I was just on the Washington Post site, looking for more on the Watergate story. I am of an age where this was a critically important story. The Vietnam war was raging. I perceived President Nixon as a threat to the 22 year old me – whether that’s defensible or not at this point.
Even today, 30+ years after the fact, I want more on this story.
The Washington Post website had a 3:02 video interview with Bob Woodward. Below the video were their credits – 2 shooters and an editor. The Post had their own reporter interviewing Woodward. I’m not sure whether he was a dedicated video reporter or someone from the print side.
The video was preceded by a commercial. It was a :15 for Microsoft.
They – newspapers – want to get into my business. And why not? They already have the reporting staff. When the news product is delivered request-reply, making every story compelling and entertaining enough for someone in Seymour to care about Stonington, isn’t necessary.
This is depressing.
Newspapers are struggling. Their circulation has generally trended down. They need to sustain revenue and maximize their resources.
TV doesn’t get a free pass either. Cable channels and even the micro networks take some small audience – audience that once was defaulted to us – and there are dozens, maybe hundreds, of these tiny digital niche networks.
Will this bring on the next Golden Age of video? Will we see more quality or quantity or both? Who knows? It will definitely be different than what we’re seeing now.
Whatever it is that finally sits in TV’s current place in society will be more sharply targeted and the content more responsive to the needs of the people watching. Budgets will probably be lower, because niche audiences won’t be able to support higher.
Technology has already started to bring down the cost of TV production. It is easier and cheaper today than ever before to put something together and make it available to an audience. That trend isn’t over yet.