Wednesday, March 10, 2010

BBC Expanding Online News Video

BBC News is amping up its online video news coverage.

According to

The BBC will experiment with more livestreaming and short-form video on its website as part of its developments in multimedia news journalism...

More live coverage will be explored with the development of a "rich live page" featuring related content, streams of microblogged updates from correspondents and social media feedback from viewers alongside news videos...
The article quotes the BBC's new multimedia guru pontificating about what does and doesn't work with online video, and how it should and shouldn't be packaged and presented.

And you can see the current state of affairs over here and here.

Right now it pretty much looks like TV news repurposed (i.e. degraded) for the Web, as opposed to created for the Web -- a hybrid of raw footage, soundbites, half-assembled reports, with the occasional anchor or correspondent voiceover. Much of it looks like it's not ready for prime time, but was apparently deemed "good enough" for online use (i.e. scraped off the proverbial cutting-room floor).  Plus the videos themselves are poorly organized -- just a jumbled woodpile of unenticing titles and nondescript thumbnail images begging not to be clicked.

In short, not an improvement on standard newspaper video presentation (which is, for the most part, abysmal). For starters, we think the BBC could augment their basic headline service and B-roll with a healthy dose of full-fledged enterprising videojournalism storytelling. That takes an investment of time, money and talent -- far more than the slapdash efforts currently on display. If they really do decide to  stop dragging a foot in the past, and instead boldly plant one in the future, we believe the journalistic rewards will become readily apparent, with audience loyalty and financial rewards to follow.

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