More newspapers try to be TV stations

I worked in television in Boston once, between radio gigs. I hated it, though, because I was a TV fish out of radio water. “Write to the pictures!” was the mantra and I still don’t get it. It was hard for a non-TV person to master. The Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan was at the station around the same time, and quit to go back to newspapers for pretty much the same reason.

Newspapers, however, seem bent on figuring it out. A few months ago, the Star Tribune started a daily “TV-style” newscast. Today, the Duluth News Tribune premiered DNTV (registration possibly required), a similar attempt. It’s obviously too early in the project to judge, but I still don’t get it.

I can tell good use of video from bad, however, and the New York Times shows that newspapers can produce high-quality video in storytelling with its documentary tracing the decline of General Motors.

It’s a good example of what the newspaper TV stations are missing. There’s plenty of talking head newscasts on television, but there aren’t many well-produced documentaries. The New York Times is filling a niche. The Duluth News Tribune is not.

  • Matt

    What person in their community is saying, “Gosh, I sure wish I had the news from yesterday read to me in a monotone voice? And perhaps some awkward, too-long interviews from a coach?Oh, and some poorly produced advertising?”


  • Al

    Why would one dying form of news media try to save to save itself by becoming another dying form? Like I’ll replace the flat tire on my car with this bald one. That’ll fix it.

  • Chuck Olsen

    I can’t say it any better than Al! And, why is there a 3D sphere in the DTV intro?

    The NY Times GM documentary is phenomenal. I wonder how long they were working on that. It’s much longer than most news documentary video and clearly took some time and $$ to produce.

  • Duane Kuss

    Talk about trying to fit a square nut in a smaller circle… this really takes the cake.

    There are so many great examples of work being done online that is truly brilliant. This, unfortunately for another struggling newspaper, isn’t one of them.