Wednesday, November 02, 2005

# Posted 6:21 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

NBC OWNS OXBLOG (FOR NOW): One of the most important shortcomings of MSM criticism from the blogosphere is the fact that so few bloggers watch the big networks' evening news broadcasts.

Even though their audiences continue to splinter, the ABC, NBC and CBS broadcasts still reach about 30 million viewers (or 10 million each). In other words, their audience is an order of magnitude greater than the combined circulation of the NYT and WaPo, which suffer as the targets of an inordinate amount of criticism from the blogosphere.

So, if all of us are so interested in the (alleged) phenomenon of media bias, shouldn't we be watching the networks? Well, yes and no. In half an hour, you can learn a lot more by reading than you can by watching and listening. And how many of us are have schedules that allow us to sit down for half an hour each night, at the same time, in front of our televisions? And if we could sit down each at night, at the same time, in front of our televisions, wouldn't we prefer to watch the Simpsons? (I would.)

But this is where my brand-spanking new iPod comes in. I can download the network podcasts and watch them on the way to work. But for now, I'll only be watching NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams. Why? Because it is the only one of the three broadcasts that delivers the entire broadcast in a single download, instead of divided up into segments.

The NBC download is also commercial-free, so it only takes twenty minutes to watch, instead of thirty, and you can even skip the human interest stories at the end. The podcast's one major shortcoming at the moment is that it provides only sound, and no images. But if video iPods turn out to be as successful as I hope, then images should be on the way.

So, in closing, have I learned anything yet by listening to Brian Williams? The answer is yes, yes I have: NBC has put up a special blog in which two of its correspondents describe their trek across the Gulf Coast to explore the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as part of the Nightly News' in depth report on the the post-Katrina recovery.

I found it quite charming to hear Brian Williams suggest that viewers should read this "blog, or weblog". It would seem that the most impregnable of MSM citadels has now been breached. Precious moments on the evening news, watched by an audience of 10 million, are now being devoted to unpaid advertising for a blog.
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