Tumblelog by Soup.io
Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

August 30 2012

17:54

School Starts Up Again & So Does Tech and Social Change Baltimore

Tech and Social Change Baltimore took August off, but we're gearing up for our four remaining 2012 sessions. Our next meeting will be September 6 at 6:30 pm.  Fellow nonprofiteers and community builders Sharon Paley and Andrew Hazlett from the GBTC will join us to talk about Baltimore Weekly, a video broadcast where they talk with members of Baltimore's technology community about the interesting things taking place. 

read more

October 14 2010

16:17

‘The journalists had become cameras, not human beings anymore’: reflections on the Chile miners story

The rescue of Chile’s trapped miners captured the attention of the world. Live blogs, 24-hour TV stations, newspapers – the story was embraced by all platforms. Scotland’s Daily Record even featured a picture of the first emerged miner on its 4am front page. The media spotlight was well and truly focused on events at ‘Camp Hope’, enabling people all over the world to witness the remarkable rescue.

But some of the media coverage and in particular the volume of journalists who descended on the mine area has come under fire as questions arise over the necessity of hundreds of reporters being at the location to cover the story.

In an interview with euronews, local journalist Claudia La Torre said the behaviour of journalists desperate to cover the story was “too much”.

Before the media arrived there was a lot of crying, and then the feeling spread and the media got hold of it and put it to the fore. The media has been very important as it has informed everyone. But there are still limits. Yesterday I saw some miner’s families telling the media to go away. They wanted some privacy, the cameras and lights were harassing them. I regretted that, and I felt it was too much. The mother of the first miner rescued shouted at the journalists to stop, she was trying to hold her son in her arms and she couldn’t. I had to walk away, I felt that the journalists had just become cameras and not human beings any more.

Steve Safran from Lost Remote also commented on the amount of coverage and number of journalists at the scene, which he felt were “way out of proportion”.

Not to be cranky here – it’s great that these men are being rescued. But the coverage is way out of proportion to the importance of the event. And there is little perspective here. Suppose these men had died in the collapse back in August. Would it have received a mention at all in the news? This has as much to do with the fact that the coverage could be planned as anything.

Jeremy Littau from Lehigh University added that Chile is a ‘story about journalism’s failure’.

I see a story about journalism. To know that 1300 journalists have descended on this mining town to cover a worldwide story is a little disconcerting in an era of closed foreign bureaus and budget cutbacks. Many might question that thought given the intense interest in the story; my Twitter and Facebook feeds were lit up last night as the first miner descended up the 2000-foot shaft. But the public doesn’t think in terms of resources when it consumes journalism; it only has what it has in front of it.

These concerns continued today as reports that the BBC spent more than £100,000 on covering the rescue operation emerged via a leaked memo from BBC world news editor Jon Williams, which suggested the broadcaster will have to reduce its coverage of other major events as a result.

“The financial situation is serious”, Mr Williams wrote. “We are currently £67k beyond our agreed overspend of £500k; newsgathering’s costs for Chile will exceed £100,000.”

Coverage of the forthcoming Nato summit in Lisbon, the Cancun climate summit and the Davos World Economic Forum will all suffer as a result of the black hole in the corporation’s finances.

But while the rescue operation of the 33 men may be over, the media interest in the miners is likely to continue for some time. In fact, according to a report from the Guardian, freelance journalist Jonathan Franklin, who reported on the story for the newspaper from the start, is already signed up to write a book about events.

“This is one of the great rescue stories of all time,” he said, admitting he himself had wept as the first miners were released on Tuesday night. “It’s the reason we all want to be reporters: a remarkable story of the world coming together for a good reason. It taps into human altruism, the desire to work together, perseverance, faith that good things happen, never giving up.” The early chapters of the book, he said, were already written.

Similar Posts:



09:58

Guardian: Murdoch’s media fightback over letter to Cable

A letter signed by numerous media organisations including the BBC and sent to business secretary Vince Cable earlier this week, calling on him to intervene with a planned bid by Murdoch for the remainder of BSkyB, has sparked quick responses from Murdoch’s other media outlets.

