It’s funny, as more and more of my job becomes about dealing
with the “real media,” the more evidence I see elsewhere that they’re
not the future of public information dissemination. And while some
PIOs will blame that change on members of the media, I think it has
more to do with the amazing state of the art in citizen journalism.
The amazing Xeni Jardin, of
boingboing.net recently talked on the
Madeline Brand radio
about what she calls the “backpack journalists” of the Occupy
protests. Ms. Jardin posted a quick
on the gear used by these folks, and it is nothing like what Jim
A cell phone. And maybe some backup batteries. And that’s it.
And they’ve broadcasted live for up to 21 hours. To up to 31,000
Mind you, this isn’t CNN, either, where everyone has that channel
number memorized. You’ve got to seek it out and deal with herky-jerky
livestreaming. Wait till these “backpack journalists” start to get
more user friendly distribution channels (YouTubeLive, anyone?), and
that’s when the media will really start to flip.
I did a bit more digging and found Ms. Jardin’s interview with Tim
Pool, a citizen
journalist overnight the OccupyWallStreet protests in NYC. This is a
definite must-read (and if Ms. Jardin’s cheerleading isn’t your cup of
tea, keep reading, if only to learn about the video streaming drone
they’re planning on deploying).
This interview cemented in my mind how the modern media is losing
relevance. As more and more of the public are confronted with half- or
limited-coverage due to overly restrictive police cordons and access
rules and dwindling newsroom staff, they will seek out—and find—full
coverage elsewhere. This is just the start. If Occupy does nothing
else, it might just hasten the new media paradigm.