Can papers make TV work for them?

Revelations that the Daily Record is to broadcast live news bulletins online has certainly grabbed the attention of many in the Scottish media village.

And as this article in The Drum proves, MD Mark Hollinshead is clear in his vision of what he hopes it will achieve.

He tells the magazine: “The moving image is where online will sprint ahead.

But it was another article about Fairfax Media, publishers of The Sydney Morning Herald, that caught my eye in terms of the kind of serious investment forward thinking companies are now making as it tries to bridge the gap between print-online-broadcast.

In this piece posted on The Editors Weblog, they tell of building two video studios in its’ Sydney HQ at a cost of several million dollars.

Also of having a dedicated video and digital production team of 18, some 10 of whom are dedicated to news video which is shot largely on broadcast quality HD cameras, while reporters are armed with Canon Tx-1 cameras – funky hybrids capable of switching between still and video.

And the benefit for them has been a lucrative new stream of high value advertising, despite the fact the viewing figures are far less than that for the rest of their online operations.

But a day after learning that Trinity Mirror’s chief executive Sly Bailey picked up an annual wage plus maximum bonus of £1.53m – a 4% rise on the previous year – how likely is it she will be prepared to spend, spend, spend in order to make Hollinshead’s idea an all singing all dancing success?

I think most people can hazard a guess at that one.

But despite this, Hollinshead is probably right in many ways by being pro-active, and may even be able to pull it off thanks to the dedicated and talented staff at his disposal.

Yet why bother with the hassle it may bring?

Tim Brooks, the MD of Guardian News and Media, maybe summed it up in a speech to the ‘Changing Media Summit’ last month.

Brooks explained that in 1993 his papers reached a healthy readership of six million people every quarter. “And then along came the internet,” he added, “and last month we reached 23m people, and now we’re trying to make a business out of that.”

And when you also consider that ABCe data shows the Mail Online is up a staggering 133% year on year to 17.04 unique users, you can see just why the idea maybe just clicks with those trying to run a newspaper business.

Categories: Blogs, Media philosophy & trends

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