Reuters TV: the good, the bad and the ugly
Reuters recently joined forces with YouTube to create Reuters TV, a channel featuring 10 original commentary and analysis programs covering finance, hard news, technology, politics and the like.
YouTube is rumored to have laid out big bucks on the project, so hopes are high for Reuters' latest venture into online programming.
IJNet checked out the channel. A few highlights:
Those tired of the typical broadcast style of flat soundbites and "wry signoffs" don't have much to fear - the channel aims to feature fast-paced segments with intriguing graphics and follows through, for the most part. The new channel is not to be confused with the other Reuters channel on YouTube, ReutersVideo.
The first question arises - is this project worth it for viewers? The advantages of a partnership with media powerhouse YouTube is clear, but nearly all the episodes are available on the Reuters TV site. What motivation do viewers have to visit one site over the other?
The programs are interesting enough. Tech Tonic, a series led by Reuters social media editor Anthony de Rosa, features the "latest and greatest of tech innovation and news." With that title, it's off-putting to see superstar Beyonce's new ride featured in the first episode on the playlist with de Rosa nowhere in sight.
Once de Rosa makes his debut, the stream is must-watch TV. Covering topics like "Is your phone spying on you?," he presents techy, newsworthy stories with draw-you-in graphics and a few rock-and-roll soundbites.
Hosted by personal finance editor Lauren Young, Money Clip has a talking head feel at times and the recycling of soundbites in successive stories doesn't help. But Young can be informative and engaging in a solo setting. She breaks down 401Ks in a snap with the help of graphics and elevator jazz.
For now, the original programming is not so original. Some of the videos featured on The Trail, which covers the 2012 U.S. presidential race, are just spliced-together versions of CNN footage without any original commentary, like this video of the Republican debates.
Anytime you turn journalists into video personalities, it can be hit or miss. Media editor Peter Lauria falls a bit flat in Media Bite at the mention of football guru Tim Tebow, but seems more in his element in the tech arena.
Currently the views for the YouTube channel are rather low, but depending on their target audience and advertising, maybe they'll spike. It's debatable whether Reuters TV videos have meme potential, but if text articles or broadcast TV don't do the job, they're worth watching.