Where is video/photojournalism headed and how will it get there?
This is the impetus for today's musings: KnoxNews Random This (via: Instapundit)
Check it out...well, at least wait until I've explained my thoughts. Is this where video story telling is headed? Yes and well, no.
I'm torn. Everyone seems to have a digital camera nowadays(everyone that is except me). Most of these cameras have the ability to grab video. If you have a computer you can download free editing software. With these two tools and a site to host your video, you too can become an independent video journalist.
Plenty of people have already discussed video on the web. I visit a TV photojournalist website message board at b-roll.net. Purists believe that herky-jerky video will fail to keep viewers like traditional TV stories shot with $20,000+ cameras. Pundits (like Terry Heaton)and those on the front end of the internet explosion believe the dinosaurs will be left behind scratching their heads while their purses get thinnner and thinner.
If it were up to me...
I want to watch video on the web. I just don't want it the size of a gameboy screen. I don't want it to be a shaky, string of long boring shots made up of low techinical quality video. I do want it be important to me, my neighbors, and community. I want to get close to the people who make up the world around us.
Bloggers will meet these needs. But will those without training and experience be able to achieve success? The good ones will. They will rise to the top and provide an alternative to coverage akin to the rise of bloggers spreading information filling over the gaps of traditional media.
I can't wait for bandwith to catch up with the video that can be available. I would love to see video that gives me a glimpse into the life of someone in my community(with the internet that could stretch from across town to across the seas) that even I may not see or think of covering. These video bloggers will be similar to all the extra channels you have on cable today. Niche programs filling niche needs.
But will they take over? No. Have newspapers ceased to exist? No. Have movies stopped drawing crowds? No. So too will TV stations continue their dominance of their respective industry.
Have those industries suffered a decline in viewership/readership? Yes. The internet is one of the reasons the media titans have taken their hits. However, it's also let these titans make their impact in other ways. People want a certain level of quality from the media they ingest. They also want to get it as easily as possible. That plays into the hands of the big media who have the funds and ability to gather and create slick content and then disseminate it quickly and easily.
Most of you reading this are discerning consumers of media. You are the exception. You are willing to make the effort to round out the platter of news you seek. You will be willing to take a hit in video quality to find those nuggets of human life that delve deeper into specific interests you have.
My take? When I'm ready for some alternatives to the mainstream, I'll surf around until I can find sites like RandomThis or Vodcasts. After all we can't subsist on an Atkins-like diet of "Live, Local, and Late Breaking!" We all have to have our veggies sometime.