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Newspaper Sites Need More Video

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To help with the transition from purely print-based operations to the online world, it has been suggested that newspapers need to have more than static text and images on their websites to keep the attention of their visitors.

Newspaper Sites Need More Video
Will Traditional Newspapers Embrace Video?

Maybe the New York Times or Washington Post will start posting help wanted ads for video bloggers soon, or journalism schools will start requiring the Nokia N93 of their incoming freshmen. It’s only $700 and Mom & Dad are paying for it, so why not?

Editor & Publisher columnist Steve Outing gives the newspaper industry a B- grade when it comes to advancing beyond the printing press to embrace the online world. He suggested several concepts he believes editors need to embrace to keep their products relevant in a world where the latest news is a couple of mouse clicks away from an Internet user.

Video topped Outing’s wish list, and while some newspaper sites have begun to implement it more extensively, he cited the Times and the Post as being a couple of publishers that can do a lot more with video than they can do today:

Even with WashingtonPost.com, its homepage is predominantly words and pictures. Usually there’s a single video clip (with navigation to other featured videos). It’s the same for NYTimes.com, which devotes a (larger) block of its homepage to video. While that’s a good start, I think newspapers would be wise to offer a better mix of content formats — and cease being so word-dominated.

Is that heresy to a newspaper company that employs a staff of expert writers? Well, it’s going against convention, for sure.


Veteran writers who have seen newsrooms shrink over the years probably don’t think much of the idea of a camcording reporter with an eye for a good shot and a decent speaking voice supplanting them. Outing believes that combining all of the available media – words, video, and audio – can make a site that attracts a younger audience.

Of course that happy result would lead to a stronger pitch a newspaper could make to potential digital advertisers. Those marketers who have been spending more money online to reach that modern, disposable income-bearing demographic could reverse the declines of print media.

With some more revenue, maybe the newspapers would hire more writers and cover a broader swath of their territories. Those reporters may have a video blogger tagging along to gather content for the website, and greater coverage especially of local events has to be better for the publisher and the audience.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Newspaper Sites Need More Video
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