Saturday, July 29, 2006

War on Internet TV

All the rules change in a world where everyone has a video camera on their phone and an upload account on an online video service.

Suddenly, we live in a world where everyone is a correspondent (as this blog proves, albeit in a textual context).

The BBC was reporting this morning that the Pentagon is keeping a beady eye on postings by its soldiers in Iraq.

One argument is that this open access is a very good thing. The world has, arguably, become a more peaceful place with the advent of television news reporting. The enduring image of the Vietnam War for many people, including myself, is of a naked, napalmed young girl running towards a news cameraman, pleading and of a collaborator being shot in the head by a South Vietnamese officer in plain view of another news cameraman. These images rapidly turned public opinion and brought about an end to the Vietnam War.

So, let us see how bloody and terrible war is and it will put us all off. Or will it ?

The trouble is that these videos become devalued as they are passed, virally, from device to device. There have been some truly horrible videos doing the rounds, passed on from mobile phone to mobile phone, including grizzly executions by extreme organisations.

Just as Reality TV has become TV, so reality video becomes embedded in our lives and we become immune or indifferent to the reality we see in the grainy video on the TV screen.

There is one thing for sure, TV 2.0 is going to change the way we see and interact with the world we live in.

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