Occupy the Media

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.
For example…

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
simultaneous viewers.

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
, 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.


4 thoughts on “Occupy the Media

  1. There’s no question that social media has secured its space in the ‘main stream’ as an information service. The advantages of two-way communication give it the edge over traditional news sources.What disturbs me most, is the recent actions of government first response agencies to decimate their public information officer positions in restructuring efforts. Not only have they not addressed the emerging social media information channels; they have all but eliminated the agency’s capacity to respond in a timely manner to any public and media demands particularly in times of emergency events. What public calamity will it take for these shortcomings to be corrected?

  2. Awesome post! To extrapolate on what McLuhan said, “The medium is the message.” Actually, as the medium gets more and more accessible and transparent, we get closer to “The message is the message”! #OccupyTheMedia

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