Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The Reading Evening Post's News in 60 Seconds

Do organisations such as The Guardian and the Reading Evening Post (stick with me on this) offer counselling support for their contributors?

My god, the Internet's a rough place. First there was the whole Max Gogarty flame wars thing which - whatever you think of the Guardian's wisdom and or Gogarty's writing "style" - must have been pretty crushing for a 19 year old. He's probably sh***ing himself even now.

Anyway now the Online Journalism Blog is slagging off the Reading Evening Post whose admittedly rather lame News in 60 Minutes video earns his scorn.

Says the blog:

The 1980s-era production style remains, with the same stock music, garish graphics - and this time, some appalling spinning, zooming, transition wipes.

Stuart’s challenge: to read out the day’s headlines “in just 60 seconds“. Yes, that’s some challenge. Perhaps someone should suggest that idea to BBC3.

One problem: when you take out the credits it’s not actually 60 seconds, which may be why Stuart is drowned out by the closing music at the end, just as David Wright was before him. Do they ever watch their own videos?

I’ll be more barbed: Stuart has the flat delivery of a 12-year-old reading ‘What I did on my summer holidays’, while his eyes flit below the camera like he’s checking his emails as well as reading the headlines. Presumably he’s reading a script. Doesn’t he know what the news is?

All of which may be true, but is it kind? We're trying to get our journalists to experiment with video and forms of video and when you're just starting out you've just got to tell them it's great even if it's complete Gogarty. They are learning, exploring with trepidation. The book (or video) on this kind of journalism isn't written yet and most young hacks have been ill-prepared for this kind of thing for this kind of activity.

Yes, Stuart White - how shall I put it - isn't quite yet in his stride as a video presenter, but I say "good for you for giving it a go, Stuart".

I hope that Surrey and Berkshire Newspapers Limited are doing what we are doing: patting him on the head, encouraging him, training him, pointing out how he might improve his videos. But not flaming him.

Oh and maybe offering him some counselling.

And who knows? Maybe this sort of thing goes down well in Reading.

Anyway, here's his video:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I too hope that Surrey and Berkshire Newspapers Limited are doing what we are doing patting him on the head, encouraging him, training him. 'n' we hope they will be offering some counselling.


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