Live streaming video is nothing new, but I find myself watching more and more of them as more and more news organizations utilize them to cover events from all over the globe. I was caught between two thoughts. The first being that the more mobile our news gets, the more important live-streams become as we cover breaking news. The second was that some of the live-streams I was watching were sort of boring and ‘buggy.’
I’m sort of allergic to anything involving more than one wire so I contacted Steve Durham, who’s worked with video and streaming for as long as it’s been possible to hook up a camera to the internet. He shared some crucial insights to remember if you want to start streaming the news, whether it’s a coup from across the globe or your town’s Labor Day parade.
1) Moderation is Key
As for my complaint that some of the live-streams I perused were boring, Durham notes that it’s sort of the nature of the beast. The stream will only ever “be as interesting as the events themselves” he notes. A lot of the streams I was watching, like Vice’s coverage of protests in NYC after the Zimmerman verdict had live comment feeds next to the video, and they were full of spammers. Isn’t there a way to stop that? Not really, according to Durham: “someone should have been moderating those,” he says. It’s really as simple as that. If you’re streaming an event with comments running on your site, someone needs to be a dedicated moderator for the event. You either invest in that manpower, or don’t.