The power of online video

Videos related to this blog are now over on the sidebar, thanks to vodpod!

I added two videos to start with. One of them is a straightforward talk given by Jay Rosen about the difference between old media and new media. He makes the point that it used to be a top-down distribution system and now it’s an intertwined, interactive system.

The other video is a news clip about the becoming-legendary confrontation between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer on The Daily Show last week (March 12). I couldn’t actually link to the video on The Comedy Network site, but that’s where you should go to watch the whole thing, if you haven’t already.

It’s a wonderful, wonderful look at great interviewing skill. And an excellent commentary on the news media’s hand in the whole financial mess we got ourselves into. Why weren’t we asking those tough questions a year ago?

Watching the interview made me think about one of the pitfalls journalism has fallen into over the last few decades  — too often we take what people tell us at face value (like Jim Cramer says he did, but now realizes he was lied to, to his face, by people he trusted). I think this trend has been exacerbated by the deep cuts in many newsrooms, where reporters may not have the time to do the digging they need to do in order to be able ask the hard questions. There is also a huge, institutional loss of memory happening right now, as even more cuts are made and buyouts offered. Not that those issues are excuses for Jim Cramer. It was his job to be looking into the information he was getting and he had the resources to do it. He just didn’t. And there are many, many others like him.

The full-length interview is a must-watch for any journalist. Just watch it. Here’s the link again to The Comedy Network site.

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