We live in the information age. Information is available to anyone, and of any quality and quantity. Therefore, it's time to write instructions for creating content, which, of course, we will not do.
Most people just go with the flow, select resources based on their interests and consume content. If the ideal information resource is not found, then there are simply more negative comments from readers under the 'almost good' materials. It is naive to assume that people will read and comment on information that is completely contrary to their interests. This process also has a downside – the side of the creators of this very content. This is the side of journalists and bloggers, editors, photographers and proofreaders, content managers and layout designers. And there is always a trend following which the teams of information resources can feel relatively calm. But there are times in life when a journalist is left alone with problems. Or is it a novice journalist who has no support, and his life position does not allow him to follow other people's trends. Let's talk about the latter cases. How can one journalist do his favorite job and stay afloat? What technical means will help him?
So, remember, the success of a blogger or journalist depends on only one thing – the number of people who read or watch it. The rest is lyrics for romantics. If you are a beginner blogger or a lone journalist, then questions inevitably arise before you.
- What content to produce?
- What technical means to use?
- Where should the material be placed?
- How to avoid trouble?
- How to monetize labor?
To answer these questions, you need the help of a person who has gone through all the indicated stages and is afloat. Those. continues to do his favorite thing in spite of everything, while remaining completely independent. I ask everyone to keep themselves in control, because we are only interested in the technical side of the matter, and there are specialized resources to express our political position.
What content to produce?
Objectively, if your team consists of one or two people, then you can ride the information wave only by engaging in public protection of civil rights or political review. For the regular production of any more complex content, a whole team will be required, including a director and lighting technician, a screenwriter and a make-up artist. Here is the answer to question number 1 – in the realities of modern time and current geography, there is no alternative, unless you are a genius singer or artist. And there is nothing more logical than taking a camera with you and conducting a survey of the local population on the street. This conclusion can be reached in another way, not only by logic. This is exactly what happened with Alexander Medinsky, who was battered by life from all sides, and real journalism became the main occupation and the inevitable result of all life's perturbations. We must learn to separate bloggers and journalists in order to choose our own path.
A.N.:Alexander, good afternoon. In my opinion, nowadays a journalist differs from a simple blogger by having a certificate. This introduces him into the legal field of the state, under the protection of domestic and international laws. Do you agree with this?
Alexander Medinsky: A journalist differs from a blogger not only in formal features (professional employment and documents), but also in product. The journalist still relies on facts. He tries to represent all points of view and sides as much as possible. The journalist constantly checks the information and is responsible for it. The blogger expresses a value judgment more and does not bear any responsibility for this.
What technical means to use?
Something like this looks like the belongings of a trained lone journalist
A.N.:You started your activity back in 2016. Based on the quality of the video, it was filmed with a mobile phone. What kind of model was it?
Alexander Medinsky: Yes, I started filming video on my mobile phone. I don't remember exactly the model, but it seems it was Chinese Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro.
I was advised by a friend of IT specialists, he claimed that a processor was installed there Qualcomm Snapdragon. The quality was so-so, but I was satisfied. For a start, this was what was needed. There was a big problem with the battery (the phone was quickly discharged in the cold). The streams that I tried to conduct on Facebook and Youtube were of poor quality, the bandwidth of the mobile Internet (in Kiev. – Editor's note) did not allow it to be done with acceptable quality, the frame turned out to be blurry. It is also worth noting the lack of affordable and high-quality accessories; finding a normal tripod was a big problem. Overall, shooting with this one Xiaomi was a pain. But you know, I have no regrets, this is a good choice for a budget start. Of course, then I used a number of other devices, but that's a completely different story.
A.N.:What are you filming with now?
Alexander Medinsky: At the moment we shoot with a number of video recording devices. We have a small team and everyone uses what is at hand. The list of equipment that I have personally used is incredibly wide. But I shot my best videos with the help of a cameraman, on a DJI GO PRO / RAW camera with a Sennheiser reportage radio microphone.
Camera from 40,000 rubles, wireless microphone + related equipment, the same amount. And yes, this is entry level
Although the JVC EVERIO camcorder was a very old model with a primitive external microphone BOVE, I don't remember the model anymore. Cameras built into laptops, DSLRs, mobile phones, GO PROs, professional reportage cameras, and consumer camcorders were often used. It is impossible to list everything, I have tried so many equipment.
Where should the material be placed?
