By: Nu Yang
As more readers turn to social media and mobile for their news, video is emerging as the latest tool for print journalists. The Wall Street Journal recently launched WSJ WorldStream (wsj.com/worldstream), a global publishing platform for short-form videos shot with a smartphone by WSJ and Dow Jones journalists from around the world.
WSJ WorldStream is the newest addition to WSJ Live, the Journal’s video initiative, which launched four new shows in the past year from New York, London, Hong Kong, and Washington, D.C. WSJ WorldStream is powered by Tout, a San Francisco-based technology company. It is available as a free Web app, and its content can be shared across social platforms.
Overseeing the project is editorial video director Shawn Bender and real-time video deputy Mark Scheffler. Alan Murray, WSJ’s deputy managing editor and executive online editor, said because technology is changing so rapidly, WSJ World- Stream created a “huge opportunity for our reporters,” where they can take video on a small, inexpensive device and send the file in right away.
Murray said the project started as an internal work tool, where videos would be pulled out of a queue and embedded into a corresponding story based on need. Instead, the team thought, “Why not expose the work tool to readers?” Murray said now the public can watch these “raw feeds” almost in real-time at WSJ WorldStream. The videos are still embedded in stories on wsj.com and incorporated into daily live video programming and video packages.
Murray said WSJ WorldStream makes it as easy as possible for reporters to shoot and send in their videos. Training sessions were conducted over the course of a year-and-a-half, where so far, 200 reporters have taken part. According to Murray, about 400 reporters are equipped with an iPhone to make videos. Videos are reviewed by an editor before they are posted online. Each video is less than a minute long, and current clips on the site range from Paris Fashion Week to the latest violence in Syria. Murray said WSJ’s video viewership is now at 30 million streams per month.
According to Murray, journalists are not required to send in a certain number of video clips. He said when WSJ WorldStream was announced to the staff, he was wary of how many reporters would actually upload clips, but he was surprised to see the number of reporters embracing the project.
“(They) want an audience and for readers to see what they do,” Murray said. “Video makes the journalism more powerful.”
Murray said the goal is to get reporters shooting video as a regular part of their job. “The journalism of the future is to tell stories in multiple ways.”