Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain made news recently for his campaign cancelling an interview with newspaper this Thursday, saying it didn't want the interview to be video recorded and arguing that video is only typical for television. But do the latest stats show otherwise?

According to the New Hampshire Union newspaper's website, Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon told Politico that the campaign will not allow any future newspaper editorial board meetings to be videotaped.

"Videos are typically used for television and it's a newspaper. We decided we didn't want to do the video," Gordon said.

The comScore Video Metrix Report on Newspapers

Herman Cain Versus Online Video From Newspapers – Just The Stats, Man! comscore video metrix I asked the folks over at comScore to send me their Video Metrix statistics on total videos in the past year by the newspaper industry. Here's what the data shows:

Newspapers' Video Views

  • In October 2011, videos published online by newspapers were watched over 56 million times
  • In the past 12 months, videos published online by newspapers were watched over 720 million times.

Newspapers Unique Video Viewers

In October 2011…

  • The newspaper industry had over 14,561,000 unique video viewers online, and averaged 952,000 daily unique viewers.
  • The average newspaper viewer watched 3.9 videos online.

The data also suggest a trend towards more newspaper videos being watched online as political campaigns and elections heat up. For example, the November 2010 stats (during the mid-term election), had an 80% viewer increase over the most recently reported month.

Is Newspapers' Video Share Slipping?

According to comScore, the newspaper industry's total online videos compared to the entire News/Information industry (i.e., news journalism) dropped from 9.56% in October 2010 to 4.35% in October 2011. That figure is partially due to a huge jump of online videos by other sectors of the news journalism industry, along with a decline in newspapers' own resources and newsroom staff dedicated to video content.

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So What Do YOU Think?

It's most unusual for a candidate seeking the highest office in the land, who is actively soliciting interviews with influential newspapers (and a conservative newspaper at that), would reasonably think that newspapers should only do traditional (i.e., "print”) media, and not video; and apparently, not video that would be able to be viewed, shared, and commented online.

So do you believe Cain's campaign is serious? That his previous interview performance with another newspaper – the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – wasn't the actual reason they didn't want to allow for video recordings of future interviews with newspapers? Do you believe that there's a serious argument that newspapers should be doing online video as part of their news journalism? Or maybe at least, when interviewing political candidates?

Me thinks someone needs an video edu-Cain-shun. (OK, submit your entry for Worst Pun of 2011.)

  • Kyana Hansson

    I have actually watched a video with Herman Cain on Youtube here is the link:

    It was from the Bad Lip Reading Channel and although it was funny to watch, I can understand if Mr. Cain is reluctant to give interviews on video. Its a shame really, because what he is missing out on is the ability of his message, his platform to be shared across the web. He should trust in the strength of his message and the loyalty and understanding of his followers. I hope he changes his mind in the future.

    • Grant Crowell

      Thanks, Kyanna. That is pretty funny. Although much of that footage wasn't even of him giving an interview. A lot of it was taken of his promotional appearances! I agree with what you say about being taken out of context, so I always recommend that any politician or public figure either include a link on their own sites to the full interview and event, and to always bring their own video camera to record it.

  • Rich Tubbs

    I tend to agree with Mr Cain on this.

    If a video camera is running to document the meeting, to provide reporters with a means of documenting quotes that is one thing.

    But if a video camera is running to capture a gotcha moment that is an entirely other thing.

    Serious interviews with long form questioning will often result in long, thoughtful gaps. Chopped up for youtube consumption they could easily present the candidate as a boob. Actual fits of confusion such as that suffered by Mr Cain last week can be devastating.

    What you're left with are candidates hesitant to explore difficult policy questions with the cameras rolling.

    Seems an audio recorder should do the trick for print journalists.

    • Grant Crowell

      Thanks for your comments, Rich. I wholeheartedly disagree with your position, however. That would be the same argument for never being allowed to video record a political candidate anywhere doing anything in public. The Milwaukee newspaper was actually responsible about including the entire video interview, so it wouldn't be taken out of context. People should have the right to watch and decide for themselves, and not have the traditional media decide for us how to view it.