Around 2005 things start making the transition to HD – and then we get to today, and a weird new trend is emerging. I first noticed it some time around the Egyptian revolution, when I was suddenly struck by a Sky News report from Cairo that looked almost precisely like a movie. Not in terms of action (although that helped – there were people rioting on camelback), but in terms of picture quality. It seemed to be shot using fancy lenses. The depth of field was different to standard news reports, which traditionally tend to have everything in focus at once, and it appeared to be running at a filmic 24 frames per second. The end result was that it resembled a sleek advert framing the Arab Spring as a lifestyle choice. I kept expecting it to cut to a Pepsi Max pack shot.
Since then, I’ve noticed similarly glossy-looking reports popping up on Newsnight and the like, so it may not be long until this is the norm. I’m guessing it’s a practical decision rather than an artistic one: this is how the new ultra-portable, ultra-useful digital cameras make things look: everything’s a teeny bit polished, a teeny bit Instagrammed.