Band of Bloggers is one of several original digital brands that History.com announced Monday. The announcement from Nancy Dubuc, executive VP and general manager of The History Channel, signals a reliance on user-generated content and focus on current events as history in the making.
"There is no question that the industry has reached a new level in terms of what digital multi-media can provide," Dubuc said in a prepared statement. "Just as The History Channel is where television audiences go when they want the best in insightful and thought provoking programming, History.com is the number one online destination for the history enthusiast. Technology is enabling us to bridge the gap in how we interact with our audiences and is changing where content is born."
The History Channel promises that soldiers with handheld video cameras will provide the site with "uncensored news" and a "perspective on war never before seen in history." An expanding pool of military bloggers will deliver content from the battlefield via cell phones and the Internet, according to a news release from History.com.
It is not clear yet whether the company will gain military approval or how it may develop policies to ensure that the content does not violate U.S. or international policies.
"At this time, it hasn't been officially finalized, so the clearance and rights are still being determined," Stephanie Pettinati, spokesperson for History.com, said during an interview Monday.
"Band of Bloggers" is scheduled for release in the third quarter.
The History Channel has also acquired the rights to a 94 never-before-seen documentaries, which will serve as a companion to The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones television movies. George Lucas created and produced the documentaries, which will premiere on History.com late this year. The television movies will air on The History Channel and History International.
Each documentary is based on events that took place during the early part of the 20th century -- linking to slavery, archaelogy, and other popular topics -- and aims to add context to the fictional adventures of the young Indiana Jones. They are scheduled for release in the fourth quarter.
The company plans Hero Ships in the fourth quarter, as well as History Uncut, Naked Underground (both in the second quarter), and Greatest Stories Never Told (fourth quarter).
Paul Jelinek, senior VP of Digital Media for A&E Television Networks, said company leaders aspire to make the Web site a "must visit for consumers looking not only for history but also a place where they can find historical context behind the news."