18 July 2007

“If we’re all watching cats flushing toilets, what aren’t we reading? What great writer are we missing? What great story are we ignoring? This is societal, it’s cultural, I can’t change it. … Like everybody else, I can burn an hour on YouTube or Perez Hilton without breaking a sweat. And what have I just not paid attention to that 10 years ago I would’ve just consumed?”

Brian Williams said that and more during a recent lecture to the surely snarky NYU Journalism Dept.

I love my man BW. Ever since I caught him late one night on that awful Carson Daly show. BW was very cool, candid and sincere and I bought it, hook, line and sinker. He was talking about his kids and Queens of the Stoneage and all this shit that just made me realise he was human after all despite how stately and serious he may appear sitting on the tail of his suit every night on NBC's Nightly News.

You can read more about his recent lecture from NYU's Dept of Journalism-sanctioned "webzine" if you dare. Click on Bullpen

He added that it’s often difficult to judge the credibility of a blogger. “On the Internet, no one knows if you’ve been to Ramadi or you’ve just been to Brooklyn and have an opinion about Ramadi,” said Williams.

Williams is certainly not anti-blog — in fact, he has his own blog, The Daily Nightly, which he updates every day. But he does worry that the explosion of opinion-driven amateur media might distract the public from big stories or important writers’ work.

“You’re going to be up against people who have an opinion, a modem, and a bathrobe,” said Williams. “All of my life, developing credentials to cover my field of work, and now I’m up against a guy named Vinny in an efficiency apartment in the Bronx who hasn’t left the efficiency apartment in two years.” [Bullpen]

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