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LA Wildfire Coverage: User-generated complements local news

One of the most remarkable results of improving consumer-level digital cameras (both still and video), digital imaging software and computing power, is the power it gives individuals to capture, create and publish compelling multimedia content.

This time-lapse video of clouds of smoke billowing over the wildfires in Los Angeles is an ethereal counterpoint to information-heavy videos produced by the news media.

It’s important to note that this is a compilation of several videos of the smoke plumes taken with cell phones, laptop Web cams, still cameras and digital camcorders—each representing one person’s experience with, or impressions of, the fire. Collectively, they produce a multi-faceted experience far broader and more personal than coverage on the evening news.

Looking forward, I hope news organizations will begin seeing user-generated content as a complimentary perspective to their professionally produced content, not as a threat. It will be interesting to see how professional video producers will be able to thread these multiple perspectives into the news in interesting new ways.

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