Vice’s coverage of protests in NYC after the Zimmerman verdict had live comment feeds next to the video, and they were full of spammers. Isn’t there a way to stop that? Not really, according to Durham: “someone should have been moderating those,” he says. It’s really as simple as that. If you’re streaming an event with comments running on your site, someone needs to be a dedicated moderator for the event. You either invest in that manpower, or don’t. 

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