Digital 'wins'

Daytona Beach News-Journal uses Tout for heartfelt community spotlights

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Many of our journalists have used Tout, a mobile video publishing platform, in their newsrooms to give readers a more interactive story package. The Daytona Beach News-Journal signed up a couple of weeks ago, but you won’t believe how quickly they’ve implemented the program in their journalism. In their recent story, Giving Back, the team featured dozens of community members who volunteer and serve the area, including 30 videos that spotlight these individual’s hard work. Digital Manager Chris Bridges answers a few questions about switching to Tout and how his team plans to use the platform in the future.


GateHouse Newsroom: You just launched on Tout a few weeks ago, what inspired you to sign up?

Chris Bridges:
We were excited about Tout as soon as we heard about it. We’ve been trying to do more video this year but editing them has been very time-consuming. Some of our photographers edit their own work but otherwise all the editing fell to me during the day and our multimedia editors, who are also working on the website and the print edition, in the evenings. The idea that most of our video could go up directly from reporters, largely unedited, was very attractive as both a way to get readers on the scene as soon as possible and to free up resources in the office.
We asked reporters to start uploading test videos as soon as training was completed, and the day we went live we went all in. All of our videos since then have gone into Tout, either from reporters or, for longer, more complete narratives, edited and uploaded here in the office.

GHN:
Was it fairly simple to navigate as a beginner? What features are particularly useful?

CB:
So far it’s been very simple. We’ve run into some issues with video/article matching and found some limitations as a video management system compared to what we were used to with Brightcove, but we’ve been reporting problems as we hit them and gotten very prompt responses. Being able to upload on-the-spot video is great. During a standoff with police last week that blocked I-95 for several hours, our reporter was able to send videos from the scene that we put in the story and posted to social media immediately.

GHN:
The Celebrate Community project featured 30 videos. What do you think readers can get out of video content that differs from a more traditional written package?

CB:
With our “Giving Back” project, we wanted the volunteers to say in their own words why they did what they did. Those were all very human stories and while we’re proud of our writing, sometimes you just need to see the joy and pride in someone’s eyes as they describe how they’ve made a difference in other people’s lives.

GHN:
Now that your newsroom is well-versed with the platform, what future projects are on your horizon?

CB:
The next big project for us will be the Rolex 24 at Daytona at the end of January, and then Speed Weeks leading up to the Daytona 500 in February, our biggest event all year. Expect video of fans, the newly renovated Speedway, and as many driver interviews as we can get.
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