Come give us bunny ears -- DNTV ready for Web

Having worked in both print and broadcast media, I'm frequently asked which I like best. The answer is simple: It depends on the story or what you're trying to present.

Having worked in both print and broadcast media, I'm frequently asked which I like best. The answer is simple: It depends on the story or what you're trying to present.

Some stories are better told in newspaper or magazines. Others on TV or radio. As an example, I cite a radio script -- true story -- that I never got around to producing:

(Sound of a loud BLOMP!)

Narration: "If you're waiting for the other shoe to drop, it won't, because members of the International Odd Shoe Exchange have no need for it. They're amputees, or people with two different-sized feet, who have to buy shoes in pairs like everyone else. Their solution? They've formed a network to exchange the other shoe..." You get the idea, but you probably had to read that "blomp!" over a couple of times. Likewise, on TV, the story wouldn't grab your attention as effectively unless the reporter got footage of an actual odd-shoe convention.

Conversely, radio is a terrible medium for trying to review an art show. And newsprint isn't the best way to present a deer running around Superior with a lawn chair (or was it a badminton set?) in its antlers, which we caught on camera a year ago for what turned out to be one of the most-viewed videos on


Where is all this going? Well, to the Web, which is where all three media converge. And tomorrow, our Web site will debut DNTV, a Monday-through-Friday Web newscast that will give you a quick update, and a different view, of the latest news.

Posted daily at 2 p.m., it'll begin with a news briefing anchored by Executive Editor Rob Karwath (I'll be in the backup spot). After a commercial -- also likely tailored to broadcast -- a second segment will offer a different subject each day, such as sports on Mondays, entertainment on Thursdays, etc. Head-geared deer will be presented as they occur.

The other feature of DNTV that can only be done with a TV camera and studio -- and one, it turns out, only at our building at 424 W. First Street in downtown Duluth -- is you.

In an accident of architectural planning and repurposing, one of our first floor offices overlooks Duluth's Government Center Plaza with floor-to-ceiling windows. For years I wondered if it could replicate a "Today Show"-style set with an anchor interacting with, or being bunny-eared by, the public behind the glass. The only way to know was to put a camera there.

It worked -- and I think better than the "Today Show" because the room is slightly below ground, forcing the camera to look up at passersby and street traffic, giving them a larger-than-life feel. It's a million-dollar view we never planned that could become an institution as a new town post of sorts.

Protesting at City Hall? Come across the street and wave your signs on DNTV. Want to know if a snowstorm is raging downtown? Click on the Webcast. And if the old County Jail finally comes down, you'll have a front-row seat right at your computer -- and so will your cousin in Arizona.

There are countless changes going on in media, and the days of newspapers being restricted to newsprint or broadcast stations limited to over-the-air frequencies are fading like an analog TV signal. But that doesn't mean change is bad, and a real upside is the increased interaction with readers and viewers who can log on to contribute to or comment on news.

So click on DNTV tomorrow at 2 (the webcast will stay up


24 hours), or come give a wave in the studio window.

Lawn chairs OK. Deer and badminton sets not required.

Robin Washington is news director of the News Tribune. He may be reached at .

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