Video Coverage: The Future of Digital News?

By Erin Menardi

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Facebook may be on to something: since its launch of the auto-play video feature in May, the site has seen a tremendous spike in user engagement and click-through rates. 58% of Facebook users actively engage in these videos, and over 1 billion unique visitors are reached per day (yes, per day) with the implementation of this feature. Drawing from the data, it’s easy to see that people respond to video content in a big way. This idea translates well into the world of online writing and reporting.

While Facebook is only one company beginning to see exponential growth with its video content, many other large businesses and news media sites are seeing similar success. CNN has an entire web channel devoted to breaking news videos. CBS, ABC, and NBC all follow suit.

So, is it safe to say that the future of reporting lies in how fast a writer or publication can provide video coverage of a topic? As the millennial generation continues to grow as the largest group of news consumers, video coverage of news events is essential. Television has long been the most popular outlet for us to get our news, and in the advent of social media, it only makes sense to add video into our tweets, posts, and online news articles. Click-through rates for news on twitter are up to 2x higher when a video or image is attached.

This information is especially applicable to young professionals with interest in news media and reporting. Video production and editing skills become more and more invaluable as digital news grows to be the number one source of news for consumers in today’s society. Are young professionals prepared for this evolving field of journalism?

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7 responses to “Video Coverage: The Future of Digital News?

  1. You bring up some really good points here. Unfortunately, I think you’re right in that the speed at which journalists can post things is becoming increasingly important in respect to competition with other news organizations. I also think that people are drawn to visual aspects of media and for new mediums through which to consume otherwise boring or mundane information. I think we’re definitely prepared for it though, I mean through experience and practice with posting everything to social media and with our education increasingly focusing on creating versatility in future journalists, I believe that even though video and images are starting to dominate the news industry, we’ll be ready for whatever the future of digital media holds.

  2. This is something that I’ve noticed recently, especially while scrolling through Facebook. There are constant videos popping up from all of the different pages I “Like” on Facebook, and I am one of the people who will click on a Tweet that looks promising and has a photo or video attached. Sometimes it’s easier to watch a video snippet to get the news when I don’t want to have to read a long article about the same issue. I think it is becoming extremely important for journalists to feel comfortable with all media forms because stories are changing in the ways they’re being shared, and we need to keep up with these new trends. While I don’t think everyone needs to know how to create a professional-looking video or photo, I think basic knowledge is essential for any future career in journalism.

  3. This is a great post–one that is very relevant to us as journalism students. I remember in J30, Professor Wright told us that even though we all want to specialize in a specific form of journalism, whether it’s magazine writing or radio reporting, we all need to have a basic understanding of all fields. I’ve definitely experienced this in each of my internships. I’m currently working as a content editor for a startup website, but in the past, I’ve also been in charge of editing video, developing social media posts, and even designing brochures using Photoshop and InDesign. Drake’s journalism program does an excellent job of providing its student with a wide variety of media experiences, and I believe other schools should follow suit. I think this is one of the best ways to prepare future journalists for a field that is becoming increasingly demanding.

  4. I agree that it is good for journalists to learn to use every kind of media, especially in the field of newspaper and magazines that continue to move more and more online. I also agree that people are drawn much more to videos, but I hope, as a magazine major, that there will always be a niche of people out there who still appreciate the art of the writing and the delivery of the message over a video.

  5. I think the race to be the first to post, is a very real and relevant issue. I think that Drake as well as my high school, and even middle school, experience has prepared me for this transitional world of technology. I think that the University does its best, to make sure we are well-versed through courses such as J59 and J31. I do think that the media world expects a lot from journalism students breaking into the field. While I have a good background knowledge on video editing, as well as graphic design, I do think that a class about on-camera reporting would be beneficial to students.

  6. As Maggie mentioned, I’ve seen a huge increase of videos popping up while I’m scrolling through my Facebook feed. Whether it’s Ice Bucket Challenges or Vine compilations, it seems as though every other post is video related. That being said, I think I may fall in the minority who doesn’t want to watch a news clip. If I click on a link to an article and it turns out to be a video I’ll immediately exit out and find a written version of it. This is probably just a personal preference, but I feel as though I’m getting a better understanding of what’s happening when I read rather than when I watch.

  7. I have noticed more and more of these videos popping up whether it’s on my FaceBook feed, Twitter, or just a regular news website. I personally like these little videos it helps me get my “news-fix” in little to no time and then allows me to move on with my day. I think these videos can be used in a very helpful way in the news and reporting industry. They will help draw in more viewers rather than just those people who will read the article.

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