Northcliffe signs up for PA video news bulletins

By Sarah Lagan

The Press Association has signed up Northcliffe Electronic
Publishing as its first regional newspaper customer to roll out video
bulletins across the group’s “this is” newspaper web sites.

The move comes at a challenging time for the local press, with
broadband availability growing along with the BBC’s plans to cover more
regional and local news stories, which many in the industry see as a
serious threat.

Each news bulletin carries news, sport and entertainment, covering a national news agenda relevant to the regions.

The
90-second news bulletins are produced by PA’s multimedia newsroom from
its London headquarters, and are updated throughout the day to keep
abreast of breaking news. They include footage provided by PA’s video
journalists, as well as voiceovers and stills.

NEP’s web
development manager, Paul Linford, who has overseen the introduction of
the initiative, said: “PA are making big efforts to include national
stories of particular interest to our local sites. Video is becoming an
increasingly important part of most web site users’ experience and
expectations, and it is important that ‘this is’ sites are able to
respond to this.”

Examples of news footage used in trials have
included the jailing of Exeter council tax rebel Sylvia Hardy,
developments in the case of murdered schoolgirl Caroline Dickinson and
the recent shooting on the M1 between Nottingham and Derby.

The
Hull Daily Mail website, www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk, was the
first of the sites to trial the use of PA’s video footage.

Editor
John Meehan said: “The video bulletins offer an exciting new dimension
to our website and add to the ever-growing package of news and
information that we offer online.

“Our website now has more than
115,000 individual users every month, with a growing proportion
accessing it through broadband. I’m sure they will appreciate this new
service.”

Head of multimedia at PA, Asha Oberoi, said: “We are
delighted to be working with a regional newspaper group. The impact of
broadband internet on newspaper publishers is growing.”Over time, we
hope to develop the service with more regional content and work with
NEP to incorporate locally generated video material into the multimedia
products. We believe that video content, gathered locally by
multiskilled journalists, is a great opportunity for newspapers in the
broadband age.”

PA is launching a video journalism diploma to help print journalists broaden their skills into video journalism.

Oberoi will speak at the Society of Editors’ conference this month on the impact of broadband on local newspapers.

Bulletins can be opened up directly by clicking on the home page.

PA struck a similar deal with The Sun in July.

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