Everybody will be TV

Programming produced by any big transnational TV network (CNN, BBC, etc.) is, from the standpoint of an Internet user, similar to an Aggregator site distributing video material. It may also function as a portal providing a variety of material of interest to the viewer. Similarities abound - sections of a transnational TV network correspond to parts of an aggregate site: a program schedule is analogous to a web site index, news programs function as general information about the portal's community, shows represent particular web pages or sections on the portal. Most importantly, both TV network and a Web portal try to fulfill the basic media mission: to define its own reality and broadcast it that reality to potential followers - TV viewers or Internet users.


That is what is similar, strikingly similar. What is dissimilar is the nature of the different media. Classical TV and radio are linear and give an observer just two choices: to participate passively in a broadcast as is, or switch it off. Internet is more flexible and offers more choices, at least in the basic premises of the media. It is also interactive allowing the viewer to actively participate.

TV and radio networks are also much more expensive in terms of distribution and production, and by there nature as one way media, closed systems. A single corporation ab dictate production costs of worldwide video or radio coverage. This immediately implies that discourse, basic ideological standpoint and focus of coverage are fixed and at the discretion of the producer. Every transnational, national and local radio or TV station covers the drama in Kosovo. This certainly propels some more or less peaceful solution. On the other side, wars, genocide and turmoil in Africa (Rwanda for example) is almost not focused upon, allowing events to take their course far from the eye or interest of the public. The New York Times Africa correspondent covers six or seven countries with populations as big as Europe, and half of dozen active wars in progress. The obvious question is whether better coverage or persistent Web casts could stop or minimize human casualties there. Can a camcorder attached to a satellite phone indirectly save thousands of lives?

The article "A Vision of Electronic Gear in a Journalist's Future" that appeared in the Business section of NY Times on 18th of February reflect the enormous interest and hopes journalism has in this new technology. The school of Journalism of Columbia University is experimenting with satellite technology, Internet and light equipment for field journalists. Similar experiments are being performed by B92 reporting from Kosovo. Satellite phones are still out of reach, but small light DVD cameras and Internet transmission of the material to the web is a significant advantage and available now. The results of such reportage are available at http://rex.opennet.org/cyberex/kosovo/klecka.htm. The plan is to use this practice as much as possible, in Kosovo and worldwide.