Friday, December 26, 2008

Yeah, And He Likes to Hear Himself Talk

Took time this morning to answer some survey questions for a student at Baldwin-Wallace on a senior thesis. A lot of the subjects covered here in the blog, most notably Fan First.
Couple of the questions got me thinking a little after the hour and a half (he seemed a bit surprised that I'd take that much time on Boxing Day -- well, there's no games today).
The first one -- did I feel it was necessary to see a story in the newspaper to have considered it successful? I think the yes answer wasn't the one anticipated, but it is that it remains important to have a story covered by the area's dominant news brand. That it appears in dead trees or on-line isn't the key; it is that the local legacy agenda-setter of news deemed it worth. That remains important.
The second -- what did I see different about the media today? As you might suspect, this is where things got long-winded but I think a generational mind-set shift is in play. Boomers and Gen-X'ers still cling to the Watergate-era impartial journalist model. Being a fan of the Ben Bradlee school takes you right there.
But if you were born in the 1990s, Bradlee and the Washington Post was something that was forced on you in a movie watching assignment in mass comm class. The way you grew up consuming news was from the Crossfire school -- two polarized commentators duking it out. Whole networks are programmed this way today. Doesn't matter whether you're a Fox, CNN or MSNBC follower -- the formula is the same from 7 eastern to 10 eastern, conflict journalism.

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