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How to go multimedia

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 5 months ago

How to go multimedia: steps and ideas


Terry Headlee, executive editor of The Herald-Mail, goes over some of the changes and implementations of his successful paper’s website. Here are some ideas for a process that can take a long time and must be walked through step by step.


"I never thought I'd see the day when a newspaper newsroom would be producing radio-type broadcasts and shooting videos with their stories, but that day has come", says Headlee.


The Herald-Mail website has 4/5 million unique visitors per month.


A year ago, the Herald switched from its static format to being continuously updated with wires from Associated Press. Now, many breaking stories are updated every eight minutes.


Last April, the paper starting sending e-alerts to notify readers about major breaking stories. About 1,500 readers are currently subscribed to the service.


E-bulletins, another version of this service, sends a weekly digest of the main news to the 1,100 subscribers who signed up for this service.


The Herald started selling photos on its website, by using another service (Mycapture) that allows readers to order photos and customize their size, as well as print it out on commercial items.


The paper also started to regularly post poll questions on the website, which have already driven over 3,000 responses in a single week – for a question relating to the show American Idol.


The Herald implemented a searchable calendar that allows for local searches, evening and entertainment programs, and enables readers to post their own event information.


By late summer, the paper also started podcasts, again using a specialized website, www.antpod.com. The paper’s total investment was $120 for a microphone and radio, and it now handles about half-dozen podcasts.


Last but not least, the Herald placed a lot of emphasis on local videos. It hired an amateur video reporter in January and purchased a relatively inexpensive camera. The Herald just hired a videographer, who will put up more regular video work, in order to compete with the local TV stations.


The Herald-Mail is marching into the digital age. Seen as a whole, the task of transitioning online and setting up a strong edition may seem daunting. By setting up a step by step schedule and sticking to ‘simple’ ideas though, a paper can drastically revamp its offerings within a year.


Source: Herald Mail


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