Monday, December 01, 2008

Mumbai and the New News Media Orthodoxy

The Mumbai media triangulation:

The country’s broadcasters were summoned Friday by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to deal with charges that the live saturation coverage had helped the terrorists. At the same time, however, traditional media were criticized as too slow and inaccurate by legions of “citizen journalists” using Internet services such as Twitter and photo site Flickr.

From Variety magazine.

Phase one: Creating celebrity terrorism, getting it wrong, being too slow - or too fast - aiding the bad guys, pumping out propaganda.

Phase two: media experts criticizing the first drafts of a 24/7 news culture for any of above reasons. Golden Ages remembered.

Phase three: journalistic self flagellation as usual, but with no regard to how we as consumers of news & context feel cheated by more messenger shooting. Trust levels diminish ever further; doubt democratized a little more.

Phase four: revisionism.

Phase five: more articles about the death of newspapers.

And then there is the handing over of the baton view:

The last mass-news story was 9/11, packaged from a distance. The 7/7 attacks on London and the 2004 tsunami then brought the perspective of witnesses via their cameras. The Sichuan earthquake and the Mumbai attacks brought the urgency of Twitter. The next news story will be seen live and at eye level.

Ever since I survived the 9/11 attacks, and later saw the coverage the world saw - smoke spied from rooftops miles away - I have made sure to always have a camera with me, as the view of the story from the ground was so different from that seen on TV. Now I carry a mobile phone that can capture and broadcast text, photos and video immediately. If I'd had that then, the image I would have shared would have been the image I most remember - not of smoke and helicopters, but instead of black tear-tracks on the face of an African-American woman covered in the grey dust of destruction. Such will be our new view of news: urgent, live, direct, emotional, personal.

Jeff Jarvis, from the Guardian.

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