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Digital developments at CNN: Gustav raises traffic, as new international digital role is created

September 4th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Online Journalism, Traffic

CNN‘s web traffic did rather well out of Hurricane Gustav: a press release issued yesterday told us that breaking news channel CNN.com Live ‘more than doubled its highest day on record on Monday, by serving more than 1.7 million live video streams globally’.

That figure represents a 124 percent increase on their previous highest day – February 21 – when it streamed the debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

In other news, another release announced the appointment of CNN’s first vice president of international digital services: Nick Wrenn, current managing editor for Europe, Middle East & Africa. Although based in Atlanta, Wrenn will manage all of the digital content outside of the US in his new role, bringing together CNN.com/international and mobile with its broadband services.

Wrenn will report to Tony Maddox, executive vice president and managing director of CNN International.

“Our digital services are playing an increasingly important part in the growth of CNN International and this new position ensures that they will be leveraged and incorporated into our current business appropriately,” said Maddox in the statement.

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Washington Post uses mobile phone video for live stream

Over on Lost Remote, the Washington Post is claiming that its live stream of Hillary Clinton at yesterday’s Democrat convention in the US was one of the first times a newspaper has carried out this type of live video coverage using a mobile.

Reporter Ed O’Keefe used a mobile phone and software by Comet Technologies to produce the clip, which can be viewed here.

For more info on the paper’s digital strategies, read this online Q&A with the Washington Post from Poynter.

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Nashua Telegraph video of Clinton aide arrest is in public interest, says online editor

April 18th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Multimedia, Newspapers

The Nashua Telegraph‘s decision to publish a 15-minute video of Sidney Blumenthal, aide to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, while he was in police custody has been criticised by media commentator Roy Greenslade.

Writing on his blog, the former editor of The Daily Mirror said the video was ’embarrassing, humiliating and overly intrusive’.

“To show the footage of a person undergoing ritual humiliation while in police custody is a disgraceful act. It serves no public interest whatsoever,” he wrote.

Damon Kiesow, managing editor and online editor of the Telegraph, told Journalism.co.uk that the decision to publish the video was ‘typical practice’:

“During the course of our coverage we have published booking photos, police records and court documents related to the case. This is typical practice for us. In fact the story with the video also included a PDF containing nine pages of records including the sentencing document.”

Far from seeking to ‘humiliate’ Blumenthal, Kiesow said the paper – and other US media – had previously been accused of covering up his arrest by not reporting it immediately to protect Clinton’s election campaign.

“The Telegraph has been publishing video on the Web for almost three years. During that time we have published numerous court-related segments including police interviews and court hearings.

“Some have been very graphic and painful in detail but were published due to a significant local interest in the stories.

“The Nashua Police Department only recently implemented the technology that makes it possible for us to gain access to booking videos. Blumenthal is the second booking video we have requested, the first was not published due to technical difficulties on our end.”

Publishing the video was not an attempt to cast aspersions on Blumenthal, but was intended to give readers the opportunity to make up their own minds – with all the information provided.

“I think Roy Greenslade frames the question ‘why publish’ in exactly the wrong way, and by doing so pre-supposes both the answer and the potential public reaction to the video.  In fact, this was the first story in our coverage that garnered any positive reader comments for Blumenthal.

“Obviously those predisposed to support or oppose Blumenthal will interpret it as they want. But it is not our place to try and guess what those interpretations are. We felt in this case, and in general, that supplementing our reporting with source documents is the best way to let readers make up their own minds.”

Is there an issue here about the medium: is multimedia content such as this more intrusive, as Greenslade suggests, and therefore arguably less in the public interest? Or does it better serve the readers by giving them all the information available?

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Fake, but funny, tweets from CNN

January 8th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism

Someone has spoofed breaking CNN news headlines on twitter – http://twitter.com/cnnbreaking [thanks to Ryan Sholin for the tip].

In case it gets pulled, my favourite is: “Democrat Hillary Clinton cries. Nobody buys it.”

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