Camera People: the Impact of Camera Phones on Modern Broadcasting

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Camera People:
The Impact of Camera Phones on Modern Broadcasting

Introduction
The first televised news broadcast was from station WRGB in New York City in 1928 (Kassata,1992). This started the beginning of regular news broadcast twice a day. Although only a handful of people had a television set to view the broadcast, however, the birth of another news source had begun other than the radio and newspaper. This type of news media outlet changed the way the public viewed and received news. Televised news coverage increased significantly with the accessibility of the television in the late 1940‘s. The time period after World War-II came to be considered the great rise of television in America. Families had accumulated savings during the war. Upon returning home, veterans were eager to buy homes, cars and other luxuries denied to them during the war. Television sets were soon added to the top of items to purchase. The explosion of sets into the American marketplace occurred in 1948-1949 (Kassata, 1992).

During the next few decades television took on an exciting role of reporting news to the public. Americans tuned in to news anchors like Douglas Edwards, Walter Chronkite and Dan Rather(Gibson, 1999). Early audiences respected these journalist for their professionalism and reliable approach to the news. As the audience grew so did the need for change. New generations demanded news topics and coverage on different things. Traditional journalist were changed out for a newer and more entertaining look and feel. With this came the change of traditional journalism.

Now lets try to imagine a time when camera phones were not as abundant as they are now. How did people take pictures of random events? Did they lug around digital or even film cameras with them everywhere? Even when people took a picture, how did they share them? Just a couple decades ago most of us didn't even have cellular phones, let alone a camera in our phone.

Camera phones were first introduced in the early 1990’s and today the expected sales of camera phones are to exceed 1 billion in 2011 (Helsinki, 2011). Since their introduction to the public, camera phones have allowed users to visually record any moment at any given time. At first the camera phone was a typical way to take grainy pixelated images of places and events when a superior camera was absent.

Cell phones today are very technologically advanced and most likely have a decent camera installed in them (Helsinki, 2011). With a camera that fits in a pocket, people have been able to take photos of acts that would probably go unnoticed. Police beatings, robberies and riots are being recorded with a camera phone. Amateur video and photos are retelling stories that traditional news broadcasters may not be able to cover. Anyone who has taken the most basic photography training understands the well-known mantra that a picture is worth a thousand words. This is especially true when it comes to news reporting. Its possible that a journalist can write a highly emotional story, but a picture has the ability to emphasize a point. The significance of the event itself is still great, but it’s the images of destruction, sorrow, rage or joy that will tug at the heartstrings of readers and allow them to connect with the story. This role of citizen journalism has been described as participatory journalism.

However, today the camera phone has made great leaps in quality and superiority over common digital cameras. With the connection to the internet from our mobile devices we can share our photos instantly to reach a massive audience. With this new era of accessibility and simplicity, essentially anyone with a camera phone can become a photojournalist.

Today the world has been experiencing a change in the way the news is presented to the public. We have many more outlets of how to receive information. More news broadcasts are televised online and with the help of...
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