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Mobile video empowers staff, fosters viral conditions

By Hanna Kouri

Sanoma Media Finland

Helsinki, Finland


I want to tell you about the new tool to make and edit videos that I mentioned in my first blog post. This tool that we are very excited about is called Wochit.

Sometimes those videos caught in the spur of the moment are the ones that become most popular.
Sometimes those videos caught in the spur of the moment are the ones that become most popular.

Our editors have learned to make great videos with their mobile phones. Here is a funny one that our news editor made on his way home from the editorial room. It became a viral. The topic is “a small but demanding every day challenge.”

This video is a good example of how viral videos are usually born: by accident. That is, they are not planned in the editorial room. On the contrary, somebody sees something interesting and takes the opportunity to film it.

I think this is why it is so important to rethink the equipment videos are made with and the roles in the newsroom.

When we started talking about mobile training for our reporters, there was some fear about it among both videographers and editors. Videographers were afraid we were going to replace them by allowing editors to shoot videos themselves with their mobile phones. Editors were afraid that, in addition to everything else they are doing (print, Web, etc. ), they were going to be required to shoot videos as well. That, of course, is not what we planned.

Professional videographers are needed for more refined filming.
Professional videographers are needed for more refined filming.

Yes, things are changing, and in all media we must do more with fewer resources to survive.

But the main idea was that editors would have the tools and skills to shoot videos if something came up and they didn’t have videographers with them — such as on the way to work or on assignment. It is also more reasonable that our professional videographers are used on assignment for projects that are more demanding and require professional videographers.

For example, this epic mini serial was made by one of our videographers:

However, if one wants to survive in the media business nowadays, there is one requirement: You must be willing to learn new things — like editors learning to make mobile videos. And, like the examples above show, it doesn’t mean we have to give up professionalism or weaken the quality of our journalism.

Actually, it’s the opposite: By learning new skills, we can do something completely new that we wouldn’t have been able to do with our old methods.

About Hanna Kouri

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