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Streaming: The reshape of the media

While communication is becoming more diverse than ever, digital journalism is redefining its role – while also transforming citizen journalism and real-time journalism

The widespread use of live streaming has given communication and media work a new dimension. Media consumption habits and customers interactions are becoming more sophisticated. It is not surprising that live streaming is about to go mainstream.

Thanks to the Internet, the entire world was able to witness the late Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in real-time, complete with a majestic ceremony steeped in tradition. Emotional reactions, immersive experiences, sensational, and dramatic moments all contributed to a better understanding of the emotional turn in journalism and its implications for digital journalism.

For the first time ever, cameras were allowed to record inside the funeral of a British monarch, capturing the impressive formalities. According to media reports, some four billion people tuned in to watch the funeral - nearly half of the world’s population!

Queen Elizabeth recognised the power of advanced technology to create closeness and connection. In 2021, the queen shared a throwback photo from her adolescence on social media. During the Covid lockdown, she, like the rest of the world, communicated via video links. Then, there was the iconic pre-recorded video of her jaw-dropping appearance at the Queen meeting James Bond to the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012. For the launch of the Platinum Jubilee, earlier this year, a pre-recorded clip featuring the Queen acting alongside the computer-generated imagery (CGI) bear, Paddington, voiced by Ben Whishaw, who joined the monarch for afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace, went viral.

To put it in a media context, King George V created the tradition of delivering a Christmas Day message to the people of the British monarchy worldwide in 1932 via radio broadcast, but it was his granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II, who first televised the annual event 25 years later. Her historic 1957 speech aired on live TV from her home in Sandringham offered viewers a humanising glimpse inside the Queen’s residence and her mannerisms. Until then, it was unthinkable the idea of beaming the image of a monarch into people’s homes – but that proved to be a new kind of relationship with the masses. People loved it.

Was Queen Elizabeth media savvy? Well, she had vision, perseverance, and she presented results. At Her Majesty's insistence, a televised Coronation was broadcast in 1953, bringing royal history into the homes of the subjects. Perhaps - a stretch thought - the queen was familiar with the Pathé Gazette newsreel and its golden age from 1933 until 1958. Despite the limits of early technology, image and sound gave footage a new sense of immediacy and actuality. In 1930, the idea of news in a "nutshell" was created; saying something in a brief way. The history of Pathé is intertwined with that of the Royal Family. For decades, Pathé filmed the Queen covering not only her royal duties but her home and family. British Pathé is a treasure trove and is considered to be the finest newsreel archive in the world.

Live streaming, which flourished in the 2010s, has evolved into one of the most popular forms of broadcasting, and it has experienced explosive growth as a social media tool for real-time recording and sharing. Social media users are keen to share flashes of their lives. Its intimacy is highly appealing. It switches on the buttons of emotion and engagement. It all started in the 1990s. By the 2000s the concept of internet video also began to play a role in mass media.

While communication is becoming more diverse than ever, digital journalism is redefining its role – while also transforming citizen journalism and real-time journalism. As the media industry continues to evolve and reshape itself, the number of social platforms grows - including the availability of free social streaming platforms. Just be creative!

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