Newspaper video: A chance to tell stories even better

  • Jeff Knox

    Jeff Knox

  • Daily Herald photojournalist Mark Welsh uses the latest digital video technology. The DSLR camera will shoot still images as well as high definition video.

      Daily Herald photojournalist Mark Welsh uses the latest digital video technology. The DSLR camera will shoot still images as well as high definition video. Jeff Knox | Staff Photographer

Posted10/10/2013 6:46 AM

Editor's note: This article is part of a special series celebrating National Newspaper Week Oct. 6-12. The Week was designated in 1940 as a way to recognize the importance of newspapers to their communities.

Video, as the '80s pop song goes, killed the radio star.


But for newspapers, video has given a whole new life to the stories we bring you.

When newspaper companies were only able to deliver you stories on paper, we relied on the still image to visually tell you the story.

There is no arguing the power of the still image. It's a fraction of a second frozen in time that can make you laugh or cry.

But newspapers haven't existed solely on newsprint for years and all of us now offer content on websites, tablets and smartphones.

This change opened the door to news video. Newspapers across the country, big and small, have incorporated video into their news gathering toolbox.

Video allows us to bring you the crunch of snow as it's scraped off a windshield and the screams of fans at a football game that, no matter how good the still photo is, could not be conveyed.

The first video for the Daily Herald was shot by staff photographer Steve Lundy and appeared online in April of 2006. Steve shot it using a Canon XH-A1 tape video camera.

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The editing was very time consuming and took about two hours of production for every minute of finished video.

If we also wanted still photos, we had to use one still camera and one video camera. That was awfully complicated, cumbersome and time consuming.

Since that first video in 2006, we have shot and produced thousands of videos.

Advances in technology have now allowed us to shoot both stills and video on one digital SLR camera. The video is captured on a digital card that allows us to quickly edit it, and it has dramatically shortened production time.

That means we can shoot video and get it to you faster than we did a few years ago.

Our digital audience has started to consume more news on tablets and smartphones and for some uses, at least, find them more convenient that traditional websites.

While you're using smartphones now to digest the news, we're using them more to bring you breaking news video.

When we're covering breaking news, we ordinarily shoot a few video clips on our iPhones, edit them and transmit them in a matter of a few minutes. This has given us the ability to bring you video in nearly real time.

We don't know what changes technology will bring us the next few years, but you can be sure that video reporting will be a big part of our storytelling process.

• Jeff Knox joined the Daily Herald 23 years ago. He is also the current president of the Associated Press Photo Managers, an industry association.He lives in Geneva.

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