Just thinking about video in the age of disruption

Here’s four reasons why newspaper can beat televison stations in online video.

  1. More feet on the street:  In large markets, newspapers can equip more reporters with video-capable cameras, and you don’t need expensive cameras to produce good online video; in small markets, TV isn’t going to cover many local stories;
  2. TV can’t cover a story without sending out a “crew,” which means they cover only stories that they’ve pre-screened as being video worthy, worthy of the time to send a crew out to a location, which means they miss a lot of good stuff that “print” reporters will naturally stumble across — quantity means more choices for online video watchers, which is a distinct and huge advantage;
  3. For newspaper reporters, there is no pre-conceived idea of perfect TV video, so any experiment goes;
  4. Newspaper reporter shooters can give sources a chance to speak for themselves, making the video more personal and more meaningful than what TV will do with the same material.

Or maybe this isn’t about newspapers beating television, but why newspapers should be confident about video, because in the age of disruption, newspapers can approach video with a mindset that the natural competitors won’t see as a threat, and we’ve got to press our advantages where we can get them.

Any television people who read this post and don’t get the point — you’re just proving my point.

8 thoughts on “Just thinking about video in the age of disruption

  1. I certainly don’t deny that newspapers are better news engines that TV stations, but as far as web video is concerned you’re looking at a sleeping giant.

    TV stations *could* wipe the floor with newspapers regarding web video, they just haven’t.

    It comes down to experience. Most newspaper video is hopelessly amateur. That’s fine if you have outstanding content (remember content?) but it’s suicide if you don’t.

    I think this “Hey, lets all fool around with video” attitude is nuts. A better approach would be, “hey, lets hire some skilled videographers and shoot videogenic stories for the web and maybe some of our “legacy” folks can learn some good habits along the way”

  2. Marc, my guess is you’ve never read my blog before. Search the archives for video. You’ll see that your view of video and my view of video are polar opposites.

  3. I’ve read… we disagree, so be it. You’d hold no interest to me if we agreed on everything.

  4. TV automatically thinking that they will win in the online video space, while understandable, is mis-guided. While high-quality cameras, edits and handsome anchors are nice, they are not essential in the online news world.

    That is why I cast my vote for Newspapers and independent bloggers to win with Online video. Content and story telling comes first. And with Newspapers chock full of great writers, the addition of audio/video skillsets, will only make their story telling more rich and valuable.

    Other who were TOO confident: Radio thought by just ‘streaming’ their over the air signal, they would win in the online space. And as we know, traditional Radio has a negligible success rate online so far.

  5. Being both a TV person and a very competitive individual I need to respond to your thoughts.

    1. Yes, more feet on the street will result in more material. The question is will broadcasters invest in more people when and if they start making more money on the web then they do on the air.

    2. TV does cover stories without sending a crew now, at least where I work. The photojournalists at my place are also encouraged to find stories on their on, stories of the ‘stumble across’ variety.

    3. Lots of “experiments” make the air. Lots of times it’s a good thing they aren’t repeated but sometimes they are done over and over again until they come out right. Kind of like how I cook.

    4. This simply isn’t the case. Good TV is personal and meaningful. Good online video is personal and meaningful. This depends entirely on the person doing the story, not where they work but how they work.

    I agree, newspapers should be confident about video and should do more. Experiment. Have a great time telling interesting stories of fascinating people. That’s what I do almost every day.

    I’m not sure there is a great difference between a really good TV story and a really good online story. Maybe I might just watch better TV then you do.

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