19 November 2008

CNN's opinion of blogs ...

Just returned from a tour of CNN studios in Atlanta. Pretty good tour - I recommend it if you find yourself in Atlanta someday. After the tour of the studios, where our group had the chance to meet Robin Meade (who broke from the teleprompter when she noticed a bunch of uniformed folks standing in the corner and acknowledged our presence on national TV), we were provided about an hour of time with two of their executives (one from PR and the other from technology).

In general, their comments were what you'd expect - in support of their company. They were very open to questions, however, and seemed to provide answers beyond the "party line". In one case, we asked about the role of new media and the rep stated that CNN has a presence on Second Life (anyone explored that before? I'd love to get some feedback from you about it.) and that their iReport is a great success of tapping into the people (also interested in your thoughts about this site). He really seemed to like the collaborative nature of iReport, which also appeals to many people across the country. However, he grouped most blogs together as "crap" - people just saying a bunch of unverifiable stuff. I was fascinated by that statement: apparently, if the information is posted to their "unfiltered" site it's okay, if it's posted elsewhere, not so much. Unfortunately, time prevented us from digging into this subject any deeper.

Also of note, one exec did agree that CNN and the main stream media is biased ... toward conflict. He aptly deflected a question about media bias (specifically asking about the perceptions (reality?) of Fox on the right and CNN and MSNBC on the left) by claiming that he agrees that Fox and MSNBC are biased - they have a specifically stated agenda to tend to one side and that's "a good business model" - but firmly believes that CNN is in the middle. I'll leave that up to you to decide... But he certainly agreed that conflict makes for good television; that, and compelling video of events.

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