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The finest short-form video news sites (and where to find them)


In September 2013 the BBC asked a very simple question; can micro video change how we communicate? Skipping forward to today it seems the jury has reached its verdict, and the answer is ‘yes’.

Of course the definition of ‘micro-video’ is loose. In the eyes of Smoking Gun’s staff this applies to any footage that doesn’t fit the usual broadcast bill of half-hour segments, whether that’s ten seconds or fifteen minutes. Running with this idea, here are some of the finest places to find short form video reports, all of which are perfect for fast news gathering, efficient research and, of course, entertainment.

Huffington Post
On the whole we have mixed feelings about any website that makes this much money but doesn’t share the wealth with all its contributors. Nevertheless, the Huff’s 60-second video reports, Mehdi’s Minute, such as this example, are rather innovative and, for the most part, pretty informative.

This stretches the ‘micro-video’ idea to its maximum length, but Vice Magazine’s acclaimed short films from social, cultural, political and militaristic frontlines have long been widely respected. Now the indie publisher has launched a standalone website for ‘serious journalism’, resplendent in 15-minute documentaries.

Far more conservative in slant than our previous choice, Auntie has been pioneering one-minute films for some time now. Everything from the week in Westminster to crises in Syria, Thailand and South Sudan have received this treatment, often attracting significant viewing figures.

Channel 4
460 began in March, and as implied involves Channel 4 News condensing several headlines into one, blink-and-you-miss-it 60-second visual digest. The move is part of a wider push to draw in a greater online audience- see also John Snow only using questions asked on social media for his What The Four interviews.

An obvious choice but an essential one. In an era of citizen journalism, wherein news agencies are often ‘beaten’ to the story by public by-standers with camera phones, if you want an instant update on a current situation YouTube remains a great place to begin, so long as you understand words like biased and inaccurate.

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