"Thank God we've moved away from the time when you think you can just put television online," said David Hayward, head of the journalism programme at the BBC College of Journalism, opening a session on online video at news:rewired in London on Friday.
John Domokos, video producer at the Guardian, elaborated on this sentiment, explaining that a newspaper can't hope to beat TV for the polished version of a story, thoroughly edited with a highly-structured narrative, so it is better to focus on what it can do that is different and complementary. He often adopts a "microcosm" approach, aiming to create a three or four minute film that gives viewers a window onto a specific world.
This works particularly well with stories that focus on a community, he explained, such as the Birmingham riots in the UK last summer. It's easier to gain the community's trust if you are just one man with a camera, rather than a whole TV crew, he said, and if you can get close to the characters you don't need too much movement and visual drama to create something compelling.