Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

New York Times using more video as lead art

October 25, 2008

Every page — electronic or print — needs a big photo or graphic as an anchor to pull together all the stories, headlines and other elements. That’s what page designers often call the “lead art.” Now, as newspapers emphasize video, I notice The New York Times is using embedded video as main online art. Check the screenshot (above) of the paper’s homepage; the video still image that I’ve circled illustrates a story today about Sen. John McCain‘s prospects in Florida.

Do you use video as main online art? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

Indy: Lots of visuals as big ‘roof goes poof’

September 25, 2008

[Page 1 promo: RCA Dome deflation is bannered above flag]

The Indianapolis Star took a very visual — and digital — approach in today’s package about yesterday’s big community event: deflating the 257-ton, 200-foot-high roof over the RCA Dome, home to the Indianapolis Colts pro-football team. (The Colts are moving to make way for an expanded convention center. The domed complex, opened in 1984, also has hotels, bars and restaurants.)

The Star told the story with lots of visuals. That’s what I would have done; by now, all the hard-news angles should have been hit. In addition to the print package, I saw online a well-edited video (embedded, below); two distinctly different photo galleries; plus an online refer box to 12 related posts on blogs.

I liked the gallery with a time-lapse sequence of 12 photos taken inside as the roof deflated. It got a big Page One promo in the full-width refer box. Now, here’s that on-deadline video:

‘Well, if we had the Star‘s resources…’
Indeed! With a bigger digital shop, your paper could come closer to matching what the Star just did. Indy’s a big operation: well over 1,000 employees — and growing, with the addition of one of the two new regional finance centers. Plus, Star Publisher Michael Kane leads Gannett’s Interstate region of papers; HQ is in Indianapolis.

Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

Sioux Falls: Video humanizes a suicide ‘epidemic’

September 24, 2008

The Argus Leader in Sioux Falls has published a terrific public-service examination of rising suicide rates among the Sicangu Lakota people, on the Rosebud Reservation in south-central South Dakota. The three-day series ended yesterday.

“Since 2005, at least 28 tribal members — most of them teens and 20-somethings — have killed themselves by hanging, overdosing on drugs or slashing their wrists,” the paper says in part one, published Sunday. “Sports stars and student scholars are among them. So are the broken spirits born of alcoholic and impoverished homes.”

Last year alone, the paper says, “the reservation’s suicide rate soared to 141 per 100,000 people — and a staggering 201 per 100,000 for males ages 15 to 24, what some experts call among the highest incidence in the world. That’s well above the national average: 11 to 12 per 100,000. “It is an epidemic,” said tribal President Rodney Bordeaux, whose tribal council declared a state of emergency because of the suicides. “The professionals tell us this kind of thing is cyclical. But we’re going on three years now. We want it to stop.”

Multimedia: video, photo galleries

The paper publishes video (above) by reporter Steve Young, who interviews a mother of a suicide victim, plus young people who survived suicide attempts. That’s a great addition on a subject as emotional as suicide — and quite an accomplishment.

Historically, suicide rates have been highest in the Mountain States — a fact that often surprises outsiders who think of the area as too peaceful to bring about such a sad end to life. I wrote about suicide in a project, too — at the Idaho Statesman in Boise, so I appreciate the Argus Leader‘s multimedia, something we didn’t have back then.

Facts on figures
The paper correctly describes suicide rates — rather than numbers of suicide, an important distinction when comparing data across population groups. Rates are typically expressed in a number per 100,000. I’ve often seen much bigger media get that wrong. For example, they’ll report that last year’s murder rate rose to 57 from 43 in 2006. They mean the number of cases rose to 57 from 43.

A Gannett Blog reader recommended this series. Got some good work worth spotlighting? Let’s hear about it! Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Image: yesterday’s front page led with the final installment in the suicide series, Newseum]

Bleeds? It leads! The state of Gannett’s online video

September 18, 2008

Gannett newsrooms spend untold hours, producing videos in search of new reader-viewers and the lucrative advertising that GCI hopes will follow. And that’s after the company spent a small fortune on training. Yet, I continue to receive notes from my readers, saying that viewership is abysmally low for videos except those showing fires, traffic accidents and a handful of other subjects.

“At my site,” a reader said not long ago, “there is a ridiculous amount of money and time poured into the videos, and only really good spot-news videos get a good amount of clicks. It also doesn’t help that mediocre photo editors are trying to act like video experts. If you are going to invest all that money into the equipment, why not bring in someone that knows something about video?”

So many questions!

  • How many videos does your paper or TV station produce weekly?
  • Do newsroom employees have a mandatory production quota?
  • What videos draw the most viewers — and which ones draw the fewest?
  • What did your paper or TV station give up in order to produce videos?
  • What are the CPM advertising rates for videos at your worksite?

Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

Earlier: We’ve trained a million — no, a billion on video! Plus: In video of the moment, The Indianapolis Star talks to drunks!

[Photo: Sony HVRA1U C-MOS 1080i HDV Camcorder, $2,906.67 list price. I’m told this is Gannett’s preferred camera]

New, in the video bar: ‘Citizen Kane’ clips

September 7, 2008

I’ve just programmed takes from the 1941 classic in the YouTube player, near the top of the blue sidebar, right. The movie traces the life of newspaper publisher Charles Foster Kane, a man whose career was born of “idealistic social service, but gradually evolved into a ruthless pursuit of power and ego at any cost,” Wikipedia says. Citizen Kane was directed by Orson Welles, who also played the lead, inspired by real-life newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst.

Reader: Blog’s commenters are ‘miserable cranks’

September 2, 2008

Regarding an Indianapolis Star video, a reader says: “I love this blog — started by someone who is so obsessed about a company he left years ago. Jim, go live your life. Forget about the past. Your time here is done. Get over it. You have nothing new or noteworthy to say, and you are only attracting the comments of a bunch of frustrated, miserable cranks who love nothing more than to crap all over anyone who takes a risk to make something, ANYTHING, out of this scrap heap of the business.”

Join the debate, in the original post.

Video of the Moment: Indy Star talks to drunks!

August 31, 2008

And a Gannett Blog reader says: “I have to wonder if this is what Gannett had in mind when they sent all those people to video training. If this is the future of journalism, Lord help us all.”

Got a video to, uh, recommend? Please post a link in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

Bridezilla II: ‘Jilted’ ex-Gannett HR director talks!

July 25, 2008

Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET: Former Pensacola News Journal human resources chief RoseMary Shell also talked to NBC’s Today about her $150,000 jury award Wednesday. Shell had sued her ex-fiance for breach of contract after he canceled their engagement last year. She told Today‘s Meredith Vieira: “I felt like justice was really done.”

Shell’s breach of contract suit revealed her pay in Pensacola, Fla., where she worked for a short time in 2006, before following her fiance to Gainesville, Ga. Shell now makes $31,000 a year at North Georgia College & State University. Here she is in an earlier interview, via The Associated Press.

Earlier: CEO Craig Dubow‘s transformative job hunting tips

In Asbury Park, a view on a photog’s juggling act

July 22, 2008

Updated at 1:57 p.m. ET: Asbury Park Press‘ chief photographer for video, Thomas Costello, did some quick work recently after a plane crashed near his New Jersey home, and an apartment building caught fire. His account of how he handled the stories offers a window on the lives of 21st century journalists, balancing new web responsibilities with traditional duties. Here’s what he told me:

“Saw a report of a plane crash on my news pager about 20 minutes from my house. Got there at about 7:30 p.m. and shot a quick photo that was transmitted back for a web update. Continued shooting the video on the plane crash until at about 10:30 p.m. got another report on my news pager about an apartment building fire with people jumping out windows. The news gods were with me, since this was just across the Shark River from where the plane crash was.

“Zoomed over there and was able to get video of victims still being loaded in ambulances. Grabbed a few stills from the video and sent that back for a web update (these were very late for our Sunday paper — but they managed to find space). Shot more video and got done there at about 12:30 a.m. Went home to edit both videos and produce a photo gallery of the fire that were all on the web by 4:30 a.m. And then I slept.

“The two videos generated a lot of traffic, and the photo gallery — produced from video grabs — is still doing pretty well.”

One of Costello’s videos is here. (In an earlier version of this post, I’d embedded the video. But the Press uses an annoying player that kicks into autoplay when a page is launched. We. Hate. That!)

Please post your thoughts in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Image: today’s Park Press, Newseum]

In Palm Springs, video captures gay weddings

June 18, 2008

Note: To turn off the video, click on the button in the far-left corner at the bottom of this embedded player.

The Salinas Californian is just one of four Gannett newspapers in California featuring one of the nation’s biggest social and political stories of the year: Legal same-sex marriage, with the first weddings starting this week. For example, The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, a city with a large and growing gay population, published video and photo galleries that a reader says allowed faraway family and friends to watch the events “live” on the Web. Here’s one:

The Sun‘s video features something I haven’t seen in other Gannett videos: A crawling headline “zipper” along the bottom, like those on CNN and other cable news channels. On the downside, this is one of those video players that, once embedded on a blog or other webpage, auto-starts when the page is loaded. We. Hate. That. So. Much.

Thanks to a reader for suggesting this post! Got a video or other link to recommend? Post a note in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, use this link from a non-work computer; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.