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An Uber for Video Journalists?

Posted March 13, 2016
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Journalism is a direct consequence of technology.

It is, in fact, the manifestation of technology, brought to life and married to information.

In any other profession, from law to medicine to business to carpentry, technology is a tool that one uses to improve or simplify their work.  In journalism, the technology IS the work.  

Without Gutenberg, there are not newspapers. The tech comes first.  Without Marconi, there is no radio. Without Vladimir Zworkin, there is no television.  So it goes.  For us, we ARE the technology.

So when a new piece of technology comes along, it is inevitably going to create an entirely new journalism industry.

Enter the smart phone.

This interesting piece of technology is, of course, far more than a phone. It is a computer. It is also a video content creation studio and transmission tower all in your pocket. And it is not just in your pocket. It is in 3.5 billion pockets, all the time.

There was a time when video journalism had a great stumbling block. Did you remember to bring your camera? No camera, no story. 

Now, you have your camera with you 24 hours a day, every day. And so do 3,499,999,999 other people.  

That makes for a very big change.

So, it is not unreasonable to say that a whole new kind of video journalism is being born - not because someone had a great idea, but rather because, as always in our profession, the technology mandates it.

What is the impact of 3.5 billion people carrying a TV studio with them in their pockets 24 hours a day?

Answer: no one knows, yet. But it is going to be different.

One manifestation of this is FRESCO NEWS.

This is a kind of Uber for news.  It allows conventional news organizations to tap into this massive reservoir of 'talent' or at least video content.

 

As to whether this vast opening up of the news business doesn't also forecast the demise of those same 'news organziations' is another point entirely.  

One does not need a 'bureau' or a 'dispatcher' to connect the Uber user with the driver and car. 

 One thing however is certain. The old days of sending the 'crew' to cover a story are coming to a close. Figure out what will replace them and you are on the right side of history.  

Resistance, as the expression goes, is futile. 

 


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