In the race to capitalize on the popularity of broadband video, newspapers are continuing to take a page from TV stations’ playbooks by producing increasingly sophisticated newscasts and other Web programs.
Although newspapers have long offered Web video, they are turning to newscasts to grow that online stake. The Roanoke Times offers a daily afternoon program produced in a new multimedia studio and control room. The Naples Daily News produces 30-minute daily “VODcasts” on its online channel, Studio 55. And Gannett’s Wilmington, Del.-based News Journal offers the twice-daily Delaware Online, which features a dedicated Web anchor.
Last November, Fast Company took an interest in The Naples News video programming and in Rob Curley, the man responsible for it.
Unlike previous ink-stained generations, he and his mostly young charges practice journalism with software code, video, podcasts, audio, slide shows, blogs–whatever works. Multimedia storytelling comes as naturally to him as satire did to Mencken. Likewise, interactivity: The notion of a newspaper as a conversation rather than a lecture doesn’t strike fear in Curley, the way it does some newspaper purists.
This story reminds me that while walls crumble, new structures rise to replace them. In other words, it may seem like a terrible time to go into the news business, but it’s not. It’s actually the perfect time, because there’s real opportunity to make an impact and help save some storied news brands.