Small camera video

Journalism pundit/pioneer/heavyweight Jeff Jarvis is having fun at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with Pure Digital’s FlipVideo cameras as well as a Rueters Mojo toolkit, which is centered around a Nokia N95 cell phone.

We’ve been using FlipVideo and its predecessor models (the early version from Pure Digital wasn’t called that) at the Knoxville News Sentinel since October 2006.

It’s the most disruptive tool we’ve introduced in the newsroom in years. Every reporter can potentially create video — most of our reporters have shot at least one video since October 2006; several have done many, many more.

Are they award-winning pieces? Nope. Are there times to use better equipment? Definitely.

But for spot news or the short clip, its small size, ease of use and darned good video quality make it an unassuming game changer.

(What’s the field take on using the Reuters kit, or just the N95 by itself, for news video?)

Jarvis’ idea of giving them to non-journalists to create content is also intriguing. Hand them to a high school student at a football game and say: “Be our reporter.” At just over a hundred bucks, it beats a lot of alternatives. Crazy?