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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

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New Media?

Glenn Reynolds does an interview with J.D. Johannes of Faces From the Front. Basically, Johannes got fed up with MSM coverage of the war in Iraq and, with less than $10,000 in equipment and software, set about shooting video about a group of Reserve Marines from Kansas City. It is a pretty cool idea and it certainly represents a bit of a challenge to legacy media. Plus, Johannes gets what is wrong with current TV journalism:

Every local TV station has a "Statehouse" reporter. What makes these reporters so special that their coverage should be respected? Nothing, other than they work for an identifiable and reliable media outlet.

Do they have any special knowledge of law, politics, government, economics, policy, etc? No. They have a bachelor's degree in Mass Media or Journalism, possibly the worst education possible outside of a teaching degree.

I worked in television for four years producing newscasts every day, these reporters are some of the least equipped individuals to be covering important topics that affect people's lives. And in TV news, performance abilities are rewarded more often than analytical ones.
The question that kept coming up for me was that with all the internets' capacity to hyperlink and present information in new ways, why is Glenn so fixated on video.

In fact, one of the surprising things about much of the push for guerilla media is that it seems so intent on mimicing legacy media. Video and podcasting are so slow.

For a generation raised on video games and blogs, the idea of sitting in front of a screen for ten minutes while material is presented in a linear fashion is simply not going to happen. The pleasures of the 'net are about the immediacy and the connectedness it brings.

Reynolds seems to see the internet as cable television with 100 million channels. However, as the statistics are beginning to show, television in general is in decline.

The real challenge is to create alternatives to mainstream media - complete with reporting - which take full advantage of the interconnectedness the internet provides.

Ten minute video segments, while no doubt providing stories MSM just does not cover, is still linear, slow and yesterday's tech.