"blogger summit": WNBC wants in

MSM news

During the station's introductory presentation last night at what was billed as New York's first Blogger Summit, the host, WNBC, reported that its own advance survey revealed that zero percent of their invited blog respondents thought that local TV news was helpful to their posting. This must have come as something of a shock to the network people, although I can't imagine why, because minutes later the station's News and Station Manager, Dan Foreman (who later told us that he had not really expected to enter much into the discussion) asked the assembled crowd of bloggers whether in light of their responses WNBC should just shut down its TV operations and concentrate entirely on developing a blog medium.

A show of hands from the audience, after what seemed like a moment of shock in response to what seemed like a genuinely impulsive question, indicated that there was a strong affirmative response. One blogger however did cry out, "what about the old people?" In the exchange which followed, one guest described local TV news coverage as composed mostly of stories on "fires and murders". Wow: Only two hours later, while awaiting the station's coverage of its own "blogger summit", I noticed that WNBC's 11 o'clock news led with an account of a fire, followed by a report of a murder. I was visiting the site for the very first time since the early 90's, when, because of a vested interest in the "broadcasting" of a politcal message, my friends and I would regularly scan local news coverage of our own creative theatrical actions or "zaps".

While sitting in Studio A last night I was trying to imagine why any smart New Yorker would actually want to, or be able to, regularly wait around for a brief, fixed-schedule television news program in order to learn what was happening in the city - even if that were what was actually to be found on the little screen. At one point last night even Editorial Director Adam Shapiro admitted that the abbreviated nightly news format permitted only very limited coverage of any story.

I think that, except for those employed by NBC, few people in that studio normally watch network news of any kind. Later last night, during the local station's on-air coverage of the summit, technology reporter Sree Srinavasan explained to viewers browsing the web as novices that they would have to be sceptical about the accuracy of the information they find on blogs. He encouraged them to look around and not to trust the face value of anything, suggesting that it would be wise to get to know the sources of the information found: This is always good advice - for both journalists and those they serve, but in this case the scepticism absolutely has to begin with the powerful MSM, best described as our mainstream corporate entertainment media. [footnote: NBC is owned by GE]

On the subject of journalistic malpractice, that most excellent community source, Blog Chelsea, says that Barry put it best, in conversation last night:

There’s a war on, but all they can say is, "Look at these puppies!" They talk about Clinton’s sex life, but not about all of the freedom that is slowly being taken away from you.

[image from diamondsintheruff]