Monday, January 26, 2009

N&O’s Video Story Without a Video Link Follow-up

Saturday I published Raleigh N&O Fl. 1549 video story doesn’t link to video.

The short of it: ran an AP story which began:

”A newly released security camera tape shows the emergency ditching of North Carolina-bound US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in all its stunning drama - from seconds after the jetliner splashed into the frigid water until well after the last of the 155 passengers and crew members were rescued.”
There followed a lengthy text description but the N&O failed to link to the tape or even a segment of it.

I compared the N&O’s failure to link to any portion of the video with the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s posting of the same story which included photos and a link to a video segment.

McClatchy Watch picked up on my post and twice featured it in its own posts. (See here and here)

Today in this post I want to share with you an email I’m sending N&O public editor Ted Vaden and another email I’m sending to McClatchy Watch asking how I can respond to commenters there, particularly some apparently “professional journalists,” who didn’t see any problem with what the N&O did.

Some even suggested because the N&O was running an AP story it had no choice but to run whatever the AP sent it.

The email to the N&O’s Ted Vaden

Dear Ted:

Re: Raleigh N&O Fl. 1549 video story doesn’t link to video.

If you open the post you’ll see it raises questions about why the N&O would run a story of a new Fl. 1549 video “in all its stunning drama” without at least including a link to the video or a segment thereof, as you can see the Minneapolis Star Tribune did. (I link to it in my post)

I think many N&O readers felt as one reader said on the thread:

[K]inda strange to read an article about a tape of this event without the tape being linked or embedded in the article. Sorta like being served t-bone steak with no meat on the bone.

Why did the N&O run the story and fail, as the Strib did, to provide a link to at least a segment of the video?

When I Googled Saturday morning, I immediately found dozens of sites hosting segments.

I’ve a second question: While the Strib story is still up, the N&O’s story appears to be 404’d.

Was it 404’d; and, if so, why?

As always, I will publish your response in full at JinC.

Thank you for your attention to this email.




Email to McClatchy Watch - - -

Thank you for both your on point comments and links to my post: Raleigh N&O Fl. 1549 video story doesn’t link to video.

I’ve read those posts' two lengthy comment threads. Many of the comments are informed; some comments fall in the “children’s bathroom talk” category; and some comments appear to come, in at least some cases, from journalists who assert they’re fine with the N&O treatment of the Fl. 1549 video story.

Indeed some of those “just fine” commenters say there was no other way for the N&O to handle what was an AP story despite my including in the post a link to the Strib’s quite different treatment of the same AP story.

I’ve no desire to get involved with the “children’s bathroom talk” commenters.

But I do want to express appreciation to the informed commenters and question those commenters who think the N&O treatment of the story was “just fine” and had to be that way because it was from the AP.

But I want to be respectful as one blogger who wants to make some fairly extensive comments at another bloggers blog. (btw – an outstanding one)

Any guidance you can offer me is welcome. If you prefer I let the matters go, I can accept that with no problem.

It’s your call.

I’m enclosing a link to a post which contains this email as well as one I sent the N&O public editor Ted Vaden.


John in Carolina


McClatchy Watch said...

My final thoughts on the N&O "dramatic video" story are here. This situation exposed a major flaw in the N&O's delivery of national news. I don't know what Ted Vaden could add n response to John's email that would soften the reality that the N&O's web site has big problems and is going to have trouble competing with news outlets who are on the ball with national stories. Congrats to John for highlighting the N&O's belly flop.