Newspaper video: watch TV burn

I have had a bit of a you tube. First I saw this great old movie about a career in journalism on Sans Serif (via the great Thoughts of Nigel)

There is a particularly good section about the excitement of covering a fire – oooh the drama.

You may watch that film and think that so much has changed or that, hell, it may as well have yesterday given the attitude of some in the industry. But the job of a newspaper journalist is changing.

Lucas Grindley highlights why its important to embrace one of those changes : video

If your newspaper.com lacks a strategy for developing video coverage, then a big opportunity is about to pass by.

Why is it about to pass by? According to Lucas, now is the time to grab the ad revenue before TV catch up:

Most local TV sites are underdeveloped because when the Web was born, it was slow, and TV news had nothing to post except video.

Newspapers boast a huge headstart in the race to snatch market share online. With video’s arrival, it won’t be long before local TV stations stake a greater Web presence.

Absolutely true. But if TV are slow to the race maybe it’s because they have all their money tied up in expensive anchors, which really hacks Michael Rosenblum off (via Jeff Jarvis on Youtube)

I think newspapers may have longer than you think to take advantage of this video thing and I think that Rosenblum’s position illustrates why. He thinks that by turning to the web to gather TV/video content you open up the news agenda so that you can filter ‘relevant’ stuff through to the sans Couric news programme and get what the audience really wants. Maybe you can of course you need to use the VJ army to do that. But is that really using the web as anything other than a distribution platform?

You can call it UGC or Citizen or VJ, whatever you want, but its still talking about funnelling content in to broadcast mentality, web platform or not. It’s the web only as a way of distributing user’s content to broadcasters. Citizen syndication.

If you followed Jeff Jarvis’ view that the real job of journalists in the future is to link to good stuff then surely Katie Couric and her like should be reading out a set of links for 20 minutes. But even by today’s rolling news standards that’s pretty boring.

The problem is TV has nowhere else to go. Now the technology has caught up most are investing is Shovelware rather than community and what Rosenblum is talking about isn’t community it’s shovelware.

Of course you could say that by putting a site together like Rosenblum suggests you are creating a community. But in truth it would be a community that represents VJ’s not the audience that watches the evening news. To my journalistic ears it doesn’t do the job.

Newspapers are recognising that. Painfully slow though it’s been, they have recognised that. The good ones see that they need to change the way they interact with their audience and co-operate with them.

So I would wholeheartedly support Lucas’ point. If you haven’t got a video policy then get one you should have one. It will put you ahead of your broadcast competition but you should have one regardless.

But add to that a good community approach that opens up opportunities for journalism to everyone in your audience and you will be miles ahead of Broadcast.

Hell, some of them could even go and cover that exciting fire at the TV station.

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