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Industry Issues Blog Number Four

The Setup

Video is now a center piece of journalism. It has become what written stories were before the 1950s: the king of mainstream media. Any respectable news outlet includes media on its website. Multi-media, specifically video, is not an option any longer. It is a requirement.

The use of video opens up a wide variety of options and issues for the modern journalist. Two articles recently released by journalism websites, NewsLab and Advancing the Story , explain the pitfalls and advantages of video use.

Using Video Online

Using video on the Internet can greatly enhance a media outlet’s ability to hyper-customize its viewers. An article that recently was published on NewsLab details how NBC is doing this with some of its online pages. It is custom making videos just for the web. Some outlets have been placing content online which they originally put out over the air. In fact, this is a common place practice. However, making web-original content is something that is fairly new.

The benefits to this is that it gives companies something to tease on their over the air broadcast and vice versa. They can use special online content to direct viewers to their main programming.

Fair Use?

One site that has been home to original content for years is YouTube. After major events take place video often goes up on YouTube. This happened after the Boston Marathon bombings.

The ethical questions about using video off the Internet is examined in a recent Advancing the Story article. Many news outlets will take video off the Internet to use in their nightly newscast if they are not able to get their own video.

As mentioned above, this happened in the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. News stations across the country obviously were not in Boston and did not know that the event would be occurring. Most of the footage immediately available came from cellphone footage which was uploaded from the scene. News stations everywhere were pulling it off the web and putting it into their news rundowns.

The Issue

YouTube technically owns a stake in the content that is uploaded by its users. The users also sometimes claim rights in lawsuits.

The issue with a news station taking down footage off the net is that they don’t own it. This is a issue when lawsuits come into play. Since the stations do not own it they cannot claim that it is there. At the same time, those who upload the content have relinquished some of their privileges as the original shooter. This conundrum is an issue.

Conclusion

Video has changed the landscape of modern journalism. It has forever altered not only the over the air part of the industry, but also the online component. That aspect of the industry is growing and video use is growing right along with it.

Video is enhancing websites and causing issues for news stations who pull video off the Internet to use on the air. Often they can get away with it, but not always.

Video is an asset that can make or break a journalist.

What I’ve Learned in Writing for the Converged Media

The Power of the Internet

The internet is a powerful tool. It gives the average citizen the opportunity not just to learn about the world but participate in covering the events going on in the world. No longer is journalism a one-way street. The line between producer and consumer has been blurred.

There are numerous tools and avenues which the average person can use to play a role in shaping how culture views the events taking place in the world.

Source: flickr.com via M Booth on Pinterest

 

Citizen Journalism

People who say that journalism is dying are misinformed, or at the very least, aren’t paying attention to the world around them. It could easily be said that journalism is more alive than ever before. Are less people getting paid to practice journalism on a professional level? Yes. Is the exchange of money a prerequisite for an activity to take place? Last time I checked the answer was no.

While the “golden age of journalism” may be gone it has been replaced with an age of “citizen journalism” fueled by the internet.

Anyone can post anything at anytime. All the platforms available to the public mean that raw information can be collected almost instantaneously at the site of the events as they occur.

Adapting

Because journalist now not only have to compete for readers and viewers, but also with them, it is important that journalist be proficient at using the most up-to-date tools while covering events. By doing so, they give themselves a better chance of avoiding being scooped by the very people they seek to inform.

Microblogging

In a world were there are a countless number of avenues through which to share information, one particular kind has presented itself as a favorite. Microblogging is not just used frequently by citizen journalist, but also by some of the largest media conglomerates in the world.

Twitter, is by far the most popular microblogging platform. It is used by professionals and citizens alike to streamline information in a way no newswire ever could. Twitter is now the place many look to for their news. It is quick, succinct, and manageable. It also provides views from both sides of an argument, and presents the coverage of huge companies, and pro-am journalists.

Microblogging plays to an American culture that is obsessed with speed, and instant gratification.

How It Works

Twitter allows professional journalist to practice open sourcing as they share with their audience. This means that they show the audience the process of piecing together a story.

Below is an example of how St. Louis Cardinal beat writer Derrick Goold broke a story about a Cardinal roster move approximately twelve hours before it was published in the March 6th St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

This form of social media can be used for hard news as well.

In Nov. 2011, Questlove, the drummer for the band The Roots, tweeted at Occupy Wall Street protestors to let them know the New York City police were preparing to clear Zuccotti Park. This story was reported by Questlove on Twitter before any other news outlet had any idea that the police were going to make dozens of arrests.

How the Internet is Changing Media

Did We Witness History This Week?

Amazon and Viacom made a big splash this week when it was leaked that they have agreed in principle to a deal that will make them one of the biggest competitors to online video provider Netflix.

This deal which is intended to help Amazon bolster its Kindle Fire, and Amazon Prime content offerings is, yet another sign that Americans are perfectly happy to use the internet for the majority of their entertainment, and information needs.

It might only be a matter of time before kids are asking, “What are DVD’s?”

Television and video as we know them may soon be a thing of the past. Photo credit: Library of Virginia

Logging on Instead of Tuning In

The way information is being shared on the internet is changing. Media, and the jobs that accompany it, are undergoing a paradigm shift. Everything is moving online. This week’s activity by Amazon, and Viacom show that the industry is taking gigantic steps toward becoming internet dominated. In all honesty, it could be considered internet dominated already.

As much as the world’s older generations might like a hardcopy of the Sunday post, and renting a DVD from a video store those days numbered. Before long you might not pick up your remote to flip on NBC Nightly News. You may be left clicking instead.

If you followed the link in the previous paragraph you know that NBC actually has already made the jump. How long until the only place to get the news is the internet remains to be seen. TV, and the world-wide web remain partners for the time being. I for one am not so sure they can coexist in their present forms for much longer.

“Many of our viewers tell me they often miss the broadcast because they’re not home in time or tending to their busy lives, and families,” Brian Williams, Nightly News anchor told MSNBC.com, “This new service reflects the fact that the pace of our lives has changed.  For all the loyal viewers who have made us the most-watched newscast in America, there are others who want to watch, but can’t.  Now they’ll be able to join us every night, when it’s convenient for them.”

If You Don’t Hear Anything Else, Hear This

Here is the take away: we used to have to look to multiple sources in order to get them information we wanted on one subject. That is no longer the case. Journalists no longer hold all the cards. In fact, in some instances the consumer has just as much access to the content they want as the producer. For journalism, and communication students the lesson is that you have to learn to use all the resources available to you. Failing to understand the way information travels will either get you scooped, prove you wrong, or you will see the consumer get what they want quicker from somewhere else.

The internet is now the key to information sharing. A long time ago journalists were the gate keepers. Now the internet is the gatekeeper. Don’t like it? Too bad. It appears it won’t be changing anytime soon, if ever.

The Bright Side

The game has been changing for a while, and now that Viacom and Amazon have proved big money has bought in to the internet frontier it appears there is no going back. The good news is that if you want a piece of the action it is easier to get than ever before. It still isn’t easy to get, but it is easier to become a player in the world of media than it was even five years ago. If you start playing the game now who knows where you could be in a decade.

Today’s Developments Are Amazing, Don’t Complain.

Learn to enjoy the changes going on in the world of technology, because they are happening no matter if you like it or not.