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The Video World

Since starting as an intern at the Las Vegas Sun one of my main jobs has been to provide video content for the website. I love shooting and editing video, so this job is right up my alley.

Web-based video is not a new idea and many newspapers around the country have some form of video on their websites. Each newspaper has a different goal with their online video content, and an approach that works for a company in one market may not translate to newspapers around the country.

Before starting this internship, I was well aware that the Sun had made a commitment to producing high quality video. One look through the multimedia section of the site tells you that. But what I didn’t completely realize was the scope of the video operation at Greenspun Interactive.

This is some advanced stuff. You hear “web video for a newspaper site” and the first thing that comes to mind is watching a 30-second clip on a tiny screen. Not the most appealing thing in the world. Here it’s a different story.

The video team at Greenspun Interactive uses high definition cameras and FInal Cut Pro editing software to produce videos with tremendous quality. You can blow up these videos to view on a full screen and the quality still looks good.

Also, Greenspun Interactive has the manpower in place to produce these top-notch videos. GMG has a team of about ten people who work specifically on the video side of things. I have only spent time in about a half dozen newsrooms in my young career, but it seems like having this many people dedicated to video content is a much larger commitment than most “newspapers” have made.

The staff of video producers are great with cameras and know Final Cut top to bottom. The attention to detail blows my mind. I feel like I better be on my A-game just to make sure I keep up.

This commitment to web video is no accident, and my boss, Rob Curley, wrote a very detailed blog about the approach Greenspun Interactive takes when providing online video.

Many of these videos could go on local television and be on par with the quality of local news. In fact, some of the video does go on television. Much of the sports video ends up on the local sports show, All In, which airs weekly on the station VegasTV.

Many of our videos can stand alone, without people needing to read an article to understand the video. Some of the videos are used to supplement articles, and it’s not unusual to find articles on with two or three videos linked to it.

The videos I’m working on are going to be supplements to some of the high school print stories our staff is working on. These stories could easily run without a video piece, but like I’ve said before, there’s something valuable in providing a complete package. I have no idea about the traffic these videos generate, but I naturally think the videos draw people to the website because viewers get something more than they can in the newspaper.

When people know they can watch themselves in a video, they want to. Everybody likes to watch themselves. So they jump online and watch the video attached to the story. Then mom and dad e-mail the link to friends, aunts, uncles, etc. Suddenly everybody gets to see Johnny getting interviewed.

It seems like news websites are still trying to figure out how to use online video, and there is a debate about the value it has. But the one thing everybody can agree on is that these visual elements have an appeal.

For now, I’ll just focus on putting out some good videos and hope I can keep up with the talent around me.

Category: Internship Thoughts, Uncategorized

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