I am currently reading “Reality Show,” a new book by The Washington Post columnist and TV commentator, Howard Kurtz. The book is about Brian Williams, Katie Couric and Charles Gibson, the evening news show anchors, their gigantic (and sometimes creaky) news machine and of course, their larger-than-life salaries. It is also a reminder of how antiquated old TV news is in the era of NewTeeVee. The news, it seems, so often happens on the Internet. The tragedy unleashed by the Southern California fires is a perfect example.
Having already cut the proverbial chord to old TV, I have followed the tragedy almost entirely on the web, via tools such as Twitter and Google Maps. (Related: Web 2.0 & The California Fires.)
The TV network anchors might be able to bring gravitas and high production values to our screens, but it is user-captured and uploaded videos that put the tragedy (or news) in the right human perspective, shaking the very core of our souls.
I don’t want to dismiss the good work of local television stations, who are doing a remarkable job of streaming the news, as our good friend Andy Plesser points out. I am grateful for their streams. I have many friends down in Southern California, and Internet (and online video) is what is keeping me informed.
As I turn in for the night, I can’t help but wonder how Internet video is becoming a part of our lives. I hope you join me in saying a silent prayer for all those who have been impacted by the fires.
NewTeeVee crew will resume coverage tomorrow.
7 thoughts on “California Fires: The Tragic & Very Real Web Reality Show”
I’m trying to get some momentum within the blogosphere behind supporting the American Red Cross’ rescue and relief efforts during this crisis. Check it out here: http://jburg.typepad.com/future/2007/10/can-you-help-ou.html
CLOSED ROADS, traffic details list for SAN DIEGO:
Both of these video clips are now displaying “We’re sorry, this video is no longer available”.
This, unfortunately, is one of the negatives for this new media. Sometimes things on the Web change too quickly: something “interesting” that gets posted, linked to and blogged about one day ends up becoming unavailable. Perhaps because the original author decided to pull it, his ISP throttled his bandwidth, or a site owner pulled it without the author’s notice.
Whatever the reason, it makes blog postings like this one seem less “credible”, which is frustrating in instances like this when you’re searching for information and end up only getting half the story because you were 12 hours too late.
I wonder if people would prefer “up to the minute, distributed” coverage that may be spotty or “slightly slower, centralized” access that’s more consistent?
watch web reality shows at http://www.charactersden.com