An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Oy. USA Today is now doing weather videos? Talk about commodity news. How does this separate the paper from the rest of the pack?
USAT did a great job with live video about the Oscars. You all love to snipe. Do something, "It sucks," do nothing, "You are terrible managers." Go pound sand haters. They will be successful without you. Jim you pontificate yet you ahven't had a job in years and you ccertainly have no clue how to work in a 2013 newsroom anywhere. You are a dinosaur man. In fact you are a less than $14000 year dinosaur. You can spin this post any way you wish but the truth is the truth. If you weren't running a blog in which the majority of your audience hates their current or former employer, you wouldn't have the $14,000. I come here because I enjoy challenging the haters when they spew venom. But you can't deny the truth.
I can't tell if you are a manager or suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Seems like you are spewing venom that should go to the piece of crap USAT and Gannett at Jim, who I am sure is a lot happier than a large majority of Gannettoids.
Zzzz...I got about 20 seconds into it, got bored, and clicked on the video below it. The one about the Spanish mothers posing for an erotic calendar to raise money to save their kids' school bus, which was lost to guv'mint austerity measures.
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Jim, the push for more video at USAT is relentless. The new regime has staked a lot on video. For the reader, though, it is annoying to see a video start rolling while you're just trying to read a story. And worse, you have to sit through a commercial if you want to see the video. Yet they are stacking videos more and more on top of stories, and they are setting them to roll automatically, without the viewer's selection. Perhaps that gets them more clicks to count for the videos, but it drives some readers away.
Whenever I read a story where there is an accompanying video, I mute the sound on my computer.
I don't go to a newspaper site to see a video, especially one for weather. Newspaper videos are amateurish at best, especially at small and medium papers. They're not much better than reader submitted photos of their pets or kids' proms, but the editors like them because the pic at least bring a lot of hits.
Obama confident of sequester?Did Gannett’s Des Moines Register interview with Obama on Oct. 25, 2012 further expose his disingenuous now on it?“So when you combine the Bush tax cuts expiring, the sequester in place...we’re going to be in a position where I believe in the first six months we are going to solve that big piece of business (how much govt we want and how to pay for it)."It will probably be messy. It won’t be pleasant. But I am absolutely confident that we can get what is the equivalent of the grand bargain that essentially I’ve been offering to the Republicans for a very long time." Barrack Obama to editor Rick Green.The president’s comments certainly suggest as much, so why have Gannett papers yet to use this, and other facts on record to call Obama out for now being against what he sought and campaigned on?Failing to report details like this when the debate is highly heated is why media is increasingly less trusted. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot when they don’t have too. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20121025/OPINION01/310250038/Obradovich-Obama-confident-grand-bargain-
Isn't this the same interview Team Obama attempted to keep off the record, one the Des Moines Register refused to do? Interesting.
What a crock of brocoli these conservatives are stirring up. First off, holding any political diatribe here is useless and not the point of this blog. Next, your politics were lost somewhere in the Reagan adminstration where lying on a grand scale became defacto standard for American presidents. So keep chopping that brocoli and good luck with your WIN/LOSE approach to government.
@6:32 PM, What a crock of “broccoli” you attempt to stir.Seriously, with all due respect, comments like yours suggest you reached middle age prior to fax machines all of which would go a long way in explaining your defense of media outlets’ increasingly naked agendas.First, it is absolutely fair game to use what Gannett previously reported and in what it fails to bring to light now regarding Obama’s sequester – something he denies despite a wealth of evidence that Gannett has itself. Its info Gannett should leverage to build credibility back with readers it's increasingly losing to other sources that provide more detail, info you obviously prefer not come to light.Next, arguing what previous administrations did to defend the current one acting the same is juvenile at best, one only those with a low IQ and limited ethics would accept so show some respect for the professional audience here, else move along.Unfortunately, you’ll no doubt cling to your antiquated, old-media agenda setting beliefs as that’s likely all you’ve ever known, but trust this, doing so will only result in the loss of even more readers/users who have access of a wealth of information that increasingly shows why they can’t trust newspapers and old media to give unbiased facts. Moreover, that’s really too bad as it’s a choice people like you obviously make at this industry’s increasing peril.
I totally concur. I want to read most news stories, not watch a video unless the video is somehow relevant to the story and helps to illustrate the piece (i.e., the meteor in Russia). Video for the sake of video, as a substitute for text, is often shallow and simply annoying.If newspaper websites like USAT keep pushing video, people like me are going to go elsewhere to read the news.Not only do I want stories to be in text form, I want them to be well edited, insightful, etc.I don't understand why the newspaper business is shunning hardcore news consumers and transforming themselves into some cheezy version of the AOL home page, where nothing disguised as news is very credible.As far as I am concerned, USAT is right on the edge of becoming one of those news brands that is giving readers like myself the middle finger. The only fortunate thing about this is that some news brand will come along and fill the void left by the USATs of the world morphing into some silly YouTube-type site, where news judgment is so dumbed down that it's disgraceful. And what's even more amazing, judging from comments I read or hear about, the people producing these idiotic news website actually think they're geniuses -- like they are reinventing the wheel and all the people who actually appreciate a well-crafted story, substantial news story are dinosaurs.Well, this dinosaur still thinks that anyone who enters the field of journalism should abide by all the sound principles of the profession. But the basics aren't be passed down or learned by the next generation of reporters and editors because of the corporate mandates that hitch their wagons to something that is cheap and doesn't require much intellect.The news business appears to be in rapid decline, which is probably why the government and country as a whole is faltering like never before. Without real investigative journalists and seasoned front-line folks in the newsroom -- real pros who provide depth and legitimacy to the news -- media companies are not only doing a disservice to loyal readers, they are actually contributing to the decay of the democracy.
