The inevitability of contract journalists

It was too hot here in Dallas to do much of anything this weekend, at least that’s my excuse for not writing. But then I came across this from the Wall St. Journal: Cities Rent Police, Janitors to Save Cash. It’s the story of cash-poor municipalities turning over public service duties to independent contractors, because they just can’t pay for them the old fashioned way. This is a stunning reality in today’s economy, which, by the way, isn’t getting any better no matter how the suits spin it in Washington.

I think it’s an inevitable path for journalism and journalists as well, and I’ve thought that way for a long, long time. In September of 2003, I wrote “The Rise of the Independent Video Journalist,” the prophecies of which are coming true even as we speak:

  1. Playerless video streaming technology and bandwidth provide steady, high quality Internet pictures that users of all ilk and hue will accept. Video doesn’t drive the Internet yet, but by 2010 it will share the stage with the other efficiencies of a wired world. It’s unlikely consumers will fully embrace the idea of combining their TV set with their computer until the same box runs both and the video quality of both is interchangeable.
  2. Video-on-demand (VOD) takes the place of broadcast schedules as the principal method by which people watch television.
  3. Point-of-view journalism becomes an accepted part of information programming.
  4. Internet video news portals take the place of or supplement news organizations in offering Video News On Demand (VNOD) to users.

Read the Wall St. Journal story, take a hard look around you, and get busy advancing your personal brand. It will carry your ability to take care of your family sooner than later.

Cities Rent Police, Janitors to Save Cash

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