One Person, One Camera – A Good Thing?

                                  Screengrab from video hosted by BBC News Online

As a news junkie I should be grateful that everybody can now be a journalist, filming on their own mobile phones, video cameras and i -things, right?

Well, I’m not so sure.

The body of knowledge available to the world grows at an exponential rate with this phenomenon and it is truly amazing to be able to watch footage from the Japanese tsunami, for example, within minutes of the actual event but isn’t this type of blanket coverage potentially doing me out of a job?

For days the news channels were full of footage shot by individuals, in fact I think I may have seen the same footage over 50 times (I confess to having BBC News and Sky News on in the background whenever I am at home so I may be getting what I deserve). Other than seeing the shocking images, how did this enhance my knowledge of the story? Do news channels now rely upon this unpaid work by members of the public to fill out their programs?

The amount of footage did seem to leave very limited time for actual analysis. It was days later that I saw a detailed program on Sky News which gave scientific details about the actual quake itself and I am still looking for a good analysis of what this quake could mean for other fault lines the world over.

The BBC webpage now has a dedicated section for the earthquake  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12711226 and this does have good articles on the prevalence of quakes of such magnitude. But who will read them when the pictures are so powerful?

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1 Response to One Person, One Camera – A Good Thing?

  1. Alice Ross says:

    It’s one of my biggest worries about the spread of online video (that, and the fear that it’s pulverising people’s attention spans so that nobody will want to read detailed, potentially not thrilling reports any more). Is it like fast food – cheap, quick, tasty but low on brain-feeding nutrients?

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