I have been laughed at for the last few years for I have said basically the same thing, albeit not as eloquent as you. I believe the dumbing of news in general and the different medias that present it, are part of some master plan. After all, an uninformed populace is more easily controlled.I remember in years past, companies like Gannett, Tribune, etc., would have jumped all over companies and politicians that have shown disdain for our Constitution and our Country's values. Now they not only condone it, they are complicit buy ignoring what's going on.Newspapers turning into a poor man's Drudge copy is no accident, and not as good. TV and radio are not much better.I miss real newspapers. I miss reading real, unbiased news. I wish newspaper sites would be just that and not try to be a TV site. They're not as good and never will be.
I really don't like this video trend. It is very annoying. CNN went way down on my list of sites to read because of all the video. Time wasters, really. Who spends their time watching this stuff?
At least CNN is in the video business. USA Today isnt fooling anyone with its video.
Wow, "I don't like video!" Really people. The world is changing and you sit here and whine about video. Yeah YouTube is a fad. Get real people. Read/listen to yourselves. You sound like out of touch grandpas! And you wonder why media is in the shape it finds itself. It's you!!!!!!!!!!!
I don't like bad video. And too much of video at USAT and elsewhere is just that: People reading text into a camera. Little or no editing. Little or no context. Video should offer images and audio that can't be as well-presented as text alone. Plus, much of USAT online is consumed at work. Who wants to deal with unnecessary audio that'll annoy their cube mates?
You're right Jim. Gannett is doing video for video sakes, and they usually don't add anything to the coverage. But then again good writing and reporting has largely disappeared from most Gannett products.
In another "Friday dump" announcement (similar to when it pulled its disastrous interactive gun map), The Journal News quietly announced it is shutting down its northern bureau in Mount Kisco. Previously, it shut down its Carmel bureau further north. Now, all remaining reporters work out of the new scaled down White Plains office. What's next? Will "Low-Hud" be on the second floor above a deli on Halstead Avenue in Harrison?
Hey Low-Hud. Where've you been? That happened weeks ago. Patch must keep you real busy shooting photos no one ever sees.
Gannett's TV division makes big news. Last night WKYC in Cleveland pre-empted NBC prime time to show a 2-hour "Matlock" movie. WKYC says it will do it again next Thursday night.For context, NBC has had a bunch of high-profile flops and the network finished 5th in the February sweeps -- yes, 5th, behind Spanish network Univision.
It appears that when USA Today founder Al Neuharth runs out of ideas for his weekly column, he turns to Chase's Calendar of Events.
He ran out of ideas a long, long, long time ago.
He = Jim.
Is this an inside joke? If I understand it, I am not sure I want to.
And of course no criticism of video or the wildly successful internet strategy would be complete without the requisite dozen corporate shill/trolls commenting and using the grandpa moniker; you guys sound like the Republicans. All the while the viewership and circulation declines, demographics are crap, ads suck, and no one is buying this crap anymore. Actually it seems like the only people still paying for this product are "grandpas" , maybe you should be a little more deferential, grandpa is paying most of your salary. It certainly isn't the working people or unemployed young people.Video is a slow, linear delivery mechanism. It takes a lot of your time and if it is well done, it can pay off. If it is crap and wastes 5 minutes of your time, will you click in tomorrow? Who has a lot of time for this monkey business? Grandpas and unemployed people, perfect for advertising and marketing to advertisers.. right? The young people I know are always downloading short videos on their phones and I have never seen or heard anyone watching the news on their phone. I cannot ever recall anyone actually spending their phone or computer time to watch a news video. Have you, be honest. You guys are milking an asset base and distribution platform, but in the end the asset's value is plummeting, the younger demographics are not paying for this garbage , and the grandpas are dying.The strategy should be narrow and deep in local. This is shallow and narrow and the product sucks, the customers have vaporized, and there is nothing to sell anymore. The idiots that are calling people names are probably responsible for this and they cannot even put together a cogent post to articulate their position, they just call people names while Rome burns and accept no responsibility. It kills me that the only people I know that "take" the local paper are really grandpas and you trot that crap out every week and nobody calls you on it.
"I cannot ever recall anyone actually spending their phone or computer time to watch a news video."I have. If it's done well, some people will watch it.To let you save face, I'll say there are some people who will never watch a news video. You are likely one of them.
