Great article on the possibilities implict in P2P video distribution and its potential effect on network news and TV. The author brings a rare quality to this piece of writing by effectively bridging (clearly explained) technical considerations with socio-cultural implications:
"The tools suites (laptop video production and distribution suites) are appearing. But more than anything else, we need education. People have to learn that they can produce video comparable to professional broadcast quality using these inexpensive, open source tools. What can be more important to the future of democracy than giving citizens the ability to better communicate with each other?"
And further on:
"Web logs are another example of how people are shifting from passive media spectators to active media producers. Now that a rich media layer is being added to blogs -- with the appearance of video blogs -- it seems that a viable alternative to centralized TV networks is emerging. For example, consider what might happen through the joining together of video blogs, Real Simple Syndication (RSS), and BitTorrent. This is a very powerful combination"
Now, while Pantic's article is focused on news, these tools have the potential to re-invent the nature of TV in general. Will viewers really shift from spectators to makers of TV programmes? Will we witness DIY "reality shows"? Will we see more "intimate" forms of P2P broadcasting emerge to cater for one's friends and family? Or will these trends simply remain of the fringes? After all, the introduction of photocopiers didn't make everyone into fanzine editors. And ultimately, is that last comment valid in an age of video saturation and blog adoption by younger generations?