If you have anything to do with big media you’ll have heard, no doubt repeatedly, how the internet is killing the news business; how a rag-tag bunch of internet lowlifes are ruining the business for everyone. At least that’s the concept that big media would like to have us believe.
But is it true?
Last night South African swimming sensation Chad le Clos scored an historic win in the Olympic 200m butterfly event to take home the country’s second gold. In a BBC interview that followed his win, Chad’s emotional father gave an interview that that is widely been described as the “media moment” of the games so far. In the interview Bart le Clos openly showed all the emotion that goes with an achievement this significant. It’s a wonderful moment.
If you’re connecting to the internet from outside the UK, however, you won’t be able to watch the interview. Visit the page on the BBC site and you’ll be told that the video is only available to UK residents.
However, if you visit any of a number of other sites such as Deadspin you can watch the entire interview, no matter where you are in the world.
So, BBC records a superb interview but then restricts who can watch it? Clearly the BBC is happy that all the readers that would have visited their site are instead going elsewhere to watch their content.
I’m sure there are all sorts of limitations, restrictions and protocols involved, and the BBC will happily tell us about those to explain away the situation. What is abundantly clear, however, is how significantly out of touch with the internet many of these larger media organisations are.
I don’t really care why they don’t want to or can’t show the interview to me in South Africa, I just want to watch it. And so do thousands of others.
We will find it elsewhere and we won’t be watching it on the BBC site.
Whose fault is that?