Friday, November 24, 2006

The turmoil in newspapers is matched by the turmoil in advertising. An interesting story on Poynter by Rick Edmonds talks about how ad agencies are scrambling to meet changing consumer habits:

Advertising change will affect us more than anything else. Put on those seatbelts!


The New York Times is beta testing a way to get the "paper" over the internet using a Microsoft program. See NYTimes Firstlook

This looks similar to Adobe's Digital Editions:

These multimedia pdf readers will rock our world when good electronic books, maybe with OLED screens, become available. I think this approach, which allows us to "publish" pages electronically with advertising like our current newsprint product, will be the future for newspapers.


Gannett is changing all 89 of their local newsrooms to 24/7 online operations.
See this E&P story: info center


The Washington Post is tossing their newsroom into a blender to try to get a new media staff out of the result. See this E&P story: Post restructure

The New York Times is moving in the same direction: Jill Abramson, managing editor, says this in her 'Talk to the Newsroom' blog entry: "We've had to make some sacrifices and postpone some hiring, and currently we are working on a project that will result in efficiencies across our different platforms, including, the largest newspaper Web site, and the International Herald Tribune. Integrating our news operations across platforms not only makes budgetary sense, but also journalistic sense. It is about managing our news assets smartly for the future."


Again from E&P, a very interesting story on a Columbia University discussion on the prognosis of old media: old media . The Wall Street Journal Online's Bill Grueskin is paraphrased thusly: "The revenue importance of unique page visits has forced editors to change the way they produce stories. A reader will not click on twenty stories, he said, but they might click on twenty pictures. "

Yeah, baby -- we photogs will be running the show soon!


Here's a story from Digital Content Producer about the San Jose Mercury News' photo site. It says the site had 100,000 visitors "last month":


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Steady, there!

Across the country newspapers are trying to do video with no budgets. A consumer handycam, Windows Movie Maker or iMovie, and a whole bunch of extra work on the staff photogs, and suddenly the Podunk News has gone Hollywood.

But the video produced is shaky in more ways than one. You need support.

But that's another topic -- I'm talking about camera support here.

As for tripods, you get what you pay for. One of the cheapest fluid head tripods with leveling is the Libec LS22 and it's around $400. I bought one and it's the best you'll get for $400, but I don't recommend it. You really need to spend more than that to get smooth movement. You might have to be satisfied with a decent still tripod and give up on pans while shooting if your budget is less than that. Bogen/Manfrotto has a really inexpensive video head, the 700RC2, which will go on any tripod and is sorta smooth. It's a friction head (even though they call it a fluid head) and is probably the best for under $100 if you already have a decent tripod to put it on. It won't give you leveling, though, and it doesn't stay smooth in daily use.

To get the kind of movement you see on TV, you need to spend upwards of $1500 on a tripod.

Happy Holiday

Ok, gang -- I know we newspaper people are in the throes of the Christmas frenzy, with huge papers to fill for the next month. The busiest time of year for a newspaper photog -- sports out the wazoo, community activities to cover; holiday food shoots; santas and elves; spot news to cover as ice and clogged chimneys create mayhem for you poor suckers up north..... etc. etc. etc......

I'm here to gloat.

The news hole on the web is the same now as it was in July. Our web traffic drops way down on weekends and holidays. I'm taking Thanksgiving off. Never thought I'd see the day.

At least there's some advantage to this newspaper 2.0 stuff.....