Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

Newspapers as TV

Posted on | August 28, 2007 | No Comments

Mike Cassidy, CEO of Undertone Networks, an online ad network, adds his voice this week to the notion that newspapers’ salvation lies in video. It’s a logical notion, sure. If you’re a hard-core print newsie, the transformation of your gumshoe, hard-nosed reporting into a TV script of a few minutes or longer is easy. Well, it’s easier than turning a TV reporter into a print reporter. But mainstream papers should tread carefully there.
Yes, it can be done, but should it be done? Probably not. Television has always been about time and images. And you simply cannot relate complicated story (and most stories are complicated) in a short video piece. Television news gave up trying 30 years ago and went to an entertainment format. Would you and I sit for high-class TV from the New York Times or Washington Post? Maybe, but not for long (or least until IPTV hits home for the sit-back experience). It’s time-consuming, and we can scan and obtain far more information trolling through the pages of those papers in 15 minutes than we could in watching a program for 15 minutes.
If the urge is irresistible, then papers should really focus on hard-hitting micro-documentaries to add to what PBS does. Lord knows we need more thoughtful content on the web and TV. (It’s one of my dream jobs!) People who want this stuff are generally in the more educated, wealthy demographics, so the advertising play is obvious. I believe the better medium for this kind of thoughtful journalism are audio podcasts. They’re much more user friendly. You can listen to them while you’re multitasking. Can’t really do that with TV.
And the beat goes on.
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