Wednesday, March 12, 2008

a good video: worth a million words

I've got more of the backstory behind the dramatic Humane Society footage of apparent slaughterhouse violations in the meatpacking industry in today's New York Times coverage of just how the videotape was shot, using a miniature camera. Secret footage is nothing new, but the article looks at a 'perfect storm' of new technology, audience attitudes, and subject matter that combined to make this shoot successful, leading to the recall of 143 million pounds of ground meat. Two great quotes in the article tell the story, first one from an advisor to the cattle industry:
“How are you going to keep the cameras out when they’re as big as the pearl buttons on my Western shirt?” she said.
...and the other from an animal-rights activist who helped her organization take secret photos 20 years ago:
“A picture is worth a thousand words, but a good video is worth a million,” Ms. Newkirk said.
On the serious side, the article notes some legal restrictions on photography in "animal enterprises," which include medical labs, ranches and more. Along with my recent post on citizen journalists with cameras, the article gives you enough background to start considering how you'll prepare for the inevitable taping of your events, meetings and facilities.

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