Why is it so hard to find video news?

February 25, 2009 at 8:13 pm Leave a comment

I missed Pres. Obama’s speech last night, so I had to find a stream to watch it (I thought he gave a good speech, btw.)  For some reason, I had a lot of difficulty finding a good quality video of the presidents speech.  I first checked CNN, but they had broken the video into a series of 5 minute clips.  Odd.  Then I tried youtube, which had the video, but it was so low res it looked like it had been shot on a cell phone.  I next tried Hulu (they had multiple HD versions of the inauguration) but no dice.

Finally, I realized the official whitehouse.gov site probably had something, and luckily they had just posted the video.  This whole process made me realize how painful news video on the web is.  With every journalistic entity decrying the loss of readership, and struggling to turn a profit, you would think some of them might just try offering a compelling news video option.  Hell, make it free video, embed an ad at the bottom (we’re all used to those from cable news anyway) and use bittorrent to distribute it.  Customers would love it, as they could get HD video news, legally and on demand.  News organizations would stay relevant (nobody wants to wait for news, they want it now) and good quality metrics on advertising views.  And using something like bittorrent would reduce their bandwidth costs to nil.

Unlike a lot of bloggers, I do believe the professional news media have a role to play in the future.  They do reporting that citizen journalists simply cannot achieve.  While the new journalism is very promising, and very important at making all views known (hello, death of “media bias”), it’s still necessary to filter out the junk and opinions and get at the truth.  (On a similar note, I quite like this blog post.)

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