It's a cliché, but it's true. In television production, audio has long been the stepchild of video. But it doesn't have to be. In fact, audio is just as important as video, and -- if you master the techniques well -- it can give you a competitive edge over other videographers. In a one-man-band "run and gun" video shooting situation, recording good audio is much harder than when having a professional sound operator at your side. But it can be done. You simply have to think through what you can and can't do well. What can you do?
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.
A young reporter working for an Alabama television station was recently fired for revealing too much information on her personal blog. The story, though missing some details, says a lot about today's news business. Shea Allen, the 20-something female reporter fired, wrote a blog called "Confessions of a Red Headed Reporter" and did some personal YouTube videos. She was quickly creating a signature of her own, something her bosses at WAAY-TV, Channel 31, in Huntsville, Alabama couldn't take.