Reuters video: in the heat of the action

Take a look back at some of our recent news video hits

By Yann Tessier, global head of output – video news, Reuters

I am surrounded by fire

It was with these simple words that LA videographer Krystian Orlinksi described the scene as he shot the devastation around him during the California wildfires that blazed through the news agenda last week. As he speaks, gale force winds are blowing all around him. And so are the flames. It’s like being in a fire tunnel.

Generally, we forbid our staff getting this close where the individual is so clearly at risk. However, Krystian had an overpowering personal reason: he was trying to find out what had happened to his home, from which he had evacuated his family a short while earlier.

Krystian is safe, and so is his family. But his pictures are some of the memorable images of the wildfires that have swept through Northern California – and topped news bulletins around the world.

Getting the bigger picture

Our crew of four videojournalists covering the California fires have all done a phenomenal job. There are unfortunately too many edits to mention here, but we should all pay tribute to another piece by Alan and stringer Sandra Stojanovic, of the aftermath.
Steady shots and sequences. Tight shots on a long focal length but still very stable. I particularly liked the travelling shots which added some mood and dynamism. Globally, our 45+ stories were used by more than 1,190 channels in more than 70 countries.

Covering Israel/Gaza

For me, one edit more than any other told the story of the great job we are doing out of Gaza and Israel covering some of the worst violence since the summer of 2014. It was this one which cuts between a shot of Qassam rockets leaving Gaza and their interception by Israel’s Iron Dome system over nearby Ashkelon –– all in the same edit.

Newsrooms and journalists are used to this kind of footage. But it takes hours of work, of being in the right place, and reacting instantly when things happen in seconds, to get the few precious frames of footage.

Certainly, there isn’t a single broadcaster with as many resources and experience in the region. So far, more than 770 channels have aired footage of this latest conflict, with the most-used edit being the bombing of the Hamas TV building.

Our efforts to dig deeper in developing personal or subject-based stories continue, and these stories are often the most memorable –– the stories of a single person and how they have been impacted by a situation.

One example this week was of the death of a Guatemalan migrant, who was found just north of the U.S. border with Mexico. Our teams in the U.S. and Latin America collaborated to cover his funeral in Guatemala to build a picture of who he was and what drove him.

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