Where Is All The Video?

Posted December 03, 2018
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The photo above was published by the AP last week.

It purports to show a group of Central American asylum seekers, all talking or texting on their smartphones at the US border.

Some right wing news organization have seized on the photo to ask how these refugees can afford to have smart phones.

That kind of question bespeaks a general ignorance of the 3.5 biilion smartphones in the world today.  

In India, more people, 565 million have a smartphone, while only 366 milliion have access to a toilet. So suffice it to say that about half the world's population has a smart phone, and most of those smartphones shoot video - the more recent ones 4K - they also edit, add music, graphics and live stream.

So the capacity is there.

Now, back to the photo above.

There are about 7,000 refugees or asylum seekers who are making their way from Central America to the US border. They are walking. It is 1200 miles.

I think it is fair to say that the idea of leaving your home and walking 1200 miles to seek a new home is probably the most traumatic things most of these people have ever done or will ever do.

I think it is also fair to assume that as such, I am sure a good number of them have been documenting their trip and its travails in video.

So, 7,000 people shooting video for the past three months - that's a lot of video.

And that video is REAL. I mean, it is as real a picture of what is happening to them as you can get. First person.  Honest. Immedaite.

Now, how much of those thousands and thousands of hours of video have you ever seen on NBC or CBS or Fox News?

Would none be the right answer?

And why is that?

Why is it that the network news organizations prefer to fly in a reporter to shove a camera and a microphone into some refugee's face and then do a stand up and then fly away?

What is wrong with the video that the refugees are shooting?

Do they not trust it?

When 1 million Syrian refugees walked across Eastern Europe to Germany, almost all of them also had smartphones. Most ssuredly most of them were also shooting video every day.  How much of that video did you ever see?

This morning, The New York Times ran a story about a 38 year old woman, Colleen Gill, the daughter of an NBC News producer, who shot footage of the imapct of the Red Tide in Florida and posted it on social media to gain attention - shot with an iPhone.

Had she not shot the story with her iPhone, the media would not have covered it.

How many other stories are going unseen and unknown, not because of a lack of gear or access but because of a kind of arrogance.

If "we' did not shoot it, we are not interested.

That, is crazy. 

If a tree falls in the forest and no one sees it, does it still make a sound?  If people have a story to tell, but no network sends a crew, is it still a newsworthy story?


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