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The Importance of Video To Traditional Newspaper Companies

January 27 2022 by Kevin Johnson


While the exact beginning point of journalism is subject to debate, one thing remains clear; there's a continuous evolution of methodology and processes.

Undeniably, one of the intriguing conversations in the journalism space revolves around technology. The debate is precisely on the role of digital resources in changing how the industry creates news and how consumers digest it.

From print journalism to radio, television, and the current influence of digital platforms, news delivery has significantly changed. Mediums that were once viable communication tools face the choice of adapt or fade away. More innovative content delivery methods have come into the limelight — and video is the anchor.

Emerging Technologies in News Creation and Delivery

Video is one of the technologies changing the journalism industry. Whether it's the creation of Facebook Live or the addition of Snapchat Discovery, there's a difference in how audiences absorb information.

Besides, outlets like Mashable are doing all they can to solidify the growing focus on video. Recently, BuzzFeed took steps to separate its video content into BuzzFeed News and BuzzFeed Entertainment. Similar outcomes may unfold in other news outlets soon.

Will Video Kill Print Media or Save It?

As content and news delivery evolves, print publishers are finding it hard to compete with free material in the form of video. While this new technology is a threat, it also provides a significant opportunity.

One of the most significant threats is that online publications heavily rely on advertising, yet he prevalence of ad blocking technologies and small screens has mad that challenging. The money that comes from print advertising can directly pressure the publisher's credibility and user experience. Quality and reputation can suffer from great reliance on "sponsored content."

After recognizing the inadequacy of giving away free, ad-sponsored content, some sites resort to a subscription paywall. Unfortunately, paywalls reduce organic search traffic as selling subscriptions is challenging, given the abundance of free materials.

Overall, none of the current methods of news monetization and information content has proved to be successful. It's not clear if they can support creating and maintaining the required websites.

How Traditional Newspaper Companies Can Benefit by Incorporating Video

The effectiveness of news delivery depends on how people consume it. Witty news coverage needs to assume that people are not stuck on a newspaper edition the day after.

Instead, the general assumption should be that they're reading on their mobile devices soon after events happen. Mostly, this is after reading the breaking news headline on platforms like Twitter or after getting a push alert to their inboxes or phones.

When there's news describing a specific moment in an event, people want to watch it immediately. Their devices make this possible for them, which is why everyone in the news business must move toward that. In addition to tweeting photos, they must incorporate embedded videos on their home sites.

That brings in the importance of getting better at being multimedia producers while being careful not to overdo it. The truth is, while video provides content, it doesn't necessarily explain to the audience what is happening. That means written journalism is far from over, and the task at hand is to adapt to the new and necessary space created by the overall changing media space.

Newspaper companies are forming teams and sub-organizations to curate video as part of the bigger part of their operations. This way, they can monetize with video ads, which marketers love, and which they can repurpose on social media, especially on Facebook.

While this might push some people to watch more and read less, there will always be an audience for longer-form written content. People still have room for reading hot-take editorial pieces.

Incorporating video into every online news post has become a huge priority, but written editorials won't disappear. The main reason for the growing video content is that companies get more ad revenue from video pre-rolls than from online ads.

A Natural Fit Between Topical Articles and Related Videos

There's a natural fit between written content and related videos. Well-chosen videos effectively enhance the reader's experience. A video can boost a story's claim, provide much-needed comic relief, or demonstrate a complex concept.

For example, think of a golf magazine that creates an associated video channel. By combining instructional and competition videos from experts, members can easily buy a subscription revolving around the sport.

It will have a more significant impact than having videos of a particular tournament or golf pro. With such a channel, the publication would have reinforcement while creating a source of revenue.

Publishers can be in the perfect position to perform the essential task of aggregation and curation. They can put their editorial expertise into use to enhance their publications while adding credibility to the videos they choose.

Another benefit of video is that it's easy to protect yourself from piracy. When a publication incorporates video, it reduces the risk of losing revenue to social media sites and independent aggregators.

Technology Has Made Communication Through Video Cheaper

Video is integral to how organizations tell stories and is the younger audience's language. Writing and reporting will always be crucial to journalism. However, how that writing translates into content the audience can easily digest will continue to evolve through 360 videos, video, virtual reality, and augmented reality.

The transition is possible because technology has made communication through video cheaper and more accessible. Whether through the phone in everyone's pocket or the equipment in a news organization, video content will always be available.

Instead of expecting the audience to tune in at a specific time to connect with their news segment, media houses now have to deliver content right where the audience is. The delivery should also be in the way the audience wants to receive it.

If you want to enhance your written news content with video content, you need the right software. At SnapStream, we can give you the workspace to create original TV clips for your productions and social media channels. Click this link to learn more.

