As chilling as this may sound to some, TMZ could be the prototype of a 21st century news agency.
C|Net of all folks posted an article that got me thinking about what TMZ has actually done to help new media.
TMZ's growing reputation as Hollywood's in-the-know and in-your-face news agency was built by working the phones, developing sources and basically out hustling rivals, say executives.
Full disclosure: I really dislike TMZ. The morality of TMZ is questionable. They are nothing more than paparazzi and fully admit to shoving their cameras into celebrities' faces, and "hustling" to get their stories.
"You can't go around with big cameras, a sound guy, and a multiple-person crew," Paratore said. "You need a smaller footprint. It's all about being a fly on the wall."
Like all paparazzi, they make it harder for journalists who have more important issues to report.
Also, I just don't care about what TMZ is reporting. I know this makes me a bit of an oddity in the Western world. But I don't give a shit about Britney's latest hook-up or Brangelia's babies.
Honestly. I don't give a damn, and wish we could get the 'real' media back on track.
Sidenote: I'm still undecided on the value of 'infotainment.' I think that it's largely a bad thing, but there is something to be said for the business tactic.
What TMZ Got Right
They're doing things on the cheap; buying professional instead of industrial solutions. Why buy a custom built editing platform? A few high-end Macs will do the trick. Huge, do-it-all video cameras? Why? Shoot HD from a prosumer level camera. It's just going to go on the web.
They went with an all digital workflow. Always a smart move. It's better, cheaper, faster.
Better: Smaller video cameras let them do "guerilla-style" journalism. All-digital workflow lets them update archives and such with one button. Not to mention accessing old footage for research is a snap.
Cheaper: Digital workflow reduces overhead. Buying professional workstations and prosumer cameras seriously reduced initial costs.
Faster: Again, the digital workflow. Smaller cameras let them go into the field with one person instead of a 5 man crew.
Basically, go TMZ for showing how New Media is an accomplishable task.