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With Walter Cronkite passing just three days ago, this is a perfect time to start the dialog to re-invent network and local news.
The days when we have anyone close to one person being the most "trusted man in America" are long gone.
Finding someone intelligent, witty, who can stand up to the tiresome spin of partisan politics seems to be what is needed at the current moment in time (look at how young people today feel that Jon Stewart is increasingly becoming a trusted news source).
Jeff Jarvis had this take ast April,
A new ecology of news on video. What would those 22 minutes look like:
- Forget headlines. Anyone with a radio or web browser has already heard it and seen it so don't spend a lot of time on it.
- Put the Big Story in perspective. I'd rather know a lot about one story then headlines of seven stories. Be meta like The Daily Show and look at how the political parties and corporations are spinning things. Report the news behind the news. Isn't that the juicy part?
- Documentaries. Reporting. Small cameras and two person crews could actually investigate. Create news stories that take a minimum of five days to produce. Create something of value by researching it, getting it right, make a point - uncover something - they can't be teaching what gets broadcasted now on television news at all those J-Schools. One story: 5.5 minutes.
- Try the CNN approach (a round table of experts but don't call yourself the "Best Political Team on Television"). Have the panel editorialize the news that permeates press conferences, announcements, and pretty much everything that happens in the senate (or so it seems). Paul Begala, Jeffrey Toobin and David Gergen do a good job of this. Have interesting people comment on the tape that was just produced. Invite the producer of the five minute documentary to sit in. Ask an artist to be on the panel. A teacher. Let's hear from different voices. Three and 1/2 minutes of commentary for each of the above segments. CNN loves this because it's inexpensive to produce. It will be inexpensive here too but hopefully without the political punditry.
- Four minutes left. We need to see some personality here. Think about what Seth Godin does every day. He delivers a pithy three paragraph non-political nut of wisdom that makes you think. Bill Mahrer does the same thing but usually in the political realm.
Can't we find an anchor who can do that too?
Question: What does the future of TV News look like?
Related past post:
...And That's They Way It Is (and always will be) On TV