Tag Archives: The Express

Express & Star using Qik for football reports

The Express & Star is using Qik, allows reporters to live stream video footage from a mobile handset on the paper’s website, to produce post-match video reports from football games

The resulting videos offer a short, sharp analysis of the games, and their immediacy – they’re clearly filmed just after the final whistle – will surely appeal to football fans.

Reports this weekend came from Wolverhampton Wanderers’ victory over Sheffield Wednesday and West Bromwich Albion’s opening Premiership game.

Express Newspapers staff plan three-day strike

Journalists at the Express newspapers have postponed today’s planned industrial action in favour of a three-day strike starting on April 22, the Press Gazette reports.

The union has described suspension of today’s action as an ‘act of good will’ and has urged the paper’s proprietors to open up talks to avert further strikes.

The 24-hour strike planned for this Friday will go ahead, as staff continue to campaign against a pay offer of 3 per cent.

Reflections on the life of a videojournalist

Having spent April 1 shadowing the two-person web video team at the Express and Star, I came away with:

  • 3 minutes 41 seconds of video footage
  • 14 minutes of audio
  • 54 photos

After a day spent gathering the material I then spent approximately two days editing it for the piece on the site, entailing two slideshows with audio (40s and 48s), one audio clip (6mins 49s) and one video clip (2 mins 20s).

Okay – so I’ve not been specifically trained as a multimedia reporter, which might not make me the fastest when it comes to editing. But essentially two days work resulted in one feature.

Similarly, on the Express and Star‘s team, videojournalist Victoria Hoe spent two hours boiling down 16 minutes of footage into a 1min 50s final package.

The Express and Star’s set up with a dedicated video team trained on a Press Association videojournalism course means that it’s time well spent: they put up around 20 videos a week – many shot, edited and published in the same day – and are using the medium in a variety of ways to add value to other areas or stories on the site, as well as for standalone pieces.

But not all publishers have such well-established roles and departments and, having now experienced it first hand, trying to be an all-in-one multimedia reporter/editor/publisher is extremely time consuming.

This is why I voted for ‘Not on its own – video has to be part of a mixed media package from papers in the digital age’ in Journalism.co.uk’s poll on whether video can save newspapers.

While creating such a role may enable publishers to stretch their resources and staff to increase their multimedia content, the benefits of doing this for staff and the resulting content must be slim. As it is so time-consuming, surely it’s better to get it right?

From my day out last week ‘right’ to me means seeing video as a new way of storytelling. It can work with text, but should add something new to text articles and not just as a scripted piece to camera rehashing the article.

The VJs I spoke to said it was crucial to think visually and in sequences to ensure you get all the shots needed while on location. Think visually and video can become a great medium for explaining and representing stories in an alternative way to print.

What’s more it’s another way to reach out to your audience and new members of that readership, so if set up and executed well it will add value – and hopefully traffic – to your site.

Express Newspapers staff vote for strike action

Journalists at the Daily Express, Sunday Express and Daily Star are to undertake a series of 24-hour strikes over pay.

Strike action – scheduled for April 3, 10 and 17 – was approved at a National Union of Journalists (NUJ) meeting last night and is a reaction to ‘a below inflation pay offer’ – 3 per cent – made by the papers’ management to staff.

A statement from the NUJ also expressed concerns over owner Richard Desmond’s involvement with editorial decision making at the titles.

“We want the editors to be left to edit, free from commercial interference that puts opportunities to boost circulation ahead of journalistic integrity. Our titles need real investment, instead we face continuous rounds of budget cuts and inadequate staffing levels. Now we’re being told to take a below inflation pay offer and be grateful we’re not facing more redundancies this year – we’ve simply had enough,” said Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ President and union representative at the Express.

Express and Daily Star newspapers’ online apology to Madeleine McCann’s parents – comments turned off

UPDATE: Were the papers right to turn their comments off on these stories? – take the poll

The Express and Daily Star newspapers both printed front-page apologies today to the Kate and Gerry McCann – the parents of missing toddler Madeleine McCann.

The two Richard Desmond-owned newspapers both issued short, almost identical stories.

“We now recognise that such a suggestion is absolutely untrue and that Kate and Gerry are completely innocent of any involvement in their daughter’s disappearance,” they both stated.

Another similarity, both newspapers turned the comments system off on the online versions of these stories ‘for legal reasons’.

image of express websites comments turned off message

San Antonio news site blogs tips for blogging staff

MySanAntonio.com – the companion site of US newspaper the Express News and broadcast channel KENS5 – has taken a novel approach to improving staff blogs on the site.

The site has set up a blog offering ‘tips and ideas for blogging more successfully at MySanAntonio.com’ – thanks to Journalism Iconoclast for the link.

The blog ranges from technical advice on posting to more general posts about writing style. It’s also a way for housekeeping notices about the blogs to be delivered and for journalist bloggers to air their queries and concerns.

A great resource supporting the idea that if you ask staff to take on a new project like a blog, the training shouldn’t end with setting it up, but should continue throughout the process.

UK regional newspaper picks up US acclaim

The online offering from Wolverhampton’s Express & Star has caught the eye of Matt Mullenweg – founding developer of blogging software WordPress.

On his blog Mullenweg has pointed out that every article and feature of the Express & Star’s site is powered by WordPress.

“They now take the crown from NY Times for having the best URLs of a news site,” writes Mullenweg.

Such favourable comparisons don’t come along every day. Thanks to Chris Leggett, electronic editor for MNA digital, the digital arm of the Midlands News Association behind the Express & Star website, for passing this on.