The video of the police shooting of Oscar Grant III in Oakland, California, has spread quickly over YouTube in the last week, greatly influencing the nature of the media reports. The most popular video is the clip that originally aired on news channel KTVU, a FOX affiliate in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“Handheld video-enabled cameras and cell phones at the ready, alert witnesses at the scene caught the shooting and the moments that preceded it from different angles.
“In one of their videos, an onlooker yells at a woman recording the scene: ‘Put it on YouTube!’
“Local and national television stations have aired and re-aired excepts from the raw and grainy videos, which have taken on a new life online.”
Imagine if such footage existed in cases such as the UK police shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes: how would reportage or subsequent events have been different? Would the UK media have used the footage in the same way?
Also – does film like this show that we have reached a point where video quality can be disregarded when it’s a strong news story?
Watch the YouTube video ‘Bart Police shooting in Oakland KTVU report‘ here: