Journalism by Satelite


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This post may be a bit too early, so it will be updated..

It seems important to make a distinction in our public messaging, the media in general between entertainment, propaganda and news. We want entertainment, it amuses us, we don’t want propaganda (including adds) but people that pay for it want us to be exposed to it, and we do want news, even if it is not directly relevant to us. News is what journalism is about, it is factual information about our changing world, as if we have witnessed it ourselves.

Due to the pervasive and ever growing power of economisme, banks seeking more cashflow, almost every media channel is now ‘polluted’ with entertainment and propaganda, such that you can’t really rest your head after seeing anything, you have to have some evidence, proof, prior knowledge to filter out constant distortions. Some of those are a simple result of ignorance on the part of the media content producers, others are politically motivated (someone will get rich if you believe it), it is a constant struggle to live in a real world. Ai is making it increasingly unlikely a shocking video or audio recording of someone saying something outrageous is real. This is besides the fact that it may not be relevant at all. Personalization of the internet experience makes it harder not to respond to.

Cube sats are a thing, they are cheap but can be quite capable..

But what is news really? It is about how countries fare, if people fight or if they are happy. If they can go about their lives or whether there’s an earthquake or tsunami, or an army invading. Maybe there’s a rally and police hit protesters. Much of this is visible from space if you think about it. For any government decision you need not be a journalist, the government will announce any significant changes and steps. Even bills and laws are public so you could analyse those. What happens on the ground is all visible from the vantage point of the average satelite though, and there’s no trouble using AI to tell us what is going on anymore.

You can find free satelite data online

Not every region is surveilled 24/7 by a geostationary satelite but this can soon change. George Cloony famously launched his own satelite to watch Sudan’s border so the waring parties could not lie about what was going on. As launching satelites becomes rediculously cheap (apart from data being freely available) it should make sense to develop a global heatmap website, one that tells us if things are normal or not around the world. Anyone with a specific interest can then ask for analysis and monitoring of the region of his/her choice. Over time this monitoring, matched with social media streams can become more detailed and precise.