David Dunkley Gyimah: Videojournalism – has it lived up to expectation?

David Dunkley Gyimah is a senior lecturer in videojournalism and online at the University of Westminster, a PhD Student at SMARTlab in innovative media and artist in residence at the Southbank Centre. He will be speaking about videojournalism and multimedia for journalists at news:rewired.

Videojournalism: it’s many things to different people, but has it lived up to what many perceived it would do.

Where, for instance is its use best suited? Is it just evidential recording mimicking the language of broadcast news or can it purport to be something else, more varied, more verite?

You can pick your timeline: the 70s with Hi8s; or the 90s when the term “videojournalism”, it’s believed, first appeared in a British newspaper, the Guardian, in a recruitment ad for Associated Newspapers.

That’s when 25 young, National Union of Journalists (NUJ) accredited journalists bore the tag videojournalist and experimented with the form, covering 24-hour news and taking on genre programme making, from crime to fashion.

Today, there are countless practitioners, many of whom are exceptional and the broadcasters’ claim to the form is being challenged by the wide berth of newspapers practising.

Does the form need to be so deterministic and how might we push it? And what more can we expect from the technology?

A brief visual journey from my reel of work probes at some of these questions and I’ll be sharing more examples with tips, at news:rewired.

The video below includes:

  • BBC Reportage – the BBC’s flagship youth programme which defined a generation of video/filmmakers. Before Reportage there was no current affairs show that did youth issues;
  • Channel One TV– Channel One launched the year the web grew up, circa 1994 with the launch of the first web browser Mosaic. The clip shown is part of a larger film looking at newspapers taking to the web in 1995;
  • Videojournalism is as much a western model, as printing is believed to have been solely down to Guttenberg.  Africans started experimenting with videojournalism in 1997. More recently in the Middle East a number of countries, e.g. Beirut, Jordan, Egypt, have taken to videojournalism

Channel One proved something else – using the VJ concept it could make any genre of programme. (As one of my films from the past year shows this includes when Ferrari gave a good friend of mine its 599GTB. We made a 15-minute vid taking the car back to Ferrari HQ, which has got a good number of hits on YouTube.)

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