Video Journalism

“Video journalism is the techniques, methods, etc., of preparing and broadcasting informational, social, political, and other nonfiction subjects via news and documentary programs.” (Random House Dictionary, 2015).

Videos and moving pictures have long been a staple to journalistic mediums. In fact, television broadcast journalism revolves around the use of anchors, a camera man, and a news subject. With the emergence of online news platforms, blogs, and citizen journalists–video serves a new role, as a complement to text. Videos are utilized to animate articles, and show readers exactly what happened. The broadcast journalist (anchor) or print journalist (writer) is there to analyze the video through speech or text and show why its use was important for understanding the story.

Social Change and Video Journalism

In social movements, particularly around #blacklivesmatter, there has been the emergence of video journalism as a news tool–particularly amongst citizen journalists. When individuals have been killed by police officers, citizens have used their cell phones to shoot video and upload content to social media. These videos, particularly around the deaths of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, and Oscar Grant have served to show the public what an article can only describe–a play by play of the events. Although video can be manipulated for specific purposes, journalists utilized these videos to underscore their points.

Video Journalism and Citizen Journalists

With the emergence of citizen blogging, content creating, video shooting, and editing–video serves as a powerful tool for legitimacy. If a citizen journalist can provide video content of the subject they are writing about, their article is deemed more truthful and accurate. Video serves to support their written descriptions.

How to Utilize Video

In print journalism, which focuses on the writer’s description and analysis of events, videos should serve to supplement their message. I think while video is an important tool for story-telling, it is often used as a replacement to written journalism which may be necessary to contextualize video.


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