A newspaper industry trade journal named the Orlando Sentinel one of “10 Newspapers That Do It Right” for its efforts in video production.
The Sentinel made the Editor & Publisher list, which included big-city papers Baltimore Sun and Denver Post, for transitioning to a “video-first” strategy when the paper was reorganized in 2014.
As part of the change, Orlando Sentinel reporters were outfitted with “mobile video kits,” which include an iPad instead of a bulky TV camera for on-the-go video shoots.
The Sentinel’s visuals manager, Todd Stewart, said the change was “a little bumpy” at first, but after a few months, the paper’s website saw 95 percent year-over-year growth in video views, which in turn led to higher ad revenues from pre-video commercials.
Stewart said the Sentinel reporters are now competing with and beating TV news at its own game. The paper also dipped its toes into video coverage by purchasing a live backpack, one of the first papers to do so.
“It’s been a culture change in the newsroom,” Stewart said. “The reason we did so much was because we had a leader who believes in digital journalism, that we can live and thrive in that world.”