According to a report by the Guardian, it was first an editorial in News International’s The Times yesterday, which claimed that BBC director general Mark Thompson had made a “serious and surprising error”.

By lending his name to the campaign to prevent News Corp from purchasing those Sky shares that it does not already own, Mr Thompson has made a serious and surprising error. He has embroiled his taxpayer-funded organisation in a political and commercial battle that it should have nothing to do with.

Then today the Sun’s columnist Kelvin MacKenzie added that Murdoch should be encouraged, not stopped.

The fact that Sky is so successful is due to his three-word mantra: invest, invest, invest. When you look at the list of business duds opposing him, what’s quite clear is they have chosen to survive by three other words: Cut, cut, cut. …It’s hard to know why Vince Cable wouldn’t nod the deal through as Rupert has always run Sky thanks to his near 40% equity ownership and the right he has to pick the chief executive.

… The reality is that Sky owns very few of the channels it broadcasts and many of the stations have minute audiences – especially compared to the state monopolists at the BBC. The issue for our nation should not be how to stop Mr Murdoch investing in Britain but how to encourage him – and many more like him.”

Similar Posts:



October 05 2010

11:42

Local TV operators criticise new service YouView in letter to Times

Plans for YouView, a new TV service offering on-demand and internet-connected features from BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, TalkTalk and Arqiva, have been criticised by local TV operators and production firms.

Geraldine Allinson, chairwoman of KM Group and Helen Philpot, managing director of north Lincolnshire TV channel Channel 7 CIC, were amongst the signatories of a letter to the Times late last week that said YouView had been “parachuted” into the “new and exciting market” of internet-connected television sets.

The full list of signatories:

  • Peter Williams, Peter Williams Television;
  • Jim Deans Global Digital Broadcast/Devlin Media;
  • Graham Cowling, TVChichester;
  • Rodney Hearth, the UK Entertainment Channel;
  • Geoff Kershaw, Channel Green TV;
  • Alan Cummings, Channel 9 TV/UC Business;
  • Marilyn Hyndman, Northern Visions / NvTv;
  • Dave Rushton, Institute of Local Television;
  • Daniel Cass, SIX TV;

Jaqui Devereux, United for Local Television.

The objections from the group echo those made against the BBC’s proposals to expand its local video content, which were rejected by the BBC Trust in November 2008.

The letter says that YouView could “hijack the fledgling local TV market” and calls for a thorough competition investigation of the platform:

Collectively these organisations control nearly three quarters of all television viewing and the entire digital terrestrial TV transmission network.

The BBC and its partners claim that YouView offers a common set of technical standards that will help everyone get the best out of this exciting new world. But it can equally be interpreted as an attempt by some of the biggest players in the business to hijack this fledgling market, impose their own vision of how it will operate and dictate the viewers’ experience.

The joint venture partners will control all aspects of the platform and its operational policies. If any third parties wish to participate, they will have to do so on the terms dictated to them by the UK’s largest free-to-air broadcasters.

Full letter at this link (subscription required)…

paidContent:UK takes a look at why local TV providers should work with YouView…Similar Posts:



11:21

Ripe from the Vine: lessons in journalism

Today Jeremy Vine is top of the broadcast journalism food chain. He presents an eponymous  show on BBC Radio Two every lunchtime, fronts Panorama on BBC One every week and plays the all-important graphics role in the BBC’s Election Coverage. But it was all so different in 1986 when Vine started our as a bright-eyed 21-year-old trainee on the Coventry Evening Telegraph.

Opening Coventry University’s Coventry Conversation series last night, he let the university’s journalism students in on a few secrets (www.coventry.ac.uk/coventryconversations)

Vine had never been to Coventry before his first day on the ‘Tele’ thirty four years ago. He was thrown in at the deep end – sent off to report the courts and come back with story return with a story an a picture. “I had to go up with photographer, John Potter and work out who the defendant was and say, “that’s him! He was about 19 and made off with his family so we had to run after him.

