A new nomination for Worst Newspaper Video – Reading Evening Post does it again

A student writes: “I dont think the Reading Evening Post read your blog Paul. If they did, they didn’t pay much attention...”

Yes, the previous contender for Worst Newspaper Video have done it again. But this time, instead of Sports Editor David Wright, it’s young gun News Reporter Stuart White, who looks quite smart in the official picture that sits above a slightly less well-dressed moving picture version of the same.

The 1980s-era production style remains, with the same stock music, garish graphics – and this time, some appalling spinning, zooming, transition wipes.

Stuart’s challenge: to read out the day’s headlines “in just 60 seconds“. Yes, that’s some challenge. Perhaps someone should suggest that idea to BBC3.

One problem: when you take out the credits it’s not actually 60 seconds, which may be why Stuart is drowned out by the closing music at the end, just as David Wright was before him. Do they ever watch their own videos?

I’ll be more barbed: Stuart has the flat delivery of a 12-year-old reading ‘What I did on my summer holidays’, while his eyes flit below the camera like he’s checking his emails as well as reading the headlines. Presumably he’s reading a script. Doesn’t he know what the news is?

And what was that about a “sweet Haribo ring”? Some lessons in writing for broadcast needed.

Of course I’m being harsh, and as before this is not Stuart’s fault. Step up owners Surrey and Berkshire Newspapers Limited, part of the Guardian Media Group.

The one good thing is they’ve discovered YouTube, so unlike last time, I can embed it below for your convenience and their viewing figures. Let’s see if I can generate more views from this blog than from their own site – at least it will prove the value of making your video embeddable.

PS: As if by magic, Andy Dickinson has created his own video summarising the kind of thinking that leads to this stuff:


18 thoughts on “A new nomination for Worst Newspaper Video – Reading Evening Post does it again

  1. shawn smith

    Ha! That was great. Glad you included Dickinson’s video too. I haven’t seen it but it makes so much sense.

    Here’s one thing that stands out to me. I read some advice from Hemingway once on writing, he said to be a good writer, you have to read. You have to read a lot.

    That’s the truth. To be good at anything you have to know what others are doing and analyze it.

    A lot of newspaper people are being forced to create videos without a sense for what good video is and without any training. Sadly, this is really pushing me not to appreciate newspaper video online. I’d like it more if newspapers took a step back, look at what kind of video works on the web, and then try to replicate it.

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  3. Laura Oliver

    While I’ve yet to try my hand at online video, so perhaps shouldn’t criticise… the ‘spinning’ effect makes me feel a little travel sick.

    This isn’t the presenter’s fault, as you point out, it’s a lack of training and understanding about what newspaper video should be about – it’s giving the format a bad name.

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  8. Dave

    It’s a shame.

    this guy probably got into local newspapers because he wanted to be a local newspaper reporter.

    Now someone from on high has dictated that he stick himself in front of a camera and this is the result.

    They probably only do the 60-second bulletion because “everyone else is doing it”

    And who goes to the website of the local rag wanting to see someone READ the news to them anyway?

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