I recently launched my latest experiment in independent social media journalism: phillynewsvideo.com
Here’s the idea: Using only the Canon S100 and iPhone 5 that I usually have in my pockets —- plus a very small tripod —- I will shoot, edit and distribute video of the occasional newsworthy incidents and events which I tend to stumble across while living in Philadelphia.
In most cases, this process will produce “b-roll” footage, ideal for brief TV news voiceovers. It has been taking me about 30 minutes from last shot to live post, although I expect to get faster with practice — and with more efficient shooting in particular.
If they choose, news organizations can make payment online, download the 720p HD video and share it with their audiences without further delay.
The goal is to reduce friction and eliminate the time and cost of marketing and invoicing found in traditional freelance video news models. The simple tools help with both cost reduction and mobility.
I’m not sure if I nailed the price points, but compare the cost of sending a crew — in a truck — when stations will need only to read their tweets and click to buy and download.
I spent less than $10 on the domain name, and developed and refined the site over just a few hours, but will also rely on my long background in newspaper and wire service photojournalism before becoming the first video journalist at the Philadelphia Daily News in 2007.
Here’s my first tweet-promoted effort: Philadelphia Chinese New Year 2014 footage
I haven’t any takers with my first few videos, but sooner or later I will run across something more critical, which I suspect may become the game-changer.
All of my endeavors in digital journalism — such as the Gun Crisis Reporting Project — are driven by social responsibility and intended as a public service, but I have been learning the hard way that none will sustain unless I incorporate a revenue plan from the launch.
Wish me luck!
p.s.: The still photo at the top of this post was take from the same video.