Three ways newsrooms experimented with video in 2013

by Margaret Looney
Dec 20, 2013 in Multimedia Journalism

As more people opt for digital platforms over broadcast and cable streams to consume video, newsrooms aren't missing a beat.

Legacy newspaper and local TV company E.W. Scripps just bought online video platform Newsy for US$35 million in cash. This year, The Washington Post joined the ranks of video-heavy news sites like early adopter The Wall Street Journal and an expanding New York Times by creating its own news channel, Post TV.

To capitalize on these new viewers and channels, newsrooms were more creative than ever with video storytelling this year. Here's a look back at how newsrooms innovated with video in 2013:

  • Documentaries

Al Jazeera America invested in its own in-house documentary team this year, continuing the original documentary programming work of Al Jazeera. The Wall Street Journal produced its own episodic documentary series, documenting 25 entrepreneurs as they competed to be the WSJ Startup of the Year.

The New York Times runs an online short-doc section called Op-Docs, using the medium to express more personal takes from independent filmmakers on current affairs, modern culture and other issues. For more examples, click here.

  • Interactivity

The Wall Street Journal has been embracing this trend with recent interactive features examining the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. and how it will affect the health care system. The reporter shot the video with a headcam, offering a first-person point-of-view for each scenario the video presents. Viewers can click on different pop-up graphics and links throughout the video for more information.

Personalized video is also set to be a trend of 2014, according to digital expert Amy Webb's list of tech trends for 2014, so stay tuned for more tools like Treehouse, which lets you choose the direction you'd like the video to head. For more examples of interactive videos, click here.

  • Micro-video

Newsrooms have been taking to six-second video app Vine, Instagram and other micro-video apps to capture and share breaking news and also show a more personal side of the newsroom. Journalists have used Vine to capture footage of the bombings in Turkey and create animated infographics.

When photo-sharing service Instagram enabled users to capture 15 seconds of video, CNN, National Geographic and local news stations were some of the first adopters. NBC News recently used the tool to show a breaking news scene from the train derailment in New York.

How do you envision newsrooms innovating with video in 2014?

Related stories:

How newsrooms are experimenting with interactive video online

How newsrooms are embracing documentary film

Four alternatives to micro-video sharing app Vine

IJNet Editorial Assistant Margaret Looney writes about the latest media trends, reporting tools and journalism resources.

Image CC-licensed on Flickr via jcoterhals.