The market for local television stations was bullish in 2013, driven by the growing political ad revenue and fees paid to those outlets by cable, satellite and telecommunications companies for the right to carry their programming. In 2013, about 300 full-power local stations changed hands for a combined price tag of more than $8 billion, as major companies — from the Sinclair Broadcast Group to the Tribune Company — dramatically expanded their local TV portfolios. Despite that boom, a new survey of 1,300 local television news directors produced by RTDNA and Hofstra University paints a mixed picture of the staffing and spending patterns in local television news.
Juniper Rose likes the convenience of audio news. Katrina Cameron reads news mostly on her iPhone. For Vanessa Ochavillo, Twitter is the best way to stay on top of many different news sources. Daniel Rothberg prefers emailed newsletters in the morning. Will Wright reads a variety of sites but follows Al Jazeera and Reuters for international news. Of all The Bee's interns this summer - we have 15 in news - only the youngest, Isabelle Taft of Yale University, still prefers the printed newspaper to stay informed. That's a preference I more often hear from readers at least in their 50s or 60s. Yet the habits of our interns reflect modern-day news consumption - they are choosing to read what they want, when they want it and how they want it.
Dejero, a provider of bonded cellular and hybrid microwave/IP/satellite transmission technologies for mobile newsgathering, has developed a rugged and modular carrier system for the company's portable transmitters, called Dejero LIVE+. Roughly the size of a small briefcase, the LIVE+ Carrier is designed to increase a news crew's mobility and comfort by making it easy to secure and carry a mobile transmitter, such as the LIVE+ 20/20 Transmitter, to the scene of breaking news.
JVC Professional Products Company, a division of JVC Americas Corp., is offering a free three-year extended warranty on parts and labor for a select group of ProHD cameras, including some new 800 Series shoulder-mount models, as well as the SR-HD2500US professional Blu-ray/hard disc drive combo deck and select studio components. Products must be purchased from authorized U.S.-based JVC Professional Products dealers after July 1, 2014, to qualify for the extended warranty.
When Sebastian Lindstrom, co-founder of What Took You So Long, and his team journeyed to Liberia for their latest documentary, they avoided using large, heavy equipment in favor of an iPhone 5s equipped with the iPro Lens System by Schneider Optics. "We are a small documentary production company that specializes in supporting non-profits and development entities around the world," explains Lindstrom. "Our method of filmmaking depends on high-quality, lightweight equipment."
Glen Kantziper, owner/operator of production company KPSR, Inc. (Greensboro, NC) and a video journalist in the purest sense, has adopted the AJ-PX270 camcorder, Panasonic's first P2 HD handheld with AVC-ULTRA recording. He has used the PX270 for a variety of corporate and broadcast assignments. Kantziper has provided professional field production support to broadcast clients such as ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and ESPN, as well as to corporate giants such as Hanesbrands and the VF Corporation. Over the past several weeks, the DP has utilized the PX270 to shoot extensive green screen work for HanesBrands (Maidenform, Champion); an interview for the U.S. Army's web series, "Starting Strong"; a segment for Al Jazeera America's investigative show, "The System"; and a workplace violence awareness video for Piedmont Natural Gas.
For video Journalists working in heavily cellular congested areas, Dejero now offers its LIVE+ Booster, a high-reach connection and signal booster for bonded uplink transmissions. The LIVE+ Booster is a member of Dejero's LIVE+ family of news vehicle solutions. It is a vehicle-mounted device that uses an array of up to 10 high-gain antennas, enabling mobile news crews to extend their connection reception during difficult transmission scenarios, such as transmitting from crowded areas where cellular networks are overloaded or in low-coverage areas. "A newsroom's ability to cover live, breaking news as it happens can be a key differentiator in competitive markets," said Brian Cram, CEO, Dejero. "Our new Dejero LIVE+ Booster helps news crews get the live shot, even in poor cell coverage conditions.
Millersville University, in central Pennsylvania, recently named 22 in the category of "Top Public Schools" among Regional Universities (North) by U.S. News & World Report--has implemented a complete end-to-end Avid workflow for its state-of-the-art media production facility. By choosing Avid solutions, Millersville University is helping students learn the industry-standard tools and infrastructure used in professional production environments. "Millersville University is an academic leader, and understands that the media professionals of tomorrow need to be adept at the entire creation-to-consumption workflow..."
