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Anyone who's watched video on the New York Times' website knows that they range from the unintentionally hilarious (the Vows column, David Carr) to the unintentionally really fucking lame (the Vows column). Fortuntately, NYT video editor Lawrie Mifflin is here to explain it all to us. One reader asks:

This is a hard thing to say, but here goes: The reports are as dull as my father's garden hoe. There is a world of difference between presenting for a reader's eye and presenting for a viewer's ear as well as eye, something your print reporters who all too often clumsily ad lib their way through a 2 or 3 minute piece in front of a camera just don't seem to understand. Has the Times ever considered hiring some broadcast teachers to show your reporters how to prepare and present a stand up piece correctly?

Why, excellent question! But wait, not everyone concurs:

I don't agree at all with anyone who thinks the Times' reporters should be more polished etc. if they're going to do video reports. Look at all the pretty faces and blow-dry hair on the usual TV news — and the complete lack of substance as far as the news goes. I imagine it's quite a leap from print to video reports for some reporters, and I think they do just fine. I want their insight, not their polish.

And Mifflin's response:


May I simply say, thank you? Every day we emphasize that the journalism comes first. We are striving for intelligent insight combined with first-class visual storytelling, and we're delighted when our reader-viewers appreciate it.

What ever happened to having a face for radio and a voice for print?

Talk to the Newsroom: Lawrie Mifflin, Editor, Television and Video [NYT]