Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

“Online video is not TV”

Posted in Broadcasting and Media, Journalism by Adam Westbrook on January 26, 2009

OK for many of you reading the title of this post the response will be ‘duh’.  And I think I’d already clocked there’s a big difference between TV video content and online content.

But until I watched a neat video by Visual Editor Robb Montgomery it had never been spelt out to me.

It’s a great video partly because it’s part-travelogue of one of my favourite cities, Paris, but mostly because Robb spells four narratives for online video – essentially four rules for Video Journalism:

01. the visual narrative: “the sequence of shots which tell a story

02. the audio narrative: “interviews, natural sound, scripted pieces

03. the graphics narrative: “titles and motion graphics

04. the social narrative: “the ability to comment, to rank, to group, to friend to embed, all the interactive part of video that makes the digial video experience so compelling.

Now the first three are hallmarks of television. When we learn the grammar of television, we learn to shoot sequences, to build sound and to add graphics.

But the fourth narrative, is really a fourth dimension which gives online video an awesome power – despite the “amateur” criticism so often labelled at it.  In fact Robb’s video is titled “audio is the most important multimedia to get right” Agreed: crappy sound is what gives much VJing it’s amateur title these days.

But Robb is  right: online video is not TV. It’s so much more than TV.As soon as we all realise that the faster it’s potential can be realised.