A few things I read around the Web today …
Relatively new Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith recently detailed his vision for the company and its strategy for expanding Bloomberg beyond primarily financial news and into a more general global business space.
Give what Justin published is driven by digital, I think there are some interesting things to learn for anyone who creates content or manages/directs the creation and distribution of it. Read the full post for Justin’s complete vision, but I’ll highlight one of his points here: digital video innovation.
To me, one of the most fascinating developments were currently seeing in media is the evolution of television and its alignment with digital platforms. Until now – and I suppose this is still the case in some ways – TV and digital video have been treated as two different buckets, and rightfully so to some degree, as they can vastly different audiences and sensibilities.
But I think we’re moving to a place where there the divide is broken down, and TV programming and digital video might be described as simply “visual content.”
Video content that runs on the Web should be compatible for TV, and TV content should be compatible for the Internet (at least a healthy chunk of it – not all things will cross all platforms, of course). This will happen with the continued integration of television and digital, where we see both outlets as “screens” that pump content out to users. As Justin noted in a Q&A with Ad Age, Bloomberg’s TV unit will likely produce packages that run on the Web, and the digital unit will produce packages that run on TV.
It’s sort of liberating to think of television networks now as not standalone entities, but powerful engines that can drive audience across all platforms. There is a challenge from a content creation perspective in blending audiences that have existed separately until now, but there’s also a sense of simplicity that should be enticing. The overriding goal is to just create a bunch of good stuff, give users with different habits multiple options for consuming it and adjust from there.
Sometimes diving down those Internet sinkholes aren’t always a waste of time, as was the case recently when I came across this post on Michael Kruse’s blog.
I don’t remember how I got to it, but it’s from February 2013 and it’s pure gold: 12 tips from Anne Hull, a former Pulitzer winner from The Washington Post. They are snippets from a talk Anne gave in 2003, and I highly recommend anyone who cares about writing to read and digest it. A couple of my favorite tips from Anne:
“Forget about the Q&A model of reporting. This is about standing in the middle of a hurricane.”
“Quotes are overused in journalism.”
“Know the ending you are working toward. The ending is the most neglected part of every story, when it’s probably the most important element in the story. It’s what you leave the reader with. It means everything.”
I’ll let you read the rest, but what makes the tips so good, I think, is they strip away much of the formality of reporting – what you’re “supposed” to do, what it’s “supposed” to look like, etc. – and just cuts to the skill’s guts. It’s no damn how-to book, as often taught in school, just brilliant nuggets cloaked in clarity.
One more link from Michael Kruse, and this is another treat. He details how his three-part Bounty story came together.
If you haven’t read Michael’s Bounty series, you can find it here. You need some time to get through it all, but it’s superb and highly recommended.
I don’t think you need to read the story before reading his post about how he put it together if you have limited time now and are interested in the reporting process, but I’d say it’s best to read the story first if possible. You’ll appreciate the incredible amount of work put into it before getting the “inside baseball” view of it.
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