What do you owe your newsmakers?

There’s no doubt that your approach to a story may change in the process of reporting it, but do you need to let the people you’re covering know that, too? 

For me, this question was raised by a little brouhaha involving a student journalist and her professor at UNC-Chapel Hill.  The reporter, Carla Babb, did a story that the John Edwards’ campaign didn’t much like.  The story focused on the fact that Edwards had set up his campaign headquarters in a very affluent part of Chapel Hill, N.C., and it included sound bites from the editor of the UNC paper who questioned that decision by a presidential candidate who says he’s an advocate for the poor. 

When the story appeared on YouTube, someone from the campaign called both the reporter and her instructor, Dr. C.A. “Charlie” Tuggle.  Here’s a quote from the AP story about the incident:

The Edwards campaign complained to Tuggle, he said, that the student had not disclosed the angle of the story and had asked for access to do a feature on a student who was interning for the campaign.

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Improving Web video

Do three simple things and your online video will look better, says videographer Peter Ralph on his Shooting by Numbers blog.

1. Keep your lens clean. This is especially important if you are shooting hand-held, Ralph says, because you’ll be shooting wide open to keep the image steady and any smudges on the lens will be magnified.
2. Brighter images are better images. Don’t use a filter unless you have to. It’s better to overexpose some unimportant parts of an image than to pull down the overall exposure and wind up with murky video.
3. The less control you have over the shoot the more control you need over the camera. Image quality isn’t everything, he says.

Having controls buried in menus is the second biggest “gotcha” impacting the usability of consumer cams in demanding environments. The biggest “gotcha” of course is “digital zoom”. But I don’t think that one fools many people these days.

You do know the trouble with digital zoom, right?  Check here for the answer.