The Vertical Vantage

Updated: Jul 21, 2019

I believe many professional masters of video under appreciate or overlook vertical video; however, I do believe it is embraceable and opens the space for ethical creativity.



Currently, I teach a course titled broadcast announcing. I know announcements come in many forms. In these digital times, memes and text serve as announcements. The announcer may be silent – that opens the door for editors and photojournalists to become announcers. The voiceless announcements are just as powerful – billboards can get a heck of a point across.


President Obama created a meme for Vice President Biden’s birthday. President Obama is one of the most memed people – and one of the most decorated announcers. This is nothing new – I believe the totem pole (thank you Native Americans) and the bulletin board were social media forms. Evolution comes with the influence of technology on the dissemination of the media via its outlet.


Snap Chat introduced the concept of announcing, whether news or information, in a space where one can announce audibly, visually, with graphics and text – as a collective or separate. The production is designed for the vertical view.


When ESPN speaks with Steven A Smith – and he's not in the same studio as the other broadcasters – he’s seen via a vertical monitor. Mobile devices are generally viewed vertical. People habitual use mobile– which I believe has allowed the acclimation of vertical watching – especially for short form pieces. It makes me wonder if sitcoms and movies become vertical, or if we will welcome vertical screens in our homes. The every day person films with mobile devices often from the vertical scope.


The following is an example I used in class to showcase vertical editing with a presenter, audio, video, images and graphics. This example is taught concurrently with a focus on Snap Chat’s news unit, well-known organizations – with a journalistic basis – that produce vertical video and independent visual artists who capture from the vertical spectrum.

The story behind this story: embrace the possibilities because there may be 166 million folks (the last stat I read about regarding how many people subscribe to Snap Chat) who are waiting to witness the possible.


#MakeYourWeirdWork,

#TheJournalismEducator

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