Conference news
Posted: October 18, 2007 11:47 AM
Budde: Printed Word Will Remain Online

Excerpts from an interview with Neil Budde, the Vice President and Editor in Chief of Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Sports, and Yahoo! Finance.

Lagan Sebert: Will online news always be primarily a print medium?

Neil Budde: Each of the different mediums support each other and have a different purpose. I don't think its going to go to all video. What most users want is to get to information as quickly as possible, and so for a lot of things, telling stories in words is still the best way.

What video adds are elements that are only possible to show in a picture that's moving or with sounds and other things to accompany that. I think photos still have a huge place because a lot of times, a still image, stuck in a moment in time, is a lot easier to analyze than a video that goes right by you.

Each form--printed words, video, still photos, audio--all add and contribute. There are also a lot of database-driven applications that rely on a depth of data.

I wouldn't say that words and text are going to go away. I think its still going to be the predominant way that people get a lot of their information.

It's more about being smart about which form you use to tell different elements of a story. Which one you use to help inform people in different ways.

LS: So the internet won't be simply an online TV?

NB: I don't think so.

I say that after the last year at Yahoo!, when we have, more than tripled the number of video streams that we serve up in news. There is clearly a huge appetite to get stuff in video format.

What really works well [with video news] is when there is something that is best shown through video.... You want to see things and you want to hear people talking and see what they're saying and how they look when they're saying it.... Visuals that have an impact from motion.

LS: Would Yahoo! ever brand its own news, and hire its own news journalists?

NB: We do have a limited amount in Yahoo News. We've got one project called "People of the Web" that is reported by our own staff.

But what we've tried to do is use our folks to report stories that aren't necessarily available, or widely being told in other media outlets.... "People of the Web" is largely about introducing some of the people behind some of the [online] things.

You may have heard of some famous YouTube video that millions of people watch, but you don't know the person that created that. Some of that is what we do...We've told the story of a guy who is a manager of a Gap store and has become very famous on YouTube for his videos on fashion.

Our approach to originals within Yahoo! is to say, it doesn't make sense to replicate what we can get from our partners or licensing content from AP or Reuters or from our relationships with ABC or CBS or CNN, which provide tons of great news video. We're going to focus on what isn't in that flow and what isn't available there. To the extent that we have people out reporting it's going to be in those types of areas.

Audio: Entire Interview

-- Lagan Sebert


It is a mistake to consider online as a print medium. The Internet is a visual medium, and so much more. Newspapers made this fundamental error in the early days of the web by assuming they could just shovel print content online. But we are now seeing the news industry realising that the web is not print, but it is also not TV or radio. Text, video and audio are all present on this medium. What makes the Internet different is how these formats empower journalists to create new ways of telling stories. Above all, the very interactive nature of the Internet means that how people access information is radicaly different to past forms of media.

October 18, 2007 02:03 PM by Alfred Hermida (Permalink)

I agree with Neil Budde that the written word dictates the medium offline and online and the Internet cannot exist without the written word.

As long as we continue to use alphabets, the written word will continue to be our figure of speech whether in print or RSS feed.

The Internet is part of mass communication and the print media is the vehicle of the mass media.
As long as the TV did not hinder the printed word, the Internet cannot stop the mass appeal of the printed word.
Billions of people still love to read.
Audio books and movies have not stopped books from selling in millions.

What matters most should be the successful fusion of all the forms of mass communication for the common good.

As Neil Budde said, there is no need duplicating or reinventing the wheel when you can use it effectively to reach your target audience.

October 25, 2007 06:52 PM by Michael Chima (Permalink)

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8th Annual Conference and Awards Banquet, Oct. 17-19, Sheraton Centre, Toronto

Questions about membership, registration or sponsorship opportunities? E-mail Executive Director Lori Schwab.

Questions about conference lineup or volunteering? E-mail Conference Chair Ju-Don Roberts.

Oct. 19, 2007 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.: Breakfast Discussion Groups (Sponsored by AFP) 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Community/Convergence Workshop: The Cutting Edge of Online Data 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Content/Design Workshop: Finding Your Voice Online 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Business Workshop: Leading the 21st Century Newsroom 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.: General Session: Membership Meeting 10:45 a.m. - Education Members Meeting, Expanding ONA's educational offerings, Dominion Ballroom 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m: Keynote: Michael Oreskes, International Herald Tribune 12:15 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Lunch on Your Own (Box lunch sponosred by 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Community/Convergence Workshop: Broadcaster Strategies for the Web 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Content/Design Workshop: Integrating Multimedia in Storytelling 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Business Workshop: Legal Panel 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.: Community/Convergence Workshop: Revamping Your Curriculum for Online Journalism 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.: Content/Design Workshop: Integrating User-Generated Content 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.: Business Workshop: Advertising 2.0 4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.: Coffee Break (Sponsored by Pluck) 4:45 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Journalism Next: Impact of Aggregators, Blogging and Social Networking on the Industry 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Reception sponsored by 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.: Awards banquet

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