“I was laughing thinking, ‘This is probably the most exciting thing I have done in my life!’ ”

But Vine was very quickly brought back down to earth after he filed his story.

“[The defendant] had run up to a woman in a park saying, ‘I want sex’, so that was my intro”. But news editor Geoff Grimmer told Vine, “That’s not a story because everyone wants sex. The story is that she fought him off with a shoe.”

It didn’t get much better. On another court case, the defendant collared Vine in the corridor and spun him a good yarn about the crime. Trouble was, it was somewhat different to his evidence in court. Vine wrote it up as gospel only for the news editor to toss it in the rubbish bin. Another painful  learning experience. “I got some pretty good carpetings for getting stories wrong,” he admitted.

“The most heinous crime was for someone’s name to change halfway through the story or in the lists of divorces or TV licence evaders. They also never wanted to see the words ‘incident’ or ‘situation’, if it’s a crash it’s a crash.”

He did learn though, and kept his eyes and ears open and delivered some front page splashes, including two very negative stories about the very university in which he was speaking (then Lanchester Polytechnic). Current Coventry Telegraph editor Darren Parkin, who is returning the ‘Tele’ to its roots, was on hand to present Vine with some of the broadcaster’s cuttings from the time. He looked humbled to receive them.

Vine said two of the biggest stories he covered on the Telegrpah were Coventry City winning the FA Cup and a rapist on the prowl in the City Centre. “At the end of the day I could see my story coming off the press 1,000 times a second. It was an amazing feeling seeing your name in print.”

Not amazing enough though.

Vine moved from ‘Tele’ to Telly, and to the BBC in 1988 for a news traineeship. News reporting followed, then Today on Radio Four, BBC Belfast, a job as the BBC’s Johannesburg correspondent, and then, in 2000, the big one: presenting ‘Newsnight’.

There was, however, already a Jeremy on that show (Paxman), and there was only really room for one.

“I was the other Jeremy and it was his show,” Vine recalled. The other Jeremy got the big ones, but Vine did some sterling journalism on Newsnight before Radio Two called in 2003 and he became the Jimmy Young of the new era.

For the 18-year-old wannabe hacks in the audience that night, there were plenty of good lessons in that Conversation. Words ripe from the Vine.Similar Posts:



September 29 2010

16:07

BBC unions prepare staff for strike action

BBC staff unions have posted a series of questions and answers for staff in preparation for potential strikes over pension proposals, which could start next week if an agreement cannot be reached.

Last week union members voted in rejection of new proposals put forward by the BBC earlier this month and the union said it will now “press ahead” with its plans, while maintaining negotiations.

The NUJ and BECTU have published a Q&A for members about the strikes. In their responses they say that, “in the absence of a significant new offer from the BBC”, strike action will commence at 00.01am on 5 October and end at 23.59pm on 6 October, which will coincide with the Conservative Party conference.

A final decision on strike action is expected to be announced on Friday.

This week it was also announced that the NUJ’s general secretary Jeremy Dear will be speaking at a Coalition of Resistance protest against government spending cuts outside Downing Street on 20 October, another date earmarked for strike action at the BBC.Similar Posts:



September 28 2010

09:55

Jeremy Hunt: Providing local content should be condition of broadcasters’ licences

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt will say today that he intends to make the provision of local content a condition of the licences given to commercial broadcasters like ITV, Channel 4 and Five.

In a speech today to the Royal Television Society, Hunt will also tell those channels with a public service broadcasting remit (PSBs) that retaining a prime position in the Electronic Programme Guide or future equivalent would depend on their commitment to “content with a social or cultural benefit”.

I will begin the process of redefining public service broadcasting for the digital age by asking Ofcom to look at how we can ensure that enough emphasis is given to the delivery of local content.

Of course not all PSBs will want, or be able, to be local broadcasters. But I’m determined that we should recognise the public value in those that do.

Echoing the sentiments of his party’s ‘big society’ idea, Hunt will warn broadcasters about not investing in local news:

If we remain centralised, top-down and London-centric – in our media provision as in the rest of government – we will fail to reflect the real demand for stronger local identity that has always existed and that new technologies are now allowing us to meet.

Hunt will add that he has been “strongly encouraged by the serious thought that the BBC has been giving to how it might partner with new local media providers”.

He is expected to say that, despite the UK “fast becoming one of the most atomised societies in the world”, those looking back in the future will see its media as “deeply, desperately centralised.”

They will be astonished to find that three out of five programmes made by our public service broadcasters are produced in London.

They will note that there is nothing but national news on most of the main channels, beamed shamelessly from the centre.

And they will discover token regional news broadcasts that have increasingly been stretched across vast geographical areas – with viewers in Weymouth watching the same so-called “local” story as viewers in Oxford. Viewers in Watford watching the same story as viewers in Chelmsford.

Hunt will also set out his vision for local TV provision:

My vision is of a landscape of local TV services broadcasting for as little as one hour a day;

Free to affiliate to one another – formally or informally – in a way that brings down costs;

Free to offer nationwide deals to national advertisers;

Able to piggyback existing national networks – attracting new audiences and benefitting from inherited ones at the same time;

And able to exploit the potential of new platform technologies such as YouView and mobile TV to grow their service and improve their cost-effectiveness.

In June, Hunt scrapped plans for new local news networks set up by the previous government. Hunt called the plans for Independently Funded News Consortia (IFNC) in Tyne Tees and Borders, Scotland, and Wales “misguided” and claimed they “risked turning a whole generation of media companies into subsidy junkies, focusing all their efforts not on attracting viewers but on persuading ministers and regulators to give them more cash”.

Read Jeremy Hunt’s RTS speech in full here (PDF)Similar Posts:



September 13 2010

10:23

paidContent: Advisory panel preparing report on local TV development

A report on ways to establish new local TV services is due to be delivered to culture secretary Jeremy Hunt by the end of the month, paidContent reports today.

An advisory panel tasked with examining broadcast models has reportedly been sifting through the many submissions on the issue and has also been consulting with local newspaper groups and other organisations.

Quoted in the paidContent report, panel member Claire Enders, founder of Enders Analysis, warned that the group’s proposals will not be “earth-shattering” due to geographical issues.

We are making patient progress, but there are long, intractable issues. We are doing our best to go through all the business models. We are leaving no stone unturned. We are aware of how keen the minister is.

But one of the obvious things about the UK is that our conurbations are not appropriate for local television, they are not big enough. We will get somewhere, which advances the minister’s agenda, but it will not be earth-shattering stuff.

In a speech earlier this year Hunt said the lack of quality local television is “one of the biggest gaps in British broadcasting”.Similar Posts:



September 08 2010

10:52

BBC Cojo: When to step into a story, and when to walk away

It is a question which arises time after time, especially for journalists working in dangerous areas and the developing work: at what point do you step into a story to provide humanitarian aid to your subject?

This was something we discussed with Chris Green from Future Voices, a company which offers training to journalists considering working in hostile environments. “You need to remind yourself that you are a journalist, you are there for one reason. Look after your team, look after yourself, get your story,” he told us at the time.

This week the BBC College of Journalism also takes a look at the issue in an interesting interview with Jezza Newman, director and cameraman for Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children a documentary repeated on BBC2 last week, posted on the site.

Newman says it is important for the overall message to remain powerful for the audience.

As awkward as it is for us to walk away, it should be awkward for the viewer to watch. By doing what we did and making the viewer as awkward as we made them feel we ended up raising £43,000 and we believe that what we chose to do, by not stepping in, contributed to what eventually is a good.

See the full post here…Similar Posts:



September 07 2010

11:12

YouTube publishes footage from Life in a Day project

The results of YouTube’s documentary experiment ‘Life in a Day’ are now up on the project’s channel.

Life in a Day, which invited the public to submit videos documenting their experiences on July 24, received a total of 80,000 videos from 197 countries. YouTube claims it is the world’s largest user-generated film.

