Ledger Live!

OK Joe…talk to me…

Yesterday you saw what a great job the journalists at the Newark Star Ledger were doing in adapting to video.

They beat the crap out of local TV news… and they haven’t even started yet!

We’re going to do more than just put up a few videos on the newspaper’s web page.

We’re going to go live from the newsroom.


The famous bank robber, Willy Sutton was asked once why he robbed banks. “That’s where the money is” Sutton replied.

Well, in any town or city, the newspaper newsroom is where the news is.

It’s the nexus of news and information for a city or a state. It’s filled with people who have dedicated their lives to knowing what is happening and why.

As one columnist for the Star Ledger told me, “I have been doing this for twenty years. I probably know more about New Jersey than anyone”. I am sure this is true. So we’re not only taking the paper to video, we’re going to capture and transmit the knowledge.. and the passion, that these journalists feel.

This is no ‘TV show’ with hair and teeth presenters sitting at ‘sets’. This is real.

say what?

And here is something I think you’ll find really interesting:

In terms of keeping it ‘real’….

If you’ve ever worked in a newsroom, you’ll know that feeling when you just came back from a big story and you could not wait to share it with your colleagues. This is the real excitement of news – Well, we’re going to capture that.

Above is Seth Siditsky. He’s a journalist at the paper, and he’s going to play a big role in the videoization of the paper as well.

We’re using a telepromter – but in a fairly novel way. Siditsky is having a conversation with one of the reporters on the paper who just returned from a big story. But he’s having the conversation through the teleprompter. So the conversation is really with and to our viewers at home. Directly.

This isn’t watching Meredith talk to Chuck.

This is the reporter talking (as opposed to reading copy) to you!


It works!

It’s a whole new grammar for a whole new medium.

A real revolution is taking place here at the Star Ledger.

And we think this is just the very beginning.


4 responses to “Ledger Live!

  1. not sure your banks/money, newspapers/news analogy really works.

    banks typically don’t exhaust their supply of money, even on Friday at 4pm you go to the bank and you get real money.

    newspapers run out of news on a daily basis, sometimes they don’t even half enough to fill the front page.

    No-one would tolerate monopoly-scrip from a bank, and for the past 50 years fewer and fewer Americans are being fooled into believing that the pap churned out by their local/regional newspapers has any relationship to “news”

    Other than that – great post!

  2. It’s great that this is happening but I’m not sure it is worthy of “beating the crap” out of local news. It is a great first attempt however there are several editing and asthetic errors that make it less than quality local news in most markets. If we accept jump cuts and lack of sequential video with natsot as the standard we are lowering the expectation of the viewer and the quality for everyone. Yes a great first attempt but don’t get carried away. This has a long way to go.

  3. Hi Sharon
    I agree it is far from perfect, but the funny thing is that in comparison to local news (and this is the #1 market!), it’s not only competitive, it’s better.
    The standards out there are pretty bottom of the barrel. We can all be better, and I think that newspapers going to video are about to raise the bar considerably.

  4. I clicked on this article because I thought it was going to be about Heath Ledger’s voiceover work for The Dark Knight 😦


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