Why FNC’s Cell Phone Video Matters

By Brian 

I think Fox News is really onto something with its cell phone video experiments.

The net first fed live video from a Treo following the NYC plane crash in October. The jerky still images added an interesting element to the breaking news coverage.

Today, Atlanta-based field technician Jeff Burton used a cell phone to stream video from a mountainous command post as searchers confirmed that Michael Auberry had been found alive.

“Right now I’m outside the command post. Obviously the mood is a lot better here now than it was a couple of hours ago with reports that the boy’s been found,” Burton said via phone.

Not surprisingly, the video quality was bad; it basically amounted to a police officer walking back and forth along a road. But the video was valuable because it was a visual demonstration of Fox’s resources.

CNN had a producer, Eric Fiegel, at the command site too, relaying information to correspondent Bob Franken. (Correspondents and their satellite trucks were kept several miles away.) But CNN’s producer presence wasn’t seen or heard by viewers.

Fox’s cell phone video showed the breadth of the net’s coverage. The jerky images didn’t add anything of substance to the coverage, but it proved Fox’s presence on the scene… and it kept viewers watching.