November 2, 2009
The United Nations has long recognized the value of video to depict its various operations in action around the world, however, it is only relatively recently (in the last few years) that it has been able to create a digital platform for the showcasing and distribution of video footage taken by the UN to news providers around the world.
The system, known as UNIFEED, enables TV media outlets to cover important global issues by offering timely broadcast-quality video from throughout the UN system.
All of the material made available through UNIFEED is free of charge and rights-free. According to the UNIFEED webpage, “video material is currently available in two formats: web-quality Windows Media and broadcast-quality MPEG-2 PAL and NTSC for broadcast use. All material is also accompanied by shot lists and story synopses.”
Stories come from the global network of UN specialized agencies, funds and programmes, peacekeeping operations and UN Headquarters. New stories are posted on the UNIFEED website as soon as they become available on a daily basis.
UNIFEED also delivers stories through Associated Press Television News (APTN) to its clients around the world in a 10 minute package transmitted by satellite twice daily.
It will be interesting to see how UNIFEED fares in a world where the sharing of video in high quality formats is evolving quickly. Will technology render it redundant?