The Insipid Vox Pop of Network News

05/25/2011 12:00 pm ET
  • Jeff Jarvis Author, 'Public Parts' and 'What Would Google Do?'

When the networks try to interact with us, the result is too often condescending: They tell us to give them our news images (rather than just linking to us). The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric puts on a tightly controlled 'Free Speech' segment but quickly tires of hearing from us. Or they read insipid letters from us -- or out-of-context blog posts -- and act is if they have heard the voice of the people. They haven't. And they don't even give us the respect to enter into a dialog and answer the questions and challenges we raise. In the video clip below, I show you excerpts from the letters Brian Williams read last week on the NBC Nightly News and add my two cents:

Note that the BBC is doing this differently, inviting the people formerly known as viewers to make their own films and put them up online -- on YouTube or, as I did here -- and send them the link. The Beeb's editors to pick the ones they like and then we, the people, will pick the ones that make it to air. That is a step in the right direction.