Ahrens' piece provides support for an idea that's seemed intutively true to me for some time: we don't need to be creating 60 Minutes quality television to get in the game. In fact, you might well argue that the opposite is true. I'd love to see us using cinéma vérité video to add value to all kinds of reporting. In Fresno, they've had good success using little digital video cameras that sell for less than $200.
Why couldn't a foreign correspondent use a weekly, five-minute video post to set up what to watch for in the coming week? ("This week in China, observers will be watching to see how the visiting North Korean delegation is received when it arrives on Wednesday. I'll have coverage outlining the issues before arrival and expect to be writing extensively after the visit about what new direction blah blah blah ...") Shouldn't we webcast editorial board endorsement interviews with candidates for city council? Wouldn't coverage of the new art museum be enhanced with a video walk-through online?
From Aherns' piece:
Newspapers know that it is far cheaper to ask entry-level videographers to shoot digital video of a news event and post it on a Web site than to pay a TV reporter, video photographer and producer to create a three-minute news report for television. Many newspapers, including The Post, are training their reporters to shoot video with their stories. Some reporters carry video cameras and shoot video to accompany their articles when they appear on their newspaper's Web site.
Some of you are doing some of this now. More of us need to be doing more of it, soon.