Tag Archives: Reading Evening Post

Reading Evening Post video pt. IV – shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted

It seems the Reading Evening Post video saga has another chapter in it. Adam Javurek has emailed to tell me that they’ve disabled the links function on the YouTube page. So what did look like this:

YouTube links

Now looks like this:

You Tube - links disabled

On the good side, at least it means the Reading Evening Post check on their YouTube videos (or perhaps the web person told them they were getting an unusual number of hits coming from YouTube).

But on the bad side, was it worth it? On the one hand, it’s clearly an attempt to stop people clicking through to the (at last count) three sites criticising the production and editorial values of the piece.

But did they think beyond that knee-jerk reaction?

Firstly, it means you’re not allowing people to look at the debate generated by video. And hold on – that means you’re also stopping people clicking through to your own site.

Wasn’t that the point of putting it on YouTube?

Secondly, someone – in this case Adam – is likely to spot the ruse and… oh yes, just when everyone was starting to forget about it, here we are still talking about that awful video.

And now we’re talking about some flawed decisions regarding online distribution too.

I won’t even touch on the censorship issues this raises, and the fuel this adds to the suspicion by readers that journalists can’t take criticism.

Anyway, let’s end on a more positive note: this video from the same YouTube channel may be a bit rough and ready but at least it’s got some ideas and leaves the office:

In fact, it even generated a follow-up.

Reading Evening Post – we generated more hits to their video than they did. In two days.

Two days ago I blogged about some bad newspaper video from the Reading Evening Post, and ended

“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.”

As of today the video has received 145 visits via this blog compared to the 81 from the newspaper site. There are also a further 27 visits from two other blogs. In other words, two out of three viewers came to the video through viral means.

YouTube links

Verdict: if you want people to know about your video offering, make your video embeddable. And do something that people will want to embed – preferably something good, not embarrassing.

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: