Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Today Anyone Can Do Live Television Reporting from Nearly Anywhere.

This photo is of a backpack Internet journalist Kevin Sites reporting from Nepal.

Tampa, FL—With television news becoming less profitable every day the move to what they call, backpack journalism is here. That’s where one person becomes the producer, reporter, soundman, lighting director, and photographer. The lone backpacker puts all the needed equipment into the knapsack. The quality of the final product usually suffers without the team effort but a usable report beats nothing.

The backpacker jumps in a car, drives to the scene, shoots the B-roll footage, gets the interviews, does a standup in front of the camera, Next the backpacker edits the video and delivers the finished product to the station for broadcast in the news lineup. This is time consuming and does not work for breaking news where live reports and interviews are demanded.

Now using the really inexpensive $3.00 per month, Internet telephone service, Skype live backpacker broadcasts can be broadcast over television airwaves from nearly anywhere. Live Skype based backpacker reports now can be seen on WTSP-TV’s news broadcasts.

The tools:

A decent digital video camera
Proper external microphones
Lighting for indoors or at night
A laptop computer with video editing software
A broadband connection wireless card
Cell phone with a Bluetooth for IFB purposes.
One fearless reporter

Less the reporter total equipment costs are under $7,000.00. Considering that a broadcast camera alone cost $60,0000.00 only 20 years ago this is remarkable.

Obviously you need to get into the fastest possible broadband connection to maintain quality.

Freelancers that can get to the scenes of important breaking news scenes will be able to command pay based on the importance of the video and inability of the broadcasting outfits to get their own people and equipment to these news making events.

Using this technology Police agencies can send live reports from major crime scenes back to their command staff.

Other possibilities are nearly endless nearly endless such as making live webcasts. Companies can monitor live video of work crews out in the field even in another country.

Read how this is working at WTSP-TV in Tampa, FL.


Anonymous said...

Paul how does one get a legal press pass so you can get beyond the outer perimeters crime scene tape (not the inner one).

Paul Huebl Crimefile News said...

Nobody needs a “pass” to cover news. That’s a right under the Constitution. Most police agencies will honor requests for media credentials that enable reporters to see only what the cops will allow you to see. That won’t be inside crime scenes ever.

During disasters entire areas are shut down and people are barred from going into their own neighborhoods. Here is where a pass will often allow reporters to enter the area to let the population see what’s going on.

The police agencies fingerprint the pass applicants to make sure criminals don’t get the passes. You must work for a news agency that they recognize.