Members of the Web Content Staff pose in front of the TAB backdrop

Brendan Keefe on Investigative Journalism

By Lauren Jurgemeyer
Blog Content Contributor

On Nov. 10, a few members of the KTSW Web content staff attended the Southwest Broadcast Newsroom Workshop in Houston, Texas, to hear from industry professionals.

The program for the Southwest Broadcast Newsroom Workshop, with a blue outline of Texas and the abbreviation for TAB.
The program for the Southwest Broadcast Newsroom Workshop. Image courtesy of Lauren Jurgemeyer.

Brendan Keefe, one of the panelists, is the Chief Investigative journalist for Atlanta’s WXIA-TV. Keefe hosted a variety of panels during the workshop, including Multi-Cam Interviews on a Budget, Creative Stand-Ups and How to Make Them on Deadlines, MMJ: Standout Solo Storytelling in The Digital Age and Investigative Techniques for Every Storyteller.

Keefe is a thrilling presenter who often turns on his ‘news voice’ when imitating others. He is clearly passionate about what he does, and was more than willing to share a few trade secrets with his audience. He harped on the idea that everyone has a camera on them–their phones.

In particular, his presentation on Multi-Cam Interviews on a Budget, Keefe showed his audience an array of videos that he had shot alone, and broke them down shot-by-shot so he could describe what equipment he used and how young videographers on a budget could fake it. Keefe encouraged us to make our videos in such a way that would cause viewers to pause and take time to watch it.

Keefe said, “Stop the scroll, stop the channel changing.”

Later in the day, Keefe presented on Investigative Techniques for Every Storyteller. He preached that as an investigative journalist, he must always be one or two steps ahead of whomever he is investigating. Keefe mentioned that once you start requesting information, the people you are investigating will catch wind.

He said, “We play chess, not checkers.”

Roswell Police Intentionally Freeze 13 Year Old to Get Him to Tell The Truth from Brendan Keefe on Vimeo.

Using the video above as an example, Keefe explained how to request documents and security footage, as well as how to edit and overlay clips. He went on to explain for the purpose of a story, hold back and then reveal to get a bigger reaction out of the viewer–he told us to be a storyteller not a journalist.

Follow Keefe on Twitter at @BrendanKeefe or follow on his website for more of his stories.

Featured photo courtesy of Andronica Owens.

 

 

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