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Posts Tagged ‘Anna Hiatt’

From the Tow Center: Research Indicates Video News Is Always Growing, Changing

TowCenterColumbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism is producing some important research on upcoming trends in online media, like news video, sensor journalism and longform.

Its most recently released report, “Video Now: The Form, Cost, and Effect of Video Journalism,” highlights the video strategies of popular digitally native publishers like Mashable and NowThis News, longform outfits including Vice Media and Frontline PBS, and legacy papers like the Washington Post and the Chicago Sun-Times, over a five-month period. More than 50 newsrooms were examined during the research for this paper.

Study facilitator and assistant professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, Duy Linh Tu set out to answer three main questions:

  • How do news organizations define video?
  • How do they produce video?
  • What is their return on investment? (ROI)

Now for what Linh Tu found: metrics across newsrooms aren’t very reliable. Typical measurements like plays and page views “are inconsistently measured across organizations,” so the report features mostly editor interviews rather than sheer numbers. The answer to digital video is that there is no answer — at least not now. Publishers are finding it difficult to capitalize on this new medium while bringing in the advertising support they need to produce quality content. In other words, there isn’t a ton of data out there on video ROI that inspires trust in marketers with limited budgets.

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Watch Industry Pros Discuss the Future of Digital Longform Friday

logoComing up Friday, Dec. 6, several heavy hitters in the world of longform digital publishing will make appearances at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism to discuss the future of longer narratives online. Interested journalists can also watch a livestream of the event.

David Remnick of The New Yorker is on the bill at Friday’s one-day conference “The Future of Digital Longform” in Manhattan, as well as professionals from nonprofit investigative journalism effort ProPublica, science journalism venture Matter, the crowdfunded Narratively, Longform and The Atavist.

The event was planned for a couple reasons: 1) We’re smack dab in the middle of a really interesting movement in digital storytelling. Some call it a renaissance, even, and it’s clear that a new phenomenon has surfaced; as the Tow Center notes, narratives are being weaved together through multimedia, moving comics and powerful data instead of being one-dimensional. And, 2) Tow Center fellow Anna Hiatt, also of The Big Roundtable, which I’ve written about for the blog), is finished with her research about digital longform journalism, which is part of an ongoing look at the definitions and challenges of longer online news.

Over the course of the day, several important questions like “Just because we can design another “Snow Fall,” should we?” and, considering the fairly recent influx of startups for digital storytelling, the toughest question — “How do we pay writers?” — will be posed and pondered.

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