Michael Rosenblum – Democratizing Video via Rosenblum Associates

Posted on 01. Oct, 2007 by in Broadcast, International, Uncategorized

Introduction and Narrative: In 1988 Rosenblum left his job as a producer for CBS. He was unhappy, “young and idealistic. I quite this very good job and took the video camerae to see if I could do it myself,” says Rosenblum. Using a small camera and laptop, he went on to become one of the first solo video journalists – producing quality work that was cheaper for network television to purchase. Since then, he has taught newsrooms and television stations across the world to adopt his methods.

Main Goal: To drive the democratization of television and video online. “It’s easy for somebody to start a novel because it does not cost anything to try to write one. Sometimes you get a novel like Harry Potter, sometimes you don’t. In television the industry is not structured to encourage somebody to go out and get a camerae and get a job. There are too many barriers between the technology and the end product at the end of the day,” said Rosenblum. Those are the barriers that Rosenblum hopes to break down.

Notable Achievements: Rosenblum Associates has gone on to change newsrooms around the country: New York One, The Voice of America, Video News International (today New York Times Television), Oxygen, BBC and was an advisor for Al Gore’s Current Television.

Rosenblum has also created DVdojo – a video bar/cafe and Citizen TV (ctzn.com) to create venues for citizen video journalists. And now, the Travel Channel Academy, in partnership with The Travel Channel.

A Surprising Realization:

1. How difficult it was to get it done. “I walked back to CBS and I got a meeting with the chairmen, I thought I would walk in the door, show him a piece and sell it right away,” But the business side of Rosenblum’s work has been slower than Rosenblum himself.

2. The enormous amount of talent that is buried not working for networks.

Biggest Practical Lesson/Mistake:

During a video journalist conversion, it isn’t enough to just train people and send them back to the station. For example, Rosenblum trained 750 video journalists at the BBC, but put them back in the old newsroom systems. “In fact you have to restructure the entire way the network works.”

Money: Money: Training individual video journalists saves a significant amount of money on production. Traditionally, 35 full time employees might only result in 11 cameras, creating a high cost overhang to produce video. After the conversation the station could have 30 or more cameras in the field.

Future Goals: Currently Rosenblum Associates is working on a new project with the Travel Channel, teaching people how to document their travels, which will start airing in November.

Rosenblum also recently created a site Citizen TV (ctzn.tv) – a cooperative of citizen journalism documentaries.

What do you hope to get from people attending this conference?

I’m always happy to listen to other people, you never know whats coming up.


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