Friday, 24 July 2009

Union to train volunteer video journalists

Make a broader group of people aware of what the union does and make union volunteer work more diverse. Those are the objectives of the new volunteer role of camjo (camera journalist; the Dutch term for video journalist) at the Dutch private sector union FNV Bondgenoten. The term refers to volunteers who will use their camera to visualise issues within their sector in an accessible manner. The videos they make will be posted on union websites or on the social network site Hyves (comparable to Facebook), where various union groups are already active.
Making the videos involves a broad spectrum of competencies: scenario writing, producing, directing, interviewing, camera work, making sound recordings, editing, converting files to formats that are suitable for the Internet and publishing videos online.
For now, the union plans to train 6 to 12 volunteers for the new role. Jo Kant of FNV Bondgenoten explains: “We expect a commitment from volunteers to make productions during a number of years.” Another condition is for union officials in the relevant sector to perceive the camjo as providing added value. They are expected to fund the training and the equipment as well as coach the volunteers.
The camjos will be deployed primarily within their own workplace or sector, although they may also be asked to film specific actions elsewhere. As far as Kant is concerned, the initiative will be expanded to other unions. Until then, all FNV members can participate in the training, but FNV Bondgenoten members have priority. Information on the new function can be found here (in Dutch).
Image: video journalist in Italy. Photo Roby Ferrari

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