Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Is the Guardian going hyper local?

It would be a brilliant tactical move if as reported by Paid Content the Guardian Media Group really is considering starting local news websites around the UK.

It's been barely a week that the UK's regional newspapers loosened their belts and took in a sharp long hale of breath after the BBC's stalled bid for hyperlocal news.

I mentioned newspapers should up their game. United against the BBC it was easier, as separate entities, businesses' with different boardroom strategies, it may not be that simple.

Fiscal tightening, a worsening economy. Now could not be a more worse time to invest in video.

And whilst video journalism is relatively inexpensive compared to a full blown TV Newsroom, an important fact is often overlooked.

That is the capital costs for new inventory will have to be worked against the amortisation of legacy stock.

Change one thing in the equation and you may well have to change a chain of others to ensure an efficient work flow.

Investment matters
But there is instruction the newspapers could take to heart, history unfurling a solution worth looking at.
In May 1846 a group of American newspapers pooled their resources to maximise their range, news gathering from Europe.

Back then the Internet was the catalyst, a Victorian Internet - The Telegraph.

So what if now, online news makers pooled their video.

I understand how video made in Cumbria will be specific to that region, but here's where the VJs rethink more laterally.

The 1st quadrant body of the video could be loose enough to refer to any community. This might give rise to an evolving format, and a new video agency could emerge.

It would foster competition amongst newspaper groups. They'll become their own arbiters of the content and the politics of aesthetic.

To quote an old MIT maxim: demo or die.

The point, doing nothing is probably the worse option and doing something may require cooperation of a kind mustered to take on the BBC.

How much time do the newspapers really have?

No comments: