Attached video to enhance the text you’re already writing

Here’s a great example of using attached video to improve a story, not try to make the story.

It comes to us from a post by Robert Freeman.

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.

That’s what I’ve been saying all along, of course. I am still surprised that the approach remains controversial in some quarters.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged by . Bookmark the permalink.

5 thoughts on “Attached video to enhance the text you’re already writing

  1. I like the way many newspaper-produced videos are letting the story tell itself, without voiceovers or standups in front of the camera. It becomes about the story, not the reporter’s hair and clothes.

    On the larger debate, I think the goal is “give it the best you’ve got.” If the only person who saw the event had only a cameraphone, go for it. A professional videographer with a talented eye, expensive equipment and hours with the editing software won’t be present for every story worth telling. When they do spend time on a skillfully done story, they’ll be appreciated. Just make sure that beautiful project is easy for us to load and watch.

    And many journalists who start with point-and-shoot equipment will want better, and they’ll graduate to better equipment and production values.

  2. I think that’s about right …

    I also think individual style should play a role, and I’m not sure that will ever change … some reporters will do voice over, some will ask questions on camera, some will let the ambient noise be part of the moment.

  3. You’re correct in saying the video compliments the story…the information is in the story and the video does what it’s meant to do – show the cubs in a way that stills can’t. Visuals and audio make it work…and boy, do I KNOW that I don’t want to pick up those little guys. They are growling and ready to shred arms.

  4. Interesting issue. Suppose we think of this from the user perspective, rather than that of the journalist. I have to do two separate things here: Read the story and watch the video. Is that the best, most efficient information-gathering experience? Should this have been a text story at all, or would voiceover on the vid done the trick? Plenty of in-depth stories are best told best in text, and accompanying video can be very powerful in adding emotion, sounds, color and new information, like a still photo only more. I wonder if this is the best example.

  5. Thinking of it from the users perspetive, yes it is the best because video and story are on one page with no other naviation.

    Web stats support it — embedded video gets more views. It’s not even a contest.

Leave a Reply