Archive for January, 2009

The perils of online video

January 30, 2009

ONLINE video is definitely a boom area for all sorts of media companies at the moment. But when it’s of the news variety, care must be taken to make sure the basics of journalism are covered.

By Brett Taylor, PANPA

I came across this video on the ABC’s website today and posted a news item about it. It’s interesting stuff…but if you don’t want to click through – I’ll get to the point of this blog entry.

The video is about a trial of digitally broadcasting video onto mobile phones – so you can watch TV anywhere without having to download it through the net. The ABC’s video comes with a brief caption with a similar summary. In the footage, a strip comes up identifying the man talking as Tim O’Keefe from Australian Digital Testing.

That’s all well and good, but I don’t know what Australian Digital Testing is. I don’t know who funds it – the government? The telcos? The TV networks? The mobile manufacturers? The video also didn’t reveal when the trials are expected to end, and what the possible outcomes might be.

Of course there is only so much depth a short video can provide, but I felt this one was full of nice soundgrabs but completely bereft of context.

It’s just a small snapshot, but a lesson nonetheless that online video news, while sexy, shouldn’t compromise proper journalistic principles at the expense of the viewer.


News Digital to sell Aussie ads on WSJ site

January 21, 2009

AUSTRALIAN visitors to some of News Corp‘s biggest online brands will now see local ads after News Digital Media (NDM) became their exclusive online sales representative in this region.

The NDM team can now add space on newspaper websites,, and, as well as business sites and, to their portfolio of content vehicles.

“The Wall Street Journal is the world’s most respected and recognised financial news source. Combining this with The Times business pages and our recently relaunched Australian Business website, News Digital Media now has one of the most attractive online business products in the market,” said Ed Smith, NDM chief commercial officer.

Obama gets in your Facebook

January 20, 2009

This is a great example of a website thinking outside of the usual parameters of publishing, and building an alliance that bridges the gap between breaking news and social networking.

THE inauguration of president-elect Barack Obama promises to be the biggest online social networking event ever early tomorrow morning (AEST time). and Facebook are linking up so anyone can make a comment on the CNN website about the coverage, and have that comment dynamically featured on their Facebook page, US-based Mediaweek reports. Live will stream live footage. A mini-Facebook window which will be integrated on screen so that those who comment can see responses from their friends on Facebook.

In addition, as users make comments while watching the inauguration on, their profiles on will be instantly updated—along with links carrying the phrase “via Live”, potentially driving more viewership, said CNN.

“We’re building the technical infrastructure for the possibility that this may be the most watched event ever on the Internet,” said president KC Estenson.

CNN has signed several of its top advertisers to sponsor the event, reports Mediaweek. During breaks in its webcast, Live will run video ad spots, as well as adjacent banner ads.

Gaza conflict drives new media use

January 8, 2009

LIKE the recent Mumbai terrorist attacks before it, the Israeli-Gaza conflict is emerging as a testing ground for the use of new media and social networking as reporting tools.


The development of new trends in communication is being accelerated by crisis events such as those aforementioned in the Middle East and India, and closer to home, Queensland’s wild weather late last year (as I discussed here).

When information is limited, access is restricted and timing is critical, the use of tools such as Twitter and blogs is a necessity – not a novelty – for journalists trying to know what is going on at ground level.

The has brought together a summary of who is using what in the current Middle Eastern conflict, from journalists trying to access new sources of information, to the combatants turning to social networks to win the public relations battle while fighting under the world’s spotlight.

If your job is to keep on top of digital communication trends, it is worth a read.