Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Updated: Experimental New Journalism From Chicago - Live Streaming

Posted by Tom Foremski - May 6, 2008

Andrew Finlayson, VP and News Director Fox News Chicago writes:

I'm part of a team of journalists in a newsroom in Chicago who have put together something new that I thought might interest you.

Think of it as a little experiment in what some journalism might become.

We are working on a website called www.LiveNewsCameras.com The concept is simple, let people watch news as it happens anywhere in the world…raw, unedited on your computer at work or home.

It officially was made public on Super Tuesday (although we had been tinkering with how to do it for months) with just a couple of feeds focusing on the Republican and Democratic candidates that has grown to 150 streams around the world.

We think it will double that soon because we keep hearing from stations that are starting up live streams. This little newsroom experiment now has ABC, CBS and NBC stations involved…all with the permission and partnership of the newsrooms we link to.

We streamed the hearings about Iraq, we streamed the Pope almost from the moment he arrived to when he went home…nothing unusual about that…but we also stream the presidential candidates live every day…sometimes two or three times each a day as they go around the country. No one else is doing that.

You might have an opinion on this…or even a live feed that you know of that we could link to. Imagine what will happen when every mobile can stream live video…we are working with such a phone right now. That means “live on scene on every screen” is very close…including every press conference.

Like to see what you think. Our informal motto is “Veritas odit moras,” from line 850 of Seneca’s version of Oedipus. It means “Truth hates delay.”

Foremski's Take:

I'm interested to see how this develops. It sounds like an online CSPAN but with more channels. I like CSPAN but it seems that this approach misses the journalist, I don't have time to watch live feeds, I want a two minute summary or less. Beat reporters know which two minutes are worth watching and that's where journalists add value, imho.

Andrew Finlayson replies:

We have a moderator that gets notifications from the newsrooms about what they are streaming and points to this in the chat, the twitter and soon will be able to highlight content through a dynamic front page.

We have found many people appreciate these pointers but want to pick what they want to watch. They want the raw and unedited feed…like that we are offering of Obama right now (which CNN and Fox is doing…but often they do not carry all of the speech like we do from different places around the country)…

That is why it is an experiment…if we provide the live and unedited…what does that mean for journalists? I believe every newsroom (including newspapers) will want to cover major stories live and then provide the various versions from that point forward.

I won’t bore you with more of my thoughts but we brainstormed this up when we realized that soon technology will allow us to stream live quality video anywhere…and at a reasonably low cost


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