The Internet is rubbery, but not all social networks, public spaces or news resources occupy the leading places in it. What platform should you choose to publish your footage? We are interested in the availability of the site for viewing on any device, built-in services for maintaining statistics and, of course, feedback from the reader / viewer. We'll ask a specialist.
A.N.:You have your own news site, Vkontakte page, Telegram channel and YouTube channel. What resources have the greatest effect, convey information to more people?
Alexander Medinsky: We also have an OpenUkraine channel on ZELLO. But the greatest effect in the dissemination of information is, of course, provided by the OpenUkraine channel on YouTube. Very good feedback from viewers allows you to get accounts on social networks, for example, my pages in Facebook (I have two, main and backup).
How to avoid trouble?
What is 'getting out of trouble' for a true journalist is a highly controversial issue. There is always a choice between the desire to shoot really interesting material and the desire to preserve health and freedom. Perhaps a journalist should be assessed by this criterion, and not by external signs. Let's ask Alexander, who is engaged in journalism, I'm not afraid of this word, in extreme conditions.
A.N.: Looking at your street polls, you can notice that at the filming location you were periodically met by guys of strong constitution and interfered with your work. They grabbed the camera with their hands, threatened, waved. Do you think these meetings were caused by the fact that some structures knew your phone number and tracked its movement? Or is everything much simpler and you ended up with such people in the same place because of a common interest in the events taking place there?
Alexander Medinsky: Most of the attacks on me took place in public places, where I covered events of public interest. As a result, I can say that in conditions of an acute political crisis, a journalist or blogger trying to cover a situation that is sensitive to the authorities is being persecuted. It does not matter if they will beat you, trapping you under the entrance, during filming or under the police station where you came to file a report about the assault on you. Undoubtedly, the authorities concerned carried out electronic intelligence in relation to me. And I can tell you that there are effective methods to resist this kind of surveillance. But resisting large-scale persecution is almost impossible.
Even if you just stand on the street with a microphone, there will always be someone who will not like it
A.N.:What would you advise aspiring bloggers and journalists? What troubles should they expect and how can they be avoided if they decide to engage in opposition activities? Are there some universal rules to help you avoid trouble?
Alexander Medinsky: Unfortunately, in my country, following all the rules, you cannot avoid troubles. Pay more attention to your radio security and data protection, but this is a completely different interview question. In general, I do not think that a journalist should be pro-government or oppositional. Any of these definitions makes the very concept of journalism null and void. Journalism should be independent and informative. Providing food for thought, facts and different points of view is the main task of the journalist. Most importantly, avoid double standards.
How to monetize labor?
The blogger and the journalist need to eat and drink, dress and rest, they need money for equipment. Constant sponsorship almost always means some form of addiction, and the amount of money for ad inserts from YouTube or direct advertisers directly depends on the number of views of the material, as mentioned earlier.
A.N.: Does the channel generate any income? Or do you have to rely solely on the help of the audience?
Alexander Medinsky: The channel has not brought serious profit so far, we do not collect active donations. Once the extremists broke our professional camera and we had to ask the audience for help. It was amazing, in a short time we collected the necessary amount for repairs, there were many kind words and messages. Of course, we monetize the channel through the Youtube affiliate program, but our main traffic goes to Ukraine and Russia. And if in Russia advertising costs at least something, then in Ukraine it's just ridiculous money. Over the entire period of the channel's existence, we have earned a couple of thousand US dollars with investments in equipment of more than 10,000 dollars. In retrospect, I understand that we could have achieved better results at a lower cost. Unfortunately, there was no one to prompt and explain all the subtleties. At the moment there is an understanding that the channel needs financial support, but there is no desire to become dependent on a sponsor. There is a great desire to work independently and not have any framework in their activities. I think that we will have to organize crowdfunding companies to raise funds for our projects. Perhaps organize the sale of related products such as T-shirts.
To get into YouTube trends and make tangible money, it is no longer enough to just shoot and upload videos. There is no question of getting to the top for one person. Only cooperation with ideological colleagues and absolutely exclusive content can give some chances. And this is exactly the case when Xiaomi is not 'better'.
Friends, if you are old enough and you are worried about really interesting things, then you are welcome to share your opinion about the modern information environment. Is it free enough for new players to enter? It would be interesting for you to read about the real means of detecting electronic surveillance? And methods of countering it?
Well, young people and people who love exclusively money can be advised a simple recipe: put a cardboard box in front of the camera at home, put cute kittens in it and broadcast with the tag 'don’t forget to donate to feed kittens ”.