Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What Happened to Video?

What happened to video stories? They've disappeared! There used to be a video player right there on their homepage -- but it's vanished!

For a while, the newspaper was on a roll with five fulltime videojournalists generating noteworthy original feature video stories, which we proudly showcased on KobreGuide's Los Angeles Times channel. But they all seem to have evaporated. A victim of budget slashing and cutbacks?

Video director Scott Anger is on an extended leave of absence, reportedly working on his own projects, so we talked to deputy managing editor for visuals, Colin Crawford, who graciously filled us in on the situation.

We were relieved to hear that LA Times videos are on a short hiatus while the paper's tech team is building a new whiz-bang proprietary video player from scratch -- a task that's turned out to be more difficult and time-consuming than originally imagined.

We here at KobreGuide have been researching all the various video players out there, and are putting together our own in-depth report on recommended attributes. Some players are far superior to others, but no single player seems to have all the bells and whistles you would hope for, so we know first-hand what a complicated business that can be. (If you'd like a free copy of our report, email us and we'll reserve one for you.)

Crawford predicts that video will be up and running again in about a month. Meanwhile, he pointed us to a series of wonderful audio slideshows his staff has been producing. By his own admission, they are well hidden on the Website. If you click on their "Photography" text link, buried on the left-side navigation bar on the homepage, you'll eventually get there. But these gems deserve more attention than that -- and that's what KobreGuide is here for!

Ironically, it was the audio slideshow "Marlboro Marine" that served as the impetus for KobreGuide in the first place. We couldn't believe that Luis Sinco's terrific project was so impossible to find. The running joke was that the staff's own photographers had to Google their own names to find their own work! How could the average person be expected to stumble upon it? KobreGuide to the rescue!

So this week, while we're waiting for video to return, we're featuring more of their terrific audio slideshows, hidden treasures buried on their own Website, including:

A Hendrix Experience in Hollywood

Diamond in the Rough

Getting Paid to Not Teach

More coming in the days ahead, so stay tuned!

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