The next generation…

Interesting…as newspaper VJs move towards more complex and larger camcorders, broadcast is downsizing to smaller, more mobile cameras.

In the beginning newspaper photogs were learning video – all about motion and audio. How what they had been shooting their entire lives had to be rethought once they stopped aiming for a moment in time and instead were aiming for a sequence and telling a story with flow of motion and sound. Video is more complex – more akin to weaving elements together than stopping time.

As they got better at their new craft, these new VJs, OMB, backpackers got better and better gear…and some of their gear is even redefining standards for moviemaking, not just news (think 5D here).

The opposite has been going on over on the broadcast side. The one man band has always been part of TV news…kind of the poor cousin. OMBs were used by the smaller stations or even larger stations in their outlying bureaus.

Mike Rosenblaum (among others) broke the collar of shame, re-coined the craft as Videojournalist and rightfully set things straight…VJs can be masters of vision. On my side of the coast KRON in San Francisco raised them to star status – and buddy Stanley Roberts showed that even the toughest glare-you-down street shooter could masterfully craft stories all on his lonesome.

Now the camera is following the craft. In a much earlier post (which I’m still looking for) I asked why TV stations weren’t allowing their VJs the freedom of smaller cameras (Stanley by the way does use a compact size Sony).

Earlier this week a major player in broadcasting announced that it was ramping up use of prosumer cameras by its staff.

Hearst Corporation’s Next Generation Newsroom Project portends a major shift in thinking for television news room. Beginning with three stations in 2009, moving on to six this year with six more projected to come on board next year, JVC GY-HM100 cameras are marching into the hands of camera crews.

These crews (according to Hearst) will NOT replace, but rather will augment the traditional broadcast newscrew…aiming at the Internet audience rather than the (again, traditional) front of the tube group.

The good – overburdened crews get a respite for their backs…and hopefully this move will continue so eventually all crews get the more portable cameras. Laptops to edit…this camera natively imports to both Adobe Premier and Final Cut. Hearst is going the PC route with Dell laptops and Premier (which is dual platform by the way). The camera is a three-chipper with 1/4 inch CCDs and has both XLR and mini-jack audio inputs. Best yet, it shoots to SD cards (don’t know if you have to use the nearly $300 SDHC cards or can get by with less expensive ones).

The bad: one little line buried in the end of the press release:

…the GY-HM100 is the ideal camcorder for the Next Generation Newsroom Project, because it is a full-featured professional camcorder that records to inexpensive SDHC solid-state media, yet it is not intimidating to non-technical personnel.

Yeah…those three words at the end. Non. Technical. Personnel. Hmmm….reporters? Interns?

(Thanks to b-roll for the heads up.)