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Video plays an important part in our news coverage today

Mar. 23, 2013
Terry Eberle
Terry Eberle

I failed video training last week. I blame it on the wind.

As we continue our transformation to a 24/7 information center, we keep learning and polishing new ways to tell stories, your stories.

The News-Press has long been a digital leader. We first launched a website back in 1998 and have been shooting video for more than seven years and we have been buying new equipment for years to help us get the news to you quicker and in a more visual way.

One of the ways is with our new drone that is enhancing our coverage by shooting high-end video from the sky. Learn more about it by clicking here. We also are using smartphones, not only to talk but to shoot photos and video.

We no longer are just about one deadline and delivering a newspaper. It’s now about coverage all the time and moving pictures.

How you get our information may have changed but the basics of what we do has not — we still drive to be accurate, dig for truth and tell stories.

We no longer just use a one-way pipeline to deliver the news, we now must engage you in many ways — through the printed word, great photos and graphics, on your phone, tablet or computer with strong video.

On any given day, we have more than 50 people covering stories and shooting video. Thankfully, you haven’t been tortured with anything from me. We shoot breaking news, sports shows and touching video of a child fighting for his life. We connect, reflect and challenge you in every way.

Last week, three experts worked with about 65 journalists on what makes great video, shot not by a TV camera but on their iPhones.

We learned how to shoot and edit with apps — ProCamera and iMovie.

It’s amazing what you can do with a phone, some apps and a microphone. No longer are our phones just for talking. They really are a video studio. You can shoot, edit and do just about everything from the scene or your car. We learned to send from the scene, create news packages allowing us to never leave the news scene and still get you the information in moments.

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A single image on the printed page can make change, think of the Kent State University student shootings on May 4, 1970, or the children running from an attack in Vietnam. A video adds to the storytelling of the single image. It is to be taken in its entirety and not frame to frame.

We can get news up in real time and we can put you on the scene much quicker and much more vividly. We still talk about active verbs; detailed writing and quotes worked into fact-filled stories. But we added to that details about lighting, natural sounds and B-roll.

Here are some things we think about now:

• A different mindset is needed between shooting video and still photographs. Understand why.

• We should read all leads out loud before submitting stories.

• Write in short sentences — a dozen words. One thought per sentence.

• Remember writing for print is different than writing for video. Write for the ear.

• When doing a video interview, share the emotion and not the facts.

• Sound is more important than the visual. Wind is the enemy of good audio.

• Raw video clips enhance journalism, immediate, entry point on developing story, requires minimum editing, skill.

• Compelling content trumps it all in video. Have magnificent audio and tell compelling stories.

Here are just a few videos we do each week that you may want to check out:

For nature lovers, Andrew’s View. Photographer Andrew West documents how he gets those award-winning shots of Southwest Florida flora and fauna.

Environmental reporter Kevin Lollar’s “Kevin Cam” puts you in the water or handling that snake. Watch these on

For foodies, look for “What’s in your fridge” to look into the refrigerators of local community leaders and chefs and “Hot dish” to cook local chef’s favorite dishes. Go to

Need some consumer tips, Melanie “Tell Mel” Payne’s advice. Go to

These are just a few of the dozens of videos we do each week on the tablet, on mobile and for the web. Take a few minutes to watch and let me know what you think as we continue to innovate for you.

— Terry Eberle is executive editor of The News-Press. Email him at Follow him on Twitter: @terryeberle.

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