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Credit: Image by bredgur on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

The Washington Post announced a new video strategy yesterday, focusing on shorter formats like explainers and vertical video to enhance daily news reporting.

Washington Post Video will replace PostTV, which launched in June 2013 and produced daily shows and longer form storytelling on topics like politics, news and sports.

"Television on the web is not what we see the future of video as," said Micah Gelman, the Post's director of video.

"We have the ability to invent our own way of doing video and we don't have to be confined to traditional television news, so neither the name [PostTV] nor what we do should reflect that."

I think everyone recognises that 'appointment viewing' on the web is not how people consume media these daysMicah Gelman, Washington Post
He said the Post has produced a lot of mid-form documentaries and longform narrative stories over the years, that "we've just never found an audience for".

As opposed to focusing on shows, Washington Post Video will produce shorter videos to go alongside the outlet's reporting and play a bigger role in the "daily news conversation".

"I think everyone recognises that 'appointment viewing' on the web is not how people consume media these days," Gelman told

"When you're standing in line for coffee in the morning and you click on a video in a story, and it's a 10 or 13 minute documentary, then we're not really delivering on a promise there."

Gelman explained that most video views at the Post, which have been growing by 73 per cent year over year, come from footage embedded in article pages and the publication won't be creating "orphan videos" to sit alone in a separate vertical on the website.

Video content will be showcased on an individual page, but it will act as a catalogue that gives people an overview of the work produced, rather than a main destination.

Gelman said the new video content could be anything from explainers on topics like the refugee crisis, looking at what it is and how it started, to coverage on the US election, using the recently developed vertical video player.

The Post will also take a multiplatform approach when producing videos and aggregating content from other publishers or licensing user generated content, taking into account whether they could work in a "sound-off environment on Facebook or in an auto-play situation".

The outlet recently unveiled a redesigned version of its homepage, which can be quickly updated by journalists and editors using an in-house publishing tool called Arc, and will also integrate with the new video output.

The team has built a CMS dedicated exclusively to video and is also currently working on a media asset management system for this type of content.

When the Post relocates to a new building in December, video editors and reporters will be "geographically located" in the newsroom, rather than in a separate space, to ensure they are a "part of the conversation on a daily basis".

"PostTV felt like it was, in a part, separate from the Washington Post," said Gelman, "and my goal is to make sure that we are leveraging what is a terrific brand and great resources to make sure that video is an embedded part of everything we do."

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