Opinion

Right here, right now!

Zan Azlee

Zan Azlee is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, writer, New Media practitioner and lecturer. He runs Fat Bidin Media www.fatbidin.com

JAN 6 — The Internet is so damn instant. If an incident, say a huge plane crash, happens at 9 in the morning, the news can be published at 9.05am.

No wonder conventional news media such as television and (especially!) newspapers are struggling to keep up with the pace.

News on television is at a set time and any news will have to wait. Newspapers are worse because they can only publish yesterday’s news.

So yes, the Internet is damn instant. However, recently, a young journalist by the name of Tim Pool took this “instant” feature one step further.

You must have heard of the Occupy Wall Street movement that has been sweeping across the United States, and spawning similar movements all around the world too.

Pool utilised a mobile phone with an Internet connection and extra batteries to actually stream video “live” of protesters in Zuccotti Park in New York City.

Through his video (Timcast.TV), over 250,000 people witnessed thousands of protesters being raided, evicted and arrested that November night.

Now, you may say that this isn’t really groundbreaking media since conventional television broadcasts “live” too.

Well, here’s the thing that sets it apart. Pool streamed his video “live” non-stop and unedited for a total of 21 hours without any breaks.

Let’s see RTM, Media Prima, Astro or UNIFI TV try that at the next Bersih demonstration!

And, everyone also knows that the Internet provides a level of interactivity that cannot be beaten by any other media.

That’s true since the Internet allows viewers and readers to comment on any news or information directly and instantaneously with whoever produced the content.

Now here’s where Pool manages to bring things to another level as well. His video stream was not only attracting viewers, it was also appealing to them. It was so appealing that these viewers were actually engaging “live” with Pool.

Pool’s video stream allowed these viewers to type in messages to him (and other viewers) as he was shooting the events at Zuccotti Park.

They were requesting him to ask particular questions that they wanted answered and they were also asking him to shoot things they wanted to see.

In fact, there were many who were viewing his stream who actually stopped... and headed on down to the location and be a part of it themselves!

I’ve always believed that a journalist’s duty and obligation is to the people and society. What Pool did is just testament to that.

It never stops to amaze me how the journalism industry keeps expanding and progressing. It’s just simply unbelievable and inspiring.

And I wonder why newspapers are complaining about the industry slowly dying? Oh wait! It’s not the industry that’s dying. It’s just evolving.

So we’ve seen the bloggers. And then the videobloggers came to the picture. Now we have the “streamers”! The future of journalism looks very bright indeed.

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.

Comments