Ten ways web video journalism is unique

1. Authentic and audience are key
With online video, quality still matters, but doing it in an authentic way that connects with your audience is the most essential quality. For example, see how David Pogue (NYTimes.com) and Walter Mossberg (Wall Street Journal) chose to review the iPhone 4S.

2. Video is platform agnostic
If a story has action and should be seen and heard, then video is the best choice. Newspapers, magazines, broadcast, and web-only are all doing video. See this fun sports story by the Star Ledger newspaper.

3. Simplicity can be the most powerful technique
This simple video report by CJ Chivers of the New York Times takes the viewer to the front lines of a firefight in the Helmand province.

4.  Not confined by the TV schedule and commercial breaks
This 8:33 video by student journalists would never make it on TV, but it’s better than many of the TV news stories about the Gulf Coast oil spill.

5. Rely less on voice-overs and stand-ups
On the web, the audience doesn’t know – or particularly care – who the reporter is. The “in their own words” approach can often yield better video. See this profile of the ballpoint pen rapper by NewsWorks.org.

6. Cellphones will be there before the satellite truck and TV crew
Last week a Navy jet crashed in Virginia Beach. Like most breaking news stories, the first videos were taken with cellphones.

7. It is increasingly a “one-man” or “one-woman” gig
See this ad for Philly.com sports interns. “Note: This is not a writing job.” It’s building and updating web pages, creating photo galleries and videos. Basic knowledge of Final Cut and video editing is a plus. Here is an example of kind of work interns are doing. This intern shoots, does stand-up, edits, and posts online – all in a few hours.

8. It can be non-linear
The user decides where to begin and end in this Waterlife documentary about the Great Lakes eco-system.

9. It can be user-generated
See CNN’s iReport

10. It can be more experimental and creative
See this video created to accompany a NPR RadioLab episode and podcast, called Words.

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