Jounalism Challenge Match

November 3, 2008

Lets say there is a really big story going on that effects everybody. It is complicated but not metaphysically unknowable. Would old media or new media do a better job of covering it?

The economic downturn would be a good example of a big story that effects everyone. Its complicated. So who would you say is winning the contest to inform the people?

Jeff Jarvis takes a look at the contestants and finds a surprise, the winner, for him, is radio.

NPR’s This American Life broke their normal format to take the time to explain what was going on and what the different amswers proposed meant for the markets and for individuals. They also used the internet to supplement their stories with podcasts that could go into more detail.

The big loser for Jarvis, and for any one else who cares about these things, was the cable news outlets. They avoided indepth analysis, ran a talking-head fest of noise and stuck with their usual formula of disturbing footage and snippets of shocking statements ran on an endless loop.