Friday, October 12, 2007

TV with its tie loosened, for the Web

Today's New York Times takes a close look at how ABC's "World News Tonight" network broadcast is reshaping itself on the web as simply "World News" in an afternoon webcast. The article lets journalists and their sources in on the changes to come when you appear on the air, on the web. Those changes include new ways of telling stories, new methods of delivering the news, and often, far longer pieces than any network television broadcast would include -- some nearly 4 minutes long. Instead of soundbites and tight writing, there are in-depth conversations and spontaneous moments. The shifts are worth keeping in mind if you're going to be filmed for a webcast, versus a broadcast.

The story quotes Jason Samuels, digital content producer, on how one medium changes the other:
Mr. Samuels started overseeing the Webcast in April and said he has tried to push correspondents and producers to escape the package formula that dominates television news. “Do one long stand-up, do much longer sound bites, play an interview,” he said, summing up his advice to the staff. “Produce a story in any way you think is engaging — there are no rules.”
"World News Sunday" anchor Dan Harris also weighs in:
“I feel less pressure to wear a tie, sit up straight, and make sure everything I say is perfectly enunciated,” Mr. Harris said. “I have an opportunity to be much closer to who I actually am, instead of the TV version of myself.”
If you're a source for television news, start thinking about how you can get creative: What resources do you have that might work better for webcasts than for traditional broadcast? If you have more time to demonstrate something, how will you use it?And how will this change the ways you prepare for a webcast interview versus a broadcast interview?

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