Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Anchors, Away!

Watching the Main Stream Media continue to deny that they have a hatchet in their collective heads is akin to the Black Knight's claim of invincibility despite losing all of his limbs in his fight with Monty Python's Arthur.

At some point you just have to turn your head away in disgust. But let's keep looking just a little longer.

Brian Williams, man-tan mannequin who is slated to replace Tom Brokaw on NBC, just lost another limb:

Bloggers, he said, are "on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem." Let me get off the pot and respond, even though I've got wireless.

These expressions of denial are similar to the same fundamental shifts that occured in the manufacturing and service sectors over 20 years ago. And the MSM's salvation lies in these industries' response, if they care to listen:

Regulated and protected industries with captured markets (eg utilities, telephone, and even the auto industry in the 70s) organized themselves functionally in hierarchical siloes, each group focusing on their own small piece of the overall product or service offering. Manufacturing didn't speak to sales, Sales didn't speak to R & D, and R & D didn't speak to Marketing. And nobody spoke to the customer.

Products and services were "pushed" out to their customers, with the focus on standard offerings, long production runs, and efficiencies instead of customer service. You remember what happened to the K-car.

In the MSM newsroom, the Anchor sits at the top of these siloes, isolated with a certainty that a protected bureaucracy promotes, and sees themselves as the arbiter of "news," obligated to push out their product which the masses should accept.

Except we're not buying. And the bloggers are their only hope.

In an enlightened newsroom, the "Anchor" would be called a "Team Leader," responsible for delivering the nightly news to their customers' requirements - objectivity, not agendas. The Team Leader would seek out participation from a broad, non-hierarchical team, internally and externally, to provide feedback on customer requirements, check product quality, and insure customer satisfaction. That guy with the modem sounds like an asset, not a liability.

So drop the Anchors and bring on the bloggers. Anchors, away! Do I need to get a tan?

Reference: Outside the Beltway