Wednesday, December 7, 2011

News Flash - no that was yesterday I think or was it tomorrow?

It's really kind of weird when you get so far in front of the news cycle that if you catch a live bit of it you have to wait 12 hours or more for the news people to catch up. Such was the case for me today. So much is happening around the world that there is no one place to file it. A google news search fails by sometimes days to catch an important story or item. But I shouldn't be surprised since their algorithms are now set with a profit motive in mind. This can present speculations and rumors adding to the misinformation. And since the main stream media has been corrupted by the very same influences it becomes a challenge to seek out fact from fiction. But take heart a new medium is in it's infancy that should propel us into the next age. I speak of live social media. What was once started as a play toy of teens experimenting with silly dances and back yard wrestling matches has evolved into what could become a viable alternative to the talking heads of the evening news. I must say there are a few reporters in this instant, in your face journalism who have great potential. There is however certain constraints and technical problems to be worked out. All to often a wireless connection is not the best. The equipment used can vary from anything from a cell phone camera all the way up to some fancy cameras with add ons. Lighting at night also seems to be a problem but I'm sure as technology progresses and those who devote so much time to this project things will get better. These unpaid reporters do it for the love of the experience and I'd say given the chance would do it for a living. Kind of reminds me of the beginnings of early TV never knowing if a location shot would work out.
But the real beauty of this experience is being able to get both perspectives of a situation. While main stream media stands on the outside of a home the livestream reporter is on the inside giving that view complete with sight and sound. Nothing like actually being a fly on the wall literally. So to the livestream reporters with names like AJ, Tim , Spencer, and Jessie I salute you. You have more courage than I when you go into situations that could result in personal injury. The dangers of chemicals for me are easy to deal with, angry people with clubs and mace are another issue.


MRMacrum said...

I see potential danger in relying on this new "instant" media as the only source of truth. But as a tool to be used to blunt the impact of pasteurized news that has been ground up, formed into a loaf and served hot from the presses, it can be invaluable. Knowing that these instant reporters are out there may just cause those who manufacture the news to be more cautious in how and what they present as "news". I of course am excluding Fox News. Fair and Balanced is their motto and I believe them.

Randal Graves said...

There's 'potential danger' in anything, but more is always merrier, especially when gatekeeper-approved-and-bankrolled mouthpieces for the PTBs are blindly accepted as fact.

Four Dinners said...

Way things are going over here in Blighty I could use a few clubs and some mace any spare?

Demeur said...

True Crum I have noticed a slight shift in lame stream media since this all started. The leaders of the talking head are beginning to realize that these aren't just hippies.

With a little spit and polish this may be the next media. Anyone want to buy an old well worn teletype or buggy whip?

4 D you don't need any with your razor wit. Just don't cut me bro.

S.W. Anderson said...

Interesting insight, Demeur, but I share Macrum's concern and more. One-off, untrained reporters with the best intentions can easily end up misleading, libeling or worse. And, don't be surprised if less-conscientious mimics and infiltrators (think James O'Keefe types) with devious motives join the instant-media party.

Established ethical news organizations have a brand name and their credibility to protect. That doesn't mean everyone in them is free of considerations that shouldn't play a part, such as future access to movers and shakers, or that they won't under play or ignore things they should cover. It does mean that when they do a story, their work is more likely to be factual, or else you're more likely to see a clarification or correction if it wasn't. These things matter.

I'm not saying instant-media reporting is never worth a look. I just think you might want to take it with a grain of salt unless or until there's additional verification.

As for news reporting being behind the action, be aware that first reports of big events often include misinformation. The rush to be first with the news not infrequently leads to faulty reports. I've been critical of news media for trying too hard to be first, if not sooner.