May 19th to 1st June 2002



The 12th Circom Regional television journalism training workshop in Kosice was a first for digital production methods. This year's workshop operated solely on DVCam format. Sony Broadcast and Professional Europe providing PD250 and PD150 cameras with Avid Technology providing Avid Xpress DV software for post-production facilities. The software was loaded into Dell laptops provided by Karol Cioma the Training Project Manager who is convinced that this way of working will be commonplace in the near future.

"Consider the size first of all, small cameras, a computer laptop for editing, a microphone and some ancillary equipment and you have a full production facility. At Kosice we had five of these units available to us which was perfect for our training needs. Make no mistake these are early days in newsgathering in this way, and it will take newsrooms quite a while toi adapt to non-linear editing being used this way, because at the moment it is slower that conventional Betacam SP editing. However, the software provides greater flexibility and I'm sure that this type of equipment will soon be seen in newsrooms throughout Europe. It's cheap, it's flexible and it's good quality despite what you hear from the "old hands" in the television industry.

The new equipment proved such a success that delegates couldn't wait to get their hands on it. They quickly realised what it was like to be behind the camera and they also learnt a few tricks of the trade in the editing process. Karol Cioma says "There are fears that the arrival of smaller formats will mean less jobs for technicians…not true. It means more original output for the television stations and the professional technicians will spend more time on the prestigious, big budget programmes."

During the workshop Circom training delegates sat in on the presentations of Michael Rosenblum an advocate of the single operator video journalist. Rosenblum has been successfully preaching this method of working for several years in the United States and more recently in Europe. He may have found it a little frustrating therefore to find himself in a situation where he was preaching to the converted. Circom training has struck a first once again and maintains it's position as the leading regional television trainer in Europe.



Gerard Le Couedic of France 3
with Avid DV laptop

Fiona Walker, BBC Scotland and
Katarzyna Dziedzik TVP Bialystok
editing on Avid

Malcolm Owen, BBC Wales with
Sony PD250 DVCam camera
<< Close up Avid editing software >>


Kosice Hosts the12th Circom Regional Journalism Training Workshop

This was the first time the Circom Regional training was co-ordinated by the Thomson Foundation. Gareth Price, the Training Co-ordinator was quick to recognise the reputation and tradition of previous Circom training workshops. "Thomson Foundation and the Circom Regional board decided early on that the style and content of the workshops would basically remain the same, only minor changes would take place only if there was an improvement to the course."
And so it proved, 25 young journalists from 10 different countries across Europe attended the workshop. They were joined by a team of trainers and technicians from a further 6 countries. Circom Regional member stations, the Council of Europe and the Government of Luxembourg through the Stability Pact fund, financed the whole event. Trainers and technicians services were provided free of charge by the Thomson Foundation, France 3, ARD Berlin, BBC Midlands and BBC Wales.

Ian Masters, Controller of Broadcasting at the Thomson Foundation, led the course. "The main purpose of the training was to improve young journalist's television news reporting. Not only by improving their journalism, writing and presentational skills, but also by helping them to think more in telling the story through pictures. After all television reporting depends on interesting pictures and natural sound to re-create the atmosphere of the story or the event to our audience."

The main course ran for 8 days during which 25 sessions of theoretical and practical exercises took place. The delegates used over 400 hours of videotape as they produced 10 news packages in 2 days. They did this using DVCam cameras supplied by Sony Broadcast and Professional Europe and editing software supplied by Avid Technology. But it didn't end there. The young journalists the got to work on reporting on the Circom Regional annual conference. They produced 6 reports over the three day period.

Hans Jessen of ARD, Berlin believes Circom Training has entered a new era. "The annual training event has been a remarkable event for the past 9 years and it goes from strength to strength. If you don't believe me then ask some of the 400 journalists that have attended the workshops what they think of the unique work we do. It's particularly rewarding this year that we were joined by a young journalist trainer from France 3, Laurence Houot, who contributed so much to the course and is likely to do so for many years to come."

Karol Cioma was the Project Manager on the course and is delighted that most things went smoothly. "The only problems we had were lost suitcases and editing in cramped bedrooms, but like all other workshops, the job had to be done and the team along with the delegates made sure they completed their course work despite everything. I hope they learned as much as I did. It was a great experience".