FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, December 20, 2004

When Newspapers Become TV Stations

As the Internet continues to blur distinctions between media types, some interesting combinations are appearing. One of these is the inclusion of video clips in websites run by newspapers. Editor & Publisher, a newspaper industry trade journal, profiles the use of video clips by the News-Journal in Wilmington, Delaware, on its website, DelawareOnline.

Delaware and the News-Journal represent a unique case because the News-Journal is the state's primary paper, and Delaware does not have any major TV stations of its own (being so close to Philadelphia, it doesn't need them). Therefore, DelawareOnline serves a more important purpose than newspaper websites elsewhere. From 2003 to 2004, traffic to DelawareOnline increased tenfold.

As broadband Internet increases its reach and the traditional newspaper continues to struggle, it's little wonder that newspapers everywhere are watching what DelawareOnline is doing and seeing how online video could fit into their strategies. National newspapers such as USA Today (whose parent company also owns the News-Journal) and the Wall Street Journalare eyeing this trend as well. The surely also want to beat any upstarts at their own game.

But the best application might be in what might be termed "micromarkets" -- small but important media markets that aren't well served by traditional "big media" yet want local news. Delaware (the northern part, especially) is a highly affluent, dynamic micromarket that would certainly be of interest to advertisers. Newspapers have the resources, credibility and business motivation to cover these markets, and for them, online video is simply a logical step forward.

Sources: unmediated, POMO Blog