Lights, Cameras, Action

Recently a woman tried to ram the White House and then proceeded to Capitol Hill. Tragically, it ended it her loss of life. While this breaking news made for a temporary diversion from the budget battles in Washington, it was clear that a lot of people, companies and government have cameras. Dozens of people caught the high-speed chase on cell phones, video cameras and security cams. In fact, most of the news outlets used viral videos for their reports.

It’s a sea-change in news reporting. Instantaneous, pervasive and ample, the use of hand-held video devices is the future. And, that future is here. Whether it’s capturing an end zone catch on NFL Sunday, or videoing an abduction at gunpoint, videos are now wildly abundant. The digital content is flooding the news with not only breaking stories, but bizarre video clips that appear to have their genesis from America’s Funniest Home Videos. So, how far will the YouTube trend go?

There’s actually no end in sight. What used to be re-cast in words is now shown in 1080 pixels. Humans are very visually oriented. We love the easy-on-the-eyes video as opposed to letting the mind’s eye takeover in text. Sure, we still are readers, but the video is king. You know, a picture is worth a thousand words kind of thing.

We’ve had our fill of celebrity sex tapes and cute dog pictures. Now, we are digitally cataloguing almost every move, every event, no matter how innocuous it may be. Strange, though, a lot of the pabulum is ending up on the television or internet. Is it because we like to be entertained?

I am not suggesting the fierce trend toward an all-video world is a bad thing. It’s just going to be hard sorting out the wheat from the chaff. What’s important? What should command our attention? And, what are the ethical and moral sideboards that could be in place to prevent an even further assault on our privacy?

We, as news consumers, will set the standard. The news organizations will deliver what we want, when and where we want it. After all, they are in business to make money and their filters are becoming more porous each day.

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