The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Old vs New Media - Timeliness

Old media versus new media. You may be familiar with these terms – especially if you are someone that regularly visits news websites, blogs or appreciates citizen journalism. If you are not familiar, but frequent sites like YouTube, or Flickr, you are enjoying new media without even knowing it. Yes, even this blog counts.

In any case, I have been thinking about how shows like The Hour are mixing the old and the new and having varying degrees of success with the mix. There are many aspects to this topic so I am thinking that a few blog entries will result from my reflections. Let’s begin with how old media can often lag behind new media in terms of what they report.

I am tempted to subtitle this entry ‘the decline of the supper time news hour’. It comes from my observation of the ABC World News that airs on week nights. I generally like their coverage (especially enjoyed it when Peter Jennings was the anchor) and I watch it after my local news to gain a quick American perspective on things. However, it happens routinely that they report something that I have already learned about 2 days before via the Internet (sometimes I saw it a week before or even months before). I have heard it said that the traditional supper time news show is for older generations and during these yesterday’s news moments I believe it. It is not for the younger web savvy folk. (It is also reinforced when I see all of those commercials for prescription medication and chronic illness.)

These belated news items indicate to me that they are playing catch-up for baby boomers and seniors, getting them up to speed with what the kids these days already know. Their viewership did not find the news item in question on their own so they talk about it during the TV news hour. At least, this is how it seems. Still, that does not explain why the producers and journalists either take their time in finding the news item or bringing it to air. Does it only become TV newsworthy when it is old news for the people who get the bulk of their information from new media news sources?

I find that The Hour is not so behind. Yes, there have been the occasional items that were time delayed. Minor ones like how I first heard about the condoms size issue in India back in December. Though this is more an exception than the rule. Especially this season I find that George will typically mention something the very day that it comes to light on the Internet. At least for the news items. The scheduling of interviews clearly are affected by availability - not a timeliness issue.

I imagine that the Hour writers and producers are much like me - surfing the Net, seeking out newsworthy stories big and small, as well as randomly finding things that turn into bigger stories. I do it for my own knowledge (and for some blogging I do). It is a part of my generation’s culture to access and exchange information in this manner. Even more so for those younger than I. Quick example - I attended SXSW Interactive this year and experienced the Twitter explosion. Digital word of mouth came alive. It was really neat.

Likely there are many on The Hour’s staff who, like me and others outside of old media, do the whole search the web thing as much for their own purposes as they do it to spread the word to those who don’t have the time, opportunity or inclination to do it for themselves. It seems to me that many in the TV news hour business are acting as a bridge between an older world and a newer one. The Hour happens to be more relevant and timely compared to many other old media news sources.

10 comments:

Allan said...

Did you say relevant content?

What was so relevant and important to you about Halle Berry, Brooksie?
And why was she more important to you than, say, a Canadian, like Raymi or Matt Good?

Brooksie said...

Just my opinion but I do not think Matt Good or Raymi want to be on the show. They would be on the show if they wanted to be on it. I would bet my hat that the producers have tried to get them on in the past. With Matt Good's life and health being as they are of late I very much doubt that his priority is to be on a TV show anyway.

As for the relevance of Halle Berry - as a 36 year old woman who enjoys American films (as well as fashion and beauty icons) I was interested to hear what she had to say. I also watched her interview on CBC Sunday.

And if I want to know what Matthew Good and Raymi are thinking I go to their blogs (which I actually do daily).

As for my actual point of relevance - I was speaking of the news items not the one on one interviews.

Though you bringing up prominent bloggers does connect with my idea of bridging the gap between old media and new media. What does interviewing new media stars on TV (old media) serve? People without access to new media? Is there still value in a TV show? Something you can get from it that you cannot get from new media?

Interesting to ponder as MySpace founder Tom will be on The Hour this week.

Allan said...

