CNN, the New York Times and APTV have begun experimenting with streaming video to present news clips on the Net
This column appeared in the January-February 1998 issue of The American Journalism Review.
By J.D. Lasica
Quietly, without much fanfare, online news sites have begun making good use of a revolutionary new information tool. It’s called video.
Until now, anyone seeking to capture the flavor and texture of a news event was limited to surfing the old-fashioned way: with a TV set and remote control. News sites on the Web have offered the occasional QuickTime video, but that required long download times, typically several minutes for just a 30-second clip — hardly worth the trouble.
But a fairly new technology called streaming video allows users to watch news clips instantly, at the click of a mouse, though the quality is a bit herky-jerky if you have anything less than an ISDN line.
The New York Times on the Web began offering streaming video during its coverage of Princess Diana’s death in August. Now it offers video with one or two stories roughly four days a week.
“We’re still in a learning curve,” says Bernard Gwertzman, the site’s editor, “but it’s evident there are people who think a news operation on the Internet should have components beyond the printed word — video, animation, multimedia. At this point, it’s a minority of people who like the bells and whistles, but we’ll go the extra length for them.”