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Video — yes, video

“A generation of producers, VJs and reporters who grew up watching and making videos online is now leading the charge in many places.”

Not like the now infamous pivot to video that led to job losses, declining audiences and worse. Not the one prompted by faulty metrics and the search for a sustainable business model. But a shift towards the good stuff: Stories that are better told in moving images, the videos that take skill, craft and time to make.

2019 will be the year we discover what that overused and so far mostly meaningless phrase “digital video” should actually mean. That is, it should be much more than video that simply exists on digital platforms regardless of how it’s made.

It’s not that video that combines storytelling, craft and good journalism for digital platforms is a new idea. There are plenty of amazing videos out there, and there have been for many years. But they are not the norm.

I’ve stopped counting the times people discuss Vox explainers (in awe) in conversations about video. I totally agree, they are REALLY GOOD. But, the fact it’s the example that is brought up time and time again, suggests we are still searching for what makes good “digital video” in news.

Things are changing and I think this will be the year we actually see video doing what it should across different digital platforms.

A generation of producers, VJs and reporters who grew up watching and making videos online is now leading the charge in many places. They are bringing in a new grammar for video, with its own pace, tone, style and dramatic structure. And, with it, an understanding of the different platforms for which the videos are made.

We’ll see fewer of the mass-produced videos with floaty stills and lots of text – cheaper to make and often indistinguishable from one another – and fewer repurposed TV clips.

Increasingly video will consist of serious investigative reporting, forensic journalism, explainers in which the visuals actually aide understanding, op-eds with interesting and unheard voices speaking directly to viewers, documentaries (short and long) that have impact and shows that do not feel like television.

More of this digital output will make it on to TV or at least influence how content is made for it.

There will always be a place for raw, quick turnaround stuff — often the most powerful video — but crafted digital video will finally find its sense of purpose.

Nathalie Malinarich is the mobile and new formats editor at BBC News.

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