Tuesday, July 29, 2008

In the video business

Now and then you get a note – like this one from interactive director Andy Perdue at the Tri-City Herald (42,000 Sunday) – that makes you feel good about what we're doing. I'll just share it as he sent it:

On Sunday, the Tri-City Herald was out in force covering our annual hydroplane races, which take place on the Columbia River between Kennewick and Pasco. It's an event that attracts 60,000 people.

Before Heat 3A, a pleasure craft just downriver from the races burst into flames. People were jumping into the water, etc. It was quite the spectacle.

Fortunately for us, we had five photographers covering the races from all angles, along with two video cameras operated by Interactive Media. Before the fire was even put out, we had posted a story, a photo gallery and two
videos. The story went up within five minutes, and the other pieces were added over the next 20 minutes. The video shot by our summer intern was astonishing - so good that King 5, the Seattle NBC affiliate, called us for
footage instead of the local NBC station (which was offering live coverage of the races but was out of position to shoot the fire).

Traffic to the site immediately and dramatically spiked, and that traffic continues today.

For us, the lesson is that we are prepared to cover anything anywhere at any time. We have the tools and the skill sets. In this case, we also were in the proper position to take full advantage - and we smoked the competition.

Here's a link to the daily story (with all assets attached).


  1. Anonymous11:31 AM

    Howard, this is impressive. It's not enough to be on time or to arrive at the moment. Anticipation of the moment is essential. It's the Girl Scout motto but on steroids.

  2. Anonymous8:54 PM

    holy crap! gimme a break folks. they were doing their damn job. we cover news. that's what we DO. I'm sure they are totally underpaid as the rest of us. but of course, howard, et all will take credit for our work. every damn paper in the chain does this every day...no cost of living raise...no extra benefits...just the same old same old..howard taking credit for things he has no idea of what he doth speak. excuse me I have to go vomit. thanks drue......

  3. Anon854: Sorry to have complimented somebody. I can see why that would bother you.