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Rosenblumtv

The writer is Michael Rosenblum, he of Video Journalist fame (or infamy). Michael is vilified by those who think he’s out to destroy television with his small cameras and “one-man-bands” (a pejorative term in television newsrooms). The loudest critics are video news photographers, that unique breed of adventurer that finds the “talent” aspects of the business to be otherworldly.

I’ve known Michael for many years, and I can tell you that he’s not out to destroy anything. His wish is just the opposite; he wants to save people’s jobs by altering the archaic status-quo of the traditional newsgathering process. I think he’s a genius and an innovator, but no one can argue that Michael Rosenblum is a storyteller. That comes out clearly in his blog.

From an entry called “Edward III, Crecy and Local TV Newsrooms,” Rosenblum tells the tale of how the use of new technology altered warfare in the time of Edward III of England. The battle was at Crecy, where the French army — made up of thousands of armored knights — met the king’s bowmen. He likens the strategy to that necessary for stations in the conversion to Video Journalists.

The French, in vastly superior numbers marched north to Crecy filled with over confidence. They looked out on the English forces and laughed. They would cut them to ribbons by lunchtime.

So the French army marched into battle with the English bowmen, on foot. The bowmen let loose their arrows — like rain.. and the French knights began to go down. The English were shooting the horses out from under the knights. This was against the rules! On the muddy ground, immobilized in their suits of armor, the knights were helpless as the English bowman set upon them and killed them on the spot. This was also considered unsporting behaviour. One was supposed, at worst, to ransome the nobleman.

The French army was decimated at Crecy, and later Edward repeated the trick at Poitiers. It was, in a moment, the end of knights, armor, chivalry and medieval warfare. A thousand years of history vanished in an afternoon.

What brought down the French army was first and foremost the technology of the long bow. But more than that, it was the pure foresight and courage of Edward to completely embrace the new technology and understand how to implement it. He could have just added a few bowmen to his army of knights (just as newsrooms could add a few VJs to their conventional reporters and cameramen). Neither does the trick. Edward reinvented warfare from the ground up based on the light, simple and portable technology of the long bow. It was an incredibly brave thing to do.

Michael’s been diligent to keep quality entries coming since he launched his blog last week. I hope he keeps it up. We need his experience and his voice.

Comments

  1. The blog output will continue for quite some time, Terry. Rosenblum has been giving these posts a “test drive” on Medialine’s Open Line, TVSpy, and bRoll.net for some time now. It would appear that he is only now collecting them within his own venue, which is smart, because he can control the flow of the conversation.

  2. Although I come late to the blogosphere, I am greatly encouraged by both Terry Heaton (who has been in this space for years) and Steve Safran from Lostremote.com. Its a lot easier than constantly responding to the same handful of critics on b‑roll.net or tvspy, and it does give one a measure of control over where the dialogue goes. I am grateful to Terry for his encouragement and support. Many thanks.

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