How online video journalism has become a celebrated medium

Go back just six years and online video journalism was an obscure technical specialism, its fruits accessible to few. In 2005 YouTube was launched, sparking a revolution in online video creation and consumption and the engagement of internet users worldwide. The recognition it brought coincided with the creation of a number of awards for online video journalists. These awards are increasingly prestigious as more and more news organisations and journalists tap into online video technology and the market becomes ever more competitive.

The Concentra Award aims to inspire independent video journalism and focuses solely on the medium. It also aims to promote healthy competition between the various makers of television news items. The winner of this annual award receives 10,000 Euros in prize money. Adam Ellick of the New York Times took the prize in 2010 with this film about Pakistan’s slums;

The Online News Association was founded in 1999 and is composed largely of journalists whose main work involves gathering or producing news for digital presentation. Their annual Online Journalism Awards have three categories for professional video journalism based on website traffic (Small: Up to 999,999 monthly unique visitors, Medium: 1 million-4,999,999 monthly unique visitors, Large: 5 million or more monthly unique visitors). There 2010 awards were presented at a banquet in Washing DC and recognised the following films;

Toronto Star (Large):

The Las Vegas Sun and the Greenspun Media Group (Medium):

Yale Environment 360 (Small):

The Association of Online Publishers holds an award ceremony each year to recognise excellence in digital media. It praised The Guardian in 2010 with its award for Use of Video, stating;

The Guardian has shown innovation and creativity in both the form and content of its video output in the judging year. A small dedicated team produce the core video, while photographers and reporters are also trained to shoot video, which has meant that video output is not a mere copy of the broadcasters’ but something aesthetically unique, combining economy and creativity.

The Guardian’s use of amateur footage of the death of Ian Tomlinson [see post Two stories that pioneered the power of online video] was noted.

Laura Heighton-Ginns

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