Revival out of revolution: The rise of the sponsored news report - Press Gazette

Revival out of revolution: The rise of the sponsored news report

Dr James Ohene-Djan is co-Founder of WinkBall and senior lecturer at Goldsmiths University. SPONSORED FEATURE.

The blistering pace of change in the news and media industry since the dawn of the digital age has produced such an enormous revolution that academics and commentators struggle to describe what has happened, let alone predict the future.

The tech gurus of yesteryear have gone the way of the “anchorman’s moustache” as “futurologists”, so recently a feature of media boardrooms, are subtly relegated to the status of ancient soothsayers.

Ever since video killed the radio star, predictions have been made about the end of news reporting and journalism altogether.

Artificial Intelligence systems and the rise of the machine will, of course, obliterate human input, turning the whole medium into a giant video game.

Or, will it? Upon close inspection these doomsday predictions never quite stand up to historic reality.

When commercial broadcast radio launched in 1906 there were widespread predictions of the death of books. When TV was invented, it was to be the end of radio. And so on.

Digital “convergence” has meant the greatest media boom the world has ever known, but it has proven hard for the industry itself to bottle up and sell.

However, as with so many revolutions, the more things change the more they stay the same.

At the root of all media is the human connection. From a one-to-one Skype call to a podcast that reaches millions, or the coverage of global sporting events that reach half the planet, people are interested in people, and they are interested in seeing the world through the eyes of others.

Interviews and eye-witness accounts remain the most relevant and pertinent way to report on events and stories.

When the famous Times correspondent William Howard Russell reported from the front of the Crimean war in 1854, the nation was enraptured, The Times made its fortune and the newspaper format came of age.

This year sees the launch of a new format, albeit tried and tested, of reporting on events and stories, but one tailored for the age of digital video.

The “sponsored video report” developed by WinkBall is a reporting module, gleaned from the best standards of broadcasting and converted into a digital commodity that can suit any digital medium. An example can be seen below.

Whether delivered by smartphone, set top box, or in the back of a cab, the WinkBall sponsored report is designed to take the consumer to the event and the sponsor to the consumer, without compromising the integrity of the report or the messages from the sponsor.

Dr James Ohene-Djan, co-founder of WinkBall and senior lecturer at Goldsmiths University, said: “Our growing members network of professional reporters/videographers are creating some of the finest content on the web.

“Digital publishers are able to benefit from this ready-made publishing solution without the cost through our news wire, where videos are free to air.”

“One thing is for certain, in this changing media landscape we are never going to run out of events to cover and will never run out of businesses wishing to reach consumers and associate their brands with relevant, compelling news content.”

The sponsored video news report is the perfect match for businesses and publishers alike. It offers a clean break from tedious video ads slapped on to “clickbait” content. It delivers so much more than the PR dressed as news that has so diminished the media industry.

WinkBall’s news reports represent a flight to quality and a boon to aspirational journalism. A chance for a new generation of videographers, reporters and producers to ply their trade.

The more things change…

To find out more about WinkBall, please contact or email



Press Gazette's must-read weekly newsletter featuring interviews, data, insight and investigations.


19 thoughts on “Revival out of revolution: The rise of the sponsored news report”

1 2 3 10

Comments are closed.