Politics & Media
Sep 12, 2008, 10:04AM


Tina Brown, former top editor of the New Yorker and Princess Di biographer, is just about all set to launch her news/aggregator/meme website, The Daily Beast. When pressed for questions, though, reporters were given a lot of dead ends and brick walls. Can you feel the hype?

She confesses being new to the web world. She’d never heard the word “wireframe” and says that tech geniuses are in another hemisphere. She recalls having scoops to hold onto in print but that day is over. She is happy not to be boxed in in presentation. She discovers the new world. She’s a convert.

She discovers “citizen journalism” as well but she cites big media efforts to get contributions rather than citizens’ enterprises. It’s a paragraph taken from some speech in 2004.

Now she gets to her pitch. Wind up: “People seeking to be informed are becoming increasingly overwhelmed.” Cue the stats about how many blogs and YouTube videos there are. She said that at the Democratic convention, everybody was filming everybody else: “a hall of mirrors.” Now she quotes Nick Davis bemoaning “churnalism.” Methinks she’ll cure.

She says we fear we’re going to miss that special moment of news. She says there’s so much we can’t believe: splogs, flogs, and misinformation. “That’s the part that scares me the most.”

Tina to the rescue. “What can we do to cut thorugh all this static, fake stuff, and noise…. There’s nothing wrong with algorithms. They’re fantastic…. It is the time for editors to reassert themselves ot curate in a more rigorous way.


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