Breaking news demands urgency

Getting a sense of “urgency” into news coverage matters. Given real-time realities of Facebook and other in-the-moment social media connectors, there is an expectation that if something happened 10 minutes ago, there should be coverage available equally instantaneously.

Oddly, high school students sometimes have a “disconnect” between their “real lives” and their “high school journalism lives,” in terms of fast and timely coverage. Additionally, for video-based pubs, like INfocus, a challenging technical reality exists about the time it takes to upload and edit stories using HD footage.

Yesterday afternoon, our school’s athletic director announced that our school would no longer play our crosstown rival in football, due to lopsided game scores over the past decade and more. Big news!

PalyVoice had a “ticker” up almost immediately, and the competitive burners fired up on the other school publications.

An executive producer for INfocus decided to do a “one man package” to get his publication on the coverage map. He used an iPhone to shoot, edit and upload the story — thereby avoiding the time suck involved in high-def editing through a computer. He also had to decide, “Fast? Or more interviews?” and made the strategic decision for speed rather than shooting additional B-roll.

This exchange on Facebook is with Wes Rapaport, a former executive producer of INfocus and now a college student majoring in broadcast journ at Chapman in Southern California. He gives kudos — and critique — to his former publication’s work.

Ellen Austin Crosstown football rivalry tradition will end because the two Paly schools’ athletic directors have decided not to play the schools on the gridiron due to lopsided results over the years. Wes Rapaport, notice that this package was filmed AND UPLOADED on the same day? Keeping it … reel.


Wes Rapaport Especially pleased with the speed since the story broke in the afternoon! Great story and interviews, my only comment would be that it needs b-roll


Ellen Austin hahaha Ethan texted me the same thing! He filmed it, edited it in iMovie, and uploaded it in a total of 90 minutes. One-man show for this clip — kinda like somebody else I can think of!


Ellen Austin Oh, and how bout the “stay tuned to INfocus for more as the story develops…” Now if we can stabilze the video feed in the broadcast we’ll be great.


Wes Rapaport I miss running around PA working on things like this… now my surface area of orange county is a little bigger! Glad to see this happening quickly and of good quality! Always cross promoting social media never hurts… “follow us on twitter @palyinfocus for updates as they happen…” facebook etc, then you don’t NEED a video every time something happens.


Ellen Austin That part is a harder “teach” for now: there’s still that idea that “INfocus = VIDEO” and it takes a while to adopt that cross-platform mentality that a “teaser” is still covering the story… But hey — I’m loving that there is video! On the sae day! Whoo hoo! (visual is me dancing around my house to loud 80s British invasion pop music in ebullient celebration!)


Wes Rapaport hahaha you’re totally right, video should be king with that program, but definitely a long term goal. at Chapman News we’re re-evaluating the role of our social media producing to maximize accessibility and information sharing.


Wes Rapaport back to running around doing stories, I guess it wouldn’t surprise you that on Thursday I shot a look-live story, did a news package, and produced a sportscast in one afternoon? haha who am i kidding i still do too much in a day like 2 years ago


Ellen Austin although I’d like to tell you to “take it easy” i know that racehorses love to run….
Wes Rapaport on the bright side, i have little-to-nothing required of me from saturday until the end of january!

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