Video editing has become so easy that everybody can give it a try.

What a viewer often ends up seeing either on a television screen, computer or mobile device is a refined version of real life. That means that all the imperfections have been removed from the finished product, which is why exploring the different aspects of video editing is something that can go in a variety of different directions. In some cases, the visuals have been enhanced to create a completely different aura from where the person on screen is located.

The growing divide when it comes to news sources both on television and online show that both sides are frequently accused of such activities. Occasionally, a blatant misrepresentation has taken place, which has led some individuals to record an interview either through audio or by having someone nearby shooting video from a mobile phone. That allows for the presence of clear evidence of any willful errors that might follow.

However, the usual need for standard editing is in conjunction with eliminating forgotten lines by actors, tongue-twisting mistakes by television reporters and condensing what may be a lengthy period into a manageable time span.


Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speak as Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump looks on at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri October 9, 2016. — Reuters


Political Minefields
The murky world of political advertising is rife with instances of this sort of activity, with past statements made by politicians placed under the prism of an opposing party’s microscope. What ends up emerging is a clear distortion and is one of the many reasons that the political world is viewed with such disdain. Yet studies have shown that such negative advertising has been beneficial to many campaigns, which means that it’s here to stay.

Just within the past year, continued examples of false representations when it comes to the perception of deceptive editing have led to severe criticism and even litigation. The videos of conservative James O’Keefe appears to infer that Hillary Clinton’s campaign sought to incite violence at Donald Trump rallies, when in fact the videos shown present a man who had been dismissed from her campaign.

In the latter case, a documentary made by broadcaster Katie Couric that took an approach of being for gun control appeared to show Second Amendment supporters being unable to answer a question about background checks during an interview. In truth, the pause was from another portion of the interview. The uncut video showed supporters speaking for almost four minutes on the topic. The conflict led to the filing of a lawsuit against Couric.

Ethical Mistakes
This issue begins to veer into the range of controversy when video is shot and then selectively edited in order to misrepresent the actual thoughts of the individual who was speaking. The common refrain by the offended party inevitably deals with the fact that their comments were taken out of context.

In most circumstances, this type of editing creates a half-truth. The end result is that the person who actually makes the statement sees only a portion of the comment being used, which usually ends up contradicting the actual point they were making.

A Condensed Presentation
From a somewhat less contentious standpoint, video editing is often required for emotional interviews in which the person speaking loses control while speaking about something. To show such an event for any extended period of time can be in questionable taste. However, from a more practical standpoint, it’s likely to be seen as boring after a while.

News organizations value the ability to edit video because of the time constraints they face on a daily basis. Quick highlight packages of each major news story or coverage of an hours-long event needs to fit within the usual time frame of 30 to 60 minutes, as do the aforementioned interviews, whether they’re emotional or not.

This skill also serves its purpose within coverage of athletic events or individual teams. For example, the National Football League (NFL) can play as many as 16 games in a single day, which would require roughly 100 hours to watch. Few, if any, people would even think of considering that option, which makes the editor’s job a challenge.

Testing that skill can also be seen within the NFL when it comes to producing highlight videos for each team’s individual season. Such videos are generally 20 to 25-minute packages, since the alternative is a 50-hour marathon. For a team that endured a bad season, finding enough highlights can also test that editor’s ability and sanity.

Easy Access Becomes the Norm
What used to require the use of a professional studio can now conceivably be handled in many instances in someone’s home. That’s because computer software makes editing possible and often with the same results that professionals can offer. Such convenience is available whether you choose it for legitimate purposes or to promote a misleading agenda.