Monthly Archives: May 2007

Documentary & Journalism pt. 3: Definitions

There is a definition of documentary attributed to John Grierson that I like:

“Documentary is the creative treatment of actuality.”

While cetainly not an end-all-be-all, I think it is a reasonable starting point.

I don’t have as good of a historical definition of Journalism. I did look it up on Wikipedi, which seems as good a place to start as any:

Journalism is a discipline of gathering, writing and reporting news, and more broadly it includes the process of editing and presenting the news articles. Journalism applies to various media, including newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. . . . [Read the entire entry]

Anyway, I’m not entirely sure where I am going with this, but I left in all of the additional Wikipedia links because the except is so inter-contextually dependant, it is almost not even a definition . . .

In this ongoing discussion, sometimes people substitute in “news” for “journalism.” To me, this is odd because I think the answer to the question, “Is Documentary Journalism?” is “Sometimes.” However, if the question becomes “Is Documentary News?” I think the answer should be “Almost Never.”

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My students are constantly surprising and impressing me.

One unexpected thing that came out of this semester was some great examples of branding – catchy titles that are appealing, memorable, and aprapo:

The Great White Mark” – DC’s premeire white rapper and radio personality

Sons of Pitch” – an a capella group

ESMNBC” – a spoof news network (creator’s initials are ESM)

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More student work, this time by Evan Madow:

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The Great White Mark

A student project by Thomas Wall and Michael Riccio.

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Alexis Van Hurkman

Alexis is our technical editor on the workflows book.

He’s also been a big supporter while we developed the idea.

Alexis is a multi-talented guy: author, editor, colorist, teacher, and we could not be more pleased to have him officially on the project.

Rob worked with him or the first time last year, serving as the technical editor on Alexis’s Encyclopedia of Color Corection for Final Cut Pro.

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