why newspaper video sucks


Well-known member
Well I wrote the Guardian a letter. Will be interested to see the response.

Dear Guardian.

I’ve recently had an interesting encounter with the Guardian on line.


It started with an article claiming that their 4 day video course could teach you to shoot “perfect broadcast quality” and compared it to hiring a $50,000 professional crew.

I found these claims to be plainly false and I’m not the only professional cameraman to take issue with this.

Nino Giannotti one of Americas top broadcast cameramen put it like this.

“The Rosenblum/Guardian advertisement makes us look like a bunch of thieves who grossly overcharge for our services and I’m not going to keep my mouth shut because they don’t like it.

As a consumer and homeowner if a roof contractor tells me that he can put a roof on my house for $2,000.00 instead of spending $50,000 I would definitely question it, especially if he said that they have installed over 40,000 roofs. I would want to see other roofs that he made for that little money. When the contractor says “trust me” but have nothing to show every intelligent person would know that something is wrong and would tell that roof contractor to get lost.

The same goes for Rosenblum and The Guardian claiming that for 2K they can train people to do work that it would cost $50K, there’s no difference. Show us proofs of what you're advertising and we’ll peacefully go away. But they haven’t done that, they have instead deleted those embarrassing questions.”

The Rosenblum Nino refers to is Michael Rosenblum the author of the article and interestingly the person who runs the video course. I would have thought that that was a conflict of interest for the Guardian right there but it doesn’t seem to bother them.

(Michael is a “colourful” character with an interesting past and I and many others have debated with him for a long time on other forums. If you go to the cameraman’s forum on b-roll.net a quick search of the term “VJ” you will find about 10 years of disagreement.)

Scroll down the article in the Guardian down to the comments section and you will immediately notice that there are a lot of deleted comments. Any criticism of the article or the course has been systematically removed.

Positive comments by friends of Michaels are allowed to remain.

The Guardian community standards say
“1. We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), persistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated. The key to maintaining the Guardian website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.”

The problem here being any criticism of the course, no matter how mild, is seen as an attack on the author of the article as he is also the person who runs the course. So it becomes impossible for anyone to refute the statements he makes about his own course without their comments being deleted. If it was an advert I would be tempted to report his ridiculous claims to the advertising standards authority but it is printed as an article and as an article it should follow the standards of balance and fairness.

Look at what Michael says in his comments. He admits the course is a “video literacy course” and while that may be a good start but that will hardly leave participants shooting “Perfect broadcast quality” as he claims in the article.
Broadcast quality is an industry standard.

Michael doesn’t even argue that participants will be up to true broadcast quality, instead he argues that broadcast quality has become so devalued it is meaningless and professional standards are so low the term broadcast quality has come down to meet them. He’s not really saying they will be good as broadcast quality at the end of 4 days, he’s saying they will be as good as the worst quality out there, which is misleading to say the least.

Just for the record I’m not suggesting that Michaels video literacy course is not any good. In fact I sure that it is good at what it does an introduction to shooting and editing video. But at the end of a 4 day course no matter how good it might be, you will not be turning out video that is comparable to a $50,000 production company.

As for the $50,000 for a profession crew to shoot your home video, it is just a made up number with no bases in reality or fact behind it.
Michael seems to use numbers that feel right to him. He has claims to have taught over 40,000 people but can’t back it up.
He says “I used to throw around the number 30,000 for a long time, but I thought it was time to pop it up a bit. In all honesty, I no longer have any idea.”
Hardly the standard I’d expect from a journalist writing for the Guardian which by the promotion of his article he is.

In all I think this article reflects badly on the Guardian and feel you should do something about it.

Stephen Press
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Don't mean to drag up an old thread here, but I just came across this Guardian article. To say that you can shoot broadcast quality video on small handheld cameras is (these days at least) possible. I'm actually sort of banking on that fact by going back into the news biz with a $1000 DSLR. But to say that it would rival a $50,000 crew? I seriously doubt what I could create on my little DSLR is going to rival an entire professional crew that charges $50 grand for their services - and I know what I'm doing behind that lens. Some Joe Citizen off the street who's never shot video in their life? No frickin' way.

As for the last post on this thread well, it's been over a year and Stephen hasn't posted an update, so that kinda tells us what answer (or lack thereof) he got from the Guardian. I'm not surprised.