Live Streaming Breaks Through, and Cable News Has Much to Fear

Historians of television news often cite the 1991 Gulf War as the breakthrough moment for cable — a conflict that proved there was a market for round-the-clock coverage of the sort that CNN was offering. For most humans, last week’s police shootings, the subsequent protests and the mass assassination of police officers in Dallas were a tragic commentary on modern American race relations. But for that subspecies of humans known as television executives, the events might also have functioned as an alarming peek at a radically altered future. What we saw last week was live streaming’s Gulf War, a moment that will catapult the technology into the center of the news — and will begin to inexorably alter much of television news as we know it. And that’s not a bad thing. Though it will shake up the economics of TV, live streaming is opening up a much more compelling way to watch the news. – Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times