I’m putting some polish on my strategy presentation and felt I needed to explain disruption a little better, especially in regards to newspaper video.
Here is my brief definition of disruption: “The basic idea of disruption is to start at the low end, fulfilling a job to be done, with a product that is just ‘good enough.'”
Here are my key points for a disruptive video strategy:
- Jobs to be done
- Provide readers with additional visual information about stories
- Give them more visual news-related options than TV
- Communicate in a direct, personal voice, not like TV
- Start at the low end
- Point-and-shoot cameras
- Inexpensive or installed (free) video editing software
- Short, quick-to-produce videos
- Be good enough
- Rely on current news room staff, who know news and story telling
- Provide starter training, improving as we go
- Donâ€™t get bogged down in trying to be like TV
One of the statements I’m incorporating into my spiel (again, the focus is on crafting a disruptive newspaper video strategy) is that any newspaper video that takes more than an hour to produce isn’t worth the ROI. Quantity is the key goal. The only quality goal is to be “good enough.”
Howard, this is our strategy:
We now have seven Pure Digital point-shoots and seven higher-end consumer digital video cameras (high-8 and mini-dv). Photographers and reporters use the point-shoots for breaking news, and they work just fine. It’s gratifying to have stories such as auto wrecks, house fires, etc., up on the Web site as a breaker by 10 a.m. when the three local network affiliates don’t have the time, staff or resources to match us.
And the TV guys are pretty jealous when they see us carrying digital video cameras that are the size of a first-gen iPod and they’re still lugging 50 pound cameras.
We’re a mid-sized daily that has been shooting online video since ’99 (and regularly since ’03). This stuff isn’t difficult.
[…] Key points in a disruptive newspaper video strategy. Howard Owens has posted the bullet points from his presentation on newspapers doing video. It’s a nice to-do list. […]
We definitely got bogged down in Gannett’s high-end video plan and now we are working on greater quantity with P&S video.
The readers do notice a well produced piece and I think a balanced approach is important. Our best success is with posting footage fast and the follow up with a produced video. You give readers both worlds.
The key to understanding what “good enough” is is to train and develop your strategy, systems and people to the fundamental principle that for daily efforts you are producing Web video story components- not slick, stand-alone cinematic productions destined for a 50-inch plasma.
“Good enough” means that the journalism still has to meet the newsroom’s standards.
Great post — I’d be interested to hear more (or see examples) of your bullet: “communicate in a direct, personal voice, not like TV.” I think I know what you mean there, but I’m not sure how to bring that about on our staff.
The Shelby, N.C. Star
[…] I agree with some points in Howard Owens’ recent post summarizing his idea of what a newspaper’s video strategy should be. The bulleted points and their sub-bullets all sound great. I have a problem with the last statement and what it implies. One of the statements Iâ€™m incorporating into my spiel (again, the focus is on crafting a disruptive newspaper video strategy) is that any newspaper video that takes more than an hour to produce isnâ€™t worth the ROI. […]
Robb, meeting “newsroom standards” is a dangerous path to go down. There are a lot of people in our profession who will argue that what is really “good enough” isn’t, because it doesn’t meet newsroom standards. “Good enough” is about determining audience standards and meeting those, which I dare say falls probably pretty shy of what a lot of people in todays newsrooms would find acceptable.
Skip, the best thing I can recommend is start watching a lot of vlogs. Roanoke’s TimeCast can also provide an example. But mainly, just be authentic, don’t aspire to be like TV. Look up my posts on “personal journalism.”
[…] Howard Owens casually posted some notes on a disruptive newspaper video strategy. […]
[…] Just to be clear, pursuing a disruptive video strategy isn’t about being cheap. It’s about being smart. It’s about taking limited resources — all newspapers have limited resources — and deploying them in the way that seems best to suit strategic needs. It’s about getting Return on Investment, not about saving money. In fact, if you’re doing it right, you’re spending just as much money on video as you would if you took PF Bentley’s advice. […]
[…] J.D.’s pointer is well timed, too.Â I have a presentation to prepare for an Inland Press Association gathering in Phoenix on Sept. 15.Â It’s going to be all about disruptive video strategy, and I wanted to show some exampes of video from various sites.Â This app will help a lot. Share and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]
[…] Key points in a disruptive newspaper video strategy Howard sets out a strategy: “Newspaper video that takes more than an hour to produce isnâ€™t worth the ROI”. Ouch. (tags: newspaper video) […]
[…] Sensible, informed, challenging debate. […]
The only quality goal is to be â€œgood enough.â€
With goals like that, how can I even pretend to be interested in newspaper video. Truth is, some nespaper folk are doing great work. It’s the on-line puindits I can’t stomach.
The only quality goal is to be â€œgood enough.â€
Good luck with that.
Lenslinger, you remind me of a Detroit auto executive circa 1958 … “Ah, Toyota’s only goal is to be ‘good enough.’ They’re no threat.”
And you sir remind me of Jim Jones passing out toxic kool-aid.
[…] Owens says reporters should take no longer than an hour to make a video. The controlled burn video, well, won’t set anything on fire. But it showed what I […]