Cheap Video Solution for Newspapers: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

© Matthew Jonas 2010

Web video is here to stay. And with the roll out of the new web platform I mentioned previously, we have been tasked with creating video content for all of our publications. I really want this to work out for us but I have made it clear to our editorial management that this will not be a “quantity versus quality” endeavor. Not every story will include video. I set our goals at 1 video per week, per paper. So basically I will probably end up cutting together 4 videos a week. It’s not going to be easy. But I like a challenge.

Speaking of challenges, the company actually purchased video cameras for the staff. In a time of furlough days, pay cuts and expense reductions it was a nice surprise. However, (let’s face it there is always a however) with the limited budget the equipment purchased was not the Canon XH-A1s and Sennheiser EW G3s that we would have liked. Instead we were given the Kodak Zi8 pocket video cameras and Audio-Technica wired lavaliere mics. The photo above shows the camera and mic along with my haggard Think Tank Photo Trim Changer.

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Gambling with Remotes, Content, Etc.

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

Sometimes the best picture that comes from your remote camera is the one you used to test it. I look thrilled to be shooting cross country, don’t I? Better luck next time. As you might have noticed I haven’t had much time to update the blog. I have been super busy trying to find enough content to fill the pages of the 5 newspapers I work for. Yeah, you heard that right. The sizes of our papers are actually increasing. Ad revenue is up, expenses are down and all of our papers have been profitable in the last couple of months. Go figure.

Speaking of good things. All of the new newspaper websites will soon be live. You can go here to see what the new design looks like compared to the old one here. One thing that may or may not be a good thing are the inclusion of blogs. I may end up migrating this, or at least parts of it, over to the new sites. I haven’t decided yet. For those of you that subscribe, I would love to hear your opinions. Sound off in the comments or on twitter.

One of the staples of the new websites will be multimedia. Above all that means more content online. It should have been that way from the start but it wasn’t a priority. I’m not really sure it should be a priority now due to the fact that according to our website visitor numbers we have half the number of page views than subscribers to the physical paper. Small town journalism at its best. People still read the paper and I still drive by empty single copy sales boxes a couple days after we publish.

I should have a post about our “video solution” coming in the next week or so. I actually need to get a couple of videos up online before that will happen though. That about sums it up right now. Off to FCE to edit!