The New York Times reports that TV networks including CNN are creating one reporter bureaus to file stories, not only from far flung countries but also American cities.
What is interesting to me about this development is the blurring between quality of “professional” news gathering and independent, amateur and freelance news gathering. If what used to distinguish CNN from someone at an Indymedia reporter was an expensive camera, editing equipment and a crew, and now the field is leveled, perhaps other barriers will drop as well.
Now what CNN (or other MSM outlets) has is the cable and airwave distribution system. As broadband internet access becomes ubiquitous, and the ease of video distribution (and consumption) over the web (and mobile devices) increases the advantages held by MSM and independent media will erode even further.
We are poised to see a democratization of video reporting similar to that of print reporting ushered in by the blogging revolution of just a few years ago.
For clients of ours like Witness, these developments are important because they are a distribution network for a particular kind of video and reporting — human rights reporting. It is not unrealistic to think that in the coming months or years MSM will look towards sites like Witness, or Indymedia, or local access channels to round out their reporting.
Perhaps such a development will save us from any more hours of Nancy Grace, Wolf Blitzer or other talking heads trying to fill air time in the 24 hour news cycle. We can hope.
On a side note, the “Shelf Life” column in the September/October issue of Utne Reader is all about youth generated media, radio, video and print. It is exciting to think about the opportunities for distribution that kids these days have. It would be wonderful of MSM picked up and distributed some of their work giving it wider audience.