How is web video journalism different from TV journalism?

TV journalism is made to be watched on a TV:

  • The audience is passive.
  • It is shown on relatively large screens.
  • The segments are designed around commercial breaks.
  • It’s linear – there is a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Viewers often recognize the anchors and the reporters.
  • Viewers often have the TV on in the background while they do other things.

But people don’t watch online videos on TVs. They watch them on their desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone. And they watch and interact with the videos in different ways.

So how might web video journalism be different?

Here are some ideas to start…

Information might be the same, but the presentation is key to whether or not it will be watched and shared.
See same story by a local on-camera local reporter (2011) and ESPN’s website (2011).Note they are same length.

Authentic and audience are key. 
See David Pogue technology reviews, Yahoo (2014)

Rely less on voice-overs and stand-ups.
See Beat poet uses ballpoint pens, not drum machines, NewsWorks (2011)

Cellphones will be there before the satellite truck and TV crew.
See Osama is Dead! Parade at Rowan University (2011)

Not confined by the TV schedule and commercial breaks. It can be short (SeeBoston Marathon explosion, Vine 2013) or long (See Snow Fall, NYTimes.com 2012).

It can be interactive and non-linear.
See 100 Gallons, UNC Chapel Hill (2012)

It is increasingly a one person gig.
See Standout game for West Catholic, Philly.com (2011)

When everyone is a content creator, your video has to stand out.
See How to Make Your Video Go Viral, NYTimes.com (2013)

It can be more experimental and creative. You can help define what online video journalism becomes.
See Words, Radiolab and NPR (2010)

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About Nick DiUlio

My name is Nick DiUlio, a freelance writer and editor from New Jersey. I have been passionate about the craft of writing since I was old enough to spell, and this love has led to a successful career in journalism and creative nonfiction. As a freelancer, I have covered a wide range of topics and personalities, as my published work has focused on everything from profiles of artists and important political figures to hard-news stories with both national and local appeal; from restaurant and beverage reviews to tips on fashion and finance; from health and wellness pieces to celebrity Q&A’s. My work has appeared in several local, regional and national publications—both in print and online—including Philadelphia Magazine, Slate.com, Miller-McCune, New Jersey Monthly, Eating Well, and Delaware Today. Additionally, I am the South Jersey Bureau Chief for New Jersey Monthly and an adjunct journalism professor at Rowan University. To be sure, the broadness of my body of work seems only to be matched by my boundless interest in almost every subject imaginable (except Warren Zevon). Check out some of my most recently published work here.
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3 Responses to How is web video journalism different from TV journalism?

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