Telegraph TV news: all the bits we don't want

There’s no stopping the Telegraph’s eagerness for new media. An insider tells the Guardian that the ‘strategic differences’ which led to yesterday’s departure of Sunday Telegraph editor Patience Wheatcroft came down to her ‘failure to embrace the internet’. Meanwhile, the paper has launched the ITN-powered Telegraph TV service announced back in July (PDF).
The formula behind Telegraph TV is pretty simple. ‘TV NEWS N0W’ (their zero, not mine) is a sequence of the nine top stories, each 40-50 seconds long. The first half is a classic ‘mystery voice’ news package, much like Sky News Active. Then there’s a flash, and the second half is a Telegraph hack providing an in-house ‘talking head’. Pause while the next item buffers, and the cycle continues.
I don’t want to judge it harshly based on one day’s stories alone: there’s nothing very picture-friendly among the nine items as I write this. But let’s be harsh. The two most unsatisfactory bits of the typical TV news package are the talking-head soundbite, and the anonymous, timeless library footage. And what I’m seeing is a news service which consists primarily of…
Elsewhere in the video channel, they have 5-10 minute mini-programmes which seem to fit the online world much better. Chats in the newsroom or in relevant locations, with the star columnist or expert reporter offering some more considered insight; some edited, some not; a bit rough round the edges, but all the more natural for it. A better fit with the brand, and more natural territory for what remains primarily an operation driven by the print product and the daily print deadline. I know where I’d focus my efforts.

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