According to the New York Times, NBC News has just purchased Stringwire, a web service the organization hopes will allow viewers to live stream video content from their phones directly to its control room, and thus to the world. Vivian Schiller, chief digital officer for NBC News told the Times that she plans to use Stringwire for coverage of critical mass events like the protests in Cairo or the bombings in Boston. While the service itself is at its nascent stage, the key part of the acquisition is its inventor, Phil Groman, who will whip the Stringwire into shape as its product lead.
The Times reports that those interested in sharing their live video streams need not bother with a special app. Anyone who tweeted they witnessed a particular news event will get a Twitter reply from a Stringwire-linked account that request they click a link. The link will then prompt them to point a camera and live stream whatever it is they're seeing. And don't worry about your local station accidentally showing something more suited for Chatroulette than breaking news; Groman assured the Times that all videos will be vetted. As immediate on-the-ground reporting becomes even more urgent in today's fast-moving world, NBC's move toward citizen journalism could be a very smart one. NBC News is expected to make its formal acquisition announcement tomorrow.
[Original image credit: Paul Stein, Flickr]