Wasted Multimedia Opportunity For S.C. Newspaper

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Let’s put this one in the why-newspapers-are-dying cat: so the Rock Hill (South Carolina) Herald gets a line on a truly amazing story… that the white racist who beat John Lewis at a bus station back in 1961 was seeking John Lewis’ forgiveness for his (white racist dude’s) ugly past actions. Amazing, eh?! You better believe it is.

So the white man/former racist travels to Washington to visit with Lewis, to ask Lewis’ forgiveness in person.  (The pathetic creature didn’t even realize that the black man he’d beaten-up back in 1961 was a longtime, famous Congressman now. That’s how ignorant and small-minded the racist dude really was.)

So, back to my mostly media point here, and I do have a BIG one today. The white man is from Rock Hill, SC. His story makes its way to the Rock Hill Herald, the local newspaper. The newspaper sends a reporter, Andrew Dys, to Washington, DC with the white man to document him seeking Rep. Lewis’ forgiveness.

Great story, right? And you, if you were the Rock Hill Herald, pretty much have an exclusive, except for a pesky Good Morning America crew that weaseled their way into Congressman Lewis’ office too for this great story.

Thing is, the Rock Hill Herald shows-up to their story with a pen, paper… and a still camera. Considering that you can pick-up a video camera for about $100. at Wal-Mart on your way to any interview, wherever, that strikes me as just plain backwards – with no multimedia thinking whatsoever about the Rock Hill Herald’s website presence in this near-exclusive. And we wonder why newspapers are dying…

GMA was there in Lewis’ DC office with a camera crew. (See the Herald’s slide show.) But as of 2pm on Feb. 5, 2009, GMA has yet to broadcast their version of the story, presumably captured on some kinda video format.

Meanwhile, the Rock Hill Herald could have had their video version, whipped-up cheap, all over the Internet by now if they’d taped something. Anything! The lil ‘ole Herald could have had a serious exclusive by now.

I know for a fact CNN, for instance, would have loved to have acquired any videotape of the Washington encounter, had there been any to acquire. That way, CNN too could have beaten GMA to their own “exclusive” in the process.

Come to think about it, there’s really not much you can label “exclusive” nowadays… unless you neglect to bring along a video cam. So watch GMA Friday morning if you gotta have your “exclusive” modern moving images.

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