Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ready, fire, aim ...

We've been talking a good bit here about accelerating the pace of change. As usual, the folks at the Tri-City Herald are already way beyond talking. Here's an email note I got from Andy Perdue this morning:

Chris and Howard,

After seeing the Pure Digital point-and-shoot video camera featured in Howard's blog a couple of weeks back, we purchased one for testing purposes.

It arrived at 10:30 a.m. yesterday. I showed it to one of our reporters, and he took it on an assignment at 1 p.m. We posted the video and a short version of the story on the Web around 4 p.m. (the video was ready at 2:30 p.m., 30 minutes after the reporter returned to the office).

Check it out here:

Was this video compelling? Not particularly, but it wasn't bad. It provided a voice and face to the story, and it offered a multimedia element. It was no worse than what most local TV news stations offer at 6 and 11 p.m.
Perhaps of greatest significance, our newsroom embraced this technology in record time: 2.5 hours!

Today, a reporter is taking it to Spokane for another daily story. On Wednesday, Ken Robertson will take with him to Tacoma.

We purchased the 30-minute version of the Pure Digital camera for $99. We decided we'd rather have more 30-minute cameras than fewer 60-minute cameras ($179). If we need something that will shoot longer, better-quality video, we'll send out an Interactive Media staffer with a better camera.

We plan to purchase one or two of these per month throughout the year and deploy them in our bureaus as well as in the newsroom.

Howard, in your Jan. 12 email, you wrote: "We need to accelerate the pace of enhancing our online operations ...."

I think we just did that.

I think you did, too, Andy. Who's next?


  1. We purchased one of the PureDigital camcorders two weeks ago ... and now are going to buy two a month for the rest of the year.

    The quality is amazing for something so inexpensive, and even a technophobe could learn how to press the big red button on the back of the camera to turn recording off and on.

    Each reporter will have a camera by the summer. It's not natural for a newspaper reporter to think about video, so we're all navigating a learning curve.

    I hope the little camcorders will hold up to the physical demands of newsgathering -- but at $99/pop, they're almost disposable!

  2. Here's a link to some video we have online with a shooting story today, all shot with the little camcorder ...


  3. Anonymous10:30 PM

    Don't you just love it when the smaller "athletic" moving newspapers, as Nike puts it "JUST DO IT"?