Welcome! Liam Hyland's session "How to Cover Protests" will begin in approximately 10 minutes. Hyland is a CTV cameraman who was on ground in Ferguson, Missouri.
The session has begun! Hyland is originally from Halifax and a grad of King's, now works as a CTV National Cameraman based in LA.... he's covered A LOT of cool events!
"whether you're covering a protest, hurricane, typhoon, preparation is the same because you never know what you're going to run into" -Liam Hyland
"A large camera makes you a target- for police, and for idiots that will be at any protest" - Liam Hyland
Hyland is explaining and displaying some of the technology that he takes with him in the field. The idea is to be prepared but inconspicuous.
One item of technology that Hyland uses is the AquaPure Traveller, an amazing Water Purification Bottle- it was especially useful when covering the typhoon in the Philippines.
Common problems: with more equipment you require a bigger car. Hyland also likes to be as independent from AC power as possible, because in many events power is unreliable or unavailable. Hyland usually works out of the back of an SUV.
Hyland covered the events in Ferguson, Missouri last summer for CTV National News. He says it was the one assignment he's been on that he feels "the media may have done more harm than good in that situation".
"we're there to report the story, we're not there to be part of the story" says Hyland
"You don't want to put yourself between the police and the protestors"... we have this need to be RIGHT THERE but you can't tell a story when your camera is broken, or the reporter is getting pushed out of the way.
Police have a job to do, and we have a job to do- you have to find some way to work together and get the job done.
"It's so much about being first, being out there, and not about taking the time to get the story right"
Helps to have a good relationship between cameraperson and reporter- reporter needs to write to what cameraperson shoots and cameraperson needs to have an idea of what the reporter would like to see.
Remove yourself from the situation- you're there to cover it, not there to be involved or be a supporter. Whether it is a protest or a natural disaster, you're not part of the story.
When in NYC covering Hurricane Sandy, Hyland cut his story sitting at a 41st Street Deli because that was the only place that had power.
Hyland shows some footage he shot of Ferguson that wasn't shown on the news- includes children picking flowers and civilians shaking hands with police. He says that he shoots everything, and while he usually edits his own stuff, the reporter shapes the story and there are editorial decisions made.
When shooting you cast a wide net- grab everything you think is somewhat relevant. But there are many constraints, mainly time.
Hyland says in the US, it is a very different attitude towards breaking news- vehicles will park wherever, reporters will bend rules to get the story.
An audience member asks a question about Periscope and live streaming. Hyland says while the quality of smart phones isn't always as good as a camera, it gets the job done. "Technology can be a really useful tool, but also a dangerous tool because you need context, etc."
Another question about how to deal with people who want you to stop shooting. Hyland says it depends on how they approach you, sometimes he reasons, but other times he uses legal rights- if anyone touches him or his camera it can be considered