Whoa. Guess CNN isn’t so out of touch after all. Just announced today, the cable news network is launching two new online video series with Vice Magazine’s VBS.TV and Sub Pop Records. According to this press release, CNN.com will stream two series: “VBS.TV on CNN.com” and “Indie Asia: On Tour with the Handsome Furs,” which will also be available through the CNN App for the iPhone.
VBS.TV, which was founded in March 2007 and is overseen by creative director Spike Jonze, has gained a fervent following for its guerrilla-style documentary journalism, fearlessly reporting on such fringe subjects as Norwegian black metal, North Korea, a crazy kidnapping drug in Colombia, and a struggling metal band in Iraq. (Band profiles are another part of the site’s bread and butter.) Their reporters — usually cigarette-smoking, tattooed, aviator-sporting hipsters — have been known to gain remarkable access (and thus produce quality content), and often become part of the story. It’s like what Current TV hoped to be, but better.
Select original content from VBS.TV will begin showing on CNN.com every Wednesday starting today (this week it’s the “Vice Guide to Liberia”). The “Indie Asia” series will be like a travelogue of Asia with the Sub Pop-signed duo the Handsome Furs. CNN says the move is due in part to the success of their site’s Freshmen Year series, in which two new Congressmen document their experiences on Capitol Hill using handheld video cameras.