There is a wealth of material on the present and future of the news media in a report, Brave News Worlds: Navigating the New Media Landscape (PDF), published last week by the International Press Institute (IPI).
The 152-page report brings together 42 essays were written by news executives, digital thinkers and educators from across the world.
My attention was drawn to a provocatively entitled entry, The Future of TV News Belongs, in Part, to Multi-Platform Video, written by my former boss, the editor of the BBC News website, Steve Herrmann.
In the essay, Steve outlines the forms of video have worked for the BBC online. One of the most successful formats is the short news clip that shows something visually compelling.
These work particularly well when they are embedded in a related text news story. Traffic to video doubled within a year after the BBC News site started embedding video.
These short video clips ‘show the story’, whereas traditional TV news pieces tend to have a reporter ‘telling the story’. Online, there is often no need for the reporter as an intermediary, as a user will have already read the story.
Steve concludes, “news and sport video clips now tend to get more traffic overall than long-form news programmes on the BBC’s live and on-demand online TV service iPlayer”.
Traditional, longer-form news video “is not – for now anyway – proving that compelling for news consumers online.”
While recognising that traditional TV news skills will continue to matter, Steve suggests:
The linear broadcast could become a bit like a trailer for the fuller, more detailed and potentially richer treatment of the story, which can be made available in the space which on-demand platforms can offer.