48 Seconds in Colonial Vigan

Trefor Moss tells the story of Vigan, a tourist hub in the northern Philippines, craving better infrastructure to get more revenue.

Trefor Video Screenshot
By clicking the above screenshot, you will redirected to a story about Vigan, a town struggling to attract foreign tourists and revenue. The video could not be embedded into WordPress. [Video and story by Trefor Moss / Screenshot by Janelle Clausen]
Moss’ imagery and narration leave no doubts that the city is unique. The cobble streets bustle with some natives, while fading buildings and old vehicles draw the eye. He even gets a shots of an older weaver and first person perspective of a horse-drawn carriage ride.

The interview shots leave lots of headroom, but the audio is quality and his sources verify what Vigan needs: foreign tourists and a rejuvenation of the local airport.

Trefor Moss provides a first person perspective of a ride through Vigan. Video by Trefor Moss/ Screenshot by Janelle Clausen.
A local businessman speaks with Trefor Moss. Screenshot by Janelle Clausen.
A local businessman speaks with Trefor Moss. Video by Trefor Moss/Screenshot by Janelle Clausen.

While perhaps not worthy of a Peabody Award, Moss demonstrated what mobile journalism is all about. The story was quick, clean and informative. It’s not a full length print piece, but a new world is opened to a global audience.

And just think, it only took 48 seconds and a smartphone!

The story has an option to be shared via Facebook, a hyperlink, or Twitter. As with any other video on the WorldStream app (which, unfortunately, hasn’t too active lately), it can be viewed anywhere from one’s phone without eating too much time. It is truly journalism on the go.

TreforOne concern comes with the Twitter handle beside the story. @ppr7l6 does not exist and could leave a viewer scratching their head. “Huh?” someone might ask. “Where is he?” So much for self-promotion.

At least that problem can be solved quickly by looking up his actual name (displayed beside and underneath the video) on Twitter and finding his actual Twitter handle (@Trefor1).

But the story doesn’t end there.

Moss, who specializes in covering the Philippines, has promoted and expanded upon his coverage via social media. The image he chose to showcase his longer piece gets one’s attention. It not only reveals that Vigan is alive (hence it being a tourist hub), but showcases 18th century Spanish architecture to prove the catching up it needs to do. Such a site is rare, yet fascinating.

Like any mobile journalist, he knows how to promote his stories. Moss also took an alternative approach (with the same article) to reach the more serious side of his audience with a colorful infographic on the Philippines’ abysmal record in attracting foreign tourists.

Now, if only the Wall Street Journal did not have a pay wall. Like Vigan’s lack of modern transportation and not so convenient infrastructure, the news site blocking the story does not encourage me to extend my stay. If I wasn’t a poor college student though, I’d consider subscribing for the journalistic quality.

y u do dis
Why do you do this to me, Wall Street Journal? Screenshot by Janelle Clausen.

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