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Thursday, October 22 Front Page >> Random Rants >> The best news site around

Nov 15, 2007, 4:50pm

I think the best "news" website online today is CBC News. Why?

Because they do something I haven't seen on CNN, Fox, BBC, or any other major news organizations' websites - they put raw, unedited video up with many of their major stories. It adds a whole new layer of complexity to the news they report.

Take the news just from yesterday, the continuing story about a Polish gentleman who was tasered to death; if this was all happening on CNN, my guess is you'd get 45 seconds of the videographer (Paul Pritchard) giving a few soundbytes, and maybe two minutes, max, of the footage Pritchard filmed of Robert Dziekanski, being tasered and subdued.

If you watch CBC News on television, because of the nature of the half hour national news show (or one hour), that's exactly what you'd get - you'd get the reporter, you'd get cuts of Pritchard being interviewed, and you'd get the most important parts of the video that show things the Police had lied about

(which, as an aside are the following:

- they claimed 3 officers were involved. Video shows four.
- they claimed no pepperspray used because the airport was full; the video shows the area the cornered him at was empty except for them and Dziekanski)
- he was actually calm at the point where they tasered him;
- the police claim he was throwing things around and was dangerous when they tasered him; yes, he threw some things around (before the cops even got there) but the entire time the four RCMP were there, he was calmed down, defeatist attitude, hands at his side, etc.
- they claimed he was tasered twice. You can clearly hear three taser discharges; and a possible fourth; you can hear an officer say "hit him again! hit him again!"
- and more...)

That aside shows why I think CBC's news site is awesome - I know all of this because all the raw footage is up on their website, and I've seen it.

You can see the news on television or hear it on the radio, or read it in the paper and get that 3 minute "segment" on a particular story. But if you go to the website, you'll see more - see raw footage, see the real deal. You'll see an 11 minute raw edit interview with Paul Pritchard about this video. You'll see all 10 minutes of Pritchard's shot footage showing exactly what happened, step by step.

There have been times where CNN and other news sources have gone "raw"; for instance, I remember MSNBC posting the raw video, stills and word documents from Seung-Hui Cho after the Virginia Tech massacre, but I also remember that in itself was a news story - that they'd make the raw video and footage "available".

It almost seems as if the major news media outlets have this kind of attitude: "okay public, we don't think you're very smart, this is why we put together the news and cut the video and give you 3 minute segments; but this time around, this is so huge, we're going to let you see the raw, unedited stuff".

CBC does this routinely. I guess they figure that joe public can make up their own minds, without seeing the spin. And it's a radical departure (at least from what I can tell) in how a mainstream news organization uses their website, and informs the public.

Anyone know of any other major news organisation doing something similar on a regular basis?

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