Use video when it works.

One of our students, Nigel Barlow, linked in to my tips on shooting video and linked it with Pete Clifton’s comments about video on the BBC site. (reported on

Interestingly whilst Andy is extooling the virtues of online video,the BBC strangely wants it journalists to cut back on the medium.

Sorry to disappoint Nigel but no disagreement from me. I think Pete makes a great point. But I don’t think he is saying video is ‘bad’. Just that it needs to be used in a different way.

On my video course for newspaper journos we spend a while talking about why we are doing video. From a business point of view there are many commercial reasons why but when it comes to editorial I like to switch the emphasis to when: when is the right time to use video.

I have always made a point of saying that I hate the way that most web site video is channeled away, hidden in a player in some other part of the site with no relationship to the rest of the content on the site. And there I find myself in good company:

“We should think more about what that page does in the round and come up with a piece of video that absolutely complements the text… we should do less video but be much more focused on how it works and give it a higher profile where it can work alongside the story.”