Keep your eyes open, Carroll Gardens, for you might spot the Rant Van. It has been cruising your hood and several other Brooklyn areas.
The Rant Van is a simple, but ingenious, concept. Its owners, Johnny and Christy Sheehan, park their van in a hood. They open the back and invite folks inside. The brave souls who enter rant about everything and anything, The Sheehans video the rants and post them on their website, rantvan.com, with ads, of course.
The day may come when Rant Van’s concept replaces news conglomerates. And it might not even require a van. Imagine sophisticated, handheld cameras, comparable to television/video cameras with built-in light adjustments. Most everyone would own one of these cameras the way we tote cell phones now. People could record news, anywhere, anytime, 24/7 and upload it to the Net.
There, it could be categorized and disseminated to everyone’s phone. We would no longer need TV, radio, or print news at all. In fact, no news would be printed; it would only be seen and heard.
As a writer, I am not thrilled by this concept, but it may be inevitable.
There is one problem with this concept. It’s the same problem we always have in America. It’s the problem that prevents many ideas from being realized—money! Would the news be free? If not, who would pay whom for what? We would probably still end up with news conglomerates in control of the videos, Internet and phones.
CD’s killed cassette tapes and DVDs killed VHS tapes. Television put a dent in radio and computers put a bigger dent in television and radio. The concept of people-generated news may someday replace news the way we know it today.