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.
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.
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.
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.
Did We Witness History This Week?
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?”
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.