RTNDA Panel Looks At New Media Campaign Coverage
April 16, 2007 at 3:46 PM (PT)
At an RTNDA@NAB session on new media's impact on coverage of the upcoming election campaign, moderated by MSNBC Host CHRIS MATTHEWS, panelists focused on the ability of candidates to directly reach voters through YOUTUBE videos and those opposed to candidates to affect the race through their own videos and websites.
"We have a chance for a new dialogue," BUZZMACHINE.COM blogger, former TV GUIDE critic, and ENTERTAIMENT WEEKLY founder JEFF JARVIS said. "The exciting thing is that it's day one."
SALEM host, author, and prominent blogger HUGH HEWITT noted that his interview with RUDY GIULIANI last FRIDAY on the radio may take on added significance through the new media, with GIULIANI's evasive response (according to HEWITT) to a question on ROE V. WADE being used against the candidate in IOWA. HEWITT later said that talk radio is part of the same movement as blogs and other new media, asserting that "listeners don't trust mainstream media." He added, responding to a question from MATTHEWS, that no successful anti-establishment talk host has emerged from the left because "they're not any good," having not developed talent capable of making an impact in the marketplace.
The panel also discussed the difficulty of gauging true support for candidates based on online support, and the "fact-checking" function of bloggers, including "distributed network" reporting where large numbers of bloggers effectively split a too-big reporting job, like a review of a massive number of donor records, into smaller, more manageable units, thus fact-checking in a way traditional news media cannot.
The discussion got testy between HEWITT and NBC NEWS Pres. STEVE CAPUS over HEWITT's comments noting the mainstream media's mistaken reporting of bodies stacked in a freezer and people jumping from the top of the SUPERDOME in the KATRINA aftermath, which HEWITT charged created a "frenzy" and CAPUS defended as a minor part of "one of journalism's finest hour."
KNX-A/LOS ANGELES reporter FRANK MOTTEK's defense of broadcast journalists -- "we blew the bloggers away" in providing live breaking news coverage -- drew a plea from JARVIS to "get past 'us vs. them.'" And CBS O&O WBZ-TV and Independent WSBK-TV/BOSTON's ANGIE KUCHARSKI agreed with an audience member's assertion that local stations should look to bloggers as possible talent.