Backpack journalism increases story count, delivers exclusives

November 10, 2005

Many local television stations have substantial capital investment in microwave and SNG units. Add the growing operating costs for bandwidth, staff, gas and maintenance, and it’s clear that traditional ENG and SNG tools play an important role in how news is gathered.

There’s a change occurring in television newsgathering. For the first time, journalists armed with no more than a lightweight camera and a laptop PC enabled by expanding wireless IP networks and powered by industry solutions can provide access to previously unavailable or unaffordable stories.

Backpack journalism is changing the basis of competition for local news. Challenged to cover more stories from more locations to compete, television news directors can multiply their newsgathering resources by taking advantage of lower cost acquisition equipment and existing broadband networks.

Anywhere, anytime feeds of breaking news by smaller, more mobile newsgathering crews can differentiate local television news by increasing the likelihood that a reporter will get the story and file it first.

Lightweight and flexible news acquisition tools, such as the Pathfire Direct, can feed more stories seamlessly into existing digital news production systems by supporting broadcast industry open standards for metadata and encoding and by running on off-the-shelf hardware.

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