The New Star Ledger

Star Ledger VJ Andre Malok’s tour de force.

Take a look at the quality of the reporting, the shooting, the editing.

The whole package.

The Newark Star Ledger is recreating itself as a digital content provider.

It’s the model for the newspaper of the 21st Century.

Could this be the future for newspapers across the country?

It’s a hell of a start.

Here’s the link to the paper’s part of the story. Print story by Amy Ellis Nutt.

13 responses to “The New Star Ledger

  1. I really don’t want to comment on this (if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all) but if I don’t then you are going to say this silenced the detractors… and in a way it did.
    It’s just so poor in nearly every way.
    The shooting was poorly executed.
    The editing was random and the writing lacked imagination. I felt speechless.
    If you are going to promo something please use some good work as an example.
    and were was the warning about the surgery shots?

  2. And this is what in your opinion is supposed to rescue newspapers?

    RIP Newark Star Ledger

  3. I must go along with pencilgod if I want to be polite.

    It’s better at this time to not say anything only because this is a poorly done story on so many levels.

    It took too long to do.

    It is yet another example of a VJ feature story that has no real news value.

    It is not going to save any newspaper which thinks VJ will keep it a financially viable business.

    I, along with pencilgod, add my comments only so no claims of “silencing the critics” can be alluded to in the future.

    It’s a good example of giving someone tools and basic skills, then having them fall short with the end product.

    Just because someone has a pencil, takes some basic classes in spelling and writing, doesn’t make them an author that people will pay to read/see their work.

    Maybe if the paper made an effort to cover real news in a timely manner, they’d have a chance.

    With this kind of product?

    They are doomed.

  4. If one thinks this little feature was really bad you’re not watching enough cable TV, by that standard it holds up pretty well.

    Shooting poorly executed? Why?

    Editing random? How? Why?

    While it’s not art it does give the viewer a clear narrative of what happened to the guy. If I had to fault it I’d say it goes too little into the guy’s character before and after the stroke which is the story I’d like to know about.

  5. “Bad” only in the sense that it is not interesting enough to draw a big enough audience to support a business.

    In that sense, bad.

    For that niche audience that is interested in this type of person and has the time to wade through the home video style of shooting, I’m sure it was fulfilling.

    Numbers are what counts and that means getting enough people who are interested to watch it.

    Want to hear silence?

    Ask for an official number from the Star Ledger on how many people clicked to watch that piece.

    They will be embarrassed to admit what that low number is.

    And even then, how many clicked to watch it, not by going to the Star Ledger, but by coming to this blog?

    One should take those numbers away from the total because the “business” is run by the Star Ledger.

    They are the ones who paid this person to shoot and edit this story.

    Total up that time, paid by the hour, then divide it by the hit count of the story.

    That sum will be laughable to anyone thinking they can run a profitable business.

    There is no profit simply because the product didn’t bring in the number of eyes to justify the expense.

    That is of course unless one works for a government subsidized entity like the BBC, US banks or maybe the Detroit auto makers in the future, who don’t have to rely on good old capitalism to make a business work.😉

  6. I am sure you read that Tribune is on the verge of going Chapter 11. Besides owning The Chicago Tribune, The LA Times, The Baltimore Sun, they also own a string of broadcast companies, including 9 Fox stations. I hope you are OK. Things are getting really bad all around. Really bad.

  7. I agree.

    Really bad.

    But I’m in pretty good shape.

    Thanks for the concern.

    Don’t get me wrong.

    I think things all over are going bad, fast.

    No job in any business is one hundred percent safe.

    But, in my business, I am one of those who actually makes the product.

    Not just sits in the office trying to think up stuff and never really doing the job, dealing with the real world in real world time and situations.

    Which is more than can be said about the majority of the other employees who work with me.😉

  8. It must be coming up to xmas as instead of ripping into a vicious shot by shot critique using lines like “tour de force? More like tour de farce” …I just can’t bring myself to do it.
    And it’s not fair on Andre. I see in amongst the mess that he has some glimmers of good instinct, if only he had the skills to back it up. In a year or two if he keeps learning he could be a competent shooter.
    The question is then, do the Star Ledger’s of the print world have a year or two to wait for their people get good enough to compete with online TV? I don’t know.
    Instead of trying to build a video department from scratch, why not hire some good cameramen and hit the ground running? You’d get higher quality and more volume of work. Plus they could train the reporters to think in pictures.
    Would it cost that much to have two real cameramen working with existing reporter staff turning out 3 or 4 quality stories a day?
    I don’t know enough about newspapers to answer that.

  9. When you praise people for doing bad work they’ll never learn to do it right. It’s been over five years that I’ve seen VJ work and I have yet to see any improvement and I have yet to see any VJ making any money for themselves or for the organization that they work for. It’s a cookie cutter style that gets old and stale seconds into the video, no viewer has seven minutes to watch a one minute video; and for god shake, teach these people to talk, they all sound like they are delivering a eulogy, and if the video doesn’t put you to sleep the voice will.

    Just look at the work of the Newark Star Ledger when they started months ago, it doesn’t look any different or any better of what they are doing today.

    The message is out there; newspapers converting to video are not making any money and are not slowing down the rapid slide into extinction. Evidently whatever they are doing is not working so stop throwing good money after bad, scratch it and try something different, redirect of what’s left of their resources to what viewers need to see, and that’s real news not insignificant and useless features. If they insist on staying with video then do it right and start thinking quality and not quantity, evidently cheap volume doesn’t work and is not attracting advertisers. I’m not talking about investing in equipment I’m talking about investing in knowledge and a serious training. Hire one top notch photographer, not one that never made a living with what he teaches but one with a proven working track record whose sole purpose and responsibility will be in training and retraining, critiques and constant reviews of the work being generated, and start listening to your readers/viewers, they are those who make the paychecks and they are those who the advertisers listen to.

  10. from the preview I can’t see it getting many views right now…but if the guy becomes famous – one man show at some big gallery, respect from some major/critic or whatever – then you will clock some clicks.

  11. It occurs to me that proclaiming the life or death of news papers based on this piece may be a bit premature.

    Seems like there is going to be a lot of shaking out to go yet and it’s obvious that what the final product will look still being worked out. Internet video will be a big factor no doubt.

    This was piece “ok”, I liked the editing but it ran a bit long for my taste.

    I just ran across a video shot for the Lexington Herald-Leader and thought it was shot very well. I’m sure it’s not to Nino’s, $ and Mr. Pencils standards but it looked pretty good never the less.

    Check it out if you care too http://www.heraldleaderphoto.com/2008/12/07/despite-rocky-start-hes-a-fighter/

    It was shot with the new Canon 5D MK11.

  12. Actually Avery if VJ’s could regularly turn out stories like that “rocky” one I’d be a lot more optimistic about them having a future. It seemed to run out of steam halfway and the writing was a bit stilted for my taste but it worked well with the stylized shooting. (Caveat: Focus! For god’s sake make sure you are in focus.)
    All in all a very good effort.

  13. …also why did they leave the iv lights on when getting gv’s?

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