Newsshooter (appropriately enough) has a story about the next logical evolution in ENG. Essentially it is Uber for news video (and I can definitely see Uber drivers signing up). You join up and allow a central database to know your GPS position through your phone. When breaking news happens, member news stations can look at a map and find out if there is an “amateur” videographer nearby to go shoot the initial breaking video with their phone. The theory is they will then send their full-time professional crews to follow up.
Being first is everything in TV news. My old News Director used to have a sign on her door: the news business is like making love to an elephant. You don’t make love when you want to, you make love when the elephant wants to.
It is the logical progression of ENG, but I am concerned that it will be abused. I’ll be interested to know how it works for the shooters too. Do you get paid once, or every time a station uses the footage? Can competing stations access the same footage? What if the shooter stumbles into milestone footage like the Hindenburg? Do they lose title to their footage? Do they get paid $200 while the company makes hundreds of thousands in licensing over the years? If a shooter gets injured while covering the event, does NewsCar cover their health bills? Who pays the wireless data charges?