Earlier this week, we reached out to all of you in the Huffington Post community and asked to borrow your eyes and ears as you watched the media on a daily basis. Together, we have been at this for a little less than a week, but already, this project is yielding incredible insights and input. (If you haven't joined the team, sign up here and mail your tips directly to email@example.com.)
Without knowing what to expect when setting up the Media Monitoring Project, my hopes were pretty simple: that a multitude of people, spread out across the television dial, would bring news of what was being said on the shows I wasn't watching. The opportunity to build a wider net was what I figured was in the realm of the possible. It took mere days for all of you to exceed my expectations. You've hardly been limited to television news. We've gotten tips and analysis from radio shows, local news broadcasts, and deep cuts from newspapers. I've had Media Monitors offer up key ideas and information from old magazine articles that insightfully inform what's going on in the news today. And it's not just been a forum for criticism: you all are handing up stories that deserve greater attention and citing journalistic excellence wherever you encounter it.
And when a big media story is breaking, like this week's face off between Chris Matthews and Ari Fleischer, the resulting crush of emails has been a great boon to us as well, because it represents an explosion of reader passion in real time, and gives us at the Huffington Post the opportunity to pitch content appropriately.
The Media Monitors' most exciting achievements centered on this week's media poster boy, Jim "Mad Money" Cramer (whose poster often doubles as a dartboard in homes across America). On Wednesday, Henry Chukuka emailed me a damning video in which Cramer describes how he ignored the SEC and manipulated financial markets as a hedge fund manager. Jon Stewart wielded the very same video Thursday night in a cringe-worthy public humiliation of the CNBC personality. And earlier in the week, while Cramer was attempting to discredit Stewart as a mere variety show host, Jeff Linkous aptly reminded me that Cramer referred to himself as an "entertainer" only months earlier in the January 2009 issue of Esquire. Thank you Henry and Jeff for doing a little research to find the story.
Overall, this first week has got me both excited about what the weeks ahead will yield AND welling with gratitude. Those of you who have participated in the Media Monitoring Project have clearly decided that the sky is the limit. Thanks for being a part of this project, and for demonstrating again that the Huffington Post community is hyper-engaged, multi-faceted, and incapable of disappointment!