The eye behind the video camera

You can get your news-video fix online, because the A/V Department posts videos three times a week.

John Komarek

P

aper video? Wait. You can’t do that. Can you?”

Yes, The Minnesota Daily can do that – we have the technology. Well, the Daily you can pick up on your way to class doesn’t have videos in it. But you can get your news-video fix online at mndaily.com, because the Audio/Visual Department posts videos three times a week.

“Wait, I still don’t follow. Audio/Visual you say? Minnesota Daily?”

Yes, you heard right. We make “talkies” in Technicolor. In fact, the department has posted video stories for over three years now. Thanks to lobbying from Kent Erdahl, broadcast journalism people like me have an outlet on campus to share our style of storytelling. But don’t let the term broadcast fool you – this isn’t your five o’clock news. We at Daily A/V stay behind the camera and let the characters tell the story from their perspectives. In broadcast, we call them “natural sound pieces,” and it takes the reporter ego out of video journalism. Having no voice-overs makes our job harder, but more rewarding in the end.

“So, you guys cover things like dog fashion shows or baby panda births?”

At A/V we have no specific beat or area to cover, so our stories can vary from chocolate dress makers, to political speeches on campus to artist profiles. Some of our video stories cover and compliment those found in print. So the next time you pick up a Daily, look for a little movie icon just under the headline and before the article starts. On the other hand, sometimes we cover stories not in print. In that case, check the rail – the bottom and side portions of the front page – to cue you when to visit the site. Or you could just visit the Web site every day.

“But John, where are these videos you speak too much about?”

Well, on mndaily.com, there’s a picture in the upper right-hand corner under the “Drink and Dine” link called “Multimedia.” But, before you click on it, get a bowl of popcorn ready to enjoy two whole minutes of video news delight.

“But John, what if I miss one?”

Don’t fret, my friend. We have a video archive so you can watch your favorites over and over again. Just click on the words “More Multimedia Content” below the featured story of the day.

“So you say videos are up only three times a week? Aren’t you a daily newspaper? What’s the deal with that? Slackers!”

Ouch. That hurt. Well, here’s the lowdown. Daily A/V is two-strong right now – A/V intern Steve Kuzj and me as editor. And video is a different beast than print; you have to have pretty pictures and in-person interviews. Hopefully with time, you, the faithful Daily readers, will get videos five days a week.

Now, I know that you can’t exactly waste time in class (not that you do that) with a video on your laptop – that’s why the Daily has the crossword puzzle and Sudoku. But if you have two minutes of free time in your day, that’s all you need to watch one of our stories. And if you don’t like it, hey, what were you going to do on your computer anyways? Facebook your friend about how hot you think that girl/guy is in your class? No big loss, right?

Tell your friends, family, enemies and your newly-elected representatives that you want Moe video from your Daily. And when your grandkids go to the University and get their Daily A/V sent to the chips in their brains, you can tell them that you remember watching Daily videos on this thing called Internet using a computer box in aught six. And yes, when you are old you can say aught.

John Komarek welcomes comments at [email protected]