Saturday, 1 December 2007

How a newspaper measures success: one Little League tournament at a time

Someone asked me at the Beyond conference if I could point to a recent success story from our multimedia publishing strategy. One that i forgot to mention had to do with some very poignant videos a reporter shot of the grieving parents of some of the six cheerleaders killed at the beginning of last summer in Fairport, NY. That's some of the best, most sensitively done and touching news video I think I've ever seen, bar none. But, a more recent example came across the transom today from our Canton, OH paper, and I just thought I'd take a second to share it with you. Jeff Gauger, Executive Editor of The Repository/ writes:

"We’ve got the state high school football championships here in Canton today and tomorrow. We’re lucky to have a local team playing for a state title.

At mid-day today, we got word that fans of the local team were already lining up at the stadium for a 7 p.m. game. Off went reporter Joseph Gartrell with a point-and-shoot camera and notebook. Joe shot video and a couple stills, and he collected string for a short story. Then he scooted back to the office.

Assistant City Editor Veronica Van Dress edited Joe’s video in Imovie at her desk. She threw in two of Joe’s still photos. Her time to edit: 20 minutes. We published a story, photos and video at 4:07 p.m., about three hours after Joe had hit the scene.

The video shows a crazy fan’s emotion more effectively than any text quotation could. And at 42 seconds, it’s the perfect length.

Anyway, not top-end multimedia. But a victory in the daily scrum to master multimedia and blend it into our work flow."

Here's the video.

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