Director Kevin Macdonald and producer Ridley Scott will be using some of the footage to produce a feature-length film to be premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.Similar Posts:



09:48

Global Thinkers: Television is going vertical

Thomson Reuters’ global editor, multimedia, Chris Cramer on the future of broadcasting and why narrow-casting not linear television networks are the way forward:

The days of linear television networks are coming to an end. I think only people with very large amounts of money or people who are stupid will launch linear television networks in the future. People won’t be launching a single channel with programmes that go one after the other, you’re going to launch a vertical channel (…) So people want to play a part in media consumption these days, they don’t want to sit there and just take it. They’re not going to make appointments and sit there with their legs crossed and their faces washed and watch TV anymore. It doesn’t make it depressing, it makes it really exciting.

Full interview on Global Thinkers at this link…Similar Posts:



09:43

Media Culpa: Promoting Facebook groups is breach of Swedish broadcast act

Public service radio and TV shows in Sweden that encourage listeners to join or discuss stories on Facebook are in breach of the Swedish Radio and Television Act, according to a new ruling reported by Media Culpa.

According to the Commission, it is accepted to inform the public of the existence of a Facebook page or group, but encouraging listeners or viewers to join them is considered one step too far.

Full post on Media Culpa at this link…Similar Posts:



September 05 2010

16:02

September 02 2010

14:08

Broadcast journalist Michael Goldfarb on life after redundancy

PoynterOnline.org has an interesting but unfortunately all-too-familiar story of a journalist – Michael Goldfarb – who lost his job during company cut backs five years ago. In an interview he shares his experiences of finding his feet as a freelancer and at times the realisisation of how little his years of experience would help him in his job search.

It was 5 July 2005, the day of the London bombings which Goldfarb had spent hours in the studio covering. When he got a call from his boss, he expected it would be to congratulate him on his work, but instead it was to break the news that his job was being cut.

Goldfarb soon returned to his post-WBUR life as a freelance journalist following failed attempts to find teaching work  – his 20 years of experience seemingly not enough to replace a lacking MA – but while financially he remains at a loss, Goldfarb’s talents as a journalist don’t seem to have gone unnoticed, with current projects including a monthly BBC TV news discussion, work with Globalpost.com and a new book in the pipeline.

But he remains concerned about an industry which he feels has given up on serving its audience.

I feel like a cavalry officer who has had two horses shot out from under him in the same battle. Serious reporting, serious writing: where is the audience for it in America anymore? I know It’s there, but the people who manage the news and book business have given up trying to serve it.

See the full interview here…Similar Posts:



September 01 2010

11:34

BBC pensions update – strike ballot result expected today

BBC staff unions are expected to announce the result of a ballot for strike action later today, following pension proposals put forward by the broadcaster in June which could see the introduction of a one per cent cap on increases in pensionable salary and the closure of the final-salary scheme to new joiners.

In a blog post, NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear says the union expects the results to show “a massive vote in favour of action”.

He adds that an announcement is expected to be made between 3:30pm and 4:00pm today. The BBC previously told Journalism.co.uk it would be making further proposals at the beginning of September following the backlash from its initial suggestions. Its 90-day consultation period closes later this month.

More to follow later this afternoon.Similar Posts:



August 31 2010

16:52

How to interview Mark Thompson, what his speech looks like, and more

This weekend, BBC director general Mark Thompson gave the James Mactaggart Memorial lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, where he discussed the future of the BBC and British television as a whole.

He told the audience that broadcasting is a battle today which will require organisations to work together and “break the habit of a lifetime”, while he urged critics not to focus on small matters, such as the governence of the BBC, but the bigger issues.

We have, don’t we, a kind of genius in our industry for talking ourselves into a crisis – and then of always being somehow disappointed when the crisis turns out to be imaginary or when the cyclical turns out to be just that – cyclical. Instead, we should concentrate on what matters most and on the issues and actions that could actually make a difference. We should think big, not small.

The speech was awarded extensive coverage by the Guardian, from video reactions from audience members to reflective blogs in the aftermath. There is even a short but entertaining post from Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru Murphy on “how to interview Mark Thompson”, following his post-speech interview with the director.

