Tuesday, March 01, 2005

More Mean Streets

More mean streets for TV reporters.
Today's Morning Meeting column by Al Tompkins of Poynter has a list of some recent manhandling of TV reporters.

From Denver, controversial professor Ward Churchill gets angry at being questioned about a drawing. (Note to Channel 4 - get a better media viewer. That one has problems.)

From Louisville, a company exec get's po'd at a WAVE reporter (Note to WAVE: Why can't I find a video link?)

In Memphis, a state senator gets annoyed at being asked about ethics.

And not listed by Al, but one incident that got a lot of attention recently, was when Steve Wilson of WXYZ in Detroit got roughed up by one of the mayor's bodyguards. (Note to WXYZ: why no video on this link?)

But why are we surprised? In this case, the video camera is becoming more ubiquitous, but at the same time while we want it cheap and available, we somehow expect that it won't be shoved in our faces. Combine that with a culture more willing to see violence as an answer (see, e.g., Pacers/Detroit or South Carolina/Clemson), and we can expect more such cases. Besides, it makes good TV, right? Otherwise, why would these stations breathlessly flog it.

Looking at these also convinces me we have a long way to go in effectively using video on the Web. The Denver and Memphis video is poor and choppy (Denver's using an embedded player that doesn't even work right on Netscape, forcing me to use IE, and while Memphis uses Windows Media Player, it's not very good), and as noted for Louisville and Detroit, I can't easily find a video link.

Compare to Feedroom, for instance.

If 2005 is to be the year of video on the Web, as some have predicted, the quality of these local feeds (and I'm on the university's super-high-speed line) isn't very good.

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