The One Percent Solution

Time is money….

Yesterday’s posting of the Star Ledger desert murder piece caused a lot of interest and a lot of discussion.

As I noted, I don’t think the piece is perfect. Far from it. I sent extensive notes over to the paper on ways in which they could have done it better. That having been said, the piece is very interesting because a New Jersey paper was willing to tackle a complex and difficult story some 3,000 miles away, and do a pretty good job of it, in video.

And this was not your standard 1-2 minute online video job.  It was a 13-minute investigative story.

Well done.

It was just the kind of story that 60-Minutes would tackle.

And in some ways, it was the way they would do the story – sans Mike Wallace, and admittedly better shot and cut.


60 Minutes would have spent, all in, about $250,000 to produce their own 8-minute version of the story.

That’s including salaries for their hightly over paid correspondents; their camera crews, their editors, their hotel bills, their meals, their researcher and so on.

The Star Ledger, (and here I am only guessing) probably spent about $2500 to make this piece.

One percent of the cost that CBS News would have spent.

One percent.

Now, some of our professional TV friends looked at this and said “weak”.


I am sure Steven Spielberg looks at 60 Minutes stories and says “weak”.

Because for $25 million , Speilberg can make an 8 minute piece that puts 60 Minutes and their professionals to shame.

So we are on a spectrum. A cost/benefit scale.  Is the Star Ledger piece pretty good for $2500? I think so.

I think it’s a damned good start… and especially at those prices.  Will it eclipse 60 Minutes? I doubt it. Will it find an audience that appreciates it? I think so.


One response to “The One Percent Solution

  1. I think it would be instructive for many of your readers if you were to post the notes you submitted with regard to the video. I found it quite gripping and some of the camerawork was really first class.

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