If anyone so much as suspects you are giving him an easy ride you will be despised for it, so you are probably about to overcompensate and be a bit rude for a Saturday-morning chinwag that is, after all, on a subject that can be described as “only telly”. Fortunately, I had no shortage of help in planning the interview. “He can talk for a long time when he’s on stage, so you’ll have to interrupt him,” said one adviser. So I did. Another friend had suggested an interesting tack on executive pay: “Ask him if he is motivated by money? Does it threaten his legacy as DG?” It elicited the only “tumbleweed moment” of the session, as I left his firm rejection of the idea hanging for a moment.

Most other news outlets focused on staff and pay cuts announced by Thompson, who said the broadcaster was “committed” to reducing the number of senior managers by at least a fifth by the end 2011.

Criticisms fell on the Times, which was accused by the New Statesman of being biased for having “glanced over” Thompson’s negative comments in relation to Sky, which Thompson claimed is not investing enough in original British content.

The News Corp-owned paper reported on Thompson’s speech but somehow glanced over his remarks on Sky and its parent company. Contrast that with the approach of the BBC, which last year reported extensively on James Murdoch’s polemical assault on its “chilling” ambitions.

For a more general, illustrative view of the messages behind Thompson’s lecture, Journalism.co.uk has put together a Wordle below of his speech.

Similar Posts:



15:18

Deadlines and frontlines: extracts from new book on journalism and the Afghanistan war

This week, Journalism.co.uk is publishing extracts from a new book about the media coverage of the Afghanistan war.

‘Afghanistan, War and the Media: Deadlines and Frontlines’ brings together the testimonies of frontline correspondents and detailed academic analysis, with a particular focus on the pros and cons of so-called ‘embedded’ journalism.

Earlier today, we published an introduction to the book by journalism lecturer and co-editor John Mair, followed by a look at the dangers of ‘news management’ by Frontline Club founder and war correspondent Vaughan Smith.

Smith’s essay will be followed in the next three days by contributions from Channel 4 News presenter and war correspondent Alex Thomson, Sky News’ Asia correspondent Alex Crawford, and others.

All extracts published so far can be viewed at this link.Similar Posts:



10:48

Pakistan floods: BBC works with local radio to provide and source information

The BBC News Editors blog has an interesting post from Nazes Afroz, regional executive editor for Asia & Pacific at the World Service, explaining how the BBC has been covering the ongoing Pakistan floods, keeping victims informed through local radio partners and sourcing stories from people calling the radio stations.

He said that as the floods continue to devastate the country the BBC had to adapt its coverage to suit a more long-term model.

When the disaster struck a month ago, it became apparent that the story would be very big, affecting millions of people. As the story became bigger within the first few days, we made the decision to start a “Lifeline” programme with essential life-saving information for the flood victims. The broadcasts contain information like fresh flood alerts, weather reports, how to cope with diseases, how and where to get aid etc (…)

[The radio stations] also decided to use a toll-free phone with voice recording facility and asked the flood victims to call and record their stories.

After being taken on by the BBC Worldwide’s local partner stations, the service was able to be offered in Pashtu as well as Urdu, opening it up to an audience of between 60 and 80 million people. Their stories have provided first-hand accounts of events for the BBC’s overall coverage.

See his full post here…Similar Posts:



August 25 2010

14:25

Could Taiwan’s wacky news animations catch on?

Following the growing trend for animation re-enactments of news stories in Taiwan and Hong Kong TV broadcasts, Time Magazine this week detailed the successes of one of the companies behind these videos, Next Media Animation.

According to the report, the Taiwan news service produces more than 30 computer-animated re-constructions every day, from Lindsay Lohan’s prison term to Gordon Brown’s rumoured bullying to the actions of Steve Slater, the US air steward who abandoned his plane by emergency slide after an altercation with a passenger.

The company reportedly had a bid for a cable licence denied last year, due to “the sensational nature” of some animations. As a result Next Media launched as an online news channel and has been live for around two weeks, according to the feature.

