Alissa Krinsky

In New Blog, Brian Wilson Warns Journalists to 'Double Check' Online Information

Former Fox News Channel anchor/correspondent Brian Wilson, who left the network in September, says he’s “still driven to write about things going on in the world” and has launched his own blog.

Wilson is writing BW’s Blog on the website of his new communications consultancy, Right Tone Communications.  

“My name is Brian,” he writes in the blog’s welcome page, “and I am a recovering broadcast journalist.”

He’s got three entries so far: two on politics, and one addressing the accuracy of online information.

“[M]any journalists don’t take the time to double check the facts of things they see on the Internet,” he writes. “While I see value in and applaud the movement toward responsible citizen journalism, there are a few things that must be said: Many bloggers are NOT reporters – they are ‘repeaters.’ The information they post is often unverified. Bloggers often hold strong opinions that color the things they write and repeat.”

Craig Crawford: ‘Convinced’ Web Video Content is ‘the Future’

Former MSNBC political analyst Craig Crawford, who writes CQ Politics.com’s Trail Mix blog, tells WebNewser he’s a big believer in the power and potential of online video content.

Crawford — who’s now making pundit appearances on other cable networks — is creating video content as host of the D.C. Decoder series at Congress.org, a project of the CQ-Roll Call Group. In recent webisodes, Crawford has offered viewers a “Supreme Court viewing guide“, interviewed C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb, and given advice on writing an effective letter to Congress.

The videos are “more meaningful” than his TV work, he says. Crawford, who in March resigned his position as an MSNBC political analyst, is enjoying the freedom of developing original online content.

“I’m so much more excited about doing videos on the web,” he tells WebNewser, “I’m convinced that’s the future. Any media organization, or any individual even, can be their own pundit and make their own videos.”

And advertisers, he says, are now “seeing the potential” of such video content. It’s a real contrast to several years ago, when “we could not at all get advertisers interested”.

‘Brokaw Explains Canada’ Takes Internet by Storm

Ever since it aired Feb. 12 — during NBC’s run-up to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games opening ceremony — Tom Brokaw‘s feature story on the history of the U.S.-Canada relationship has become an online favorite.

It’s been viewed more than 479,000 times on YouTube. And, “the search term ‘Brokaw explains Canada,’” reports the Calgary Herald, is “the No. 1 Twitter trending topic” in Canada.

In an interview with the Washington Examiner, sports columnist Jim Williams asked Brokaw if he ever expected such an “overwhelming response.”

“No,” said Brokaw. “But as I began to work on it, I realized that the combination of natural wonders, long cooperative relationship, shared values, and immigrant roots bound us together in a manner unmatched in the history of neighbors. And we need to be reminded of that, especially when there is so much global strife.”

CNN’s Tony Harris On ‘Facebook Holdouts’: “Count Me In”

T Harris.jpg“This whole segment here is just to annoy me,” said CNN anchor Tony Harris this morning, as he read the intro to a story on ‘Facebook Holdouts’.

“‘To my Facebook fans and blog followers, I’m so glad you jumped onboard. I love hearing from you’,” Harris continued. “That was the lead that was written for me to read, to get to the Christine Romans piece that you are about to see.

“Here’s the thing, I don’t know how to log on to the Facebook page that was set up by me by our show team. The idea that people I don’t know want to friend me is illogical. Twitter feels stalkerish to me…Christine’s story is titled, ‘Facebook Holdouts’. Well count me in!”

Westin On Twitter: “I Prefer To Let The George Stephanopouloses And The Jake Tappers Get The Attention”

David Westin.jpgAs ABC News prepares for the Monday debut of a new, multi-platform ABC News series, The New Normal — which will include interactive viewer participation online — ABC News president David Westin speaks with WebNewser about Twitter, and about the issue of free vs. paid online content:

WebNewser: Are you going to get on Twitter?

Westin: I’m on Twitter [@David_Westin]! Now the follow-up question is, ‘How often do I tweet?’ And the answer would be, not that often!

But I’m on Twitter, absolutely. I don’t Tweet very often — I prefer to let the George Stephanopouloses and the Jake Tappers get the attention there, which they’ve done very well at!

WebNewser: Newspapers struggle with the issue of paid vs. free online content. Because of advertising, obviously, the networks have always offered their on-air content to the public for free — but could there come a time when ABCNews.com might opt for a paid content component?

Westin: If we thought that made sense, obviously we would give it very serious consideration. I haven’t seen a model yet where that makes sense.

I think that, to some extent, it’s a matter of what the consumer expects. So, with cable, people expect to pay a cable bill. With a mobile phone, people expect to pay a mobile bill.

So we get money, a fair amount of money, in the millions of dollars, from subscriptions every year for digital content. But it’s digital content that appears on a cable broadband service or appears on a mobile phone.

People have come not to expect to pay anything for news and information on the internet, with very, very few exceptions. I think changing that expectation is going to be very tricky — but, boy, if someone could do that, I’m sure we will seriously consider taking advantage of it!

Garry Trudeau On Journos “Smitten With The Idea Of A Personal Broadcasting System”

Alissa Krinsky
WebNewser Contributor

GarryTrudeau.jpg“Stand by for my next tweet,” Roland Hedley proudly tweeted with self-importance last month to his more than 2,900 Twitter followers. “Please retweet this alert to your followers so they can stand by as well.”

Using the handle @Roland_Hedley, the fictitious Fox News reporter — who made his debut in Garry Trudeau‘s Doonesbury comic strip in 1973 — recently has become obsessed with Twitter.

Hedley started tweeting in March (he’s an “insider; player; game-changer,” according to his Twitter bio), and even tweets while he’s supposed to be reporting on-air.

Roland.jpgThe clueless correspondent is described on the strip’s official website as “a man of many talents, none of them of any use to a journalist.” Hedley’s tweets, which Trudeau himself writes, are intended to lampoon the Twitter craze among the tvnewser set. And the tweets of real reporters (including Rick Sanchez, Chris Cuomo, and David Gregory) are not immune from Hedley’s needling.

In a rare interview — and his first on the subject — Garry Trudeau gives WebNewser his take on Twitter.

WebNewser: Do you think Twitter is silly? Or is it that tweeting by TV journalists in particular is silly?

Trudeau: The technology obviously isn’t inherently silly — it’s just a tool. A lot of serious people are using Twitter towards serious ends, especially the geeks who put it on the map.

But there are also vast numbers of users, including journalists, who are so smitten with the idea of a personal broadcasting system that the absence of meaningful content to broadcast doesn’t seem to concern them.

WebNewser: Are there any tvnewsers providing ‘worthwhile’ tweets?

(Roland Hedley/Doonesbury copyright 2009 G.B. Trudeau)

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