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.


The Video Sharing Opportunity

As of 6th February 2011, Channel 4 on YouTube has 1168 subscribers.

By Umar Farooq

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of video-sharing websites that have cropped up on the internet in the last 5 years. Apart from the well-known YouTube and DailyMotion, this list ranks many others less familiar websites based on Alexa and Google page ranking. The diversity in content is incredible and there is something for everyone.

What does this mean?

The increase in options brings opportunities. For any aspiring journalist who can pick up a camera, the opportunities for sharing content are undoubtedly greater. Similarly, in the online world, broadcast news providers are now able to circulate their content to a wider audience which chooses when it wants to watch the content.

The increase in options has also seen diversity in content. Everyone has a unique way of telling stories and the online world allows people to express themselves in different ways.

An example

Take YouTube, on the ‘News and Politics’ channel page, you will see regional, national and international video channels. From Sky News, ITN News and Channel 4 News to NHS TV, Liverpool Daily Post and Algerian United. There are serious news channels and  spoof ones, all delivering journalism of one sort or another. We see news reports (packages), longer form film, vodcasts and vlogs (types of video journalism) catering for a diverse audience.

My focus, in a number of future posts will be to consider how video journalism has developed online. I will ask, how are we using video-sharing websites to circulate journalistic content online and how are broadcast news providers distinguishing their content from other individuals?

For now, I leave you with this. With nearly 10 million views, the video of an Indonesian baby smoking 40 cigarettes a day is one of the most viewed news videos online. Consider how this ITN news report, just over 1 minute in duration has been edited for online viewing. It is short enough to make sure you keep watching and detailed enough to tell you the story. It caters for the online audience.

* The links in this post can be accessed and shared on the VJO delicious page.

You Chose the News- Skynews.com TV

By Phil Georgiadis

The blurring boundaries between TV news and online journalism- a new phenomenon which has only taken off in the past year or so? Maybe not.

Between 2007 and 2010 Sky News aired a half hour long evening programme called ‘SkyNews.com’, presented by the brilliant Martin Stanford, which brought the web’s agenda onto our TV’s for the first time.

As the channel proudly proclaimed, it was a groundbreaking programme, which ‘set out to change the shape of television news by integrating the web and TV’. Sky and Stanford realised that web content worked well on TV, and also that streaming TV content online offered access to a wider audience.

It won a prestigious Royal Television Society gong in 2008 for innovation, with the judges praising it because “it lets the public rather than the news editor set the agenda.”

Well before it was the accepted norm for channels to stream their content live online it simulcast on TV and on the Web, and even offered exclusive content for web viewers while the main TV channel was off on advert breaks.

The show would track topics which were ‘trending’ across the web, and offer a rundown of the day’s viral videos, taken from sites such as Youtube. It also took a serious journalistic interest in the internet, and how it was increasingly shaping the news agenda.

It created a ‘user-generated agenda’ well ahead of its time, and is missed.

Take a look at the clips below to get an idea of how the show worked: