Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oh Brian Williams....

Try as hard as you might Brian, your, what I perceived as forced, attempt at trying to understand web 2.0, it's users, bloggers, video producers, editors, writers, directors, and other talented, and not-so-talented participants is about as shallow as the puddle currently residing on the sidewalk in front of my house.

In his article in this week's TIME magazine Brian Williams of NBC News anchor fame heaps tons of praise on web 2.0 and those that make it so buttering us up before he goes into his all to familiar "watch out, it's dangerous, you better leave it to the pros" blather. Then he continues only to proceed with the infamous "if we only get what we want we may miss some really important stuff" talking point. Seriously, do all of these big media people think the general public is stupid? Wait, they do think this and prove it regularly.

Someone needs to really give Brian and his cohorts at CBS, ABC, CNN, FOX News and the rest a wake up call. Maybe if they stepped away from the make up artist for five minutes and really put forth a sincere effort to understand the millions that have tuned them out they would realize the Internet and web 2.0 are really only speeding up their demise. A demise brought on by force feeding a biased and controlled viewpoint day after day, month after month, year after year. Brian and his counterparts at the other major broadcast companies, put out news reports that have become little more than force fed agendas and Hollywood pablum trying to be passed off as "must have - need to know news."

A brief example - I went home for lunch a few months ago and turned on the noon news while I ate my salami sandwich - a local broadcast. News about Paris Hilton came before news about the Amish school slayings in the broadcast. The news broadcast, by lining up the Paris Hilton story to run first, was saying in effect that Paris Hilton and whatever the hell she did was more important than these poor families and children that were slain at this school. What else can I say? Is anything related to Paris Hilton "need to know?" And yes Brian, it was on your local NBC affiliate. I would be willing to bet that if I went online I could get more in-depth information on the Amish school story than I got from my local anchors, in addition to getting it on my schedule, without having to see anything about Paris Hilton and certainly without having to sit through twenty commercials for Geritol, denture cream, Windex and tons of other crap that I could care less about.

I quote Mr. Williams from his laughable piece in TIME, "The problem is that there is a lot of information out there that citizens in an informed democracy need to know in our complicated world..." it continues "The danger just might be that we miss the next great book or the next great idea, or that we fail to meet the next great challenge..."

Oh Brian, you are letting your true colors shine through. In not so many words he is saying "You amateurs, you fools, you cannot possibly be informed with the information you need without seasoned pros like me spoon feeding you. Without my colleagues and I you are destined to suffer in an ignorant world where only unimportant information can be distributed and thus ideas are left to whither on the vine." Once again traditional big media flaunts it's elitist attitude at the webosphere and us common folk.

Well, if I feel the news I need is concerning Paris Hilton flashing her ass or Nicole Richie weaving in the wrong lane of traffic, I will be sure to tune into your broadcast Brian. I am confident you will give me all of the gritty details.

**In a former life I composed, edited and delivered syndicated news that was distributed to news organizations throughout the State of Indiana and we were routinely instructed to write news copy at a sixth grade level. Not only was I personally insulted, but I felt insulted on behalf of my audience. According to the "pros" that was the level of writing the average American could digest. The same "pros" assume we are all too ignorant to produce and distribute meaningful content. I think the quantity and quality of information available on the web is emphatically proving them wrong.


Anonymous said...

I didn't read the Time article. I like Brian W as a newscaster, but I have to agree the BIG MEDIA types are clueless when it comes to the web. I can't keep up with all the widgets and stuff that comes out either, but I've found some really cool stuff that I want to try out - and none of it was recommended by a newscaster. I've learned more about some things that honestly should be on broadcasts. I've seen movies and read books recommended by other bloggers - good stuff, not crap or porn - that I never heard about on the big media. Oh, and lets not forget the most important thing - Big Media thinks we are too stupid to determine what is crap and what is newsworthy. If they want to help propigate a better informed society - show society that you think they are intelligent enough to get it and broadcast it!
Anyway - thanks for sharing Jacob. I've been enjoying the things you post - keep it up.

Short attention span? said...

Thanks for the commentary Mike. If the big media folks actually tried to fully understand and embrace some(not all) of what web 2.0 had to offer that might find a powerful partner.