Monday, March 19, 2012

How much online video should newspapers use?

There's an interesting discussion on PaidContent.org about the philosophical differences among newspapers on how to use video. Using the Wall Street Journal, which is spreading video all over the place, and the New York Times, using two stories a day, as bookends, the story discusses the pros and cons of newspapers getting into the video business.

The reason behind it, of course, is money. The story says ad dollars are flowing to the video-heavy sites.

I'd pick up on a point deep into the PaidContent story to suggest a reason why some news organizations might be leery of too much video. The story says one potential problem is that "much of the content is virtually unwatchable. While viewers may accept a clip that lacks studio-style polish, they will probably balk at a six-minute clip of a fidgety print reporter who can’t make eye contact with the camera."

Given that professional sites are attempting to build on their professionalism, poor video seems to me to be a very bad choice.