It’s not very pretty, but it’s cheap. At the level of your local TV news we are in the new age of the Backpack Journalist, Video Journalist or the One Man Band. The news organization sends one person to do the work of four. He or she also must edit the video for broadcast.
A full news crew for a properly done story is made four professionals. A reporter, photographer, soundman and a field producer are the minimum most network news shows send to cover a story. Details and perfection are the constant goal of these well-paid journalists that bring news stories into your living room.
With the information explosion of the Internet and cable news the TV news audience and revenue has been reduced. Along with that the well-paid and glamorous TV news jobs are not so slowly vanishing. Reporters are being invited to do the job of four people for the same or even less money then they were making before this crisis.
The VJ or OMB has to learn all four jobs and do them all and the results have not been very impressive. They are sent out with much cheaper hi-end consumer camcorders that only cost a fraction of the professional industry standard. In fairness these cameras do remarkably well in the right hands.
Who are the best-qualified candidates to fill these new jobs? They are all posting right now on Youtube and Myspace. Today they are filming themselves setting fire to their farts and bringing us those Mentos and Diet Coke offerings.
The goal is to get more VJs out to cover more stories. Here is a video made by some less than enthusiastic news folks who will show you how this new program really works.