Users want video

OK, so you’re wondering what’s the news here? We know people like video online. Well, the marketing and research firm, Horowitz & Associates, put out a news release this week that says 6 out of every 10 high-speed Internet subscribers watch or download video at least once a week. More than one third of them watches or dowloads news video at least once a week. What’s different is how much these views and dowloads have increased from 2006.

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Graphic video concerns

A police chase leads to a head-on collision. Two people are killed. And it’s all live on TV. It’s happened before, and it always sparks a debate about how stations decide what to air and when. This time, it happened in Phoenix when police were chasing a suspected bank robber and local stations’ helicopters were following the action.

KPHO-TV aired the chase and the crash live.  But news director Tom Bell told the Arizona Republic that his chopper photographer panned away immediately after the impact, and live coverage switched back to the studio. The video did not air again.

[Bell] decided the footage was too graphic to show on the newscast. The station included the video on its Web site Wednesday but included a warning label. On Thursday, the video had been edited, ending just before impact and picking up shortly after the crash.

A competing station made a different decision, according to the paper. KNXV-TV did not take the chase live, and later aired video of the pursuit and aftermath but not the crash. And instead of keeping the unedited video online, the station created a slide show. What lessons can be learned from all of this?

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