One of the reasons I wanted us to aggressively pursue video in Ventura was video seemed like an opportunity. When you consider all the ways that newspapers are being disrupted, why not spend a little time to try and figure out who newspapers can disrupt — among the chief candidates: Local television.
I don’t think it’s yet too late for newspapers to get aggressive about video, but time is running short. Other disruptors are already established. Michael Arrington is now recommending that we just go ahead and declare television dead and move on.
Rob Curley wants to make newspaper video more like television video. I say, let’s make it different. Let’s make it more like the web. Studio55 vs. TimesCast. At least to start, and when we get to Curley’s magic three years out, and we’re streaming directly to the big device in the living room, then we can evolve from Toyota Corolla stage to the Lexus LX model. By then, we should understand what that model should look like. We don’t know that today, but I bet it ain’t like broadcast television.
UPDATE: Jack Lail gets it.
If innovation and disruption come from small startups (or startup-like operations) who come out of nowhere with a product that is good enough to meet a need, then operate like they do.
Two guys in a garage or dorm room didn’t create a behemoth Internet portal with mail, maps, movies and more; they created a collection of links. It grew into a behemoth. Craig Newmark started with an email to friends and grew it into Craigslist. Start with what you can do and make it better. Just do.
UPDATE II: A poster at B-Roll.net takes a swipe at my “mypoic arrogance” and notes, fairly, that not all TV news coverage is bad. That’s true of course, but the opening is in the fact that most of it is bad, which the poster cops to.
Bold words from an industry hemorrhaging market share. Honestly, I wish them all the luck in the world, for the amalgamation of our two mediums would greatly improve the information stream – and where better to showcase it than on-line? Trouble is, too many in the print realm dismiss local TV efforts as entirely without merit. They gleefully point to the lowest common denominators, the â€œKiller Dust-Bunnies Hiding Under Your Childâ€™s Bedâ€? series-piece syndrome. Granted, the worst of my lot is guilty of such tripe, but I for one donâ€™t deal in this bottom-feeding and neither do those who share my logo. Print folk would do themselves a huge favor by putting aside their contempt and taking a long hard look at the very best of broadcast news, starting with the NPPA reels readily available on-line.
In my own defense, I just want to say that I’ve always said newspaper video needs to evolve and get better, and I’ve sent videographers to study with TV shooters — we have a lot we can learn. Also, this isn’t about individuals. It’s about instiutions. Television news as an institution as a lot to answer for when it reaches the pearly gates. Of course, print journalists have their own sins to atone for. So, it’s about instiutions and opportunities. I see opportunity in another institutions weakness. See ya at the lunch table, Lenslinger (why is that handle familiar to me?)
UPDATE III: Lenslinger also has a blog and his post is also available here.
UPDATE IV: A TV photoguy who goes by the charming handle “Turdpolisher” responds. I left a comment along the lines of, “You’re so busy being defensive that you miss the point.”