Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Michelle Fields C-SPAN Interview

I watched it.

The Dailly Caller has a write-up, "TheDC’s Michelle Fields discusses journalism in the new media age."

And Dan Riehl steps up with a post defending Michelle from yet another deranged progressive attack from the Betsy Rothstein gang: "FishBowlDC's Ignorant, Inaccurate Sexist Attack on Michelle Fields." The FishBowl piece is a rank hit-job that completely decontextualizes Michelle's comments, even deliberately distorting some of her more significant and substantive points --- points that might elude someone not hip with the game-changing political role of social media communications. Dan has the bingo quote here:
Read the FBDC item, then take time to watch the full hour and decide for yourself which is supercilious and not much worth one's time, as opposed to what appears to be a very substantive young woman well on her way to saying something important enough that many people will want to hear it via New Media.

I found the interview particularly useful from the perspective of a professor of political science who teaches a large number of young people with very limited skills in information technology. A light went off when Michelle explained how she gets her morning news. She just logs on to Facebook and Twitter and checks out what her friends are reading and linking. That's actually not uncommon for people in the industry (in spite of FishBowl's attacks). I'm old fashioned and still get the hard copy Los Angeles Times delivered to the door. It's only a small part of my news diet, and mostly superfluous, but old habits die hard. Michelle, on the other hand, personifies the way today's consumers get their news and how today's reporters cover it. The FishBowl idiots ridicule the idea of citizen journalism as if the very notion itself is a joke. I'm not sure if that's just plain hubris or just a really lame opening shot at Michelle. Probably a little of both. For us old-timers, the laughs come when Michelle admits she has no clue about folks like Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry! That said, Michelle evinces a savvy sophistication about human nature (her discussion of Washington, D.C., for example) and the importance of family in the preservation and regeneration of traditional values. She goes off track a bit with a kind of grade-school crush for Ron Paul, but that's fine in the context of a well developed sense of libertarianism. She was an activist in college and Ron Paul's been hip with young people for the last couple of electoral cycles. Other than that, it's an impressive interview with a very intelligent young woman who's obviously got a bright future in cutting-edge social media-driven reporting.

P.S. This just came to me before posting, more thoughts on Michelle's comments about "biased" news. The point needs to be developed more analytically. That is, we've moved into an era of a "partisan press," one that resembles the kind of journalism that thrived during the early party system of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Technology brought changes back then, ultimately towards a national media market and professionalized, mostly objective news reporting. That era's long gone. Michelle understands this intuitively and may well turn out to be a key player in the new journalism that evolves with increasingly overt partisanship in the years ahead.


Joe E. said...

Definitely needs a "Like" button :)