The Convergence Point

Because Story is independent of medium


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Each medium highlights different aspects of the way people understand a story.

If a narrative requires thought, generally a long-form, print piece that readers can look over quickly, and frequently, works best. If the story’s visual, colorful, and exciting, print doesn’t work. It feels to distant, and academic.

Video does these well. But, video lacks the depth, and potential for review, that print media has.

To each their own.

A convergence news hub needs to do all of these, because people look for all of these. Though, in different places. Visually exciting stories appear on Channel 7, and in-depth and useful stories come from print, i.e. The Salem Evening News or the Gloucester Daily Times.  This convergence hub will a medium where it’s best suited, and not abide by the “we do what we’ve always done rule.”

Here are a few examples –

Typical Print stories: The town budget’s going up by 4.6%, the city council-members are overpaid, why? The Selectmen decided to go ahead with the dredging project.

Get the picture? You don’t want to see any of these stories, because they’d be a screen full of paper, and talking heads. They don’t need a visual precisely because there isn’t one.

Audio/Visual stories: I’m not going to look at the curious case of radio news here. Radio has a niche market, or will, as long as people have cars, with radios, and sojourner commutes.  Good video stories? The town’s annual fourth of July parade. St. Peter’s Fiesta (for you Gloucestermen), the road race, a children’s event at the local library. Stimulating, entertaining, and, in some cases, like downtown fires, frightening.

Visual stories need color, crowds, and life. They don’t require a lot of interviews, becuase, let’s face it, who wants to look at a person talk for five minutes?

Also, unlike our broadcast media, these videos fill an internet role, so they’re short. 7 minutes at the most, or you’ll lose people.

Social Media stories: Live events! Some of the visual stories work well with social media. But it shines in putting out minute-by-minute updates of events like Town Meetings, board meetings, speeches, etcetera.


Written by Steven A. Fletcher

April 20, 2011 at 11:46 pm

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