The use and vast ability to spread the medium of video has dramatically changed the journalism landscape. In Distant Witness Andy Carvin gives an interesting and moving perspective on the effect of video and direct access to news in a tumultuous time when the need for information is paramount.

In the prologue, Carvin describes this direct access as “no filters, no spin, no delay.” This idea of having access to news and informations, regardless of location, class or resources proves to be an integral part of our changing digital landscape. Media outlets no longer have a monopoly on information thanks to the internet and the internet has become a community for any and all people who want to be a part of it.

Carvin embodies the importance of video in this internet community through his coverage of the North African and Middle East uprisings know as the Arab Spring. While some video-sharing websites were blocked as they are under control of the Tunisian government, videos of important protests were uploaded to Facebook, Twitter and other sites. The video coverage, even though it was amateur, was enough to activate something in people across the world. Having the ability to view something so powerful makes you feel like you are there, which makes you care substantially more about an issue.

Streaming live coverage of both video and tweets contributed largely to spreading information and creating change in both Tunisia and Egypt. Those on the ground were able to describe and show what they were witnessing, while people from any part of the globe could follow the stories, making them more real than anything seen on a filtered media outlet.