On the Move Online

By Ross Cullen

The future of video in online journalism should be secure if journalists look to the developing world.

I recently attended a panel discussion on ‘Latin America and the British Press’ at Canning House. The panellists agreed on four significant points:

1) Newspaper readership in the UK is falling

2) UK newspaper coverage of Latin America is falling

3) Views of online versions of newspapers (with their video content that is obviously missing from the print copies) were growing, both in Latin America and the UK.

4) Radio audiences are also dropping; it was noted that the BBC had recently ceased its Spanish-language radio broadcasts for the region.

These problems afflict both the UK and overseas and I suggested one way news providers could adapt to the changing journalistic environment was by exploring the world of online video. There is no doubt that the biggest growth area in journalism is online and of that online content, it is the moving, interactive items that will engage the future generations.

In the UK, but especially in developing countries such as those in Latin America, South East Asia and some parts of Africa, the young are mobile in two important senses.

Firstly, the use of mobile phones in emerging economies is increasing, particularly smartphones, which offer users the chance to surf the web and also carry video-capturing and video-viewing capabilities.

Secondly, the young are on the move. They travel more than their parents and they are connected in a totally different way from how previous generations were. They maintain international links through their mobile phones and social media sites. They Skype; they send picture text-messages; they share and discuss videos online.

If news providers in the UK and in these developing regions want to hold onto their consumers, then they need to follow them online, and they need to do so with video content that will engage a new generation in the medium.


I Saw It On The Radio

By Chris Creegan

In the ever-changing media landscape, radio broadcasters are investing in video content in order to stay in the game.

Over the past few years, the growth of the internet has steadily entrenched the phenomenon of media convergence in our minds. In this day and age, if you aren’t multiplatform, you don’t exist.

Having a website has meant that TV broadcasters such as Sky and the BBC have had to spend vast resources on written material, whereas newspaper companies like the Guardian have had to invest in video content.

Perhaps the most radically affected medium of all, however, is radio.

Ever since the emergence of television, people have espoused the so-called “death of radio”. Like newspapers, this is a medium that has had to adapt fast to the world around it in order to stay relevant.

And that is why radio broadcasters have chosen to embrace the internet.

Instead of letting it threaten their existence, they are using the internet as a tool to expand their reach. Thanks to podcasts and online streaming, the public can now access the airwaves through more avenues than ever before.

And now, many radio stations have gone the extra mile to provide video content as well.

A prime example of a radio station doing this is Absolute Radio. The broadcaster gets more viewers on its website than listeners to its station, and so it has adapted.

It has one of the most comprehensive websites out there and includes copious amounts of online video content. A quick look at its homepage and you can see that every link in the ‘On Demand’ section takes you to a video:

screenshot courtesy of Absolute Radio online


Again on the homepage you can see that three of the four most popular links on the Breakfast Show are all videos too:

screenshot courtesy of Absolute Radio online


If you move from the Absolute Radio to the homepage to the video section you can uncover even more video content:

screenshot courtesy of Absolute Radio online


Here you can see links to video interviews with celebrities and musicians, as well as coverage of various gigs and award ceremonies.

Absolute Radio is not the only UK radio station making use of online video either. The likes of LBC and Smooth, for instance, also provide links to video news on their websites, amongst other content.

Whilst much of the video on these other websites is outsourced rather than produced in-house like Absolute, it still shows that radio stations have accepted the importance of online video as being a key part of their business model.