BitTorrent isn’t a name that you think is synonymous with paid content and it certainly doesn’t bring to mind a newsroom. However, BitTorrent has come up with its very own live news streaming channel that you can get on Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV via the BitTorrent Live App. The channel is currently covering the Republican National Convention with 10 to 12 hours of live coverage every day. The channel began broadcasting on Monday, July 18.
BitTorrent News is putting emphasis on live news and says that it will broadcast around four hours of live news each day after the convention season ends. The focus will remain on politics and sports. For now though, full speeches are being broadcast from the convention as well as commentary on the most important speeches and events.
The channel has been compared to the Young Turks and Vice. The VP of media for BitTorrent, Eric Shwartz, admits as much but he says that BitTorrent News will provide a greater sense of immediacy and breaking news than either of those.
BitTorrent News is concerned with changing the way news is done for the Millennial generation. With its emphasis on immediacy and breaking news, the channel aims to bring excitement to a format that has been “stagnating for some time”.
Now you may say to yourself that this may involve a lot of citizen journalism and a lot of young people running around willy nilly with cameras spouting rhetoric and stupid opinions. Not so fast. BitTorrent News has hired former Vice executive and former CNN executive Harrison Bohrman as their director. They’ve also brought on six journalists during the conventions including three from Al-Jazeera, Michael Shure, James Reinl and Rita Chan.
Whatever the case maybe though, there is a problem with this sort of thinking and it is being taken seriously by the world’s journalists and the public. Sure, a lot has changed in the past decade with a lot of Americans getting their news from comedians like Jon Stewart and Bill Maher and switching to news sources such as YouTube stars like Phillip DeFranco and Ray William Johnson but people still trust news anchors on MSNBC and CNN and Fox News, well maybe not the latter.
My point is that this focus on the immediacy of the news and getting it to you first has never been the best model to inform the public which is what news is supposed to do. There is very little analysis or nuance out there anymore to cut through the tripe of yellow journalism and give the public the truth and channels like BitTorrent News would only decrease the likelihood of such analysis being done.
Immediacy is great to get the latest news but getting nothing but that is a day on Snapchat not a news channel.
BitTorrent Branches Out With Legal Businesses
Trying to shed its peer-to-peer, illegal image, BitTorrent is now focusing on promoting its legitimate businesses like BitTorrent Now which promotes independent digital artists and musicians and now BitTorrent News. Whether it will prove more popular than free stuff online is debatable although we all know the answer to that question.