During the early years of broadcasting, everything had to be recorded live. Americans could not believe that they could see exactly what someone else was doing on their screen. It is interesting that today’s journalists are using the original purpose of broadcasting to enhance their storytelling.
There is a wide range of live streaming apps available for journalists but these are the most recognized:
- Facebook Live
- Hang w/
- Snapchat Live Stories
- YouTube Connect
Although all of these platforms allow users to do the same things, but there are some key differences between them. Periscope is the most popular live streaming platform with 2 million daily users and was actually introduced through Twitter. Facebook Live is another popular live streaming platform. Unlike the other platforms, Facebook Live users can retrieve their streams at any time.
These next few platforms may not be as popular as Periscope and Facebook Live, but they do have some pretty interesting features. Hang w/ considers themselves the “most advanced” live streaming application and even pays its users for valuable content. Broadcasters on Hang w/ have the ability to text chat with users when live.
In my opinion, Stringwire has the most innovative features. This video based social media platform allows users to search places they may want to see, has a stream view count, and includes a news feed.
Journalists can benefit from live streaming in may ways, no matter what platform they’re using. The videos captured while live streaming are raw and uncensored. Journalists are able to give their audiences first hand images they can’t get from anywhere else.
Live streaming also has a sense of immediacy and flexibility that can not be achieved by a news package or an article. The content is delivered directly to the audience in real time and only requires a smartphone.
Journalists can also receive direct feedback from the audience while live streaming. It can be difficult to predict how the audience will react to certain content, but live streaming makes this information easily accessible.
However, live streaming comes with a few drawbacks as well. A journalist has no editorial control. This means that it is impossible to conduct research and fact-check, both of which are critical to covering news stories.
Live streaming is also completely dependent on access to the internet. The wireless connection has to be stable and it is difficult to establish secure connections in rural or developing areas.
There are many journalists who have mastered how to use live streaming applications successfully. Jim Quigg, Victorville Daily Press, suggests that journalists stick to their beat when live streaming. His most popular broadcast was about a topic he was already invested in.
Today’s society is all about capturing breaking news stories. Live streaming allows journalists to do just that.