I simply want to demonstrate how local media is changing with a very clear cut example of creative people garnering huge numbers on the Internet without doing any of that pesky research and reporting that journalists love to tout.
Recently, a rather weird-ass local lady gave an inspired eye-witness account of a Kansas City gas station altercation. She was just one of many weird people on the local news. Subsequently, popular Internet act The Gregory Brothers got a hold of the clip, turned it into a song and garnered more than a million views and counting.
Let me explain why this is important:
With only 365 likes and only 549 views on their original youtube posting (where the video was most easily pilfered) the story was a minor success for Kansas City news station KMBC.
But once the clip was put online creative people turned it into Internet Gold and thereby proved TKC’s longstanding theory that the Internet is a postmodern paradise. It’s bigger than Andy Warhol’s soup cans because everybody/anybody can do it. In this environment all of the investment in technology, reporters, satellites and work hours wasn’t rewarded as much as a song that was probably written, produced, edited, published (for free) by a small group of creatives.
Sure, there’s an argument that without TV news original content, the so-called “creatives” would have had nothing to work with and I respect that stance. Also, the widespread viewing of the KMBC footage even in the reworked video is sure to increase the station’s profile. However, the glut of local news on the supply side rarely pays off in terms of the national exposure that everybody wants despite the fact that KMBC leads the local news scene. What’s more interesting to me is the latest example that creativity and spectacle is far more likely to catch a bigger internet crowd.
Also, the tune is quite catchy.