Groh: Future of Media
By James Groh
May 5, 2017
“When they told me I was going to be the first to try it, I was excited. All I could think about is how much more dynamic my story telling would become. A first person point of view.”
“It’s not your fault. You had no idea what would happen. I mean maybe you could have gotten the idea from how people reacted to the glasses but that’s a totally different story.”
“I just don’t know what to do. No one will hire me. I can’t go out in the public. You’re all that I have.”
Flash Back 1 year. Commercial on T.V.
“You’ve heard of Google glass and the Snapchat glasses, but you have never seen anything like this. Capture all the world’s glory, every moment in high definition. Sign up to be apart of something bigger than yourself. Change the way you and everyone else sees the world. Call now to sign up for the trial version of the next big thing. There are a limited amount of spots. Call now! (111) 867-5309.”
Fast-forward three months.
“Congratulations. You can leave those in for a couple of weeks and then after you can come back to us and we will take them out and give you a new pair. Sound good?”
“Yeah thanks doc. I really can’t wait to tell my boss. The way I photog is going to blow his mind.”
“Your boss will love it. You will be able to capture video that no one else will be able to.”
Ben rushed to his work. It was three months of trial and error but the product was finally ready to be used in a real world setting. His contacts were fully functional, didn’t hurt, and seamlessly connected to his computer.
He rushed into his boss’ office.
“Mark! Mark! Boy do I have something to show you. I have a way that is going to change the very face of the news,” Ben exclaimed.
“Yes? I’m listening,” his boss said.
“You don’t need a camera to shoot the news anymore. You don’t even need those ugly glasses. I’ve got these contacts that act as a video camera. All I have to do is close my eyes for three seconds. Then, when I open them they will be recording. No red light. No beeping. No bulky equipment. I am the camera now. I can give people the first person view of everything.”
Ben was incredibly excited about this new technology. He had just graduated from the Groh School of Communications. He had read about the impact that the video camera had on news and then drones and 360-footage. This time, he wanted to be one of the pioneers of a new way to tell stories. He wanted to become the expert.
“See the best part is that I can connect it to your computer or control board to broadcast live.”
Ben opened up his computer and showed the live recording of his conversation with his boss. The boss was impressed and immediately gave Ben an assignment to cover.
“There’s a protest going on right now downtown. I need you to go down and cover it. Do you think you can do that?”
Ben jumped at the opportunity. He was already half way out the door when he answered.
“Yes I can do that. I’m half way there already.”
Once Ben got there, he quickly assimilated into the crowd and began to record. The footage was incredible. He got impossible to get close ups. He was capturing angles never before possible. He went back and his boss was incredibly pleased with his footage. This got Ben promoted to lead photographer.
He continued to do this for a few weeks.
“Ben, great job so far. These past few weeks, ratings have skyrocketed. There has been a shooting downtown. Police aren’t allowing media very close but bystanders are everywhere. I need you to go down and get footage of the body and anything else you can get.”
Ben was slightly concerned with this idea, but he had only been working at the station for two months and didn’t want to give anyone a reason to fire him. Ben went down to the crime scene and got the footage of the body.
The next day, Ben was on assignment at another march. However, this time when he was recording he witnessed two marchers from the anti-smoking group beating smoking cigarettes during the pre-march instructions, something that was closed off to media. The video aired on the news and the marchers were in an uproar. Not only did they receive incredibly bad publicity, it made them question how someone could have gotten such an intimate view of their preparations.
A few assignments later, Ben was assigned to go to court to cover a trial. Ben knew that there were many laws about having cameras in courthouses, but his boss told him to upload it to social media under a fake account. The station would use what was believed to be a random social media post as its video to avoid getting in trouble. This all happened flawlessly. Ben got the footage; the news station didn’t get in trouble. The courthouse noticed though and issued a statement that the culprit of the hidden video would be punished to the fullest extent.
Ben did this a few more times. He covered court cases and murders more and more. The station continued to use the fake social media posts as their footage. It worked well until a cop who had been on call for a few of the homicides was in court for one of those homicides. He recognized Ben. The cop also had a niece who had been apart of a failed test for video camera contacts. The officer confronted Ben. After a while of talking, Ben was itching his eye and a contact fell out. The cop noticed it looked differently from regular contacts. He asked Ben where he had gotten them, and Ben slipped.
“I got them from Occulot- I mean from my eye doctor,” Ben was flustered. He knew he just gave away very important information.
The office replied. “You got these contacts from Occulotum? You know, I had a niece who volunteered to be apart of a test for them. About video recording contacts. These wouldn’t happen to be the same ones would they?”
Ben knew he was caught. He stammered. He fumbled over his words, but he couldn’t speak an intelligible sentence.
The cop with a grin on his face said, “I thought so. You are under arrest for illegal videography.”
“Wait, you can’t do that. You haven’t proven that yet.”
The cop replied, “You have already told me more than I need to know.”
Ben went to court and lost his case. He was charged with illegal use of video cameras in a prohibited space and invasion of privacy. Since Ben was a member of the media the case got a lot of attention. His company fired him, and he found it hard to find work again.
“Mom, I just don’t know what to do. I spent all my life trying to become a journalist and now no one will hire me. My reputation is ruined. My face is all over the news. I didn’t ask for this.”
“But neither did those people you filmed. They were all blindsided too. You broke the law. And sometimes, just because it’s a new toy or gadget doesn’t mean it’s a good one.”