Soon, reporters at the Associated Press will be equipped with smart phones enabling them to simultaneously report news across all social media platforms, according to insiders at the global wire service.
AP reporters, trained to write, will be able and directed to capture video, take wire-worthy photos, tweet live from a news event, and of course, “phone in” stories as appropriate. Incorporating video alongside online news is not exactly brand new, although wire service reporters trained on how to shoot video is something of a paradigm shift in the media reporting business.
AP’s move is indicative of the changing media landscape and how some news outlets are responding to today’s highly competitive, multi-media news cycle. Although wire services have remained relatively unscathed in this new media environment, mostly because of their ability to produce and distribute 24-hour news coverage, editorial staffs still have been cut, and long gone are the days of simply filing news for the next day’s newspaper.
What’s interesting is the growing use of video in online news coverage, not to mention how traditional journalists are embracing this medium. Ironically, a recent survey by PR Newswire found that 75 percent of journalists want to use video when gathering news. This is a sharp contrast compared to only 43 percent of communications professionals who say video is important to journalists.
Video is new again. This is primarily due to the Internet and inexpensive technologies that enable people to shoot, edit and post good quality content. More than 40 billion videos are viewed in the U.S. each month, says Jonathan Taplin, clinical professor at USC’s Annerberg School for Communication. There’s also great value, too. Videos can be shared with key audiences and picked up by online media, but most importantly, the content creates a deeper bond with viewers. That’s why movies will never go out of out of business.
The lesson here is that video dramatically has changed the media landscape. Remote multi-media reporters with real journalism experience will be the new modern day correspondents of the 21st century. While this sounds like a futuristic science fiction movie plot, the reality is that it’s happening now, not tomorrow or in the near future.