How Live Streaming and Video Calling Have Changed Media
If you ask people who grew up in the early-20th century about what television and media were like, they might remember seeing newsreels in theatres—programs about global affairs, war news, and economic news were filmed and sent to various towns and cities for citizens to keep up-to-date on the state of the world. In the more primitive days of television news, many people relied on these newsreels to stay informed, especially about the war efforts during the Second World War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
The 20th century saw many advances in how the news was reported.
What has changed since? At its face, lots has, but when you think about it, the message is largely the same—people want information quickly, accurately, and conveniently. In the 21st century, new media has taken on various forms, and a lot of these involve audio-video capabilities and video calling. Let’s take a look at some recent examples of how video media has been revolutionized.
News outlets like VICE and Al Jazeera have become known around the world for their innovative live streaming coverage. During events like the Crimea dispute, the civil war in Syria, and the Arab Spring, these two outlets and others were on the frontlines with instant video available on their respective websites. This has proven to be a huge step forward for Internet journalism, and has further opened the idea of “citizen journalism.” As information becomes more crowdsourced, so does our experience of the world.
In a more private and clandestine sense, the capture of Osama Bin Laden was live streamed directly to the White House, where President Obama and his aides watched the historical capture of the world’s most wanted terrorist. What will surely become an iconic moment in American history largely unfolded through a video stream.
Entertainment—Never Miss a Concert, Game, or Event
It has also become increasingly common to see concerts and music festivals streamed over the Internet. This past spring, the world-famous Coachella Music Festival streamed 360-degree footage of a number of top-billed acts. This allowed fans all across the world to watch some of music’s biggest names from afar—folk artist Sufjan Stevens, hip-hop duo Run the Jewels, and dream pop icons Beach House all performed magical sets at one of the world’s biggest music festivals. Sure, FOMO (fear of missing out) might have kicked in, but at least fans got to see the shows somehow!
Another common use of live streaming has been Twitch.tv, or simply “Twitch”—this service allows video gamers to live stream playthroughs to millions of other gamers. Especially for particularly difficult video games like the Dark Souls series, it offers a unique and hands-on approach to strategy.
There are also many professional video gamers that offer mentorship through video calling—for intensely competitive gaming communities such as League of Legends, Counter Strike, and World of Warcraft, this guidance can be invaluable for players both new and experienced.
Finally, we can’t forget how video calling has changed the workplace. As the world becomes more globalized and interconnected, it is becoming commonplace for professionals to work from home or remotely from other offices. Video calling and remote working has allowed professionals to spend more time with their families, avoid moving long distances, and offers a refreshing alternative to the same old stuffy office environment.
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