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Shooting video for the Web in Iraq

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Travis Fox, a video journalist for WashingtonPost.com, has filed great footage of coalition troops in Umm Qasr, Iraq, building a prisoner of war camp. For most of his stories, Fox uses a Sony PD150, a roughly $7,000, 12-pound digital video camera with a five-hour battery. The gear is less than half the weight and one-tenth the cost of equipment used by crews for large networks. (If you're interested in how washingtonpost.com does such great multimedia work online continually, read CyberJournalist.net's Q&A with Tom Kennedy, who oversees the operations.)

StarTribune.com Multimedia Reports

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Minneapolis Star Tribune correspondents in the Mideast are filing some great multimedia reports, including audio reports from all five staffers in the region. Star Tribune newspaper photographer Mike Zerby has been filing video from the Marine camp where he is embedded in Kuwait (for the moment): Among them are good videos of troops getting their final briefing and taking their oath and singing the Marine hymn.

Auto-Launching Iraq Video

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Go to washingtonpost.com's Iraq coverage section and a video clip of the latest headlines greats you immediately. "Welcome to Confronting Iraq, washingtonpost.com's home for breaking news and analysis." Jessica Doyle then runs through the top stories of the day and on the site. A great way to bring video to users. Watch for more sites to start doing this.

More Awards for washingtonpost.com

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washingtonpost.com continues to receive recognition for its multimedia. The Web site took first place in the "Best Use of Multi-Media" category and received an "Award of Excellence" for the photo gallery "A Day in the Life of Africa" at the annual Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition. In addition, videojournalist Travis Fox was awarded a third-place prize in the POYi competition for the documentary "Rebuilding a Fortress, Rebuilding a Life" and a second place award for it in the separate National Press Photographers Association's Best of Television News Photography and Editing contest. Read CyberJournalist.net's interview with Tom Kennedy, washingtonpost.com's managing editor for multimedia.

Embedded Journalists File Online

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U.S. reporters embedded with troops in the Gulf have started filing online and in print. But that's not all they're doing. Christian Science Monitor Online Producer Ben Arnoldy has been answering questions online that readers e-mail in. And The Washington Post's Richard Leiby spoke to washingtonpost.com's Suzette McLone via satellite phone from Kuwait City and the site posted the video online.

Online storytelling's 'zeitgeist of exploration'

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In competition with national TV networks, washingtonpost.com claimed an unprecedented 27 individual awards at the White House News Photographers Association's 2003 television photography and editing competitions. Under Tom Kennedy's leadership the staff of Camera Works has pushed the creative envelope and experimented with new forms and techniques for telling digital stories to an Internet audience. In a Q&A with Dan Willis for CyberJournalist.net, Kennedy says he hopes online storytelling evolves to the point where we can mix the elements so well "that people are conscious of being told an incredibly powerful story, but they're never so conscious of the elements themselves that they get lost and diverted from the experience of the story." Continue reading...

Projo.com on The Station Fire

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The Providence Journal's Web site has done such a good job covering the fatal fire at The Station nightclub in Rhode Island that it's hard to know what to single out. In addition to continually updating the site with staff-written stories on the latest developments from the moment the news first broke early Friday morning, the site has published a slew of impressive online-only features, including: A first-person account from a survivor searching for his mystery savior; an online memorial for readers to post condolences for the fire victims; five flash slide shows and video from a partner TV site; useful information such as victim and memorial details; and much, much more. As a public service, the site has not only been running a Weblog of online reaction to the fire by staff blogger Sheil...

Reader Slide Shows

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The Charlotte Observer's Web site, Charlotte.com, has been publishing reader-generated slide shows during big local weather stories. "One of our Charlotte.com traditions is getting readers involved in telling the story of major weather events," the site wrote during an unusual January snow storm. "Since schools are closed today, and many of you won't be going anywhere, get out your digital cameras and send us snow photos: your backyard, your stuck car, your dog, your kids, etc." The site then published two slide shows using the best ones (here and here). The photos are by no means professional quality -- but they offer a fresh, unique perspective on the storms' impact. And they have the homey-feeling of a family photo album, except that in this case the family is one of Observer readers.