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Wall Street Journal Launches Video News Hub
WorldStream is new mobile video news hub that only features short clips recorded with smartphones.
The video quality is often just “good enough,” sometimes delivering slightly blurred visuals, middling audio, and shaky-cam style framing, but the experiment called WorldStream, a mobile video-only news site, could be one of the most innovative projects the Wall Street Journal has ever embarked upon.
WorldStream is designed to aggregate short bits of breaking news clips all recorded and uploaded via smartphones from roughly 2,000 reporters checking in from around the world. Although the clips display the energy and urgency of raw video footage, according to the Journal, all of the clips will be reviewed by editors before making it onto the site.
In recent years, the Journal’s video efforts have steadily improved as the paper attempts to keep up with the multimedia shift that continues to transform the media landscape. WorldStream, which uses Tout, a kind of Twitter for video sharing across social networks, represents the paper’s attempt to leverage the power of smartphones via mobile video.
“Our video viewership has more than doubled in the past six months to over 20 million streams, and the creation of this video blog is a milestone in the expansion of video at the Journal,” said the site’s executive editor, Alan Murray.
“From Greg White’s footage of riots in Moscow to Jeremy Page’s reporting in China, many of our reporters are demonstrating the opportunity that technology has given them to capture powerful images that enhance their great journalism. We now have the opportunity to deliver that video more quickly and efficiently for use in our rapidly growing video operation,” he added.
Although WorldStream uses Tout to power its video uploads, the site actually uses a customized version of the software that allows for longer video recordings. Average users of Tout are limited to 15-second video clips, while WorldStream reporters are uploading clips as long as 45 seconds. So far, the WorldStream video content, which is also being embedded into areas on the larger WSJ.com site, is not locked behind a pay wall like most of the paper’s content.
By Adario Strange, PCMag