I don't need to save face, but thank you for being polite. It is an accurate statement and I work and live in a pretty vibrant culture that seems to be somewhat representative of the market Gannett is trying to capture, but doesn't. Video is not going to solve that problem. I think you might be missing the point. It may be the case that video is not the best delivery mechanism for news. Good for sports. Good for comedy. Good for Sweet Brown and internet memes. Not so good for news in my experience; your experience may be different of course.Tumble this around. How often do you read a news article that someone has forwarded to you? I read almost all of them. I read enough to figure out if it is someone worth reading and I can figure that out in about 5 seconds. Video is different. People forward me all sorts of video crap and I never I rarely watch more than 5 seconds of it. Usually I just delete it because I have no idea how much time I am going to waste to get to the point. I could almost say I alway delete it, but that would get us off in the weeds again.So what is your experience with news video? Do you pay for it? Do you think it is an efficient news delivery mechanism compared to the written text? Do you prefer the written word delivered via video with a talking head? How do you feel about not being able to control the rate of information? Do they hit you with ads before you get to the good stuff? Will people pay for this? Please share your insight?
I am a grandpa and I think video is a waste. Unless the story is visual in nature. A barn fire is a visual story, boring to read about but okay for a video. My grandkids first steps are a visual story. Most of the posted news videos are a rehash of the printed story with b-roll and I have to wade through the entire two minutes to see if there is anything new. For the most part news stories are best told in a printed narrative where the consumer can scan the story for the information they find useful, and they are not forced view an ad.I think the entire video craze (I counted 13 videos highlighted on the first page of my local Gannett product yesterday)is driven by advertising, suckering advertisers into thinking it is effective because the viewer is forced to watch it. What I find more troubling is the time wasted editing these things, having some experience in that area, that is time that could have been better spent elsewhere.
You are correct. Driving this obsession with video is the much higher ad rates for video over print. Simple as that. Never mind that probably most people who click did so by mistake, not knowing it was video, or even if they did, bailed out during the commercial pre-roll if not the poor video itself.For now, anyway, the suits, in their race to digital, are happy just fooling advertisers into thinking they are getting something for their money. They aren't. And advertisers won't be fooled by this for long, I suspect.
I love this post. I get to learn something and it adds to the discussion. Thanks! I wish I could up-vote this type of post and down-vote the "Jim eats when he is on the can" garbage below.
You are welcome.
This isnt pertinent to the video discussion, but I just had to throw in this paragraph from a recent article on Bo Sacks discussing the compensation of Time and Meredith leadership. "While public filings do not reveal the salary of Time Inc.'s chief executive, Laura Lang, Mr. Lacy makes an annual base salary of $950,000 as Meredith's chief and has total compensation of $5.8 million including stock awards. Mr. Griffin said that when he worked at Meredith, the company focused aggressively on spending judiciously and weathering the recession." How does Gracia "act like you work for a start=up" Martore justify taking significantly more compensation for driving down the stock and firing 1000s?
3:52PM - Because, genius, she managed to rescue the company from oblivion and keep shareholder value above zero.
Records are making a comeback due to superior sound quality over digital. Thinking Newspapers might want to take note. A Newspaper is still easy to read and easier on the eyes than a Digital Copy.
and you can sit on the can and read it!
Jim eats when he is on the can.
Records are a niche product for audiophiles willing to pay more for a less "artificial"-sounding experience.New records generally cost $10 - $20 or more. And the same people buying them are the same people that buy newspapers. Newspapers are still a mass-audience product. Vinyl records lost that audience decades ago.Consider the time and trouble you have to "consume" music on vinyl. Or read a paper. As opposed to the time it takes to play an mp3 on your phone. Or computer. Anyone living in the West knows you're not getting last night's sports in today's paper. Where are you going to get it? Right here on the net.Don't get me wrong - I LOVE vinyl. I create CDs from my vinyl because I like the sound. Also, CDs often are not the original recordings you remember hearing 40 years ago. If something you hear on the radio doesn't sound the way you remember it, you're probably right in wondering "is that the same music"?Richard Carpenter openly admits re-doing parts of The Carpenters' music when re-mastered for CD. You want original music? Go find the vinyl. The Moody Blues classic "Days Of Future Passed" CD is noticeably different than the vinyl. The original tapes deteriorated and some parts didn't make it to CD. But I digress.Check out the price of CDs on Amazon. Cheaper now than the original recording was on vinyl. For you Eagles fans, you can get the first six LPs on CD in a collection for $30 later this month. What's the lesson? Digital is cheap. Print (vinyl) is expensive. And the more expensive something becomes, the more exclusive the market for that product.
I'm a grandfather, a newspaper reader, and a news junkie. I love video too. I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. Catch someone robbing a bank, and I don't care if it is the worst video every shot in the most amateurish way and I'd love to see it. Video, like photos, stories and agate, all are part of the news. I love watching video when I want it, I love reading news when I want it, and I don't understand the brouhaha here.
You gave yourself away when you used the word "agate". Nice try.
"I'm a grandpa and I think video is a waste." "I'm a grandpa and I think indoor plumbing is a waste." That is too good. You can't make that up. What a hoot.
Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."
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