Friday, July 14, 2006

What? Me? Sensationalize?

This is the last I'm going to say about this topic.
I finished reading a Colorado woman's
account of how their meeting with Katie Couric went.
It sounded a great deal like our meeting save for less contradicting.
There was a P.C. crowd, though it seems that their crowd ran the entire gamut of the monetary spectrum (ours did not).
All in all nothing in their gathering that was said was really different than ours.
That's unfortunate. It seems then that this verifies what I thought about the tour: It was never about getting our ideas, but rather validating what they knew already.
We want technology used.
We want our news to be objective.
We want stories we care about or are relevant.
We want to have less sensationalism...or do we?
Coming out of the Minneapolis meeting, it seems that the only thing anyone cares about is
Matt Bartel's Pen.
Sadly this is why no one will ever care about the news again, and why we will always have news stations or pundits in charge.
I'm sorry that his pen was taken, but look how he has benefited from it...and look how the story has taken off.
We say we don't want sensationalized news, but then we eagerly await and cheer as a pen being taken away makes it on to the national news circuit.
Don't get me wrong, it's great for
MN Speak, but I'm sorry that the main thing anyone will remember is that moment.
Not the fact that the whole thing was really a PR stunt, not the fact that it made the news, however short a time, relevant again. No, people will only remember that a guy's pen got taken away.
This does, as my sister pointed out, mean one other thing: Whereas "blogs" were thought of as only a passing fad, this incident does give them more power and credibility. In essence, the era of the trusted journalist only being from a newspaper or TV has had the coffin lid nailed shut.
If the story is true (and I hate saying it, but in someways it sounds too ridiculous to be true), then the producers of the TV news felt that a guy who writes online can be considered a journalist, which means that his pen was taken away (in compromise) to keep him from writing about the event (which is funny, because they knew I was a blogger as well and never said anything). Nevermind that Matt could have, oh I don't know, borrowed a pen from someone else. It's the principle of the matter.
Bloggers and online news journalists (sometimes called civilian journalists) have been given credibility from this single action.
It's just too bad that all we care about is not the fact that someone, as much of a public relations stunt as it was, actually cared about our opinions, but that a writing instrument was taken away.
And yes, I know I'm just as guilty for mentioning it.
I guess my problem is that we want controversy. We are so desperate for schadenfreude that we look for it anywhere and pimp it hard.
Welcome to the 21st century.
That's the last I'm going to say about the whole Katie Couric affair. I wish her good luck, because she will need it if she wants to compete with other news programs or the internet.
As for the whole pen incident...It was two days ago. Time to move on and get on with our lives.

1 comment:

Peter said...

I can honestly say I wish you were teaching our freshman class. Even though I've never had you as a teacher, I still had one of those shock moments as I was reading where I went "Teachers might actually blog like this?"

It's a real shame the meeting didn't seem helpful in the least. I know I have heard despairing comments of news channels from parents to friends, and the obvious way to solve the problem is for the networks to get some feedback from the public. Not in this half-baked manner, though.