Backpack journalism assignment 1: video analyzation

The first video I chose is by Katie Combs, a colleague of mine at The Record. I thought she did a really nice job a couple of days ago on a story about one.TLC, a special school program for homeless kids. The video is about five minutes long and focuses on a particular student. It supplements a print story that was in the newspaper.

First off, I thought Katie did a really nice job with the narrative. We start off in the family’s living quarters in a shelter and get some background before progressing into the school setting. We meet Robert, a third grader, who goes to the school. I liked how we see Robert interact with his dad and horses around. Immediately after, we see him in the school setting much more shy and reserved. Katie does a nice job of connecting the viewers to the subjects.

I also thought the pacing was well done. We’re never stuck on the same clip for too long. Blended in is the appropriate amount of secondary shots, like lunch plates, notebooks, etc. I especially loved how Katie worked in a close ups of Roberts dirty fingernails into those shots to offer even more insight into his way of life.

Graphics were well placed too. The text portion served its purpose well as an introduction.

One issue I have is about showing the faces of the other children in the class. It is obvious consent was gotten for Robert by his parents, but what about those other kids? Were their families contacted about this video? That is not clear. It is my understanding that you can’t film children without consent for something like this

The other part I struggled with a little bit was the ending. It came so abruptly to me. The dad is talking and everything seems to flow until it just fades out. I would have liked a little bit more of a set up. Give me some indication that we’re about to fade to black.

The other video I liked was this one by News 10 about the community in San Diego mourning the death of Junior Seau. It is a little bit different from the other video in that it probably had a much higher turnaround time. Those involved probably shot it and needed it for a news segment that was coming up shortly. In Katie Combs case, she had much more time.

This video actually didn’t bother with text, instead relying on a reporter to guide the narrative. The reporter explains who each person is and a little bit about what the situation. I thought the reporter speaking did a nice job interjecting when she needed. She kept things concise.

I liked how we got a sense of the circus surrounding Seau’s old house. There are people swarming everywhere, news vans lined up down the street.


The thing on the web I found interesting is a web site called Please check it out. It is a great job finding site, but it is more than that, too.

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