I enjoyed presenting a session at the Jan. 27-28 Minnesota Newspaper Association annual convention in Bloomington, Minn. on news web video. The discussion was broad and I appreciated the interaction from attendees. There seems to be a lot of experimentation going on at smaller community newspapers in Minnesota in regards to video. However, there’s still quite a bit of skepticism and curiosity about what really works. I laid out the main types of news web videos that I generally see:
- Feature videos
- Sports videos
- Breaking news videos
- Interview videos
Mark Plenke, a communication instructor at Normandale Community College, brought to my attention a style of video that the Washington Post is doing called “onBeing“. (You GOTTA watch Gio’s video!). This is just people talking about being people. A great series and something community journalists could really capitalize on around Minnesota.
Many journalists were also wondering about doing video on a budget. For them, I had some recommendations. (Download my recommendations and cheat sheets for iMovie/Final Cut Express/Adobe Premeire here)
Many were also curious about managing time spent on a video project. I recommend approaching any feature video project (or otherwise highly involved project) as it’s one story, and not as an additional project you take on on top of your regular weekly story list. I know many newspapers are shrinking due to losses in advertising. That means the news hole is smaller and fewer stories fit. So, instead of filing 6-7 print stories per week (as many weekly newspaper journalists are accustomed) I suggest 4-5 print stories and 1-2 multimedia projects. Similar workload as before, but more in line with types of story forms today’s journalists need to be producing.
In cases where news breaks and video requires little or no editing, reporters can approach video as “added value” on print stories, teasing to the exclusive or “web-only” content of video to compliment their stories.
Overall, it was a rewarding conference experience and I hope to be invited back next year.