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Gotcha Journalism! April 6, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Journalism, Web Video, YouTube.

Some people talk about YouTube as citizen journalism, but it’s clearly practiced mostly as a form of gotcha! by political operatives. The raw textures of amateur video make smooth-looking politicians appear that much less statesmanlike.

The most infamous example of YouTube politics is the monkey boy dig by Republican Senator George Allen on a Virginia stop. His “macaca” comment was captured on video and uploaded to YouTube by his opponent’s campaign. In the video, he repeatedly called an Asian operative from his competitor’s campaign “Macaca.”

A Macaca is a monkey native to Asia. The man, S.R. Sidarth, is of Indian decent. Sidarth’s job was to videotape Allen’s public appearances. Today, the video evidence of Allen’s apparent race problem is all over the Internet, thanks to “YouTube Journalism.”

The barriers to video broadcast are now gone. Videomakers no longer rely on news stations to run their clips. Anyone with a handicam now can capture the unscripted reality of life and disseminate it worldwide. Networks will even pick it up if it generates enough buzz.



1. FN/Frederick Noronha - August 31, 2008

True. Technology is changing the way society works (in some ways).

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