The joy of the news industry today is that everyone gets to be a reporter.
At its most basic, three people with a few lap tops and space on a server can seriously contend with an established news paper — online, at least.
That’s why so many predict the demise of professionals reporters. I doubt it. I know that journalism schools still have graduates and traditional organizations are retooling to compete. Many of the organizations that started out as newspapers are going to be around for a long time.
But the things that have put newspapers in a headlock will do the same for TV — cheap tools, free distribution and unbridled creativity will mean more and newcasts will be up on YouTube or whatever replaces it.
Even newspapers are starting to put together decent video presentations that people can watch on their own time. We don’t have the polish that the local affiliates have yet, but the tools are getting cheaper and we’re getting there.
Here’s why I think this is going to be a problem for TV: Broadcast are mostly just text — people reading scripts. There’s video, but 90 percent of it is video of people talking. It’s mostly words, just like a newspaper.
Besides, broadcast news tends to cover issues broadly, not deeply. And I think it’s a bit tougher for TV news organizations to offer that deeper coverage, to compete one-on-one with newspapers and give more story to people that want it. But it’s pretty simple for text-heavy organizations, like, say, a newspaper, to dial it back and offer quicker, shorter stories.