JVC Professional Products Company is offering a free version 3.0 firmware upgrade for its GY-HM600 and GY-HM650 mobile news cameras, that’s readily available through the JVC website. For both cameras, the upgrade includes 1080p/60 recording modes, Extreme High Quality (XHQ) recording with virtually lossless 50 Mbps H.264 (.MOV), and large file support for SDXC media cards. The firmware upgrade adds Zixi advanced streaming capabilities and live RTSP/RTP format streaming to the GY-HM650.
JVC Professional Products Company, has unveiled two new ProHD shoulder-mount camcorders--the GY-HM890 and GY-HM850--that deliver full 1920x1080 HD image capture; while a built-in streaming engine, FTP and 4G LTE connectivity allows live HD transmission directly from the camera without the need for external bonded cellular solutions. The new cameras also feature a new interchangeable Fujinon 20x autofocus zoom lens and three 1/3-inch (2.07 megapixel) CMOS sensors. The imagers provide 12-bit readout, F11 sensitivity (60Hz), and excellent signal-to-noise ratio. The new Fujinon wide-angle 20x zoom lens features auto focus, built-in optical image stabilization, and chromatic aberration correction. The interchangeable 1/3-inch bayonet lens also includes manual focus, zoom, and iris rings. "We believe the future is with the live video streaming and FTP service fully integrated into the camera, as demonstrated with the new GY-HM890 and GY-HM850," explained Edgar Shane.
Making pictures to support television news has changed dramatically over the past few years. From the medium's beginning in the 1950s until 1975, images were shot on 16mm motion picture film. First it was black and white and then color beginning in the late 1960s. In 1975, film images began to be replaced by video--shot using a new generation of back-breaking "ENG" (for electronic news gathering) cameras and recorders. The discipline of film was lost with video. With film, the camera operator either got it right (exposure, lighting, precise film loading) or there were no images. With video, the process began to become much more fool-proof, though not necessarily good in terms of production value. Today, news is transitioning from much smaller video camcorders to self-contained DSLRs. The reason is television news is not just for television anymore. It's now for web pages, smartphones and tablets, as well as the home TV.
Excellence in Journalism 2014, Sept. 4-6, is one of the industry's best journalism training conferences, but it will have even more than just amazing programming and workshop options. The Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn., will host EIJ14's exhibit floor (aka J-Expo), which will provide top-notch educational, networking and recruitment opportunities.
Those summer interns who just arrived in newsrooms across the nation may be enrolled in journalism schools, but the schools likely little resemble the j-schools their supervisors attended. Journalism education -- much like journalism itself -- is in the middle of a massive reboot, one with the potential to redefine how news is produced and consumed in the decades to come. Students still learn the basics, but computer coding and entrepreneurship often are taught alongside copy editing and beat reporting. Digital is the default, and the most innovative schools are churning out students with skills newsrooms may not yet know how to use. "Right in that first journalism class, they're going to be posting on the Web," says Mary T. Rogus, associate professor of electronic journalism at Ohio University. "They learn to shoot and edit video. They're starting out their freshman year being exposed to multiple tools, which is how we have to think of the platforms -- just another tool to tell a story."
The Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio & Television Digital News Association are jointly presenting the Excellence in Journalism 2014 (EIJ14) conference, September 4-6 at the Opryland Hotel, in Nashville, Tenn. Registration is now open and the program samples look inviting...
A couple of months ago, I was intrigued by a new 360 spherical camera that I immediately realized would allow video journalists to enhance certain news stories, especially on station web sites and perhaps as huge images for projection on the background of news studio sets. Ricoh, the company making the new Theta camera, had the same idea for news acquisition and sponsored a contest called "Spherical Report 360" that asked journalists and wannabe journalists to post 360 degree images on a website controlled by CNN. The purpose of the project is to explore new expression methods and possibilities for news images by using the very simple, pocket-sized Ricoh Theta camera..