Reporting by Reuben Stern and Olga Kyle

The mass proliferation of smartphone cameras and mobile video apps has already reshaped the way video fits into our lives. But how is it changing the expectations — and possibilities — for visual journalism?

The RJI Futures Lab sought ideas about where video journalism is headed from two masters of visual storytelling:

  • Brian Storm is the founder and executive producer of MediaStorm, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based film production and interactive design studio that has continually pushed the boundaries of online visual journalism.
  • Jon Alpert is the co-founder and co-executive director of the Downtown Community Television Center in New York. The organization’s documentary work has received two Academy Award nominations as well as nearly every other type of television award.

In this report, we hear about the place of micro-video via sites like Vine and Instagram, the challenges of funding quality work, and the importance of good old-fashioned storytelling.

Reuben Stern is the deputy director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and host and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.


The Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the iPad app to watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode.