Internet Blog-Influenced News Cycles

According to klout.com/BillCammack, I’m a “Broadcaster”.. To them, that means “You broadcast great content that spreads like wildfire. You are an essential information source in your industry. You have a large and diverse audience that values your content.”

I mention that because I’m glad they changed my category from “Pundit”. Pundits get on my last nerve. 😀

I didn’t have anything against pundits before a few months ago when I started following the Republican debates to see whether they were going to field a viable team to potentially defeat President Obama in 2012.

The problem I have with them now isn’t really their fault, but they have to deal with a new development in television broadcasting which I call “Internet Blog-Influenced News Cycles”.

When Hillary Is President

Back in the day… The day was exactly February 09, 2007, in fact, which I know because I posted this link => http://billcammack.com/2007/02/09/reelsolidtv-episode-39-when-hillary-is-president/, I recognized that this was going to be an issue for television stations.

At that time, my long-time friend and business associate Joseph Ruiz and I were videotaping events for politicians.

Also, at that time, I had never even heard of Barack Obama, which is why the post and the video are entitled “WHEN Hillary is President”! 😀


Blip.TV Link => blip.tv/file/146156

I was filming with my MiniDV camera, but I saw several camerapeople with large cameras with stickers for television stations on the side.

I remember thinking to myself, I’m going to have this video live way before they are, because *MY* network is already in place, and waiting for media from me to go live.

The stations the camerapeople were shooting for only had news at 12 lunchtime and 6pm, and Hillary spoke around 10:30am. This meant that by the time I encoded my video, tagged and uploaded it, it would be going live around 2pm, whereas the camerapeople wouldn’t even be back to their offices before 12pm with the tapes, AND THEN they were going to have to give the tapes to producers, who were going to have to watch the whole thing for content and then write copy about it and decide which sound bites to use, AND THEN the producers were going to have to hand the tapes off to editors to make into the final product (which I know because that’s what I did for Bloomberg Television and Court TV for years), AND THEN it was going to be another hour before that video would be ready for air, AND THEN they were only going to play a few seconds’ worth of the video because they had so many other things to talk about during their 30 minutes (22 minutes, actually, when you subtract the time for commercials) of television news between 6pm and 6:30, and that’s exactly what happened.

My video went live around 2pm that day. I was watching the news at 12 on the stations that had sent cameras… nothing… When they finally announced the event at 6pm, they used probably about 7 seconds worth of footage, or the amount of time that Ronnie and Mike got to fight on Jersey Shore before the 300-pound bouncers that are always standing barely off-camera jumped in, and then they moved on.

Meanwhile, I showed the entire speech from beginning to end because I had had my camera rolling the entire time, and I have *ZERO* time constraints because I am my own internet network.

2011 – Rise Of The Pundits

Fast-Forward to 2011, and the television news has been fully affected by social media powerhouses like Facebook and Twitter.

They know that if they don’t report things immediately, they’re going to be LATE in the news cycle.

This calls for an entirely different approach from when people used to have to wait for 12pm, 6pm, and 11pm to roll around so we could find out what was going on in the world.

If something important happens at 1pm, 6pm is too late to report it as if it’s news.

This is also why a bunch of newspapers fell off, BTW. The time it takes to figure out the story, get it approved by executive producers, put it in print form, print the copies, and move the physical papers to the locations where people can buy them means that you’re AUTOMATICALLY going to be out-of-date way before your newspaper hits the stands.

The papers that didn’t migrate to an internet-based delivery format lost out.. BIG TIME!

This is why we’ve now experienced the rise of the pundits.

According to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pundit_(expert):

A pundit is someone who offers to mass media his or her opinion or commentary on a particular subject area (most typically political analysis, the social sciences or sport) on which they are knowledgeable. The term has been increasingly applied to popular media personalities.[1] In certain cases, it may be used in a derogatory manner as well, as the political equivalent of “ideologue.”

Pundits are necessary because they’re expected to speak *BEFORE* facts are revealed instead of *AFTER* facts are revealed. o_O

This is simultaneously what makes them so annoying to me.

I agree with the first part of the definition: “Someone who offers to mass media his or her opinion or commentary”, but I disagree with the second part: “on which they are knowledgeable”.

Because you know something about politics doesn’t mean you know *ANYTHING* about a particular political situation.

For instance.. I know about music mixing. If you show me a video and then say “The mixer used Waves’ Renaissance Compressor instead of Waves’ PuigChild compressor.. Why did s/he do that? o_O” I’m going to tell you that you get two different sounds by using the two different compressors on a track, AND that RComp is transparent (to my hearing), while PuigChild colors the sound (makes it sound different than it originally did).

However.. If you were to play a song for me and then ask me the dumb-ass question “Do you think the mixer used RComp or PuigChild on this track? o_O”, I have no choice but to tell you a bunch of garbage, because I. DON’T. KNOW!

Either the track sounded the same before the compressor went on, in which case, I’d guess RComp, *OR* it sounded different before the compressor went on, in which case, I’d guess PuigChild, and that *ASSUMES* that the person asking me had some sort of advance knowledge that it HAD to be one of the two that was used.

What Do You THINK?

This is why pundits are so annoying.

The news cycle is now immediate. I find out things from Twitter and Facebook way faster than I do from television, even if I leave a news channel running live all day.

This is because if a bridge falls down or a plane lands in some water, Citizen Journalists don’t have to wait to decide whether they care about an event or not, and they don’t have to wait for EPs (Executive Producers) to approve their media. They just send it.

Granted, and to the credit of Mass Media, there’s way more fact-checking that goes on before they output their content all late and after-the-fact.

The new immediacy of the news cycle, which has been created by internet connectivity and Citizen Journalism, has made pundits necessary to fill the space between when a television station finds out about something and when they can actually report something substantial about it.

Meanwhile, it’s all garbage.

As soon as the Herman Cain, feel-a-chick-up-in-a-car allegations were dropped, all of a sudden, we were subjected to infinite opinions about Sexual Harassment and whether he did it or not.

Not only did we have to hear this ONCE, but CONSISTENTLY and PERSISTENTLY, until he finally had a press conference to deny the allegations.

Meanwhile, none of these people know jack-**** about jack-**** because they weren’t there (if she has ever been in a car with Cain at all), and they don’t know what happened, so they need to STFU.

BLAH BLAH BLAH Should he bow out of the race? o_O

BLAH BLAH BLAH Are women going to come out of the woodwork, accusing him of harassment? o_O

BLAH BLAH BLAH Is he going to lose a lot of support in the next poll? o_O

Meanwhile.. When the actual fact rolls around, he’s still at the top of the charts with Romney, and when he says the allegations are unfounded, he practically receives a standing ovation at the Republican Debate, so all this punditry was just a big waste of time, wasn’t it?

C’Mon, Sunn :/

To make matters worse, the television stations feel the need to discuss these things consistently, throughout their broadcast day, in order to appear “on top of the news”.

I wish there were a “How do you know that?” or “What facts are you basing your opinion on?” button that we could press and get these people to STFU when they’re just running their mouths about things they don’t know anything about.

In fact, their opinions don’t matter, and except for actual experts in certain things like health matters and monetary policy, there’s only a slight percentage chance that anything they say will turn out to be accurate at all.

The only reason the experts are accurate is because they’re giving their opinions based on a series of actual situations that panned out a certain way in the past.

What can you say for sure in the Cain situation?.. Nothing.

Their statements are diametrically opposed. Either he’s lying or she’s lying. There’s no statistical evidence supporting either guess. Sometimes guys are telling the truth in Sexual Harassment situations, and sometimes gals are. Sometimes, they both are, but they interpreted the situation differently or remember it differently, especially if alcohol is involved.

All you can do, honestly, is report the facts (or lack thereof) and then move on.

Since this isn’t acceptable entertainment, a whole bunch of know-nothings are booked to talk yang on television, for essentially ZERO educational value.

To make matters worse.. Depending on which station you tune in to, you get a totally different spin on the exact same content.

One channel says “Please don’t frack our water, so we can light it on fire and get sick from drinking it”, and then the next channel says “**** your health! 😀 .. We don’t want government telling us we can’t pollute your water”.

One channel says “The only way to stimulate the economy is to put more money in the hands of ‘Job Creators’ by not raising taxes against them and simplifying the tax code so they have confidence that the game’s not going to change on them next year after they hire a bunch of people” and the next channel says “We need to go into more debt and tax people more so we can put Americans to work right now”.

Meanwhile, nothing actually gets done, and people continue to starve and lose their homes, with no end in sight.

What I’m wondering is that if these pundits are supposed to be so knowledgeable about their specific areas of concentration, how come they’re not arriving at the exact same conclusions and providing viable and irrefutable solutions to this current American crisis? o_O

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4 thoughts on “Internet Blog-Influenced News Cycles”

  1. ‘I wish there were a “How do you know that?” or “What facts are you basing your opinion on?” button that we could press and get these people to STFU when they’re just running their mouths about things they don’t know anything about.’

    There is. It’s called the OFF button. That, or change the channel. These fools are a complete waste of time.

  2. “Granted, and to the credit of Mass Media, there’s way more fact-checking that goes on before they output their content all late and after-the-fact.”

    Hillary:
    Somethings gotta give… for the networks. In the Hillary case you were able to match them on quality. It’s a live recorded event. All you have to do is present it. Without edits if you like but you were recording it FOR a politician for their consumption, right? The networks need to “add value” (Quality) by bracketing it with their own commentary to justify they’re existence or at least show that they’re not out of step with the news. They’re an ad driven business and they need to keep our attention. They have to try really hard whether the news is worth reporting or not.

    Cain:
    If you think about it you could say the first network broadcast on a particular subject, like the Cain one mentioned above, is likely the highest quality. If no new REAL information is added what you get is a quality curve where the initial broadcast is high then everything subsequently is very low and merely to sustain the first cast and the appearance that they know what’s going on so the viewer doesn’t wander off before the next big thing hits.

    Granted there are other truly evolving stories but the Cain one is stale at the moment. It’s funny how the modus operandi for news companies in competition hasn’t changed in the last 200 years. They’re fighting for the same ad dollars and same viewers using the same news. No wonder there ain’t enough money to go around!

    1. That’s the whole problem, Steve. 🙂

      The information happens one time, and then people talk about it BETWEEN when they find out about it and when there’s some sort of actual resolution.

      Like somebody in Congress can’t make something happen, and then, for the next 25,000 days, we have to hear people’s speculation about how that’s going to affect something, before the effect actually takes place, and by that time, nobody cares if the pundits were right or wrong.

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