Today, the Olympic torch is making its way through London, where I live. Of course, it’s being covered by all the media. There’s some tension: a lot of people in this city view the torch passing as the perfect opportunity to send a message to the powers in Beijing.
The BBC covered the torch relay live. In Ladbroke grove, the sports news story became a political news story:
What’s interesting about this clip, for me, isn’t so much the fact that this happened. It’s that the video is on YouTube. The BBC, you see, doesn’t put things on YouTube. Private individuals, on the other hand, do. Which means that some member of the public lifted the above video off the BBC’s news site, and posted it to YouTube.
There were also more ‘spot news’ videos of the event posted to YouTube – like this:
This is arguably a better camera angle than the BBC news crew got – instead of a distant zoom shot, we’ve got a good shot of the protester seizing the flame, and a good look at the chanting supporters with Tibetan flags.
Granted, the camera work isn’t so smooth – it’s shaky, and there are gaps in coverage. But even in this shot you can see at least three people that were even closer to the action. Not so professional as the BBC’s guy, maybe. But niesfisch was right there, close enough to see everything, almost close enough to touch the event. And his video is newsworthy. It’s crowdsourced journalism. With YouTube going live later this year, and services like Qik already live, we’re only going to see more of this.
Everyone in the audience has a camera. And everyone in the audience can broadcast their feed live to the world. If the BBC (or anyone) can figure out an efficient way for people like niesfisch to get newsworthy video onto their own organization’s portal, instead of YouTube, in a timely and yet edited fashion, they’ll have a good thing going . . .