NY Times and User-Generated Video

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This Red Herring piece discusses the apparently impending decision to allow users to post video to the Times’ site. According to the article one reason for this is to increase the amount of video on the site without incurring the costs of video production:

Speaking in a panel discussion at the SIIA Information Industry Summit in New York City, Times executive Nicholas Ascheim said that developing video content is costly.

“The most expensive thing is the journalists themselves. That’s why user-generated content is interesting,” said Mr. Ascheim, director of entertainment for video and audio at New York Times Digital.

I’m all for user-generated content (including video) but in this instance you’d need to have some sort of segregated content area or editorial intervention to ensure that lots of waste-of-time garbage video didn’t get onto the site.

While I might tolerate “crap” on YouTube, because of the brand and culture of the site, I don’t want it when I go to the NY Times. If the caliber of video submitted was good and the content was meaningful (news, opinions, etc.) it could work. But unfiltered user-generated video on the Times’ site might ultimately taint the brand.


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