If I wanted video news, I’d watch TV

Pet peeve time: it seems that more of and more of the time, my favorite news web sites (FoxNews.com, CCN.com, DallasNews.com, etc.) are using video only for a lot of stories. I have no problem with video clips to supplement the text articles, but it really annoys me when a subject is addressed only by video.

Most of the time, it’s much more efficient for me to read the news than to watch it. Video clips often contain little real information — and all of them contain far less real info than a written article that consumes the same amount of time.

Sure, sometimes the video adds value; a written story about the world’s largest carrot isn’t very satisfying without pictures. But more of the time, the video is just a talking head, reading me the story that I could have read much more quickly myself.

Video-only stories are problematic in other ways. Depending on the browser you’re using, they may not play at all. And many folks like to read the news at work during breaks, but in an open office environment, audio may not be permissible or polite. Working at home, I don’t have that problem, but I seldom click on the video news links because I don’t want to sit through the advertising that inevitably precedes the story itself.

I realize we live in an increasingly multimedia-centric world, but I wish my Internet news providers would take the time to give us dinosaurs a choice when it comes to text or video. Otherwise I may have to go back to reading the paper newspaper to satisfy my craving for the written word.

deb@shinder.net    www.debshinder.com

About debshinder

Technology analyst and author, specializing in enterprise security. Author of or contributor to over 25 books, including "Scene of the Cybercrime." Fourteen-year Microsoft MVP, married to Microsoft FTE Tom Shinder, and proud mom of two wonderful grown-up human children and three amazing Japanese Chin pups. In my spare time, I love to travel - especially on cruise ships - and write about my grand adventures.
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