Saturday, October 25, 2008

Multimedia journalist

I think Steve Garfield’s visit was really illuminating. He’s the proof of what an entrepreneur journalist can accomplish by self promoting himself and taking full advantage of technology.

Until his visit I wondered why no one had come up with a tool that allows transmitting live footage to the web. Now I know it has been out there for almost a year and it is called “Qik”. I’m sure it won’t be long until it is used for some television formats too. I think this tool will end up forcing traditional media to do what it has been trying to avoid so far: to become new media with a different perspective on how media industry will have to work from now on. How will it have to work? I don’t think anybody knows for sure, but it is most likely that future journalism will not resemble what has been done up until the last 10 years.

Garfield also raised an important question with one of his videos , the risks that this great technology could carry with it, such as ethical issues. Citizen journalists will soon be familiarized with this tool and start using it as a common way of transmitting information. Garfield himself mentioned that his video brought up a debate among his audience: in the video a woman that seems to have some kind of speech impairment, interrupts an interview and speaks to the camera in a way that could be considered funny or weird. “Why did you show her?” he told to the class many people asked him, and frankly I thought the exact same thing. That is a debate for another blog, but the point is that it will be very difficult to control and filter what is being shown in the web when it is transmitted live and if one begins thinking about the bad things that could be shown it is a worrying scenario.

At the same time it raises another topic. If a lot of people gain access to generate newsworthy material and send it for free to networks and other media, how could that affect journalists with a steady paid position? How will it affect them when a citizen journalist sends breaking news material to the station before they can even get up to go look for it? .

I guess the comforting answer we will continue giving ourselves is that a professional will always have more skills than a citizen journalist to do a better job. Let’s hope this remains a fact a few years from now, in the meantime let’s get to work to learn everything we can about multimedia journalism!

But does all this make Qik a bad tool? Absolutely not. It is a great advance of technology and it can help enhance journalism as well.

I think Garfield is a great example of what a journalist that combines creativity, knowledge and a camera can achieve. In his website you’ll find many things besides the work he’s doing with Qik.
For instance, if you are interested in video blogging not only you can watch Garfield doing it, but he also shares his knowledge by explaining you how to video blog here.

One can also learn about blogtalkradio, an amazing tool that allows anyone in the planet to have their own radio show. I’m a radio fan myself, so I will sure enjoy Garfield’s radio show.

1 comment:

Steve Garfield said...

Thanks for posting... I agree that we'll see compact, easy to use, live streaming show up on traditional media. Probably sooner than later.