In the coming weeks, the BBC will be embedding its video in news articles [via Journalism.co.uk].
No biggy, you’d be forgiven for thinking, but it will increase the viewing of online video by buckets.
And what the BBC does, everyone else will soon follow. Some have already started. Although I’d argue having a separate section for video — TelegraphTV — serves to keep the divisions between print and multimedia intact. Online news video is a different kettle of fish to the normal television news packages. For starters, a TV news package will have a nice voice over, pieces to camera and context-building footage. Online video doesn’t need this. Video clips serve to extend the understanding of the written article.
An example: this extraordinary piece from the New York Times.
Read the piece and then watch the video. Could any degree of quality writing really convey how incredible that stunt was? The man’s a death-defying maniac — but an even bigger maniac when you watch the video.
From a technical standpoint, embedded video on the BBC will bring multimedia to people who were previously terrified of messages that demanded they download Realplayer. Now, instead, they just have to click play. Lovely stuff.
In a nutshell: Online video is something we all need to get used to. Online journalists will not need to morph into television reporters, but we will need to learn how to piece news stories together using text, images and video in equal measure.