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Johnson taking Herald further into multimedia age

    The Statesboro Herald has taken another step towards the age of multimedia programming.
    With a revamped Web site at www.statesboroherald.com, the Herald has a new weapon to give readers further insight into the world of prep and collegiate sports.
    Vince Johnson, a 23-year old graduate of Samford University, arrived in Statesboro with the mission of creating weekly sports vodcasts, giving the Statesboro Herald an entirely new dimension.
    “I thought I knew what I was getting into when I became the ‘video guy’ at a newspaper,” said Johnson. “I was expecting to find some ‘newspaper people’ who really didn’t want me here. That hasn’t been the case at all. Everyone has been very supportive as we take strides into a multimedia platform. There seems to be a shared vision here that a video component can benefit all aspects of our company, and I believe it’s this kind of progressive thinking that is really going to help take news coverage in the Statesboro community to new heights. I’ve been really impressed by everyone’s willingness to learn about the broadcast medium, and the talent here has far exceeded my expectations. I think we’re on our way to bringing great news coverage to the Statesboro community through a variety of sources, and our Web site is crucial to development of the entire company.”
    For now, Johnson produces two shows: ‘Prep Sports Blitz’, which airs every Thursday at 4 p.m. and on demand 24/7, and ‘Eagles Nest All-Access’, which airs every Friday at 4 p.m. and also on demand 24/7. Johnson, however, said he’s just getting started.
    “In the coming months, we’ll launch a brand-new studio, and that will take our vodcasts to a new level in terms of production value,” he said. “We’re also planning a daily newscast online, highlighting the day’s top stories in a timely fashion. We’re always trying to ‘up the ante’, pushing as hard as we can bring the viewer the best possible product, both online and through our newspaper. I’m just happy to be a part of this in the Statesboro community.
    Johnson works with intern Stewart Davis, a GSU student. They work seven days a week to give online readers the latest in sports coverage. Highlights of prep sports and Georgia Southern athletics are up within hours after the event. Johnson and Davis have two GL2 cameras and several smaller cameras that they use to develop, shoot, edit and produce all of videos exclusively for statesboroherald.com.
    “When I’m producing any type of television (or vodcasts in this case), I’m trying to find the perfect mix of style and substance,” Johnson said. “Especially working for a newspaper, it’s very important to me that I feed the viewer meaningful information throughout the broadcast. I want the viewer to learn something from all of our broadcasts. With that said, entertaining the viewer is almost as important. In an age where the Internet provides endless amounts of information and everything is a click away, I want the viewers to want to watch our shows, and I want them to come back. In most instances, I strive for fast-paced, hard-hitting broadcasts because, quite frankly, that is what I like to watch. The delivery of most local news on television bores me, so I try to model our broadcasts after national cable networks, such as ESPN and CNN. I want our broadcasts to breed excitement for the local stories that we’re covering.”
    Before arriving in Statesboro, Johnson worked at Ramsay & Partners, a small production company in Birmingham, Ala., serving as senior producer for numerous local shows and, most notably, college football preview specials for ESPN2 and ESPNU. In college, Johnson anchored the school’s televised news show, hosted Samford football’s scoreboard show on the radio and was the sports editor for the school newspaper, the Samford Crimson.
    Johnson was also a finalist for ESPN’s Dream Job, where he got to travel to New York to meet with ESPN executives.
    “Ultimately, I want statesboroherald.com to become the template for all Web sites of small to medium sized newspapers looking to expand into video production,” he added. “We’re in the beginning stages of the process, but this company is on the cutting edge of the direction journalism is going. It’s not about just newspapers or just television or just the Internet. The future of journalism is a combination of all of these, and that’s what we’re trying to achieve.”

    Chad Bishop can be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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