Is Television Over?

My Sunday Times column this week thinks out loud about the accelerating fusion of the web and television:

Already you find print journalists or bloggers switching on a video cam and broadcasting their content live – their own personal television channel. Most online magazines are beginning to generate their own amateurish but classic television chat shows; traditional newsrooms feature online video interviews with their reporters and columnists and send them out to the blogosphere. The share that video is taking of web bandwidth keeps growing exponentially – and may even create traffic jams within a few years’ time.

As so often, this democratisation of production means higher highs and much lower lows. Nutcases and geniuses – thousands who would never in a million years have made it past the professional barriers for old-style TV networks – now broadcast their idiosyncratic monologues to the masses. Hyde Park Corner is no longer a function of mere words-on-pixels. You can now see and hear an opiner opine or watch a conversation unfold. Find yourself someone to interview, set up your video cam and you can have your own show. Just put it on your blog and try to find an audience. Anyone with a modem has their own potential TV channel. It’s just that most people haven’t realised it yet.