New technology enables big changes in news consumption
Thanks to the growth of bandwidth capacity, telecommunications companies now have the means to transmit data into applications like Internet radio, TV, telephone and movies, as well as the traditional applications such as e-mail.
In short, big fat telecommunications pipes now make it possible for Web sites such as YouTube to stream recent episodes of just about any TV program over your PC. Not to be outdone, the major television networks have also jumped in and are offering online programming 24/7.
However, let's say you are a news fanatic (like me) and "Desperate Housewives" is not your first choice for viewing pleasure. Where would you go?
I posed that question to local documentary filmmaker and online TV entrepreneur, Edgy Lee. Without dropping a beat, Edgy enthusiastically replied "LinkTV."
"This illustrates one of the best things about the evolving Internet," said Edgy. "You get world news with a point of view that's just not available on network television. And the music is the best."
I agree. LinkTV is a noncommercial satellite network that offers international newscasts, documentaries and music shows online.
One of their best offerings is "Mosaic," a daily sampling of newscasts from 30 Middle Eastern broadcasters. You get unedited news reports from Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Iran and other nations. Can't understand Hebrew or Arabic? No problem -- you can get English translations
If your taste runs to shows such as "Washington Week in Review," you may want to check out an article written a few weeks ago by Wall Street Journal writer (and Honolulu native) Lee Gomes called "Cerebral viewing on the Web."
His article introduced me to a new network called Fora.tv, which delivers "discourse, discussions and debates on the world's most interesting political, social and cultural issues."
It does this by offering content from public forums like World Affairs Council, the Commonwealth Club, Books Inc., the Hoover Institution, Cody's Books, the Museum of the African Diaspora, the Asia Society and many other organizations. The subject matter is divided into a number of channels with topics in politics, business, technology, religion, etc.
Essentially you get to hear what artists, politicians, CEOs and other "thought leaders" have to say. It's all recent and much of it is fascinating.
Is this stuff for everybody?
But for those of us who want more than is available on PBS or the BBC, this is way cool.
Exciting new technologies are enabling these dramatic changes in news consumption. There is more to come, so fasten your seatbelts.
is vice president and general manager of the Honolulu office of Time Warner Telecom. He can be reached at Cliff.Miyake@twtelecom.com