VV: One of the dangers, I think, is the tone of some of the criticism can be very personal, a little rougher than journalists are used to receiving, at least on a big scale. I think that that tends to turn some of them off from engaging in the criticism.
But I think for the most part, most journalists today, no matter what they’re doing, whether it’s a newspaper reporter or a TV network producer, I think they understand that we’re living in a new environment where transparency is just a necessity of that environment. I think the real perhaps danger in transparency is allowing that kind of thing — criticism, or fear of criticism, or anything like that — to affect the way that journalists do their job. I have not seen any evidence of that. I think that’s the danger of going maybe a little too far with transparency, but I think that everybody sort of understands that we live in this new media environment. How it’s going to look ten years from now, I think nobody really knows, but I think people understand you’ve got to be transparent to some degree.
BK: What would you do if somebody came to you and said, you get the CBS evening newscast, do with it what you want. How would you change it? Would you distribute it differently? Would you do more online stuff? Would you speed up the pace of it — how would you handle it?
VV: Boy, that’s a tough question. That’s why I’m a writer and a critic, and not an executive.
I think that within any journalism, I think the important thing is to be fair, accurate and try to get at the truth as you see it. What kind of platform you serve that on, or whatever, is, I think, secondary to the main mission of journalism, when you’re trying to tell stories, you’re trying to get the news out, and I think as long as you do those things well, as long as you get the basics covered, I think that you’re going to do just fine.
The rest of it is sort of above my pay grade. I don’t necessarily want to be in that pay grade, and frankly, we don’t spend a lot of time talking about those kinds of things on the blog, because what we’re interested in is the journalism — not the delivery systems, not the things that go around the journalism, but the actual journalism itself, and I think as long as those basics are strong, you’re going to be fine, regardless of what kind of platform you’re on.