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Storytelling with videos

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Storytelling with videos

Why should the website have videos online, how long should a video be, what do we do to grab the attention of the online audiences ... Markus Bohnisch, has answers for all these questions. Markus, who works for Deutsche Welle, German international television and for SF, Swiss public television is one of the first video journalists of Europe.

A first timer in India, Markus calls India a 'media paradise', where newspapers are still selling good.

In his presentation on Integration of video elements in storytelling, he talks about the approaches to news videos and shows examples of videos integrated with the stories online by leading newspaper websites across the globe.

Taking the point of updating the videos through the day done by La Presse, a feature the previous speaker Yann Pineau spoke about in his publication, Markus says that it is an impressive example to follow.

"Copy the existing TV formats or use video to add value or as part of text. All this works," says Markus. But, give the reader a orientation, for if we do not say anything about the video, the viewer could just skip it, he adds.

For people who say that the online videos should be less than one and a half minute, Markus replies that  the videos, at the end are nothing different from text. If it is interesting, the readers or the viewers stay on it, irrespective of the length.
"Check the documentaries on Youtube. Videos of more than half an hour are viewed a million times. The key is that the content should be good," Markus says.

Some of the examples of storytelling through news videos Markus mentioned are:

  •, the website of a regional newspaper in Germany that puts up a daily video news bulletin.
  • Washington Post now focusses on videos.
  • BBC News, does very short videos as short as of 20 seconds. They say that whenever they use videos, double the readers visit their website
  • The New York Times has its video page, TimesCast and is a good example of video storytelling.
  • The Wallstreet Journal discovered already that being on Smart TVs is the way to stay in the competition. At comfort, watching news on TV but not the television channels, but from a news website, is the future that viewers will be on soon.

Interview project, Germany is an ingenious idea that puts up videos of random encounters with different people.

"No fear, just experiment. Put the young people do the videos and they will make your newspapaer more intersting. 202 billion videos are viewed online, use this impressive figure to justify integrating video elements into news stories," concludes Markus.

To a question as to how many people does the newspaper need as video journalists and how long does it take to start video storytelling, Markus notes that La Presse started with just two and says, "Start with a small group. The number could depend on the size of the city, the newspaper covers. It also depends on the workflow in the newsroom."

He insists on the quality of the videos. He feels that videos of any quality by amateurs are generally accepted, but the videos on newspaper websites are expected to be professional. Ideally, it should take one to two months to start publishing videos of the stories online, according to him.


Revathi R's picture

Revathi R


2012-09-26 13:36

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