ABC News’ Paul Slavin on News Gathering in Iran and the Evolution of Digital News

By on 06/22/2009 10:28 PM @beet_tv

Paul Slavin, who heads digital operations for for ABC News, explains the difficulty of news gathering in Iran.  We spoke last Tuesday (June 16) about news gathering in Iran; this was before the government imposed strict restrictions on foreign journalists.

Slavin also talks about how the demands of a highly diversified audience for news has created new ways to create and distribute content.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer


Video Transcript

Andy Plesser:  Tell us a little bit about what's going on in Iran. In the news coverage we've heard reports. I don't know if you have any knowledge of the news gathering, the challenges, or what's going on the last couple days or what's happening now and how you guys are managing.

Paul Slavin:
  Well we're managing that in a more traditional way because it's such a difficult and dangerous environment. We brought in a group of reporters and producers, crews, but we're monitoring it via Twitter and via other social networks to try and gather information that we might not have been able to gather two, three, four years ago.

Andy Plesser:
  And how does the news gathering work? Is it traditional satellite uplinks, FTP, smaller cameras.

Paul Slavin:  In Iran, in Iran it's everything. It's people there, there's a lot of FTP, there's sat. phones, there's some traditional up-linking. It depends on the correspondent, what the time frame is, what program or what platform they're servicing.

Andy Plesser:  It's a big story. Hard to cover, I suppose?

Paul Slavin:  It's a big story; it's difficult to cover, yes, no question. I mean the government is not particularly friendly towards western journalists. That's an understatement. But it's one that our guys and women are very familiar with covering.

Andy Plesser:  Great. So tell us a little bit about digital news, both the production consumption. I understand you have some new digital staffers. You know, tell us about some of the emerging forms of digital journalism there at ABC news.

Paul Slavin: 
Um, we've recognized that on the web and in the mobile space the content, while much of the stuff that we do and in normal broadcast is very valuable, very highly desired, we have to supplement that. There seems to be an infinite capacity for consumption in these these emerging media, new media. Um and some of that media needs to be of a different style because we're dealing with a different audience. I tell the people who work with me that every platform has its own audience and we need to think about programming to it.

The iPhone audience is different from the Sprint platform which is different from the MobyTV platform which is different from the people who go to GMA.com, et cetera. So each platform, each distribution medium has its own unique programming needs, and we have to create programming for that in addition to giving them the best of what ABC news is currently creating. We put out, in a month, on average, eighty million video clips to all sorts of different partners. And even that isn't enough, so we're constantly looking for new ways, interesting ways, less expensive ways to talk to the audience of every platform that we serve.

Andy Plesser: 
Is there a digital form of reporting that's different than what would be traditional network reporting or is it similar?

Paul Slavin:  I wouldn't say it's, it's distinctly different, it's more attitudinal. We we still very much want to distribute something which is, conforms to standards and practices of ABC news. But we also understand that the demographic on certain platforms is differentl; it may be more male skewed or female skewed and maybe younger maybe older. So we try to address that by creating content. Content creation, as you know, is very very expensive, so we're looking for different ways, we're looking to use flip phones, we're looking to have correspondence film themselves, we're looking to let people edit on their own Macs or their own PCs. So we're bringing in new techniques, less expensive techniques, different points of view, different attitudes to address each user in a way that is the best for them.

Recent Videos
image
Branded Content Needs Measurement Strategy from Start

CHICAGO — Brands should development a measurement plan when embarking on branded content, says  Tom Weeks, SVP and Group Brand Director at SMG’s LiquidThread  in an interview with Beet.TV. Knowing what to count from the start can set expectations for branded content campaigns, especially when ...

image
Weather Company Pairs Marketers With Moods

CHICAGO — Weather often affects consumers’ moods, and that means it can impact purchase behavior, says DJ Reali, SVP MultiPlatform Sales at the Weather Company, in an interview with Beet.TV. As such, the Weather Company often looks to pair consumer data with weather conditions to deliver ...

image
Enhance the Experience, SMG’s Hoffman Advises for Branded Content

CHICAGO —  Placement on a site and or media channel is vital to ensuring branded content actually reaches consumers and can be viewed, says Jonathan Hoffman, President at ZeroDot/President Experience Design at Starcom MediaVest Group, in an interview with Beet.TV. In addition, brands should think ...

image
No More Ratecards? Sky’s West On Addressable Ad Pricing

LONDON — If every TV ad campaign can be individually targeted, what good is fixed ad pricing anymore? UK satellite and telco provider BSkyB, which this year launched its AdSmart addressable ad initiative, envisages a spectrum of prices for different advertisers. “The conversation has moved on ...

image
For News Video, Go Long: HuffPost Live’s Sekoff

For serious news video, forget Vine’s microscopic content, says the co-creator of Huffington Post’s live streaming video network, HuffPost Live. “The average video being watched on mobile devices is getting longer,”HuffPost live president and co-creator Roy Sekoff tells Beet.TV in ...

image
Branded Content Works Best for Awareness, Agency Execs Concur

CHICAGO — Branded content still plays best as a brand awareness tool, rather than as a direct sales driver, says Vincent Geraghty, EVP and Executive Director of Production at Leo Burnett, in a panel discussion for Beet.TV. “Purchase and sales is a tough thing. When you’re talking about ...

image
Video Not Ready For Programmatic Primetime: GroupM’s Wanck

Digital video won’t follow display down the “programmatic” ad-trading route until publishers are ready and willing, says one of GroupM’s digital division chiefs. “For video to truly become programmatic, the reach will have to increase, there needs to be more ...

image
Facebook Targeting A Boon for Marketers, Havas’ Social Lead

CHICAGO — Facebook is a marketer’s dream for video, but brands need to be smart about how to use the targeting, fan base, and types of video on the social network, says Len Kendall, Director of Social Marketing at Havas Worldwide, in an interview with Beet.TV. “Because of segmentation and ...

image
TouchCast Useful To More Than Just Publishers: Schonfeld

TouchCast, the interactive video platform co-founded by former TechCrunch editor Erick Schonfeld, wants advertisers to start using its new video format as an engaging new ad format. The startup counts broadcasters and newspapers amongst early adopters on the editorial side. “Their people on the ...

image
Brands and Distributors Should Look for Shared Goals in Branded Content

CHICAGO — When embarking on branded content, a marketer should consider what part of its story fits best in that format, Cristel Turner, Director of Brand Advertising, Strategy and Business Marketing at U.S. Cellular, in an interview with Beet.TV. “What doesn’t lend itself as easily to a ...

image
Ziff Davis Enjoying ‘Renaissance’: CEO Shah

When Vivek Shah took over at the helm of PCMag.com publisher Ziff Davis, the company was still recovering after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, continuing to sell off properties. If he says so himself, Ziff Davis under Shah may has turned a corner. “Ziff is probably one of the more ...

image
Comcast Sees Big Growth in C3 VOD Viewing

While TV Everywhere tends to dominates the chatter about non-linear viewing, many cablers are actively marketing and delivering viewers for their existing VOD services. Comcast, for instance, logged its 30 billionth program viewed on demand in the last year and has seen 100% growth in time spent viewing in ...

loader