Changing world politics with 100 camcorders?

Richard Sambrook, Director of BBC Global News, in his personal blog linked us to the news of the launch of a new UK political TV channel on the internet — 18 Doughty St TV. It is so refreshing to see a senior news executive, at an established news media like BBC, acknowledging the challenges and questions posted by an upstart media entity. Forewarned, for the most part, is forearmed.

Here is a critique from 18 Doughty St TV as quoted by Richard, “Over the next few years internet entrepreneurs are set to storm the decaying fortresses of the mainstream media. They will offer a radical alternative to the BBC’s pretence of impartiality, its obsession with personalities and its unwillingness to commit serious amounts of time to the concerns of ordinary voters.” I personally can’t imagine any senior executives from my beloved CBC have a blog and let alone acknowledging any challenges from upstarts. In a sense, may be I am questioning CBC‘s intrinsic ability to learn or grow at its most senior executive level in this age of blog and internet TV channels. May be they are learning and adapting quickly, but it is simply not visible to me.

This new experimental internet TV channel will launch on October 10th, 2006 and broadcast for just four hours a night, Mon-Thur. The interesting twist is that they want to give away 100 camcorders to “people with strong views and first hand knowledge of a pressing problem:

  • We want doctors to report regularly on their experience of the NHS…
  • Ex-servicemen to talk about overstretch in the armed forces…
  • Residents of a crime-ridden estate to send us reports on the failure of ‘the system’ to keep them safe…
  • Trade unionists to talk about competition from emerging economies…”

Really interesting stuff and I can really see lots of potential.

As you may be able to tell from the title of this blog entry, I am interested in more than the success of this one internet TV channel in UK. I am curious and want to see if this business/operation model can be applied to countries around the world (in US, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, France, etc.). Thus my title, “Changing world politics with 100 camcorders?” Stay tune.

I first heard about this news from Jeff’s BuzzMachine. Thanks Jeff.


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