from Rachel with love

from Rachel with love

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Sorry old school journalists, savvy advertising experts and prickly control-freak publicists but it’s time to realize something. To survive you can no longer be storytellers – you have to be information managers.  Here are some examples:

Rachel Maddow is an information manager. She takes the current news trends, analyzes them and offers up her opinion. She translates and disseminates information using a liberal, celesbian lens. We know it, we’re fine with it, we’ll watch her if we like that slant – and her numbers are through the roof.

Katie Couric is a storyteller. She takes the current news, tells the story she thinks we will find most interesting (called a HOOK or ANGLE) and puts a pretty package together hoping no one else has that same ANGLE.  Boring, yawn, her numbers are in the toilet.

Jon Stewart is also an information manager. He takes the current news, translates and gives it to us with using the funny lens. His numbers are great. Even Perez Hilton, as much as we love to hate him, is  an information manager. Perez takes the celebrity news and translates it with a snarky, ‘I used to be a geek and now I’m more powerful than you’ lens. His traffic numbers are still incredible.

Just try to ‘package’ a story or launch a brand these days with a clever message and a nice dose of spin. What happens? The public’s immediate attitude is that ‘WE WILL TAKE YOU DOWN, MOTHERF*&#ER’. (Remember Motrin Moms?) Today’s social media/citizen journalists love nothing better than to debunk a story, expose an exclusive, steal a headline from a print paper, or do whatever else it takes to prove they can get there faster and more provocatively than traditional media. And guess what? They’re winning the race.

It’s time to admit what we haven’t wanted to admit for a long time –  information is  too real-time and too accessible for us to believe the ‘stories’ any more. We want to pick our chosen lens and get our information there.

Who’s your favorite information manager?

  • John Fredette
    Posted at 14:28h, 09 October Reply

    I think you are confusing social commentators, comedians, gossip columnists and news broadcasters. Granted, the current environment of immediate news and the blurring of roles as well as the public’s dwindling attention span have all contributed to that confusion. But I think it is wrong to assert that story telling is dead. People will always want stories. They just now need them to be much shorter, and funny and or snarky. If they know they can count on a particular source to be dependable they will count on them. Katie Couric is limited by the CBS news organization to be what she is. But she still probably did more to take down that crazy ex-beauty queen, ex-governor than Jon Stewart’s jibes and Tina Fey’s impressions put together. She exposed the complete lack of anything behind those glasses and the others fed off the fresh kill. Beware of facile distinctions, they may look good on paper. Things are way too complicated these days to easily assign labels. Katie can be dull certainly but she can be a shark too.

  • malik
    Posted at 20:37h, 25 October Reply

    @johnfredette: touche on Couric. she did do that. though, for year after year returns Jon Stewart and Rachel.msnbc are top notch. i’d add South park’s Matt Stone and Trey Parker. they are animators, but they repackage news, info and the bizarreness of the everyday into some brilliant episodes.

  • waxmarketing
    Posted at 07:13h, 26 October Reply

    I also agree with john the lines are getting blurred – I saw a Pew study that showed Jon Stewart tied with Anderson Cooper and Brian Williams as the #4 spot people got their news.

  • Rosalyn Lask
    Posted at 10:46h, 12 April Reply

    You are right on the money with this post, keep up the good work!

  • Lvy
    Posted at 16:28h, 20 December Reply

    Brad, I bet that survival guide is going to be a hell of a refnreece work. When we were talking before I also suggested something that I haven’t had the balls to bring up in here. I still think its a great idea but I feel guilty not being able to devote the time to contribute properly.For the rest of you that weren’t at the bar with Brad and I that night, here goes.I was telling him that the Revo had become a refnreece source for a lot of us. Not just for mental artillery in the fight against these damned statists but also in regarding guns, finance, etc.brad and I have a dread fear of financial or EMP armageddon crashing the system and destroying the distribution chain. the question for those suffering in that horrific scenario would immediately become How do we Survive, but hen, very soon, HOW DO WE REBUILD. How indeed. How many of you could build an angine, a water pump, could build a radio from scratch? Could you build a still to fuel a generator? Could you store your food, scavange for food, or bven know what was safe to eat? Could you plant, harvest, and process grains? Would you even HAVE grains to plant? I think you get the idea. Together, with our computers having access to all the infirmation we need this all seems pretty simple. Well, imagine if you didn’t have access to the Net, or electricity, transportation, or water, etc. We’d be royally fucked. Now, anyone that HAD the information on how to rebuild would be a king and a saviour to his community. his family would survive. he, along with the few others that had specialized knowledge could slowly try and return things to at least acceptable levels. I’d like to BE one of those people, and I bet you would too.Trouble is, WHERE is all that information concentrated?I suggested we concentrate it HERE. I suggested we fire up a running reader contribution link (or something) that could slowly but surely let us assemble the basics of electricity, farming, firearms, water, engine repair, canning, etc.I was drinking, yes, but it seemed like a damned fine idea frankly. An Encyclopedia Revoista that we could all copy from, print (hard copies would be necessary in a FUBAR scenario), and add to as we thought of new stuff we didn’t know. If it sounds a bit TinFoil Hat, sorry. I actually was always one to want to know how everything works long before I got old enough and paranoid enough to understand the larger world. yeah, this idea is one of those legendary posts I started but never finished but I really didn’t want to suggest it without RD or Brads blessing. Posting it front page would have been a bit cheeky.What do you think? it it feasable or even worth pursuing?

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