Newspapers across the nation are adapting to their readers attention spans by allocating money and thought into online video. The multiple avenues of recording and distributing video make it easy for newspapers to add another element to their storytelling. Just like many brands are using online video to better reach their audiences, digital video will very quickly become a vital part of your daily news.
Earlier this year, The New York Times allowed their videos to be viewed freely by any and all readers, regardless of subscriber status. Recognizing the far higher CPMs available for video ads against standard display, this major news source was one of the first to commit to the investment in online video space. The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post and Washington Post have also dedicated time and energy into creating a new space in their publications.
For the Chicago Tribune, this has been in the making since last November. During the election, Chicago’s biggest newspaper took it upon themselves to live stream a six-hour special, something that could not have not been broadcasted in such length through any local television station. By the time 2014 midterms come about, it’s safe to say many other newspapers will adapt and provide this type of coverage as well.
Over the past 18 months, with the help of recent graduates of one of Chicago’s film schools, the Tribune now has an entire online video unit. Although it staffs only 6 people, they are equipped with the talent, know- how and editorial skills to facilitate this new facet of journalism, creating more revenue and providing a new element of story telling.
Smaller newspapers are also taking the plunge into online video on a lesser scale, like the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune in northeastern Massachusetts. David Willis took his passion for local sports and created a video channel for his newspaper. His work, shot with an HD Cannon, may not be selling pre-roll ads but these highlighted clips featured on the homepage excite many of the website visitors, sometimes receiving thousands of hits.
The ways in which online video can be used in story telling is infinite and will be very useful in generating dynamic content to relay the important information people need to know as quickly as possible. With news viewership continuing to aggressively move from print and television to digital, this progression might just be journalism’s saving grace.