The State of Local News

January 11 2022 by Kevin Johnson


For over two centuries, the for-profit business model that sustained local journalism in the United States has been challenged by technological and economic forces. For years, local news outlets have struggled to survive because of advertising-based models, but the COVID-19 pandemic and recession have created an "extinction-level" threat. 

In thousands of communities, residents live in vast news deserts because one-fourth of the country's newspapers have disappeared. There is fear that the local news ecosystem in the country may collapse. Over 60 local newsrooms across the country had closed by February 2021, including large chains (CNHI) and many owned for generations.

In contrast, the San Francisco-based company Substack has made headlines by luring high-profile journalists away from established news outlets with a subscription system for digital newsletters. Some of its journalists bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars from subscriptions, including Vox co-founder Matthew Yglesias, Rolling Stone contributor Matt Taibbi, BuzzFeed senior technology reporter Alex Kantrowitz, and the New Republic climate reporter Emily Atkin.

How Can Other Local News Houses Leverage And Navigate The Changing Times?

For journalists, the Internet's growth as a means of disseminating news added more duties to their daily routines. However, it has profoundly impacted how news houses format broadcast news and consumers' expectations regarding access to information.

James P. Mahon, a reporter at WDEF News 12 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, says traditional TV news will be gone in 15 years, but audiences will still crave authentic stories. "It will probably be a cross-platform service offering bite-sized stories in real-time with visuals. 

With today's instant news access, events reported at 2PM are already dated by the traditional audience view time of 6PM. People want their Twitter and Facebook feeds to be available. Millennials use their phones 24/7. Many buy Wi-Fi subscriptions instead of cable."

Retooling the Newsroom

In the same way that consumers have shifted the tools they use to get information, newsrooms have adopted alternate tools for presenting and gathering news. Both Facebook and Twitter have integrated deeply into news gathering and presentation.

Despite the importance of newscasts, Will Tran, a reporter at KRON 4 TV in San Francisco, says Twitter, Facebook, and our website are better ways to communicate information these days. Reporter Tran, who starts his day early at 2 a.m. and wraps up the news at 5 a.m., hosts a gregarious morning show. With added humor to his posts, he regularly posts to social media outlets.

Online Live Streaming

Broadcasters have embraced live-streaming apps to reach the youthful demographic that is attracted to these services. Media gathering has become easier with platforms which allow users worldwide to share live video. This is especially true for TV stations, which can use the feeds on-air.

Mahon says they use Periscope and Ustream every week. In the event of breaking news and extreme weather conditions, viewers will have direct access to emergency press conferences."

Stations realize no one will wait around for noon or 1 p.m. newscast to report a breaking story that happened at noon or 1 p.m., Tran adds. Everyone knows that no one watches the news anymore.

To be successful on social media, you must also be a heavy hitter. Social media is the vehicle running the news now. Local news stations need to hop on and ensure they bring their viewers along and make it snappy. The generation is full of skimmers.

News Tailored to Local News Viewers' Interests

Besides streaming services, consumers now expect a personalized experience when engaging with online content. According to Mahon, online streaming services, such as Roku, Hulu, and Netflix, have changed how we interact with audiences by providing them with niche customized programming when and how they want it.

Previously, journalists merely focused on delivering specialized news for a local audience. Creating a few newscasts each day for all viewers meant putting together a few shows each day. However, technology makes it possible for businesses to learn about visitors to their websites and deliver customized information. 

One-size-fits-all delivery of information has become more difficult because of this change. In the future, news outlets will find new ways to deliver content based on visitor interests as personalization becomes more prevalent.

Creating Business Connections

Consumers are now consuming more information. Businesses can learn from this. Companies need to ensure they reach consumers in the most effective way possible with the explosion of online marketing. The Internet has generated a broader audience for businesses of all kinds, just as it has benefited local news outlets.

News outlets and marketing specialists need to adapt their messaging formats as wearables make consumers even more mobile-focused. Consumers are becoming more demanding as they receive concise and personalized news. Marketers and journalists need to connect with consumers in this fierce competition for attention.

Will Local News Survive?

As local news reinvents itself to meet the challenges of the 21st century, new policies and regulations must acknowledge the interconnectedness of its journalistic mission with its business model and technological capabilities. Consolidation in the news and technology industries has resulted in a few corporate titans—with no clue of their decisions' impact on the communities they serve—making majority-owned news outlets and big-time technology companies the decision-makers. 

As polarized as our nation is, addressing these issues is fraught with controversy. Coordination of national, state, and local efforts is essential to success.

Small towns and big cities make up the United States. 

Whether in a high-rise apartment in Manhattan or on a farm near Manhattan, Kansas, the American system of governance relies on a reliable flow of information to its 330 million residents. According to Professor Victor Pickard's book Democracy Without Journalism, communities need local journalism to keep in touch with what is happening in their backyards - especially in their schools, their governments, and other critical institutions. 

