A soldier serving oversees is able to witness the birth of his child in the states. A young couple keeps their long distance relationship alive in real time. Both are facilitated by Skype, the free online service that allows for free 2-way audio/video communication via the Internet. But Skype isn’t just for personal use any longer.
Most of the major television news outlets, including ABC News, are utilizing Skype more and more for their newscasts, ala the satellite phone feeds oft seen in reports from overseas correspondents in war torn countries. And, in an era of constricting resources, a technology that lets a news source be virtually anyplace at any time at the click of a mouse, Skype would appear to be something of a godsend; allowing correspondents to interview sources across the country when it is not possible to get there for in-person interaction.
Beyond TV our agency is seeing the use of Skype more and more from national print media. Recently, a financial news outlet located out of state interviewed one of our clients online in this way. The interaction allowed for an interview as close to face-to-face as possible with the end result both a print story and accompanying video interview.
We expect we will see even more of this type of interviewing by national and local media alike. Where once a lunch introduction between a client and a one-story-a-day reporter might be as simple as picking up the phone and asking, most reporters today are virtually tethered to their desks covering multiple beats and breaking news through the day. In such times, Skype would seem to be the next best thing to being there.