The perils of online video

ONLINE video is definitely a boom area for all sorts of media companies at the moment. But when it’s of the news variety, care must be taken to make sure the basics of journalism are covered.

By Brett Taylor, PANPA

I came across this video on the ABC’s website today and posted a news item about it. It’s interesting stuff…but if you don’t want to click through – I’ll get to the point of this blog entry.

The video is about a trial of digitally broadcasting video onto mobile phones – so you can watch TV anywhere without having to download it through the net. The ABC’s video comes with a brief caption with a similar summary. In the footage, a strip comes up identifying the man talking as Tim O’Keefe from Australian Digital Testing.

That’s all well and good, but I don’t know what Australian Digital Testing is. I don’t know who funds it – the government? The telcos? The TV networks? The mobile manufacturers? The video also didn’t reveal when the trials are expected to end, and what the possible outcomes might be.

Of course there is only so much depth a short video can provide, but I felt this one was full of nice soundgrabs but completely bereft of context.

It’s just a small snapshot, but a lesson nonetheless that online video news, while sexy, shouldn’t compromise proper journalistic principles at the expense of the viewer.

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