Welcome to Behind the Lens

Since 1998, a team of videojournalists, multimedia editors and designers have been creating a new form of visual journalism using the strengths of video and interactive media to tell stories on the Web. In doing this, we are deliberately trying to create a new model of storytelling harkening back to what Marshall McLuhan once described as an "acoustic space" that had more in common with cave paintings and oral storytelling tradition than the linear narrative forms that have flowed from text in the last 500 years.

We produce video stories in which the subject is more important than the storyteller, differentiating ourselves from the anchor-driven, reporter-driven model of broadcast news. We strive to create subject-driven narratives where people, places and events drive the story. We aim to connect our audience to situations, personalities and news events that shape their world. I believe that Web-driven visual journalism is still in its earliest stages. I encourage experimentation from our videojournalists and multimedia editors, and I believe audience feedback can be very helpful in shaping our evolutionary path.

This last point brings me to the reason for this blog. Our seven videojournalists who do their own visual reporting, editing and field production, as well as the team of 12 multimedia editors who shape washingtonpost.com's daily visual report, want to share their thoughts, experiences and philosophies with you in hopes of sparking a productive dialogue about developing the medium of Web-based visual journalism.

This blog will include stories by individual washingtonpost.com videojournalists along with some insight into the news gathering and editing process.

We hope our blog will prove useful in acquainting you with our ambitions for our storytelling, the issues we face in exploring the range of storytelling possibilities unleashed by the Internet and new technology, and memorable moments we encounter in the field or in the editing process.

Thanks for watching. We look forward to your reactions.

Tom Kennedy,
Managing Editor of multimedia

By Ju-Don Roberts |  December 15, 2006; 8:00 AM ET  | Category:  Documentary Video , News Video , Tom Kennedy
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Comments

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Thanks for finding a way to give more context -- and shelf life -- to this fine video story telling.

Posted by: Curt Chandler | December 22, 2006 05:19 AM

Very cool! I am a big fan of your camera works web site -- even back in the early days when you guys were the only ones pushing the envelope in multimedia storytelling.

I often swing by your site for inspiration.

Have you thought about embedding the video in the RSS feed for the blog?

I am finding myself watching a lot of video via RSS. -- kind of a one stop shop.

Keep up the good work!

-Seth

Posted by: Seth Gitner | December 31, 2006 05:18 PM

Congratulations on the Behind the Lens Project.

I am pleased to see you continue the our concept launched in 1998: Behind the Viewfinder - A Year in the Life of Photojournalism, featuring the work of 10 photojournalists as they reported the daily community news.

http://www.digitalstoryteller.com/YITL

In 1998, of course, the web was still primitive, and the pages of the site - which predated "blogging" - might look "vintage" in today's world. But it is important to share the story of photojournalism. It's audience is small in comparison to the WP -- about 11,000 visitors a month, but they keep coming to read and learn.

The old saying "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" is taken to heart by all of us involved in that earlier project and we say 'thank you' and great job!

F.R. "Fritz" Nordengren
producer
Behind the Viewfinder
A Year in the Life of Photojournalism

Posted by: Fritz Nordengren | January 21, 2007 05:20 PM

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