In recent years, photojournalists–many of whom started in print–have had to branch out into videography. Some have embraced it and hit the ground running. Others have struggled to adapt. What are the transferrable skills sets between the two, and what skills are unique to each story form?

I think the transferrable skills from still to video are mostly visual – composition, light, moments. The audio aspect of video is often challenging for still photographers and that’s really the key to making a great video piece. We cover many of the issues in our online training modules, which you can find at

What advice do you have for undergraduate journalism students–particularly those interested in documentary photography and video–who are preparing to enter the job market?

Become a great storyteller, focus on the doing a few stories that are really in-depth. Learn how to learn as the tools are going to keep changing so it’s not about the software that you learn in school, it’s about being able to pick up new tools continuously as they will constantly evolved. Finally, if you don’t absolutely love it you should consider a different profession. You can make a living, but you have to be really, really good to accomplish that feat. You won’t get rich, but you will lead a rich life and if that’s not enough of a primary reward for you then you should simply do something else.

There has been a lot of talk lately about whether journalists need to know code to make them more marketable as digital journalists. What are your thoughts about assertion?

Yes, having lots of different skills will make you more marketable, but will it make you more impactful? I’m not a fan of the jack of all trades approach. I think that is an economic decision for companies to pay low salaries to fewer people and it will result in less than stellar products. I think this approach creates a mediocre journalist and will not help us tell important stories in compelling ways that drive people to action. I understand the idea of a liberal arts style approach to teaching journalism, but the reality is that if you want to be great, if you want to make a difference, then you need to become an expert at the thing you most love and then collaborate with others who are expert at things that you are not. That’s what will create great storytelling. No one person can do it all, we need to be working in teams to create breakthrough storytelling.

Tell us a little about how MediaStorm got started.

After graduate school, I took at job at MSN News in 1995. I was the 11th employee at the startup that would become a year later. I was responsible for the audio, video and photography elements of the site.  To showcase visual journalism in new media, we created “The Week in Pictures” and “Picture Stories.”  We put quality journalism onto the Web and viewers flocked to us.

After seven years at MSNBC, I moved on to Corbis, a digital media agency founded and owned by Bill Gates.  I developed the strategy for the news, sports, entertainment and historical collections.  In addition, I assigned the best photographers around the world to focus on creating in-depth multimedia products.  We found new ways to market these multimedia documentaries to different publications, some in print, some in broadcast television, some Web-based. We had created a model for making long-form journalism economically viable.

After two years at Corbis, a management shakeup left me without a job, but gave me the opportunity to start my own business.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 at 12:17 pm and is filed under uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.