Yesterday on The Huffington Post, former CNN producer Chez Pazienza had some interesting comments to make as to the loss of his job, and the trends being followed by the major news corporations today. Without going into too much detail (if you haven't, you really should read the article),the man was fired for having a personal blog, and has decided (for somewhat unrelated reasons) to speak out against network news.
Pazienza had this to say about the practices of the major networks:
"I watched the media in general do anything within reason to scare the hell out of the American public -- to convince people that they were about to be infected by the bird flu, poisoned by the food supply, or eaten by sharks. I marveled at our elevation of the death of Anna Nicole Smith to near-mythic status … and that's not even taking into account the 24/7 Vaudeville act over at Fox News. I watched The Daily Show laugh not at our mistakes but at our intentional absurdity."
But, well... I would hope that anyone reading this is smarter than to actually take anything on network television for "news".
The major topic of interest for me was the way CNN completely wrote off the power of bloggers.
Because he said it better than I could say it myself:
"[CNN] pays more lip-service to bloggers and their internet realm than any other mainstream media outlet, but in the end that's really all it is -- lip-service... As far as CNN (and to be fair, the mainstream TV press in general) believes, it still sits comfortably at the top of the food chain, unthreatened by any possibility of a major paradigm shift being brought to bear by a horde of little people with laptops and opinions. Although the big networks recognize the need to appeal to bloggers, they don't fear them -- and that means that they don't respect them."
Apparently, they were entirely unconcerned about the buzz that would be caused by their firing of a relatively popular blogger. Either they didn't realize that it would happen at all, or (maybe even worse), they thought that they were so far above it that it could simply be ignored. Now obviously, I wouldn't be concerned about me and my extensive readership of about 4 people, but there are thousands of bloggers out there who make a real impact on their communities, and the relationships that they have established with their readers translates into an accountability and believability that large corporations will probably never achieve.
This is the age where most educated people get their news from sources that are as far away from these networks as possible, and the fact that they seem to think they are still remotely relevant would almost be funny if it weren't so sad. If they are that concerned with retaining a market, they should have embraced the idea of a popular blogger in their midst, and tried to bring him into the fold. Or at the very least, they shouldn't have given him a reason to write this particular article. It's a kind of interesting example of how the world is moving on and leaving large corporations behind.