Here are some practical tips for video on newspaper sites
If you have no expertise in your newsroom, you cant expect to go from no video output to good quality output without some struggle. So, why not try some of the skills out in a less time pressured way.
Start by producing short slideshows of images with an audio script. You can practice the scripting part, honing that broadcast voice and use photographic content that may not have made it in to the paper. They could be presented as slideshows for one story or even a quick story round up.
Instead of packing the kit up the day it arrives and marching off to cover a story, why not kick start your video content with a short bulletin or news round-up? A script, delivered to camera, by someone in the newsroom is a quick and easy way to generate a daily block of video. When you get more confident with editing, you can add pictures over the top to enhance the story.
This may be a little too much like TV on the web rather than online video for some but it helps build the skills of scripting and delivery. If you publish it before your first edition goes out you can also do little adverts for stories in the paper.
Our local paper The Lancashire Evening Post, runs a daily video bulliten with heavy trails for the paper. They have been doing it for a while now and it’s getting quite slick. (That’s one of my ex-students Josie, doing her turn as newsreader)
Keep it short
Try and keep video to no longer that 1:00 – 1:30. If you record a special interview or have longer footage, consider how you might chunk it. An interview might be split in to two or three sections based on the theme of the questions.
To start with you can simply break the content up based on time. As you get more confident with editing you can cut the questions and mix them around to make these chunks more thematic.
Each of the sections can then be presented on a page with text and images to make for a really interesting package of content
Many newspapers take a channel approach to their video content. You follow a link to a video section and it’s all in one place. It’s almost like ‘switching-over’ from the newspaper to TV.
Video content should integrate with your text output. Try placing a link to an a video interview in you story pages instead of just a call out box. It doesn’t mean that the video can’t also be listed elsewhere, but it does mean your readers have another way to find it.