Google Glass and the Future of Journalism, pt. 2

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What follows is part 2 of a two-part series addressing topical concerns between journalism and Google Glass.

So, in a recap of where we left off, it has become apparent that Google Glass has a strong potential for liberating journalists from the inconvenient and potentially unsafe trappings of bulky equipment.

Sarah Hill, a journalist who is known as the first journalist to use Google+ Hangout in a television newscast, believes that “Glass– and other wearable devices– will turn satellite trucks and bulky equipment into museum pieces.”

Hill has done several interesting things herself, especially with Google Hangout. Her methods in newscasts generally involve having an earpiece in both ears– one will be connected to her producer while the other will be connected to a panel of experts and citizen journalists that she is responsible for curating. Both can give her feedback on how she is covering the story.

Google Glass allows this concept to be taken a step further– with it, broadcasters can preside over livestreams coming from dozens of Glass-users at the scene. In a sense, the broadcaster and journalist become less active creators and more passive curators, in charge of pulling together multiple streams of content into a logical package.

Returning to the topic of monetization, editors like Ivan Lajara are struggling to think up of solutions to the problem that are not just cbm, or cost by impression. In seeking to avoid the basic newspaper model, he has come up with a solution inspired by elements of science fiction.

Lajara believes that glass can be used as an augmented reality functionality to present information visually toward the viewer. This information can be specially tailored, and Lajara believes avenues for monetization through subscriptions can exist there.

Of course, ethical problems may exist. The most readily apparent are ones that are not worth covering here– rather, it may be more worthwhile to focus in on more specific journalism issues. Robert Scoble, a famous blogger, explains that “[My kids] never pose for this camera… Whenever I pull out my smart phone, they certainly pose.”

This suggests a change in behavior and association– the person being interviewed or recorded, while understanding that it is happening, may ultimately not be able to identify or act accordingly in response to the pressure from a journalist. Without the clear behavioral indicators of giant cameras and microphones, a new environment for interviewees may exist.

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