Thursday, May 19, 2005

Video News Releases: info format or pseudo news?

are VNRs deceptive propaganda formats? Posted by Hello

A new troubling new information format is the Video News Release.

Here's how SourceWatch describes it:

[QUOTE by SourceWatch]

Video News Releases

Video news releases (VNRs) are video clips that are indistinguishable from traditional news clips and

are sometimes screened unedited by television stations

without the identification of the original producers or sponsors,

who are commonly corporations,
government agencies,
or non governmental organizations.

[name deleted for courtesy--STREIGHT], one of the largest producers and distributors of VNRs, states in its 2003 annual report that a

"VNR is a television news story that communicates an entity's public relations or corporate message.

It is paid for by the corporation or organization seeking to announce news and is delivered without charge to the media." [1]

( [query string was long and laborious: deleted--STREIGHT])

While the company likens VNRs as akin to the traditional hard copy news release, it acknowledges they are widely used in newsrooms.

"Produced in broadcast news style, VNRs relay the news of a product launch, medical discovery, corporate merger event, timely feature or breaking news directly to television news decision-makers who may use the video and audio material in full or edited form. Most major television stations in the world now use VNRs, some on a regular basis," Medialink states.

KEF Media Associates explains on its website that "VNRs deliver specific client messages within the credible editorial content of a newscast".

[END QUOTE by SourceWatch]


I went to the KEF Media Associates web site.

Or I tried to go there.

I got there, but I wasn't a''ll th''ere.

It was a Flash animation (not cartoons,

but worse: incandescent coffee cups)

based web site...and having left

web usability analysis

months ago

in favor of

deep blogology

(more specialized niche)...

it's been a long time

since I've seen Flash sites.

I'm on dial-up.

So it took way too much time

for pages to download.

This from experts or commerce

in "media and marketing"?

Fails in media: long download times makes the site seem "reluctant", possibly "hiding" something, dubious, arrogant, unfriendly, cold, too teched out, time-consuming.

Webs and blogs and wikis, everything online, must download quickly, with no special plug-ins or browser requirements: the First Rule of Web Usability.

The long duration download is the downfall of many "fancy" sites. Sites that designers dance a jig about, but users hate, avoid, and bail out of.

Fails in marketing: if users, customers, potential clients are forced to sit and wait for a Commercial Message to appear on screen, guess what?

That Commercial Message isn't going to be delivered.

No one wants to patiently wait...for a Marketing Device, a Sales Pitch, a Digital Catalog, an Online Corporate Presentation.

Even our fun, entertainment, hobby, casual curiosity, frivolous online activity must be fast and easy.

Speed, Ease, Relevance.

There are untold millions of other web sites, blogs, and other online resources, plus all the events of the non-digital, natural world... one needs to wait for time-wasting downloads of online information.

There are faster, easier, perhaps even better ways to get basically the same, from other sources.

KEF Media Associates needs to re-think its own media strategies, tactics, and implementations.

Aside from the troubling issue of Video News Releases.

Now...YOUR turn.

Express your opinion.

What's your reaction to Video News Releases?

Flash, long-duration download web sites?

Speed, Ease, Relevance
for online
information and functions?


Post a comment


email me your opinion.

vaspersthegrate {at--} yahoo (dot--) com

Thanks :^)

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate aka Leopold the Told

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