Wednesday, August 12, 2009...4:37 pm

Vampires, iPhones and online news media

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In a rare free afternoon hour, I am goofing off and watching Moonlight, a kind-of crappy new vampire private eye series on Virgin1. I normally like this kind of thing, sadly, though this series seems to suck more than the average vampire show should. (Which is why it seems it may already have been cancelled.)
In fact, the most interesting thing about it is the vampire private eye’s journalist sidekick (Beth Nelson, played by Sophia Myles, who was also in Doctor Who. Which is cool. But I digress).

In the convention of such things, she is blonde, feisty and nosy. But in a break from the norm she doesn’t work for the local metro newspaper, nor the local metro TV station. No, indeed: she works for Buzzwire – an investigative web site!
Sample newsroom pep talk:

200,000 unique visitors on your vampire story and we posted less than 24 hours ago. The vampire angle was genius.


Don’t think – go. Momma needs fresh content.

This is also actually kind of cool. Because it allows Beth to prowl around crime scenes taking photos for the site using what looks very like an iPhone.
I’m not the first to notice this – Reiter’s Camera Phone Report blog is all over it and he thinks the gadget in use is definitely an iPhone. Although it doesn’t make a big play of the branding, which is interesting.
So it seems that the phone was chosen not because Apple ponied up a whole wad of money for the privilege, but because the phone’s look and functions fitted in with the TV show’s idea of what modern, portable, wireless, journalistic technology should actually look like.
The show also conveys the idea that the news cycle has sped up dramatically – which is probably a function of rolling TV news as much as the web, but still.
And of course, we can’t actually rely on vampire murders to jazz up coverage and boost readership. Though it would be nice.
I’ve no idea whether the whole web-site-breaking-vampire-news angle carries on through the series, but it’s very interesting to see the notion moving into mainstream, if niche, entertainment…

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