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#Tip of the day for journalists: Five pointers on iPhone video

Here are two videos shot on an iPhone with tips on making smartphone films look professional.

It is worth watching both videos with tips including:

1. Use an app that gives you more manual control than the standard iPhone video app. The video suggests Filmic Pro (£2.49), a previous app of the week. The second video (at the link above) demonstrates the importance of white balance.

2. Use studio lightening – or light your subject with a second iPhone.

3. Use a second iPhone to record the audio. The video suggests the standard voice memo app.

4. Use a tripod (the second video recommends three options).

5. Get creative. This includes using a dolly and filters in Final Cut. The film also warns against using the iPhone’s own zoom.

Videos recommended by @dragilev.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.

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#Tip of the day from – an ‘online video shopping list ‘

Multimedia producer and lecturer Adam Westbrook has written up an “online video shopping list”, outlining tips on planning and preparation through to advice on the “shopping trip itself” – the video shoot.

See his post here.

Tipster: Rachel McAthy

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.

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#Podcast – Lessons in long-form video journalism from the Guardian and Vice

August 17th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Podcast
Copyright: jsawkins on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Copyright: jsawkins on Flickr. Some rights reserved

News outlets have been producing online video for several years, with most organisations favouring short clips responding to viewers who favour one, two, five and 10-minute films.

But as technology delivers higher broadband speeds, platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, and devices such as iPads and connected TV, viewers are increasingly watching long-form online video, often at home, often in the evening, and news outlets are responding.

This podcast looks at how the Guardian and Vice have found success with long-form video documentaries and discusses the various commercial options to make video pay. technology editor Sarah Marshall speaks to:

  • Dan’l Hewitt, general manager, AdVice, a division of Vice Media
  • Stephen Folwell, business director, multimedia and brand extensions, Guardian News & Media

Last week’s podcast looked at digital opportunities in long-form journalism, focusing on written content.

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the iTunes podcast feed.


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#Tip of the day from – how to improve video with shot sequences

Poynter has a really helpful guide on understanding how shot sequences can improve a video.

The article explains how shot sequences can enable and enhance storytelling and details two-shot, three-shot and five-short sequences as well as pitfalls.

The guide, which is well worth bookmarking, is at this link.

Tipster: Sarah Marshall

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Olympic figures: BBC reports 12m video views via mobile

August 13th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Traffic

The BBC has revealed the figures showing the number of people consuming Olympics news across four platforms: desktop, tablet, mobile and television.

The BBC Internet blog reports that the broadcaster saw 9.2 million browsers to its mobile site and iPhone and Android Olympics app over the course of the Games.

The post also reveals the BBC clocked up more than 2.3 million browsers using tablets.

Writing on the blog, Cait O’Riorda, head of product, BBC Sport and London 2012, said:

Consumption of video content on mobile has been perhaps the key takeaway from the two weeks: we saw 12 million requests for video on mobile across the whole of the Games.

Overall the broadcaster had “106 million requests for BBC Olympic video content across all online platforms”.

The blog post has several interesting graphics, including one to demonstrate how people used each of the four platforms at different times of the day.

The key findings are:

  • PC usage maxes out during the week at lunchtime and during mid-afternoon peak Team GB moments
  • Mobile takes over around 6pm as people leave the office but still want to keep up to date with the latest action
  • Tablet usage reaches a peak at around 9pm: people using them as a second screen experience as they watch the Games on their TVs, and also as they continue to watch in bed

The blog also reports that the video “chapter-marking feature, enabling audiences to go back to key event moments instantly, received an average 1.5 million clicks per day. The chapter marker for Bolt’s 100m final win was clicked on more than 13,000 times”.

The most-watched livestream of the Games was the tennis singles finals. There were 820,000 requests for live video of the matches that saw Serena Williams and Andy Murray take gold.

O’Riorda states in the post:

The peak audiences for Team GB’s medal moments were bigger than anything we’ve ever seen. Over a 24 hour period on the busiest Olympic days, Olympic traffic to exceeded that for the entire BBC coverage of FIFA World Cup 2010 games. On the busiest day, the BBC delivered 2.8 petabytes, with the peak traffic moment occurring when Bradley Wiggins won gold and we shifted 700 Gb/s.

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App of the week for journalists: Socialcam

July 18th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in App of the Week, Broadcasting

App of the week: Socialcam

Phones: iPhone and Android

Cost: Free

What is it? A video-sharing app that has had 16 million downloads.

