TMZ Teaching the Old Dogs New (Media) Tricks

The Videos album cover

While I cannot say I am much of a fan of TMZ, the high-velocity celebrity gossip/video juggernaut that began as a website and is now also a nightly syndicated TV show, their process and approach is one that many in the world of video journalism could learn from.

According to CNet, Not only does TMZ uses less expensive equipment to shoot, but the scaled back gear makes them faster and able to go where many larger news orgs cannot.


“Traditionally, the segments of a TV news show were combined and assembled onto a tape, Stephens said. The show had to be completely finished by the time it started broadcasting. It wasn’t possible to change anything once the show started being aired, he said.

“Now, we’re editing individual stories and plugging segments into a video server,” Stephens said. “It’s very similar if you got an iTunes playlist. You can start the music, but you can also push new pieces into the playlist on the fly. Rather than having to have my story finished a half hour before the whole show airs, now I actually need to finish a couple of minutes before my particular segment of the show airs.”

This kind of flexibility is handy when your top news subjects can get busted for a DUI day or night.”

So, while the high-cost traditional nightly news struggles for relevancy, TMZ is tearing it up with little regard for pretty.

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