Chicago community news site first nationwide to offer live video

Released on: October 1, 2008, 2:59 pm

Press Release Author: Michael Fielding

Industry: Media

Press Release Summary: Chicago-based pushes real-time,
hyper-local content worldwide to launch the next generation of citizen journalism.

Press Release Body: CHICAGO—In August, Chicago-based Southwest Observer
( became the first neighborhood news site in the United
States to broadcast live video through an all-new streaming feature called

Equipped with a video-enabled phone (essentially a TV studio in hand at all times),
the Southwest Observer now has the ability to send live video of local content to
the Internet within seconds—and viewers can send text messages directly to the
Observer:Live phone during a video stream. It is hyper-local interactivity never
before experienced at the local news level.

The feature, one of several as part of a major site re-launch, uses software created
by Redwood City, Calif.-based mobile streaming video company It now
provides the Southwest Observer with a powerful tool to engage residents with live,
on-location video streams of breaking news, sporting events and
entertainment—something only a handful of major media conglomerates had the ability
to do until now.

Launched in March 2007, the Southwest Observer serves neighbors in Chicago’s Far
Southwest Side neighborhoods of Mount Greenwood, Beverly and Morgan Park. Nearly 200
neighbors have become registered users to create their own Web logs, post photos and
video, participate in forum discussions and comment on staff-written content
generated by the editor and publisher—both professional journalists.

An average of 2,000 unique visitors—more than 25% of whom are regular local
contributors—lands on the pages of the Southwest Observer each month, accounting for
nearly 8,000 page views. The site has been named one of “Chicago’s Best Neighborhood
Blogs” by the Chicago Tribune and has been a media sponsor of some of the area’s
biggest events, including the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic (the kick-off event to
the 17-day International Cycling Classic Superweek Pro Tour) and the Chicago Irish
Film Festival (one of just a few such festivals in the United States).

For more information call (773) 432-4137 or send an e-mail to

The Southwest Observer: Community journalism. Evolved.

Web Site:

Contact Details: For more information call (773) 432-4137 or send an e-mail to

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