How is it of use to journalists? Socialcam is being used by various news outlets, including the Washington Post, which is using the app for its London Olympics coverage.

The app got numerous mentions at Friday’s news:rewired – full stream ahead conference on digital journalism.


The app allows journalists to record and share videos and encourage participation by the Socialcam community. For example, the Washington Post is encouraging people to take videos with suggested topics being “a tour of an Olympic venue, an interview with a Londoner, fan footage of an amazing victory, cultural events in London”.

Those who add videos are encouraged to tag them “Washington Post” to alert the news outlet to the submission.

As the name of the app would suggest, one of its strengths is the social aspect, particularly with Facebook sharing, which gives news outlets and journalists yet another way of engaging with the Facebook community.

Have you got a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for’s app of the week for journalists.

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#Tip of the day from – how to host a Google+ Hangout On Air

An increasing number of news outlets are using the Google+ Hangout On Air feature to involve their community both as participants in the video broadcast and as viewers. On Air hangouts are broadcast live on YouTube as well as on Google+.

Time magazine held its first Hangout On Air last month and Al Jazeera social media programme The Stream held an editorial meeting via hangout.

If you would like to follow suit, here is a video hangout explaining how to host a Hangout On Air (HOA). It is hosted by Sarah Hill.

In this HOA, France 24, KOMU-TV, KRNV-TV, WSPA-TV, developers and independent Journalists share tips, tricks and tools on how to host your own Hangout On Air.

This 10 person video chat room is fueling a journalism renaissance as it’s a collaborative space bringing together developers with traditional and independent journalists.

Tipster: Mike Downes (via Google+)

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.


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#Podcast – Lessons in online video for local, niche, national and international publishers

June 22nd, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Podcast

Image copyright: jsawkins on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Publishers are increasingly thinking about ways to improve and grow their multimedia offerings online. So in this week’s podcast we speak to industry experts about the latest approaches to online video journalism, and some examples of what seems to be working for local, niche, national and international media outlets.

The podcast hears from:

  • John Domokos, video producer for the Guardian
  • Marek Pruszewicz, editor of the BBC’s global video team
  • Andy Dickinson, senior lecturer in online journalism at the University of Central Lancashire
  • Andy Plesser, founder and chief executive of Beet.TV

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the iTunes podcast feed.


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MSN UK study release: Quarter of respondents ‘overwhelmed by the volume of news each day’

MSN UK recently commissioned a survey of 2,000 people (carried out by OnePoll) which looks at audience behaviour in certain news situations, as part of its Best of Now marketing campaign.

The findings including looking at the sources people turn to for breaking news coverage. This found that the majority (40 per cent) of respondents (who were able to select more than one answer), chose online news sites as their source. This was followed by newspapers with 30 per cent and social media with 20 per cent of respondents.

The survey also asked what news sources were most trusted by respondents, which saw broadcast television and radio come top with 43 per cent, followed by online news sites with 19 per cent, newspapers with 15 per cent and magazines with 9.1 per cent. Social networks were named as most trusted by just under five per cent.

A quarter of respondents highlighted in the survey that they can be “overwhelmed by the volume of news each day and demand quality, not quantity”, according to a press release. And when it comes to time spent consuming news, with the survey finding that on average 10 years ago respondents felt they would spend around 10 minutes a day consuming news, compared to an average of 15 minutes today.

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Audio: voices of the gentlemen (and ladies) of the press

Next Friday, 8 June 2012, I am going to cycle alone and unsupported 1400km from my home town in Brighton to Oslo Norway to raise money for the Journalists’ Charity. I aim to complete the journey in 11 days.

The Journalists’ Charity used to be called the Newspaper Press Fund. In 2004, the BBC Radio 4 programme The Time of My Life visited one of its care homes and interviewed some of its former Fleet Street residents. The charity kindly lent me a cassette recording of the show and I have converted it to digital for your listening pleasure below.

I think you will agree it’s a delightful piece. And I am hoping it will finally convince you all that this is a worthwhile cause (because frankly raising money so far has been like getting blood out of a stone!)

So, if you haven’t already sponsored me, please do so here. I aim to raise £1,000 and, at the time of writing, I am just under half way with £475 with six days to go before I start.

You can also learn more about the work of the Journalists’ Charity in this video and more about my ride and route here.

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