To my visitors: From time to time I get requests to post the writings of others. Unfortunately some of these people are really promoting their personal businesses rather than providing information suitable for Crime, Guns and Videotape. I want more news in Crimefile News but I can’t be everywhere to do it myself.
This is where some of my skilled visitors come in. I want your stories. They must be up to journalistic standards. I don’t want rewrites of published news stories. They should contain video or at least pictures taken by the contributors.
That means getting interviews of your newsmakers, vetting the information properly and avoiding libel. Diligent use of public records is a must.
There are few limits on subject matter if the material is compelling and interesting. Submitting stories about government policies, crimes, courts, corruption or your latest gun are acceptable. Perhaps the actions a local hero, or some inspiring person may be great material. I’m not looking for commentary or opinion material from the contributors however I expect to see opinions pop up in provided interviews of newsmakers.
I want acceptable and properly edited video. An iPhone can be used with iMovie can accomplish great things with minimal training. May I suggest an E-book called iPhone Millionaire by Michael Rosenblum. You can get this through Kindle, iBooks or Amazon.com. It will give you a great deal of information you will need.
The bad news is I can’t pay for your material. The good news is your work will be seen and properly credited. Additionally of this idea flies there could be money down the road.
I don’t want discourage your quest to report news but there are roadblocks and speed bumps. CNN has had iReport out there for years. It’s been a colossal disappointment. I would hope someone would be able to dazzle CNN enough to hire them. I call that missed opportunities.
Occasionally excellent raw and unedited video has come in as news was breaking at violent events and disasters. But for the most part all that came in was unwatchable crap. If you’re at a news-breaking event get some interviews. Most people will talk if you bother to ask them.
For your video editing you need to put in well-written voiceovers. iMovie has the tools for this. Added voiceovers are much better than trying to narrate on the fly. That’s how the people you watch on TV news do this. You can also do a stand up where you face the camera to tell a small part of the story.
For my cop, paramedic and fireman friends may I suggest that you use a pseudo name to avoid difficulties with your departments? This is a great way of exposing the truth that too many government administrators can’t handle.
Below is a simple video news package I did on the death of Conservative Blogger Andrew Breitbart’s death in the Brentwood neighborhood of L.A. It contains a voiceover, graphics, an interview and a standup: