Tuesday, July 29, 2008

virtual voices (3)

The News Panel was on next, which was a bit off topic for me, but I was interested to hear their take on user generated content. Perhaps predictably, it was depressing: Martin Fewell revealing that 90-95% of their public emails come from the same small set of people, and in the email equivalent of green ink; Vicky Frost hinting at the abyssal awfulness of many of the comments coming into comment is free. There was, among the media professionals, an (I felt not altogether misplaced) mistrust of the "popular" news story, admixed with a appalled fascination with the awfulness of their most voluble audience members. Tory blogger was also on this panel, and his relationship with the awful, cringeworthy commentators was quite different. They are not populist sirens to mollify, improve, or ignore but his validatory bread and butter, the underswell of common opinion setting the media deliverers to rights, righteously. Also, notably, compere Nick Roddick asked him to sum up something (I honestly forget what) in two words. We were there for a while.

virtual voicesvirtual voices panel 1

Oh, and Martin Fewell had a few words about the dangers of pandering to the Youtube generation (difficult, they agreed, to maintain integrity when their managers all want them to get onto the "most popular" and "most read" lists) and he used as his exemplar of popular non-news "videos of cats falling off pianos". I think he probably meant this one:

Cat's a genius.

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