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Backpack Journalism –The New Basis Of Competition For Local TV News?


Backpack Journalism –The New Basis Of Competition For Local TV News?

Reporters Speed Time-To-Air, Reduce Costs & Deliver More Local Breaking News By Leveraging Wireless & Wired IP Networks

ATLANTA, GA November 1, 2005 -- Pathfire, the leading provider of digital content distribution and management solutions for the broadcast, media and entertainment industries, recognizes backpack journalism as changing the basis of competition for local news. Journalists armed with no more than a lightweight camera and a laptop PC enabled by expanding wireless IP networks and powered by industry solutions, such as its Pathfire Direct, can provide access to previously unavailable or unaffordable stories. Anywhere, anytime feeds of breaking news by smaller, more mobile crews differentiate local television news in the minds of an increasingly distracted, declining local news audience.

In order to compete for viewers, especially among younger audiences, stations need to satisfy the on-demand craving of consumers. To become best-in-class for news gathering, news organizations must acquire breaking stories, despite the unpredictable 24 x 7 nature of news, and then deliver this as instant-on news to television audiences, mobile devices and to the Web.

“Television news directors are challenged to cover more stories from more locations in order to compete. Backpack journalism helps them do this very cost-effectively, while providing them with greater mobility,” says Joe Conboy, General Manager (GM) of the Pathfire Direct product line at Pathfire. “Local television stations really can do more with less. Broadband networks are everywhere, allowing news crews to deliver breaking stories in real-time.” 

Lightweight and flexible news acquisition tools like Pathfire Direct can feed more stories seamlessly into existing digital news production systems by supporting broadcast industry open standards for metadata and encoding and by running on off-the-shelf hardware. Many local television stations have a substantial capital investment in microwave and satellite ENG units. Additionally, there are growing operating costs for bandwidth, staff, gas, and maintenance.

These trucks limit the amount of news coverage possible within and outside a given market. Enabling backpack journalists can reduce costs and free budget dollars for more reporters and more news. About Pathfire Direct Pathfire Direct enables point-to-point delivery of both store-and-forward and live video. Pathfire Direct is a unique software tool that gathers, encodes, and tags video - using a desktop or laptop computer – then delivers the live stream or file over any Internet Protocol (IP) network, wired or wireless.

By implementing Open Standard metadata and encoding, Pathfire Direct fits seamlessly into existing news production workflows and enables the repurposing of content for the Web or mobile devices. Pathfire Direct delivers a competitive advantage by leveraging increasing computing power, shrinking mobile devices, open standards, and ubiquitous high-speed networks. The Pathfire Direct product line exemplifies Pathfire’s commitment to developing solutions which provide its customers with competitive advantages in the rapidly changing broadcast and media markets.

About Pathfire

Pathfire is the leading provider of digital content distribution and management solutions for the broadcast, media and entertainment industry, supplying innovative digital content distribution solutions, from delivery to air, for broadcasters, news organizations, television networks, Hollywood studios and other media and entertainment companies. Through its advanced digital store-and-forward platform, Pathfire delivers news stories, syndicated programming, commercial spots, and video news releases to more than 1,300 broadcasters throughout North America.


Media Contacts for Pathfire: Stacey Hurter, 770.619.0801, shurter [at] pathfire [dot] com

Becky Boyd, 770.642.2080, becky [at] mediafirst [dot] net