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.)
Now that the United States and Iraq are accusing each other of violating the Geneva Conventions in the handling of prisoners of war, journalists should familiarize themselves with the international humanitarian standards. The full texts are available online in many places, but they are long and complicated, particularly for journalists on deadline. So be sure to check out this fantastic online guide from the Society of Professional Journalists.
Here's a look at the IPT Suitcase, a briefcase-size satellite broadcasting system that some broadcast networks are using to transmit video and audio via satellite -- using standard Internet protocols and at speeds of up to 2 megabits per second--equivalent to an average DSL connection.
Arab television network Al-Jazeera has launched a long-awaited English-language Web site. After publishing graphic images of dead U.S. soldiers, the site has had trouble staying online, as it's been hit by denial-of-service attacks. When it's up, it should prove a valuable resource for journalists and readers looking for an Arab perspective on the war with Iraq.
Integrating all technology available -? including e-mail alerts, updates on the Web and a presence on television ?- serves the public, beats some competition and improves the overall quality of reporting. If you haven?t integrated your newsroom yet, here are some tips from The American Press Institute on what you can do without spending a dime.
Gary Price of ResourceShelf.com passes on these two great resources:
• Speech and Transcript Center: Direct links to transcripts of statements and speeches by government and other people in the news;
• Streaming Audio/Video News Page: This page focuses on direct links to broadcasters providing English language news either live or in individual segments.
More useful links on CyberJournalist.net's special Iraq resources section.
Now that the war has begun, much of the information journalists will be relying on will be coming from government officials. You can listen to most of these briefings and get complete transcripts online. If you miss the briefings -? or that perfect quote -? you can find complete transcripts and more online every day.
How small online operations can still serve readers with comprehensive coverage -- great tips from Poynter's Steve Outing.
Breaking news by nature is unpredictable. But whether the crisis is a weather-related disaster, the outbreak of war or even a terrorist attack, online news departments can prepare in advance so that they spend less time scrambling and more practicing journalism. Here?s where to start.
The possible war with Iraq has revived the bioterrorism fears that surfaced after the Sept. 11 attacks. As Americans confront the very real possibility that bioterrorism weapons may be used against our troops abroad or in a terrorism attack at home, it's wise for all journalists to get familiar with what could happen. To help reporters and producers tackle these stories, The Radio and Television News Directors Foundation has published "A Journalist's Guide to Covering Bioterrorism." Find out more about this guide.