MediaBizTech

Robert Freeman's whole Media, Business and Technology thing. Sorted.

Online video doesn’t happen overnight

with 4 comments

Unlike producing a newspaper

Print journalists don’t make natural videographers.  That’s clear from the many papers who are currently attempting to ‘make television’.  But that aim is a red herring.

Rather than watching the news on TV and attempting to emulate the format, these publications should start by using video to illustrate better the stories they are already writing.

Here’s a good example from the Eastern Daily Press.  It’s short, it’s got great pictures and it’s illustrative of the story it sits in.  There’s nothing else.  No ‘production value’, not even a voiceover.

That’s all you need to concentrate on doing at the moment, because reporters need time to develop those skills (which can all be taught incidentally).  Walk, then run.

Andy Dickinson’s pulled together a wrap of views about how well video is currently being made on newspaper sites.  But I’ll elaborate on a couple of comments I’ve left on related posts.

The first on Paul Bradshaw’s where he calls the Bolton News video “the worst attempt at online video I’ve seen so far.” Ouch.  But first, I’ve seen worse, and second what makes it pointless is the lack of any actual video about the stories.

A bulletin format could work, just not on a website like this because all the stories are around us in a non-linear form. Where a bulletin like this comes into its own is when we are removed from the website. eg, video download, separate video player, or IPTV service.

This is exactly what The Press Association (one of my clients) pioneered some two years ago.

Andrew Grant-Adamson rightly points out that national newspapers are making some odd choices about video on their sites.  But again, this is a startup phase.  Adopting the Roo player is a quick and fast way of getting video on their sites.

But it doesn’t stop them adding their own video, for example The Sun differentiates itself by including bespoke red carpet entertainment and SunTV news segments which are specially made for them by the Press Association.

(The PA are also developing a national news video agency service so that publishers have access to UK news material to add to their own local video.)

<shameless client plug off>

I’ll also link back to a previous posting about why this stuff is hard, though it’s coming from a more technical perspective.

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Written by Robert

21 February, 2007 at 8:37 pm

Posted in Convergence, Newspapers

4 Responses

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  1. […] 22nd, 2007 I’m still cranky from too much Lemsip Max, but grateful to Robert Freeman for pointing me to an example of how online video should be […]

  2. […] an excellent take on the debate on the use of video on tradtional print news sites. He writes at MediaBizTech: Rather than watching the news on TV and attempting to emulate the format, these publications […]

  3. […] MediaBizTech: Online video doesn’t happen overnight Robert Freeman: “Print journalists don’t make natural videographers. That’s clear from the many papers who are currently attempting to ‘make television’. But that aim is a red herring.” (tags: online video journalism multimedia newspapers) […]

  4. […] comes to us from a post by Robert Freeman. Rather than watching the news on TV and attempting to emulate the format, these publications […]


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