Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Have 24-hour TV news channels had their day? (Interesting story in the Guardian)

The former director of BBC News, Richard Sambrook, and its ex-head of strategy, Sean McGuire, argue that digital technology has left rolling news channels outmoded.
They write:
"It's January 1991. Peter Arnett is reporting from the Al-Rashid hotel in Baghdad as the first air strikes of the Gulf war hit the Iraqi capital. He's live on CNN. Audiences around the world are gripped. The 24-hour news channel has come of age.
"Fast forward to January 2011. Tahrir Square, Egypt. Citizen journalism ensures that pictures of demonstrations and the resulting crackdown are beamed directly to a global audience.
"The next year, 8 million people tune in live to YouTube to watch Felix Baumgartner jump from outer space. Many times that audience log in to watch it over the next few days. Spin on to April 2013 and the Boston marathon bombings. CNN stumbles in front of a huge and anxious audience claiming an arrest had been made when it hadn't. "Live blogging – with its speed, transparency of sources, and pared-down format – comes into its own. . . ."

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