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Charlie Tillinghast, President and Publisher of MSNBC.com, posits: Video News Reporting for the Web is Different, “Talking Heads” Not Needed.

I won’t comment on the irony of this.

Anyway, he says that video has to be better than text–it can’t compete with text. And that the industry has to focus on using video in a way that presents things that can’t really be described.

He says: “Video journalism has to go more towards really excellent visuals. They have to film thing like animal phenomena. Or weather. Or accidents. Or combat.”

Really? Good luck with that.

Web video rules for a number of reasons which have nothing to do with shark attacks or people falling off chairs.

  • Video is great when you don’t want to read or can’t read. If you’re commuting or exercising, listening to or watching video is a great alternative.
  • Video permits you to get to know content providers more. No one really likes ‘talking heads’ per se, but if you want to get content straight from a source, it’s just really great to hear it from the author or creator. You get to the know the person so much better and in a different ways than you would just by reading. Think Charlie Rose.
  • Video permits people to demonstrate things. We all remember that writing assignment from 5th grade about describing how to make a PB & J sandwich—well, video is the optimal medium for that. Sure, it was a good writing assignment, but showing is superior to telling or describing.
  • Art. You can’t read a concert. You can’t read an exhibit at MoMA . But you can watch them!

This news exec is looking at the issue through his product and revenue source–not the medium or the consumer.