On the local news, they learn about the quality of their environment - whether their air and water are safe - and who is vying for local office. Despite this, local news is rapidly disappearing. Society must support this sort of reporting if we wish to encourage it."

What Is News Avoidance and How Can You Avoid It?

December 09 2021 by Kevin Johnson


The Reuters Institute has reported an upsurge in the number of people that actively avoid the news. News avoidance is a growing problem that threatens not just the media industry but democracy at large. While news avoidance still existed in earlier years, the COVID-19 pandemic has fuelled this trend and worsened an already bad situation.

In early 2020 when news of the pandemic first hit, most of the world sought answers and information on the pandemic from news sources. Initially, there was an increase in news consumption, but this changed as the pandemic progressed. Some people, feeling stressed and helpless about the situation, began to avoid the news because of the anxiety it caused them. 

In this article, we will be discussing news avoidance, its effects, and how to get back the news avoidant consumers.

What Is News Avoidance And What Causes It?

News avoidance refers to intentionally resisting news. News avoidant people will either altogether avoid the news or drastically reduce the amount of information they consume. To understand news avoidance, we have to delve into its causes.

They include:

Information Overload

With social media and 24-hour news cycles, it has become effortless to access the news at any time and any place. While this has been good news to some people, others have felt overwhelmed by the constant barrage of news. Consequently, many people have chosen to avoid the news as a way of easing their information overload.

Distrust of the Media

Edelman's trust barometer found that 61% of Americans are skeptical about the objectivity of the media. The people questioned in the study believed that the media had a problem with remaining unbiased and non-partisan in their reporting. 

The mainstream media has also faced accusations of fuelling misinformation with the New York Congresswoman casting an accusatory finger at it for spreading the misinformation that contributed to the January 6 riots. As a result, this growing distrust in the media has triggered news avoidance in some people.

Negative News

From a pandemic to capital riots, the news headlines are often brimming with negative stories.  The grim news stories covering the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a toll on people's mental health. Consequently, some individuals opt to avoid the news to avoid the anxiety it gives them.

How Does News Avoidance Affect Media Organisations?

Media organizations are the biggest casualties of news avoidance, they have been impacted in the following ways:

Loss of consumers

The news industry's consumers consist of individuals who read, watch, or listen to the news. 

The media industry has been dealt a massive blow since 41% of Americans claim they sometimes avoid the news. A rise in news avoidance spells a decrease in the size of the news industry's market.

 A smaller market size means that fewer people will be buying news products such as newspapers and online subscriptions, which threatens the money-making power of media companies, thus threatening their existence and well-being.

Loss of advertising revenue

Media organizations also rely on advertisement for revenue, and the rise of news aversion has affected their ability to raise this revenue.

News aversion has caused a decline in the number of people consuming the news yet advertisers want to place their ads on platforms where they will receive the most attention. This has resulted in advertisers pulling out from traditional media, and instead opting to place their ads on other more popular platforms. 

This loss of revenue could mean layoffs for people working in the media, as organizations seek to cut expenses.

How Do We Solve News Avoidance?

Given the threat news avoidance poses to media organizations, there is a pressing need to find lasting solutions to the problem that address the causes of news avoidance. 

Constructive journalism

While the media can't solely focus on positive news, negative news can still be countered by practicing constructive journalism. Constructive journalism is a method of reporting that involves finding solutions and highlighting examples that have been proven work.

Constructive journalism addresses the problem of sensationalized news, and it eliminates a lot of the negativity in the news. As a result, adopting constructive journalism will help bring back avoidant news consumers that shun the news for its negative nature.

Increasing transparency

Now more than ever, there is a need to separate opinion from facts. More people have become distrustful of the objectivity of the news. Consequently,  journalists face the daunting task of preventing their personal views from seeping into their work. 

Moreover, journalists can earn the trust of the public by being transparent with the public.  One way of achieving transparency is educating the public on the fact-checking process followed by journalists. Doing this will reduce public skepticism on the integrity of the news reported and reduce news avoidance based on distrust of the media.

In-Depth journalism

While speed is often the goal for news publishers, information overload can be countered by bridging old-school long-form reporting with new-age social media articles. It involves publishing more in-depth stories in lieu of little-researched pieces. The British Tortoise Media is an example of a news provider that has successfully implemented this reporting style.

Media organizations can also solve information overload by publishing newsletters or producing podcasts that summarize the day's biggest stories. The New York Times has adopted this strategy on their platform – The Daily.


News avoidance is a rising trend that the COVID-19 has amplified. If left unaddressed, news avoidance poses a risk to the profitability and existence of the media industry. There is a need to address the causes of news avoidance. Journalists and the entire media at large have to be innovative in fighting the news avoidance menace.

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