I am still sad about the firing of the Chicago Sun-Times photographers. News photography is a profession. It requires training, skills, equipment and a story. It also requires people to be paid for their services.
The Sun-Times decided that all that is necessary to perform a professional level of photojournalism is to have beat reporters use smartphone cameras. I entreat you to visit the might fine Tumblr blog SunTime/DarkTimes.
This is a great example of what not to do.
You know how when you upload a video and somehow the wrong image is selected as the cover photo? And how until very recently you couldn't upload a different image?
That is, if you use YouTube to host your video. You might use another service that will not allow you change the cover photo.
Public school budget cuts are a serious matter. A distracting cover photo wrecks the credibility of the publication. Unless this was an intentional bait and switch to get people to read the story. Maybe readers watched the video to find out what this grandparent had to say about the on-going problems with the Chicago public schools?
No. This is bad. Really, really bad.
Let me be clear; in certain situations professional reporters can use consumer recording devices and software for breaking news and general reporting. It is possible with training and guidance that reporters will get better about recording and lightly edit video before hitting the upload button.
I ain't holding my breath on it.
But it is possible. In the meantime, if you have a recording device on your smartphone you might want to slide on over to iPhonereporting.com
Yes, even you Android and Windows folks ought to take a peep at it.
There are app recommendations, web service shout outs like using SoundCloud to record audio and, in light of the above Sun-Time image, a few pro tips on how to shoot video.
You can read most of the blog contents in about two hours. It would be worth it to make sure that you name is not listed in the mobile video journalism walk of shame.
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