Stringwire, a web service that enables live video streaming by broadcasters, was purchased by NBC News to try to compete with real-time, Internet-based news that’s often breaking faster than traditional networks can handle. Stringwire works by trawling Twitter for messages about breaking events, and sends an automatic tweet to that poster asking them to click a link and point their phone (or camera, as the case may be) at what they’re seeing. That video can then start streaming to NBC without any additional feedback. NBC says that the video submissions will be vetted like any other NBC material, but ultimately the goal is relying on crowd-sourced, live video streamed right into its control rooms to build out its coverage in a world increasingly used to interactive, quick-fire news.
As a journalist in a former life, and as a blogger in this current incarnation, I’ve watched with growing fascination the push and pull happening with bloggers, brands, and now the FTC. I’ve fought my colleagues on the use of the phrase, “citizen journalists” despite my respect for and commitment to the art of citizen bloggery. I have trouble shaking the idea that was drilled into me that someone without formal training and critical investigative skills could be called a journalist.
That said, as a member of a team that believes passionately in social media and the power of online “uberfluents”–as well as being the individual responsible for a team of writers at the Lab, I also recognize the powerful role that bloggers have in shaping our media universe. Continue reading “Are FTC’s blogger rules unfair?”