Thursday, May 10, 2012

Live blogging spreads at major news sites; does the future of the form lead, inevitably, to streaming to television?

I hate headlines that end in a question mark, but sometimes it is appropriate when one is trying to express an idea rather than make a claim. In this case, I see the growth of live blogging, and wonder if the future of this artform might be to extend it beyond the web page.
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This morning (U.S. time) two live blogs are being watched on my multiple displays: The Guardian's live blog of the Leveson inquiry which today features the testimony of Andy Coulseon, the former editor of the News of the World and the former communications director for the Tories, and the live blog being authored by Damian Mac Con Uladh for The Athens News, which is chronicling the efforts of the political parties to form a government and avoid a second round of elections.

The Guardian's live blog features a video stream which one could easily see being stream to a television. The video player is Flash, which means it won't work on an iPad or iPhone, but if rumors are true that the next version of the Mac OS will allow for AirPlay streaming, one could see someone wanting to mirror their display to a larger display such as a HDTV.

As opposed to The Athens News live blog, which features very nice photographs but no streaming video, one can see how the live blog could serve as a kind of alternative cable news network. CNN, through its apps, allows for alternative streams, which in its own way, is a way to create new channels. Newspapers and other media entities, however, might be wise to consider that live stream video content will, in the future, become an important part of their portfolio, something that could be used either frequently or sporadically. At the very least, exploratory discussions should certainly be considered that involve content partners, as well as monetization strategies.

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