• Just Like a Broadcaster Now: NY Times Snags Long Video Interview With Obama

    Here's more evidence that print publishers are using online video to revolutionize their business models: over the weekend the NY Times posted a one-hour video interview its op-ed columnist Tom Friedman did with President Obama in the White House (see below). In practically all respects the interview looks like a broadcast TV staple - a beautifully lit, long-form, in-depth, intimate fireside chat with the president, shot by at least 4-5 cameras and edited into a tight, visually compelling piece.

    The interview breaks new ground as it morphs Friedman from his established role as a text-only commentator into a part of the story itself, just as broadcast journalists always have been. I'm not familiar with any other newspaper ever producing a video interview with the president and it is clearly a coup for the Times. It also demonstrates, yet again, how online video is helping blur the lines between broadcast and print journalism.


    The interview is just the latest in a broader emphasis the Times - and other print publishers - have put on online video. A year ago the Times said it would create significantly more video, partly to satisfy readers appetite, but also to generate more inventory for lucrative video advertising. Like other established news providers, the Times is besieged on all side by upstarts, with the latest irony that one of them - Vice News - took over the masthead ad position on NY Times 2 weeks ago in a bold audience gathering move.

    As I observed during the spring NewFronts in which print publications were very active, newspapers and magazines bring powerful brands, storytelling expertise and well-respected talent, all of which can be leveraged into video. The Friedman-Obama interview is a perfect example of this all coming together. Expect more of this to come, from the Times and others.