Brooksie
does George choose who he interviews or is he told who is going to be on the show?
what do you think?
does anyone know?

but regardless of who is calling the shots
what I'm asking you to answer really is this:
why are you settling for being told that Halle Berry is important, and that Halle Berry is important to you?
which is what's done by devoting time to her on The Hour

it moves a show toward selling out rather than leading in some way
There was absolutely nothing to be learned from Halle Berry and you sort of knew it going in, didn't you?
so what was the point of using up time with her?
to attract a broad audience?
isn't that selling out?

am I wrong to think that Brooksie would like to see fun, daring, and way more interesting stuff than Halle?

am i wrong?

The Hour is a diluted version of a world that is way more interesting. The show for me is the one that finds you, Brooksie, and what interests you, more important than US celebrities.

Brooksie said...

I have been told before that I am a marginal person. It was not insult. Just the facts ma'am. I am a vegan among many other fringe things. Even among my radical friends I am on th fringe because I do enjoy some aspects of mainstream culture.

What I believe and appreciate is very different compared to most. A show that would 100% satisfy me would not interest a national television audience and that would lead to pretty much zero advertising dollars. Plus, it would not pass the CRTC regulations. For the kind of fringe stuff I am interested in I have new media sources. I do not think TV is the platform for much of it.

I think certain information and news TV shows use certain subjects and guests that might be banal to some but meaningful to the middle of the road audience to bring them to the table. Then they serve them up a mix of the familiar with the new and unexpected. They could just do familiar. Don Rickles was Regis and Kelly this AM. He was the first guest. That show is definitely a safe one. I prefer the mixed up approach to TV. Learn something new while still feeling relatively comfortable.

As for who is on the show - I do not see it in terms of settling. There are some people I find interesting and some people I do not. I think it is impossible to produce a show that would satisfy me 100% of the time even if it was called The Brooksie Show and featured every fantasy guest and subject of mine.

Like I said I like Halle Berry and was not unhappy to see her interviewed by George or on Canadian TV. I like a Canadian take on American culture. Think less of me because of it. That is OK.

Miss A said...

Relevance is subjective...you can't please all of the people all of the time.

Allan said...

If I printed a transcript of the 2 Berry interviews would you be able to tell that the person asking questions was Canadian?
So where is the Canadian take on something?
Are sarcastic comments about Madonna or K-Fed something Canadian?
Are you saying that there's something Canadian about the interviews being done?
Kind of not true Brooksie, let's be honest about this.
If a woman did the interviews would that mean a female take on something?
It's hard to understand who this show is appealing to and who it is reflecting.
I just have hard time believing that the Hour reflects what twenty and thirty year olds find interesting, or even find that the content is presented in an interesting way.
There's a restraint about everything.
I don't think less of you for liking Halle Berry, but rather wonder why your expectations are so low, and why you think that's ok.
You are saying that you can't find anything better than watching an interview with her that amounted to nothing.

Barbara said...

Matt Good has been on The Hour by the way.
Yes I can't keep up with the new or the old media theses days.. The Hour sums it up for me nicely.
The Hour on Monday night was the best one I have seen in a while. Last nights I did not like as much... It's opinion and mood and 100 other factors that can stir praise or critisism.
It's still the only show I will go out of my way to watch these days.

I still don't know who Raymi is and I don't have time to find out...unless they bring her on The Hour.

Miss A said...

Allan,

I'd like to put the onus back on you for a moment. You have mentioned Raymi more than once...could you explain how an interview with her would be "relevant" to me?

Allan said...

she's not boring like Halle Berry
she's Canadian
she's fun and honest and creative
she's hugely popular
she says what others think
she's nice to look at
she has won several awards
she has low tolerance for BS
did I mention she's Canadian?

why even bother having a Canadian broadcasting system if it's only being used to tell us how much more interesting Americans are?

Brooksie said...

I would not want to read a transcript of a televised interview unless it was for research purposes. I chose to watch interviews and conversations for the person to person interaction. if the interviewer is Canadian I feel there tends to be naturally a Canadian feel to it because I relate to the interviewer on a variety of levels, one being that we are both Canadian. And yes, if the interviewer is female I feel a connection as a woman. There are also times that I like an unexpected combination so I can see a situation or a person through fresh or different eyes.