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Newsmakers

Journalism Schools Ask Federal Government to Allow Use of Flying Drones for News Reporting

ImageDrone Journalism Programs at the University of Missouri and the University of Nebraska, which received cease and desist orders from the Federal Aviation Administration last month, are now hopeful they can deploy small, unmanned aircraft for reporting such stories as natural disasters. Both programs were created to teach journalism students how to use drones in their news reporting. Each has applied for permits so they can resume operating the unmanned aircraft outdoors, the Chronicle for Higher Education reported last week. Both programs received the cease-and-desist letters from the FAA.

NBC News Buys NYU Graduate's Streaming Video Company

Phil GromanNBC News has bet on the future of TV newsgathering as coming from ordinary citizens who just happen to be at the scene of a breaking news story with a smartphone.  The network news operation has purchased Stringwire, a start-up by recent New York University masters graduate Phil Groman. As a student in the Interactive Telecommunications Program, Gorman developed the software concept at the school. NBC News has bet on the future of TV newsgathering as coming from ordinary citizens who just happen to be at the scene of a breaking news story with a smartphone.Stringwire uses the emerging WebRTC standard for transmitting real-time voice and video data over the web, the Verge reported. It's currently in private beta, the technology website reported. The software allows news organizations to request video from a group of verified contributors with mobile devices capable of streaming video.

AP Extends Contract with LiveU to Meet Live Video Demand

ImageAssociated Press journalists on every continent can now stream real-time video content back to its London production hub in full, broadcast-quality high definition. The international news agency has announced an expanded deal with portable live video-over-cellular specialists LiveU to deploy a range of professional broadcast technology devices globally. The agreement builds on AP's strategy to meet the increasing demand for live news from broadcasters and high-end digital publishers. AP also recently announced it had taken a stake in Swedish technology startup firm, Bambuser, which specializes in streaming live video over smartphones. The LiveU deal includes a backpack uplink unit with full high-definition capability, a smaller unit which can be clipped to a belt and technology to convert a laptop computer into a live video transmission unit. The small, lightweight devices allow a single professional camera operator to film and stream live footage.

JVC GY-HM650 Streams Tightrope Walk Over Mobile Hotspot

ImageNik Wallenda, a resident of Sarasota, Florida, gained national attention last month when he completed a 1,400-foot-long tightrope walk across the Little Colorado River Gorge near the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The event was shown live on the Discovery Channel on June 23, but WWSB, an ABC affiliate based in Sarasota, used the built-in streaming capabilities of the JVC GY-HM650 ProHD mobile news camera to provide live coverage of press conferences and other events from Arizona for Wallenda's hometown fans. With only a two-person team, anchor Lauren Dorsett and creative service producer Charlie Yeagley, who handled shooting duties, the station provided live coverage of Wallenda's arrival and press conferences, as well as stand-ups from the event.

Peter Norton Uses Anton/Bauer Batteries at RumJungle Media

ImagePeter Norton, founder and director of photography at RumJungle Media, an award-winning ENG/field production company, has depended on Anton/Bauer batteries for the past 21 years. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Norton came to the United States in 1990. He founded RumJungle Media in 1992 and grew it over the years from a one-man Sony BVP70is Betacam operation into a highly successful ENG/field production company with a specialized emphasis on visual storytelling. RumJungle is based in Mound, Minnesota. Now providing everything from HD/SD camera crews, producers and PAs to live HD/SD broadcasts with the company's DSNG satellite truck, RumJungle Media crews can be found traveling to the extremes, including the frigid North Pole and searing heat of Australia's Outback.

Telling the Truth Is No Longer the Top Priority in Journalism

I graduated debt-free from journalism school in 1968 at a time when there were plenty of jobs and some great opportunities in the news business. I was lucky enough to work at some prestigious news organizations, including United Press International, Post-Newsweek, Gannett and the Miami Herald. In every one of those news jobs, accuracy in reporting was priority number one. At UPI, it was very simple. Make a major error in a story that's released nationally and you were fired. There were no ifs, ands or buts. Rules like that kept you on your toes.

DSLR Camera Are Pushing Out Traditional Video Camera Designs

ImageSince the mid 1970s, video cameras have been a state of nearly constant change. Not only do camera prices keep falling, but the latest models are hybrid multimedia cameras that simultaneously record both full-motion video and high-resolution still images.  "At TV stations, the old news model is pretty much dead. The producer, the cameraman and the editor have all merged into one person. Stations are now ditching their Betacams," said Dirck Halstead, a veteran photographer who, for 29 years, covered the White House for Time Magazine.  The next generation of cameras will work for anyone who records both video and still images--whether television stations, newspapers, radio networks or documentary makers. The new designs stem from the latest generation of 35mm SLRs that now incorporate the ability to record high-definition video.

The Digital Journalist

Mediastorm's Rick Gershon and Nathan Golon traveled to Angola for 10 days recently to tell the story of the work of the Mines Advisory Group at work uncovering the thousands of mines laid by rebel forces in that African country. This was also a test for the new Canon C300 camera, which is capable of delivering cinema like imagery. The photography is stunning. Watch Surviving the Peace: Angola. Rick Gershon reports on his use of the Canon C300 camera which produced this amazing film.

How Long Until High Res Video Stills Replace Photography Altogether?

ImageA big part of photography is being at the right place at the right time, and of course having your camera ready to capture a fleeting moment. But what if you were able to just capture every single moment? That's what 4K video capable DSLRs like the new Canon EOS-1DC promise, and the folks at Untitled Film Works put one to the test to see if motion image photography is officially here yet.

Stations Uncover Scary, Dangerous, Nasty

Every so often I like to showcase a few stories by TV stations that are a cut or two above average and highlight the breadth of topics local news operations around the country are covering.  These particular stories cover a range of topics — breaches of airport security in Nashville; abbreviated prison sentences in Indiana; industrial pollution in North Birmingham, Ala.; and uncertified, previously owned mattresses in Detroit.