Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Webcast gets closer to perfection

The almost-daily webcast at theorion.com really didn't miss a beat during the transition from fall to spring semester despite an almost-complete staff turnover. It's getting closer to what I'd like to see day in and day out.

This morning, the 'cast had a classic story line-up -- breaking news, sports interview, weather report -- tied up in a neat 2-minute, 20-second package. Production values were excellent! The sound and lighting problems that marred some of the shows earlier in the semester have been cleaned up, and anchor Lacey Vaughn and weather reporter Allison Weeks have learned to relax and present a comfortable and conversational report.

Annie Maize's energy and preparation have resulted
in professional sports reports on the webcast.
Annie Maize's softball team interview combined good questions, good pacing and good use of stills as b-roll to present a professional package. And I can almost feel Annie's energy coming through my computer screen!

It's clear to everyone who has been watching the webcast video editor Nick Kinoshita and his group have put a lot of effort into shaping up the show. I like the odds that they'll be able to continue to produce a consistently excellent report every day.

Two suggestions:
- Simplify the writing to make it more conversational and easier to understand. A broadcast story should not sound like the same story in print. (I wrote a how-to about this earlier this year.)
- Have video or at least photos for every story. Think how much stronger this morning's lead piece about the fires on Sixth Street would have been if viewers could have seen images of burned couches and porches.

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