WASHINGTON – It’s a unique thing in journalism that you find a job on the cutting edge of transition, where your work — in it’s original form — is considered special and your job is not in jeopardy. Now, finding that job is a reality for many journalists in Web design, analytics, video and in multimedia roles. But finding that gig at a traditional news organization? Seems like too rosy a picture. It’s in this glossy pink world of opportunity that we find AJ Chavar.
While I’m writing a little more visually than usual, I do not mean to be trite. Chavar is in an enviable position at The Washington Post as a video journalist. And he earns the secure foothold he has there. We’ll include some of his work later in this post.
I was curious, as a journalist with TV news background, why he got into doing video at a newspaper versus seeking out a visual-first employer, like a documentary house or TV news station. He told me, my thinking was backwards — that unlike broadcast news outlets, newspapers are willing to take more latitude with their video content.
|Read a transcript of our interview with AJ Chavar.|
“When it comes to sort of beautiful documentary stories, you don’t see a lot of that in mainstream broadcast. That’s what I wanted to do. And, newspapers, sort of know that they can’t compete with broadcast stations when it comes to the things that they’re really good at. So, at newspapers, you’re able to work on in-depth, local stories and enterprise stories and you’re able to do things that are a little more beautiful and a little more poetic on occasion than I’ve seen people allowed to do or have the opportunity to do in broadcast,” Chavar said.
Video journalists at the Post work on their own, with reporters and with the newsroom on larger in-depth stories. Chavar says unlike a TV news piece that is relatively hard to find online even a few days after it airs, videos on the Post‘s site stand alone.
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