An explosion and fire in New York City’s East Village produced a similar outbreak of coverage on the day the Periscope app was first released in March, but such close clusters have been rare when news breaks so far from our media epicenters.
The point of this post however is to take a look at the incredible audience response to Paige’s report and everything he did right.
First of all, the title was perfect for catching those searching social media for more information: Live at the Navy Yard Shooting in DC.
Paige opens with a summary of what happened, but also gets us on his side as he shares his concern with parking tickets and getting caught in the rain.
Talking into the front facing camera at first, Paige tells us that he sees: “police cars and news trucks everywhere,” but also asks for followers and hearts, reminding viewers of the opportunity to participate. His casual, sometimes #nsfw language only adds authenticity.
Viewer comments gush with thanks and advice to “take cover” and “stay safe” as he approaches the scene, while others offer reporting advice, including: “Look for people to ask questions.”
Soon, Paige brings viewers up to a major press gaggle on the police perimeter, shows us the same long look at the action that the networks are broadcasting and shoots a little selfie video, putting himself on the scene. The continuous waterfall of hearts accelerates.
Paige notes all the “major dawgs, big heads and real reporters” in the area but then boasts: “I’m your ghetto reporter.. on Periscope News” and the audience loves it.
Some commenters joke about cable and network news reporters and one troll emerged, but other viewers sent Paige advice on how to block that user.
Viewers bash Don Lemon and Nancy Grace of oft-targeted CNN. One jokes that Paige should “Ask Brian Williams if he shot the shooter yet.”
Paige continues to update readers on what he’s hearing on the scene but also repeats comments from viewers who are simultaneously watching other news sources. Viewers are coming in from around the world.
Comments include “This is the future of news,” “better than CNN” and “You’re the new era or reporting,” but also “Love your hair!,” for which Paige sends his thanks.
(Story continues after slide show. The complete video is available at the bottom of this post.)
Read the comments:
Dozens and dozens more express love for Paige’s reporting, share continuing concern with his safety and report back on how his stream is “blowing up” with more viewers.
Paige briefly interviews a couple of witnesses he found — including one man who reported hearing the gunfire — but he also drops in when mainstream news teams cluster around other evacuees.
At times you can hear Paige gracefully deflecting interrupters, explaining: “I’m just Periscoping live.”
Kudos continue with “Great reporting!” and “Keep up the good work.” Other commenters add “awesome” and “amazing.”
New viewers drop in and Paige continuously updates them, recapping the news after reporters scrum around another witness. A viewers notes that Paige is “right up there like he belongs.”
Users exclaim: “This is why I love Periscope,” and “awesome good time for Scope,” for “bringing the action.”
Others remind Paige to “ask some questions,” “interview some folks,” and to “keep explaining” what he shows us.
Paige notes that “I am being treated like a regular reporter.” And viewers are asking each other to share more hearts.
Paige reads more comments aloud and responds, and adds an update on closed Metro stops in the area. Before moving toward another possible interview, he asks viewers: “Would you guys like that?”
By now, viewers are gushing “You’re my hero,” “You are doing a great job,” and “Pulitzer award for you.”
We hear sirens and Paige reports “trying my best,” but notes that his battery is running low, and the audience practically begs him to recharge and hurry back.
Viewers offer advice on finding power and one reminds Paige that he had left only 12 minutes on the parking meter. Another offers to pay the fine if he gets a ticket.
We see choppers, news crews and live trucks. Then another law enforcement team pulls up we see them donning body armor. “You’re the man,” another viewer adds.
“Look at the young Lester Holt,” one commenter finally proclaims, and Paige pauses before responding that Holt is “my idol,” appearing stunned as he expresses his appreciation.
Another calls Paige “DC’s number one reporter.”
Long after the action settles down, staffers from large news organizations pop up on Periscope to cover a press conference at the scene.
If they are reading comments, they are not responding. A few hearts flicker on the screen.
In advance of their annual tournament, Wimbledon issued a statement saying that using Periscope will not be allowed, according to wired.co.uk, quoting a spokesperson who added that there “will be stewards around to ensure that their is no funny business.”
The dichotomy in attitudes between the policy and its own social media feed raises the question as to whether technology might make or break this year’s championship. Wimbledon’s organisers don’t seem to be able to decide: some uses of technology are being embraced, whereas others are being treated as a threat.
Meanwhile, here is a live list of tweets linked to Periscope feeds with “Wimbledon” in the title:
We’re starting to spot more stories on the potential of Periscope for the news business.
“Journalists might see Periscope not as content delivery, but as context delivery,” according to a post from storybench.org, explaining how “the one-on-one feel of a Periscope broadcast on your personal screen… allows news consumers to tag along with journalists out in the field.”
“If NASCAR was smart, they would begin to utilize this kind of technology on the track as well as off,” according to the news and fan community site. Have pit crews broadcast live from the drivers pit box to give an update on their strategy, give fans a question and answer session during pace laps of a race, or even let fans join their favorite driver in an up close and personal look at their victory lane celebrations.
For now, most of the Periscope streams with titles including “NASCAR” seem to be coming from fans. Here is a glance at related tweets: