Monday, February 26, 2007

Red Hots

Richard Koci Hernandez of the San Jose Mercury News put together a great multimedia package about the resurgence of rail traffic due to increased imports. It's a package that really breaks away from the newspaper mindset that a lot of us have. He did both the video and the Flash for "Red Hot Rails."

Unfortunately, the newspaper mindset still rules the Mercury News web site template. A day after it was published, you can't easily find it there.

What's up with that?

If your staff produces something great that will draw traffic over time, make an effort and put it out there for the world to see! Many of the newspapers I look at regularly do the same thing -- hide, fritter away, and lose great content. And worse, the special projects are in Flash and don't get search engine traffic.

Shortly after "Final Salute" won the Pulitzer, it couldn't be found on the Rocky's site. Good stuff on our site disappears after 24 hours. At least Dallas' Katrina and 'Yolanda's Crossing' packages are still on their photo/video page.

C'mon people - the web's not a broadcast medium!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Kurt Andersen from New York Magazine has a column about online newspaper video which succinctly sums up the possibilities of the medium and why quality is important in what we do. It is a must-read.

From "You Must Be Streaming:"

"The lessons seem obvious: Don’t do Web video if you don’t have anything interesting to show, and don’t compete with TV unless you can do something they can’t or won’t. In other words, use the medium."

About Travis Fox, from the Post: "Fox sees himself as a sort of quiet revolutionary, eager to overthrow the ancien rĂ©gime: “The possibility to replace television is in sight.”

And, "Ann Derry, the Times’ video No. 2, enthusiastically but very calmly says, “We are reinventing journalism.”

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Making Content Pay, III

The New York Times, in an article "All the World's a Stage (That Includes the Internet)" Thursday 2/15/07, gives a roundup of the video sharing sites which pay for content and traffic.

The Times article says that more than a dozen sites now pay for video.

They quote Metacafe co-founder Arik Czerniak: “A video has to grab you by the neck in about five seconds — otherwise people lose interest,” Mr. Czerniak said. “The maximum length is about 90 seconds.”

Monday, February 12, 2007

Think of me first as a person....

Roger Richards of the Virginian Pilot has done a two-part video about the subject of a father's home movie, "Think of me First as a Person."

Roger's moving story combines old family footage with current video to show the life of Dwight Core, Jr., a Down syndrome man who was institutionalized by his family when he was a child. Dwight's father recorded film and audio many years ago about the conflicting emotions of putting your own son in an institution. Now, Dwight's sister cares for him at home.

Roger's work shows the value of treating your subjects as persons first. Empathy and care shine through in this piece, making a video that will move you.

Great stuff!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Having a Super time

There are quite a few Newspaper Video shooters in town for the Super Bowl at Dolphins Stadium in Miami.

I had a chat with Matt Dial from the Indianapolis Star while we were standing on queue to join the Media Day zoo at the stadium Tuesday.

He is one of two shooters from the Star who were to do video from Miami for the paper. He was shooting with a Z1U and said he would have been using Firestores if the other case of gear they shipped ahead had made it to Miami. The Colts are a big draw for their website and the video (see "Fans party outside RCA Dome") he did of fans after their playoff win drew 20,000 hits, he said.

Of the thousands of media in attendance, there were a lot more mini-dv cams than I'm used to seeing at pro sports. AP had a couple of shooters there and most papers seemed to have someone shooting video. Even Bloomberg had a vj shooter there; she was editing on top of a trash can the last I saw.

Of course, none of us will be able to shoot the game because of TV rights. This is a big problem that will have to be worked out over time. As more papers transition to using grabs from video, the restrictions on video will become a bigger problem. Even AP is experimenting with pulling stills from video. (See Evan Vucci's post at the bottom of this thread.)

Were you at Media Day? See if you can find yourself:

You can see Matt's Media Day video here . (Needs Firefox on a Mac.)

You can see my Media Day video here .