Why creating a great clip is only the first step to successful online news video

byMargaret Looney
Oct 23, 2013 in Multimedia Journalism

Producing a high-quality, broadcast-style video and sticking it on the Internet isn't enough to make your news video successful. Online video producers must consider shareability, distribution methods, how their users will view the content and more.

Visual journalism experts discussed these and other factors newsrooms must consider during a panel called "The Power of Video Now" at the recent Online News Association conference in Atlanta.

Here are a few of their tips:

Olivia Ma, head of news and media partnerships for Google Plus, stressed the importance of building an engaged audience around your content. "Online video is a social interactive medium. It's not a one-way stream the way that broadcast has often been used," she said. To create a one-to-one relationship with your viewers, you should "create a conversation and really think of your audience not really as an audience but as a community of people that are passionate about what you have to say," Ma suggests.

Matt Mansfield, executive editor of digital news at National Geographic, focused on the "differentiator experience," or what sets one newsroom's online video strategy apart from others. Start by "knowing what your mission is and creating something that's unique," he said. "Because in a sea of sameness on the Internet you have to stand out as a media brand."

National Geographic's mission is to "tell meaningful stories in exceptional ways," and a recent feature on the Serengeti Lions is the epitome of that mantra. Through a mix of video and photos, the interactive project takes you on a self-led tour of the dangers lions face.

Phoebe Connelly, senior producer of PostTV at The Washington Post, said video producers should always ask themselves if they would watch and share the video they're making. And making a video worth watching is just the first step. Spreading the word is just as important. "Social is everyone's job. It's not just cordoned off to a portion of the newsroom," she said.

David Clinch, the executive editor at Storyful, looks at video not from the production side, but rather from the discovery, verification and copyright standpoint as he helps newsrooms tap into user generated content (UGC) across the Web. Clinch suggests newsrooms weave the use of UGC into their professional journalism standards, and set guidelines like giving proper attribution, using it to find more stories, blending it with your own newsroom's original video content and offering revenue share when possible to the person who filmed it.

You can listen to the full audio recording of the panel here and check out this Storify of the event curated by online editor Ian Hill. Panelists summarize their key points in the video below.

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

_Image CC-licensed on Flickr via Art Ascii._