|10 Jun 2004 @ 23:59, by ming|
From Smart Mobs: An insightful article from South Africa's Mail&Guardian, on how cheap digital technology is revolutionizing the way news is gathered, disseminated and perceived — and in doing so, how it's stoking a controversy.
Over the past weeks, the world has reeled to the pictures of US troops abusing Iraqi prisoners and the beheading of US contract worker Nicholas Berg.
These events were recorded by participants or bystanders. The images were posted on the internet, making them directly, freely and immediately accessible around the world.
In other words, journalists played no part in recording or interpreting the images. No editors intervened, government censors and spin doctors were impotent.
According to Steve Vines, publisher of a Hong Kong weekly news and political satire magazine, Spike " the main barriers to publishing - cost and geography - have vanished and the result is explosive.
What is clear, Vines said, is that unfiltered, uncensored images are now starting to drive the menu of the mainstream news oulets.
After Web-logging became a news source for conventional media after the US-led invasion of Iraq, the next step, "Vblogging," will enable those with a desire and a little technology the chance to write, shoot, edit and distribute video journalism on their own, even from the field," forbes.com, the website of Forbes magazine, says.
So the challenge to traditional journalism as the determinant of what is news and how news should be filtered will only intensify.
And the debate about whether undigested news is objective, useful and moral is bound to sharpen".
Related articles and analyses:
-- Visualizing War & Disaster - Poynter Institute
-- The Military as Citizen Reporters
-- Citizens as Camera Phone Reporters