Life Life

30/06/2021 - 09:36

When newspapers become visual ones

In the digital era, electronic newspapers expect that the breakthrough of television will help “hold" readers. And we _ non-professional television program makers at Thua Thien Hue Online _ are trying day by day to catch up with that trend.

A training session on how to make a video clip

Information only is not enough

Duc Quang _ a reporter in charge of the tourism column at Thua Thien Hue Newspaper was transferred to the electronic newspaper section when Thua Thien Hue Online was promoting multimedia products, including video clips.

At the time, the switch caused Quang many difficulties in accessing subject matters and the way to work. It is because his major at school is traditional newspapers and for many years he had been working on them. All of a sudden, he must work simultaneously as a reporter for the electronic newspaper, a specialist in tourism for the newspaper, an M.C., and a video clip maker. 

Each type has its own characteristics. The electronic newspaper requires updates, but video clips demand even more. If the newspaper resorts to language, then the electronic newspaper needs “visual language” in addition to information.

For the newspaper, people are willing to be interviewed and provide information over the phone, but for the electronic newspaper, they are required to be filmed, and not everyone wants to show up in front of the camera.

Video clips on Thua Thien Hue Online contribute to attracting readers.

A non-professional television reporter like Quang when having not yet mastered recording equipment, and persuading interviewees to “show up” to be filmed is really an obstacle that is not easy to overcome.

“Take the last New Year’s issue for instance. Though having practiced a lot and learnt by heart the content, I still had to do it again and again many times to finish just more than 100 words out of my lack of confidence. When I finally managed to finish the work, people clasped their hands and cheered for me. I felt both happy and embarrassed,” said Quang. 

When the first video clips were released on Thua Thien Hue Online, and though they were not really as professional as clips by television channels, viewers of Thua Thien Hue Online were impressed. That is also a way to keep viewers with Thua Thien Hue Online.

At Thua Thien Hue Newspaper, not only reporters but also technicians and translators have to learn how to make video clips. Overcoming the initial obstacles, technicians have now mastered filming techniques and known how to manage images.

Although they do not have expertise in journalism, in order to complete their task, technicians must know how to operate the camera. They then share their filming experience with reporters.

The COVID-19 Newsletter, the New Year’s Newsletter, or the recent Market Economy Newsletter and the Culture and Tourism Newsletter are giving the electronic newspaper a new look, suiting the current trend. Many colleagues at press agencies across the country were taken aback when they heard that Thua Thien Hue Newspaper made the first COVID-19 Newsletter which connected not only reporters at the local radio and television stations, but also Vietnamese students in other countries and overseas Vietnamese around the world.

Behind those products is a non-professional team who has just been “introduced” to television. Translators must work as MCs; reporters, technicians, editors must write scripts, prepare commentary and work as cameramen.

Looking back at those first days when we began to learn how to make the visual newspaper, we can see the huge effort of reporters, editors, technicians and translators at Thua Thien Hue Newspaper. Those who used to be awkward with the new equipment now can make pretty beautiful clips. Translators won over themselves because they could work successfully as MCs despite the fact that they had not been trained to be.

Catching up with the trend

In addition to the trend in the digital age, the national development plan of newspapers with the vision to 2025 mentions the combination of different types of journalism while taking the advantage of the internet to actively provide official and well-directed news and increasing coverage. It helps open up a new direction for development of television products on electronic newspapers.

Currently, almost all newspaper offices aim at multimedia as a way to improve their newspapers. Many electronic newspapers have developed their own television channels and consider video clips as a way to "retain" the viewer with them.

Video clips are the foundation for us to develop an independent television channel in the future. Reporters at Thua Thien Hue Newspaper used to struggle with materials and how to access news for video clips on the Party Congress or for the New Year’s Newsletter. Overcoming those initial problems, we now consider ourselves as television reporters. Our products, thought far from perfection, finally reach the viewer.

Nowadays, besides news for the newspaper, within our capacity, reporters at Thua Thien Hue Newspaper have to film all events and interviews and work as speakers for the electronic paper. 

The electronic newspaper is gaining the upper hand over other forms. Non-professional television reporters at Thua Thien Hue Newspaper are still working and learning so that they can meet higher and higher demands of the modern newspaper, contributing to developing the newspaper office into a newsroom convergence.

Story and photos: Le Tho

Share