Overuse of Video Clips
Everywhere Internet users turn they are confronted by video clips. Pictures used to say a thousand words. Now they tie viewers up.
The KONY 2012 phenomenon demonstrated that an old story, repackaged, can get millions of views.
The New Yorker and others had reported several years ago on the Uganda child-stealer, who isn't in Uganda now. The sequel of video-maker Jason Russell, when he ran naked down the streets of San Diego, now that was original.
Many editors consider a story a failure if it doesn’t have a video clip. Many writers will throw any video clip they find on a story to shut their editors up.
I recently encountered a story that included such a video, and two or three lines of copy. The story drew a comment saying “why don’t you tell us more. I don’t have time to watch your video.”
When you do watch the video’s they are like poorly constructed Legos. Instead of action the, voices are heard reading aloud the same things that could have been written. You may have to watch three minutes to get to the point.
People are in a hurry. Don’t make them wait for news at eleven.
Certainly, in many cases, videos can be essential. When show a plane crashing, for example. But if all they are is a bad imitation of a TV anchor reading a story, it might be better to pass on the video.
Pictures can be worth a thousand words. Who has time for a thousand words?