This was actually a piece I had been planning to write for some time and never quite got around to and now it seems that Jon Udell has beaten me to it (Broadcatching: the RSS-ification of television news). Udell is considering the implications of Brett Singer's television news clip playlist (News Video-Daily), which I noted last week: Video Playlists. Lucas Gonze, one of the leaders of the playlist community, also has a couple of comments on the issue: Brett Singer's comment on his collection of news video clips and Jon Udell on Brett's video playlists. In fact, Gonze points out one of the more interesting implications of "broadcatch news": the lack of a need for "chattering monkeys inserting patter between clips."
As Udell notes, television remains a very popular and important medium. It is precisely because of its importance that I think broadcatching is a critical element in democratizing media, something I also noted earlier today on Copyfight (Commercials - Rip, Mix, Post on a Website). Read on...
Increasingly, people will be gathering their own video and putting it on the net. However, the main source will news video will likely remain the existing television channels. The democratizing element comes in when people will be able to easily link to and create playlists of the news story clips, much as bloggers link to text news stories today. Other tools, similar to Technorati and Google News will help people sort the video they view on their television via DVR. You may still watch 30 minutes of news video every night, but it will come from a variety of sources: Fox, ABC, CNN and whatever those you trust have put in your broadcatching queue.
Udell also points out that it has taken awhile for relatively simple DVRs to take off and this second order opportunity will probably be flying "under the radar for at least a few years while CBS et al. absorb the impact of TiVo." I completely agree, but I also don't think it is too soon for foward-thinking broadcasters to begin developing the tools and means of making this happen. Of course, most broadcasters are going to resist this mish-mash of their work. They want to retain control over their entire show, instead of chopping it up into separately digestible elements. Unfotunately for them this makes as much sense as newspapers forcing you to wade through every page in order to get to the articles you want on the interior pages of the paper.
Smart news programmers will begin to develop their shows so that elements within them can be easily linked to and RSS-ified. They will realize that the authority of their show will only grow if people are linking and sharing it. As Mary says, "You're nothing online if you're not linkable."
Nor will news shows remain on a once-a-day schedule, or every half-hour. Like online newspapers, which now operate on a 24/7 news cycle, television news will move quickly to produce and make short two-minute clips available as soon as they can. It's a different pace and news crews that adapt to it now will be ahead of their competition.
Oh yeah, and teasers are going to dead. I'm not going to stay up and watch a bunch of news I don't care about in order to find out what might be lurking in my breakfast cereal ... I'll let my RSS/BitTorrent feeds get the clip for me to watch at my convenience, not the local station's.