While online news junkies have pretty sophisticated newsreading tools at their disposal, if you’re interested in broadcast video news, you’re usually stuck with tiny video clips tacked onto the websites of the major broadcasters. But one new online news project has piqued my interest, both because of their “no advertising” credo, and because of the effort they’re putting into building an intelligent, interactive online news site.
The Real News is a global online TV news network which is funded by viewers, taking no money from government or advertisers. They have a $US10/month subscriber model.
They’re in beta mode now, looking to crank up to full steam with their coverage of the US election.
Initially they’re broadcasting a one hour show each weekday at 10am American EST, which works out to midnight Australian EST. But if you’re not a midnight news junkie, all their news is available to view or download from the site.
While the project is based in North America, it already has a very global flavour. I’ll be keen to see how much Australian news they’re able to provide. Phillip Adams (from the ABC and The Australian newspaper) has a brief soundbite in their introductory “This is our promise” video.
They’ve built in loads of interactivity to the site – registered users can comment on stories, save favourite video items to a personalised “MyRealNews” page, and can skip the video donation messages which appear before videos play.
They’ve also set up a user community at Ning called The Real News Junkies.
While The Real News is using professional reporters, its refreshing to see that they’re also approaching citizen journalism with intelligence. Check out their page on “Be a citizen journalist“… They have a storyboard online, and it looks like people can volunteer translation, research or footage, as well as putting in story ideas.