Questions for Rob Curley about OnBeing:
- Is this something you think the average daily newspaper can copy? If you didn’t have the resources of WaPo, how would you do it? Can a small paper do it?
- How important do you think the format is — studio environment, HD format, etc? to the impact of the content?
- How big of a role does the name and resources of the WaPo play in being able to convince interesting people to participate?
- How much time and effort does it take to find people interesting enough to profile in this manner?
- How much talent is involved from the journalist in bringing forth the person-behind-the-person aspect of the pieces — the real personality?
- How much of an audience do you project will get hooked into OnBeing? How much of the ability to grow audience for this is dependent on it being a product of WaPo?
- What is more important in retaining audience, format and formula or the ability to find compelling people to profile? Can you build a trusted brand for OnBeing that will allow for a few pieces that don’t resonate with the audience because this or that person turned out to be not that interesting?
- Or is the idea that a talented journalist can draw something interesting out from any person you put in front of a camera?
- Do you wind up with profiles that simply fall to the cutting room floor?
- How much time and effort goes into finding the right people, and do you prescreen, preshoot as a sort of audition?
- If there were imitators from other papers, would that help or hurt the concept — would all boats rise because of the spreading meme, or all boats sink because of a saturated market?
Rob, should you choose to answer — in the comments or on your blog is fine — the questions need not be answered sequential or in total.Â The main thing I’m trying to get at is beyond the cool factor, is this really something the average newspaper in America could or can copy, and should local news producers even try, or if they do try, is the high end approach of the WaPo required?