Turning inner space into outer space

February 1, 2013

Why journalists are learning to love Vine

Despite the predictions of some grumps, journalists have been taking to six-second Vine videos like ducks to water. And I think I know why.

For the past few years, we — especially in the newspaper business — have been pressured to make videos to go on our websites. We’ve been told that people love videos, and that if we want the paper to survive (along with our jobs), we’d better learn how to use a camcorder.

I have yet to see evidence that visitors to news sites have any special love for videos — other than fires or other mayhem. And yet there are newspapers out there putting the screws to their reporters to create a video for every, single boring story they write.

Many are balking at the idea. They don’t have the time, the inclination or the know-how to produce a half-decent video. They know in their hearts they can’t possibly compete with TV.

But then along comes Vine. Now this is video-making anyone — even the most reluctant journalist — can understand. Just point your smartphone, touch the screen, and you’re done in no time. If you want to be creative, touch the screen multiple times before your six seconds are up.

It also makes more sense from a news point of view. A quick video that automatically posts to Twitter is a darn fine way to capture the moment when there is breaking news.

I predict journalists will soon be posting Vine videos just as often as they now post snapshots of events they’re covering. It’s video that was made for the Internet, and you won’t see anything like it on TV.