Balloon Boy Bust

October 19, 2009

At what point do we in the media say no to stories that are more sensational than newsworthy? In an effort to compete with other news organizations, we tend to air first and ask questions later. What is sensational video one moment can end up being not only suspect but staged.  So, the balloon boy frenzy ended up being just that – staged. A hoax. But what is more disturbing is that we – the media and the public – fed into a a case of possible child abuse. And that’s just wrong.


Internet Manifesto

October 17, 2009

Worth repeating…

Old Meets New

October 14, 2009

Through the magic of Facebook and Twitter, I recently reconnected with an old colleague, Jim Long. He’s @newmediajim on Twitter and the author of the  fabulous blog, Verge New Media. Jim and I worked together for a while in the early 90s on a tv show called First Business which was produced out of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington,  DC.  I had previously worked for many years at CNN and returned there again after my stint with First Business. Jim, as  many know, went on to do great things at NBC.

I absolutely loved working with Jim back in the day, but these days he is my new-found hero. I am in awe of all that he has embraced and achieved in the social media  realm.  His passion and zeal for new media is infectious and, although I’m a relative latecomer to the party,   I  fervently share his enthusiasm as well.  In fact, I can relate to how Jim describes himself:  “New media trapped in an old media body.” I really wish I had thought of that myself!

While reading the blogs and following many of the people at the forefront of Social Media, I have come to the  realization that many of them are young enough to be my children!  But that’s ok and, like any good parent, I have the utmost admiration for their talents and accomplishments in this wonderful and emerging field.

We’ve certainly come a long way. When I was in college, the only computers were in the Computer Science building. Being a Journalism major, I never went near there.  (Oh, and everyone on a dorm floor shared a phone – it was in the stairwell.)

I had an internship at a local radio station where we edited tape with a razor blade.  My first job after college was at WTTG-TV where some film chains were still in use and where the newsroom was filled with the din of clacking typewriters and the “dt-dt-dt-dt-dt” of the wire service machines.  One of my responsibilities, in fact, was ripping the wire stories off the machine and hanging them on the appropriate nails on the wall – “Local”, “Natl” ,”Intl” ,”WX”, “Sports”, “Ent.”

My first job at CNN was on a two-person camera crew where we carried approximately 49 lbs. of equipment . It was quite a challenge running after newsmakers, riding in motorcades and hopping in and out of helicopters  at top speed with all that weight while also attached to each other by a BNC cable.

Now, of course, network correspondents file their stories from far flung places using their laptops.  Breaking news is captured on video by anyone with a cellphone and “citizen journalists” are everywhere. It’s incredible how far we have come and I am excited to see how much futher we will go. I am having tons of fun helping clients establish a social media presence and building up my own as well.  New media is incredibly exciting and I’m psyched to be along for the ride!