Thursday, March 25, 2010

How the NYT and the WSJ Part Company When It Comes to Webcasts


Sometimes, when the mainstream media embrace social media techniques, the results can be surprising. Today’s guest blogger, Clayton McGratty, an account supervisor with Makovsky + Company, examines The New York Times and Wall Street Journal’s respective webcasts — the TimesCast (a behind-the-scenes look at editorial meetings) and NewsHub (a one-minute take on the day’s key market activities) — and shares his observations.

On March 22nd, The New York Times launched a daily webcast called “TimesCast” that is designed to summarize “the big news stories of the day,” according to the Times’ Media Decoder Blog. In the four episodes that I’ve viewed since its launch, TimesCast is, regrettably, nothing more than that: a delayed and static snapshot of journalists’ views of news that is often already readily available online or via another media outlet.

The launch is another step in the direction of competing with the Wall Street Journal’s News Hub, which I think is a smart move, but TimesCast highlights a process and discussions of how editorial determines the news it will cover. This is a relatively similar process day-to-day, repopulated by new content that mirrors what is on NYTimes.com. Though it does somewhat "humanize" the journalists behind the paper, I am only really interested in that aspect with columnists as a reader of dailies. After four days, TimesCast has started to seem a little stale in its new angle.

Though TimesCast may be generating some early traffic for the Gray Lady, I think this will wane over time as viewers begin to realize that the same synopsis of coverage was available on the Time’s homepage a click or two ago. It’s a novel idea in trying something different with online video, but I think lacks the draw of live and unique commentary that its main competitor is offering at The News Hub.

Technorati Tags: The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TimesCast,NewsHub, communications, public relations, Makovsky

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