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The “Holographic” Reporter

Holographic Reporter

Holographic Reporter

When CNN teleported reporter Jessica Yellin into their studio from Chicago’s Grant Park, where president-elect Obama was about to appear, it was a Yes We Can moment. A reporter could be in New York while leaving her body behind in Chicago, purported to be a hologram. Why should it be a surprise that her electronic image might be more important than her atoms, her presence as flesh and blood?

The juxtaposition between her ephemeral presence and Obama’s impressive oratory on the stage was telling - she seemed the avatar, the magic trick, the virtual correspondent in a terrified, overjoyed world expecting, perhaps for the first time in a long time, substance.

What will be the media’s new strategies, other than holograms, for dealing with this presidency? Will a discussion of policies manage to finally trump the superficiality of celebrity? Media executives, reporters and photographers have to ask themselves whether they will be content with covering and promoting photo opportunities and the like or if they can move in a deeper direction than they have managed over the last eight years. What are the problems this country and this world faces? How are they being addressed? It is obvious from this election that people want to know.

Media must once again serve as inspired witnesses and trenchant analysts, not just as pundits and entertainers. We have elected a professional as president; we require that same level of professionalism in our journalists. The internet helped revolutionize this country’s politics and can and should be used to do the same for this country’s media. A similar if not greater intelligence will be required. The challenge has been looming for a long time; we need to address it immediately.

One Comment

  1. Colin Lenton wrote:

    wow, what an excellent point. How far apart could the medium be from the message at this point?

    Could the “wow gadget factor” have been any more distracting with this new technology? Why did they feel this was necessary. What demographic in their audience is tuning into their election coverage, not because of the substance of their conversation, but because of the sci-fi camera technology they’re using for their reporters…

    Hopefully you are right, and this presidency could signal a change across the board - both politically, globally, and with respect to our country’s media.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 11:48 am | Permalink

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