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Poynter: Online video proves big traffic generator for Miami Herald

February 7th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Multimedia, Online Journalism

The Miami Herald site has seen a 25 per cent increase in visitors as a direct result of using video – making movies the second biggest driver behind its stories.

And it claims part of its success is down to getting rid of reporters and replacing them with videographers.

Visual journalist Chuck Fadely, interviewed on Poynter.org, says having a designated video team frees up reporters to get on with writing and improves the quality of the video output:

Three or four years ago we were training reporters, but we discovered it was like teaching a pig to sing; it annoys the pig and frustrates the teacher. Back then we had a couple of reporters who got it. Since the staff reductions they don’t have time to work on videos, and the quality level was lower, so we’ve basically given up on reporter-produced videos.

While many news sites dismissed video as ineffectual and expensive, the Herald decided to use it to consolidate popular subject areas, increase the time people spent on the site and engage them in new ways.

After showing video for six years it found that sport and breaking news attracted the most viewings, so it concentrated on these areas rather than experimenting. It also started partnering with TV stations to expand its brand.

See the full story on Poynter at this link.

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Kevin Kelleher: ‘Does Google even understand what news is?’

December 8th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism, Search

Read on, only if you can bear any more Google-Murdoch discussion. Writing on GigaOM.com, Kevin Kelleher critiques Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s recent Wall Street Journal piece on Google and news. Kelleher argues that personalised news is the opposite of what news should be:

Google’s algorithms are very handy for shopping or entertainment recommendations. But I don’t like it ‘personalising’ news. Serving readers news based on what they’ve read can lead to a kind of tunnel vision where they’re insulated from the dissenting views and unpleasant truths.

Some of GigaOM’s commenters interpreted Schmidt’s piece very differently: “I imagined he was talking about personalising the news the way that Google News already does… not by excluding specific stories that might make you uncomfortable, but by allowing you to focus on the types of stories you find interesting,” writes one. Full post at this link…

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paidContent: WSJ ready to start charging for mobile apps

September 16th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Mobile, Multimedia

The Wall Street Journal is ready to start charging for mobile access on the Blackberry and iPhone and the video site Hulu can be expected to introduce some kind of payment model, News Corp CEO and chairman Rupert Murdoch told delegates at the the Goldman Sachs Communacopia XVIII Conference.

Full story at this link…

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What did Walter Cronkite think about online journalism?

July 23rd, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

On Monday, The Washington Post hosted a live Q&A with Marlene Adler, former chief of staff to Walter Cronkite, the much-respected news anchorman who died last week, aged 92. WashingtonPost.com users put questions about his career to her. What would Cronkite have thought of the internet and its impact on journalism, they wondered. Adler said that Cronkite would have adapted easily to online journalism, but that he was worried about internet source attribution.

Full Q&A at this link…

Here are a couple of excerpts from the interview (Hat-tip: StinkyJournalism):

Chevy Chase, Md (…) “How did Mr. Cronkite feel about technology in general, and specifically as it relates to news and the demise of newspapers”

Marlene Adler: (…) “He loved the new technology, (the Internet) but also saw the problems with reliability of news delivery. He was concerned that news sources on the Internet were not attributable and worried that it would further diminish trust in the news media.

“About newspapers disappearing, he was sad indeed. He was a newspaper man first and loved that part of his life and that business. He was incredulous that entire cities could be without a newspaper.”

Washington, D.C.: “A friend was supposing that she thought Cronkite would have more easily adapted to online journalism because of his work for UPI. What were his thoughts about balancing speed and accuracy, and did he really think it was much different from what countless wire reporters have done for years?”

Marlene Adler: “As a newspaper man and a TV reporter, speed and accuracy were what it was all about. Getting the facts, getting them right and getting the story out first, whenever possible. He didn’t like to be scooped by another network or print reporter. However, he would not release a story, even if it meant being second, if he could not authenticate his sources. I, too, think he would easily have adapted to online journalism.”

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