Next Media’s commercial director Mark Simon is quoted by Time Magazine as saying that in the near future “if you don’t have an animation in your news sequence, it’s going to be like not having colour photographs in a newspaper.”

Following the Time Magazine article, Lostremote.com picked the story up and asked whether animations like Slater’s slide exit, which it reports is receiving more than four million views a day on Next Media’s site, could become a hit with Western audiences.

I can imagine it starting with tabloid TV, but can’t rule out some station using a variation of animated news. After all, we use some animations already (think of an animation showing a plane going down a runway, taking off and crashing). This is another step entirely. While it’s clear the stuff is animated, will that be enough to keep news from crossing the line into fiction? Judging from the popularity, it’s clear the audience likes this stuff. But is it local news-worthy?

Similar Posts:



August 23 2010

09:40

Why every independent news site should have a YouTube channel

John Hillman is editor of PC Site and head of publishing and projects at Net Media Planet.

With video in the ascendancy many independent online publishers and bloggers are beginning to feel that offering video content is a necessity rather than a nice optional extra. Yet creating editing and hosting a video can be an expensive and time consuming business that isn’t always easy to get right.

However, building a YouTube channel to sit alongside your indie website, whether it’s a blog, online magazine or hyperlocal, is much easier than many people would think. You can build the channel out to look exactly like your existing site, and with some good content and clever use of title tags you could find yourself attracting lots of new readers that may never have found you otherwise.

The figures speak for themselves. People searching for videos on YouTube make up a staggering 25 per cent of all of Google’s search volumes; it stands to reason therefore that anyone serious about increasing their readership should be tapping this rich source of traffic. When you also consider that Google now automatically displays a selection of YouTube videos in its search results, the opportunity for drawing new readers to your site should be obvious

As an independent online publisher we’ve found that YouTube has a lot to offer, providing us with a platform on which to publish unique video content, increasing our readership levels and helping us build our reputation as a quality online technology site.

Video equipment

Fortunately online video is valued more for its content than its production value, so while big news organisations may spend thousands on AV equipment, any indie publisher can get going with tools as basic as a Flip video camera and an open source video editing programme. This amounts to a total cost of around £150.

At PC-Site we use Flip video cameras all the time. They are cheap, small and fully optimized for the internet. This lets you get on with making basic videos without having to worry about such unfathomable tech conundrums as codecs fighting each other on the timeline.

When it comes to editing software there are lots of open source options out there, but Camtasia Studio works exceptionally well as both a movie editor and for creating screencasts. It costs about £220, which is excellent value for money. It also lets you automatically upload directly to your YouTube channel once you’ve finished the production process, saving you time. Alternatively we use TubeMogul to upload our videos as it enables us to do it across multiple sites, such as YouTube, HowCast and Vimeo simultaneously.

Branding your YouTube channel

This is a very important part of the process. It takes surprisingly little to give both your videos and your YouTube channel a quick makeover so that they reflect your blog or website.

Using Adobe Fireworks, for example, you can quickly mock up a little logo, if you have one, which will sit nicely in the corner of your screen during playback. Those of you with Adobe Illustrator skills can even create an ident to give your videos that real ‘TV Channel’ look. All of these things require a bit of extra effort but they really make a big difference to the finished product.

Your YouTube channel itself can also be branded by uploading a suitable background image that fits with your blog or website, and by going through the YouTube registration process you will be able to choose how the URL ends, also giving you that extra brand uniformity.

Once you’ve customised your videos and YouTube channel you can use the ‘sharing’ button to automatically syndicate your videos through your various online social networks, and you can embed your videos on your blog or website. You can also link your YouTube channel directly with your blog using the ‘blog setup’ button, this way your videos will post straight to your website from YouTube.

Getting it all up and running does take a small investment from you in terms of time, problem solving and creative thought, but the benefits that come from it are well worth the effort. One of our videos got nearly 30,000 views in a couple of months, all from just a cheap video camera a free video editing platform and the benefits of YouTube’s vast army of viewers. Not bad for an afternoon’s work.

More from John Hillman on Journalism.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @johnjhillmanSimilar Posts:



Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl