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Japan’s Tsunami Tops AP’s Most Aired Videos for 2011


LONDON: The natural disaster that devastated Northern Japan was the top story of 2011 for Associated Press Television News. The agency provides news footage to around 700 broadcasters worldwide. It uses watermarking to track what stories are aired. The 2011 results indicated that use of its news video increased 66 percent last year.

APTN Deputy Director of News Mark Davies said 2011 was “an incredibly challenging year to cover news… In a normal year you can expect four or five major stories, but in 2011, that list stretches to 20 or more. This looks set to continue in 2012--particularly in the Middle East. The growing emphasis on live coverage will also drive broadcast demand for video in 2012.”

Electronic tracking shows an average 250,000 usages of AP video content a month in 2011, peaking at around 360,000 a month during the Arab Spring. This compares to an average 150,000 uses per month in 2010. AP attributed the increase to “stretched newsroom budgets and staff.”

AP’s daily statistics indicated that the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown reverberated around the world. AP video coverage was used an estimated 42,000 times in the first 24 hours of the disaster.

The second most popular story was the death of Osama bin Laden, which was used around 28,000 times worldwide. Third was the death of Libya’s Colonel Gadhafi, which was used around 17,000 times.

Coverage of the death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il was the fourth most-used footage. AP gained entre to the nation last October—the first independent news organization allowed into the country. AP’s coverage was used 14,000 times by broadcasters.

Fifth most popular was the Royal Wedding, with around 12,000 broadcasts.