I originally published the piece below on January 19, 2007; well over a year ago. Since then I founded a mini-news network, openSermo.com, to help reboot the news broadcast and push the movement talked about in The Rebirth. More interesting however, are the glacial changes taking place all throughout the News media arena, which in essence are proving my Rebirth or Reboot, true.
In the next few days I will be publishing an updated version. But first, I wanted to republish the old version to hear your thoughts and opinions on the subject. So here it is, in it’s entirety and original form:
Posted on January 19th, 2007 by Ethan Bloch
Broadcast News is dead. The three-letter News broadcasting houses that were given the right to educate and inform the public have lost, lost, lost their marbles, forgotten their roles and ran askew.
Thankfully, respectable News sources still exist, many of which do a great job delivering quality content through the print and online mediums; but in terms of a quality TV News broadcast, good luck (Clearly the sources aren’t the problem, the News agencies are doing their job quite well, it is the delivery that’s terrible ie. three-letter News broadcasts). If one combines these respectable News sources with simple News aggregation (Google News), Digg, digg-a-likes, cautious Blogosphere navigation and Blog aggregation (Technorati, Techmeme), a very healthy News diet can be achieved (the more the merrier). The issue here is the tens of millions of people who still rely on a TV News broadcast as their main, if not sole source of information (things like this help one sleep at night).
It is understandable that watching a TV News broadcast is less taxing then reading and digging – not changing anytime soon – so here lays the predicament. The solution lies in a new form of TV News broadcast. If TV News broadcasts were delivered in a similar light to Pardon the Interruption, you would have a wider viewer base that’s better informed and maybe even engaged in some self thought (not saying they’re not today, but saying they’re not today). Granted there are many topics you can only sexy up so much, and others that would be just plain wrong to sexy up, there is still plenty that could be done to create a more engaging, fulfilling and informing News broadcast. It would be very difficult however, for any three- letter News house to try and create this internally. These three-letter TV News broadcasts still draw millions of viewers and in turn don’t feel any pressure to change; they feel no sense of urgency.
Screw urgency! We need something more. This something more will be done by outsiders, from the ground up. Considering the low cost of current technology used to create and widely distribute video, now is a riper time then ever for the birth of new News broadcasting (a rebirth). Another rebirth has been full steam ahead in the text based realm of News delivery; visible in the services I previously mentioned (which are just a few). But video is the cake to eat all cakes. Intelligently delivered engaging news, in video format which is and will continue to become easily consumed on any medium one sees fit, is king!
A video podcast like Diggnation is proof of what’s to come for more mainstream audiences. Diggnation does a tremendous job of staying entertaining, getting a point across, and at times proving educational. Unfortunately Diggnation isn’t going to replace the any o’clock news anytime soon (I know), but it does give us hope. In order to rebirth broadcast News for mainstream audiences the delivery needs to spread this reenergized enthusiasm and color of opinion onto a vast array issues and world on goings, while still housing enough acceptance standard deviations to remain widely viewed (coming soon).
Help push the rebirth! We here at openSermo challenge you. Talk it up with your friends and family and get their opinions on the current state of the three-letter broadcast. Feel free to share your thoughts, opinions or ideas concerning this tragic state in our comments. Please get informed, think for yourself, tip well and hopefully one day we will have something to proudly call, our broadcast News.