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.
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.
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.