Visionary network news photographer Jim Long is gleefully putting himself out of business. Well, actually, he’s expanding his own business, for network executives should be plugging into his brain. But he’s reducing the need for that gigantic camera he lugs all over the world. While in Africa traipsing after George Bush and company, Jim turned on his mobile phone and hooked it into Qik.com and broadcast Sir Bob Geldof speaking. No big camera. No satellite uplink. No editing into packages. No b-roll. Just the news now.
But this is more than just broadcasting live from anywhere — that’s important enough. It’s also interactive: we can ask the correspondent to ask the subject questions: live lets us in on the conversation.
I’ve also been playing with Flixwagon, a Qik competitor that powered MTV’s Super Tuesday mobile coverage, and it’s dead easy: one click and you’re broadcasting. This is hugely changing.
: Also note from my friends at the Guardian that one of the paper’s still photographers won a Royal Television Society award for best international news. Repeat that: a newspaper photographer wins a TV award. TV’s not TV anymore.
(Disclosure: I write for the Guardian and consult for them and Sky.com, also an award-winner at the RTS.)