The Boston Globe’s Emily Sweeney

Emily Sweeney speaks to the class.Last Friday, Boston Globe reporter Emily Sweeney presented in class on her experience with video at The Boston Globe. When Sweeney came to the Globe, multimedia wasn’t part of the picture.

Sweeney explained that her interest in new forms of media led her to buy a handheld video camera that she brought with her when reporting stories. She would edit together the video she shot and post it with her written story. This model became common practice at the Globe.

Showing us some of her work, Sweeney noted that her earlier videos were a bit rough around the edges. But while higher quality is always better, something is better than nothing. I agree.

Unlike Sweeney, the news dinosaurs still lumbering about in the speed-of-light news world of today are perfectionists. If it doesn’t cost a million dollars (which they no longer – if ever – have) and look like Spielberg himself put it together, they don’t want it. This attitude is the one that’s allowing bloggers, tweeters, facebookers, and other peons like myself to take over the news world. CNN has the right idea with its iReport program, exploring the new frontier unsure of what the final product will look like.

Sweeney’s attitude with new media was similar to Sir Edmund Hillary’s attitude for climbing everest; “because it’s there.” She wasn’t sure what it would turn into or how good it would be, but she did it because the technology was available and it would be silly not to use it.

Hopefully, my generation of reporters takes on a similar attitude and we can create tomorrow’s media environment without having to know beforehand what it will look like.


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