If you can’t beat ’em, CNN ’em.

Broadway CNNI’m not sure if you noticed, but the internet is owned by individuals.  The web is where anyone with a blog, a Twitter, or an oft used Yelp account, can help make or break a business . . . or even a government.

That kind of power was previously wielded by a very small group of news providers.  First it was “the papes,” and then it was radio, and then television.  But now the power has gone to the people and the democratized internet, where anyone can be an Authority, from Arianna Huffington to Perez Hilton to . . . you.

This “anyone-with-a-computer-can-rise-to-power” ability scared the bejeesus out of those traditional media outlets, including so many of us in our industry.

“What will happen to criticism?”

“Can we trust the people to define art?  That’s our job!”

“They can’t report the news!  They won’t be accurate!  We have rules!”

All valid points . . . but trying to fight this phenomenon is as futile as trying raise money for a revival of Dance of The Vampires. 

So, as I often propose . . . when two sides are so at odds, maybe the answer isn’t to go to war, it’s to join forces.

Take CNN . . .

CNN was the first big box TV network to embrace the user, and validate him/her, as an important part of their news operation by devoting an entire section of their site to . . . iReporters.  Who are iReporters?  

You.  Me.  iReporters are everyone out there who wants to tell their story.  Maybe it’s the people who were at LAX over the weekend.  Maybe it’s the people in yesterday’s NYC marathon.  Or maybe it’s people at an opening night party?  Hmmmm???

The news is for the people, why not give the people a platform (that’s actually in your control) where they can help tell it?

The theater is for the audience . . . so why not do the same thing?

While I’m sure there was a mini revolt by the actual CNN reporters when viewers who submit stories were handed their “reporter” title, the iReporter branding was a genius move on behalf of the CNN execs.  By labeling them “reporters” they gave respect to their viewers, and instilled them with a responsibility that came along with the moniker.  “You’re a reporter now.  Handle yourself appropriately.”

So what if Broadway had iReporters?  Or iReviewers?  Could the League sponsor them?  Or the NY Times?  Or Playbill.com?

The truth is, these folks already exist, they are just hidden in the dark corners of theater chat sites, instead of being embraced by our “big network” news/reviews providers (“Jesse21” on TalkinBroadway.com comes to mind . . . and btw, his skills could give any reviewer in town a run for his/her money).

But the way the world-wide-web is headed, if we continue to treat our audience like their voices aren’t worthy, they’ll either talk even more smack than they already do . . . or worse . . . they’ll stop talking about us altogether.


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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  • Sorry, but CNN has laid their brand low with their slavish repudiation of news for the sake of idiotic fads like the iReporters. It used to be that CNN, and before them, CBS and the other networks brought an authoritarian gravitas to the news with real journalism and analysis. Nowadays, it’s not much different than watching YouTube videos of skateboarders smashing their crotches into stationary objects. No insight, no value, no usefulness.

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  • “Toronto goalie James Reimer was not that taken by the concept of such change.’Obviously as goalies we don’t want to give up any of our size or any of our gear ?? for safety reasons and puck-stopping reasons We’re comfortable with it I don’t think any forwards would like it if you talked of taking away their one-piece sticks’??Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer”Obviously as goalies we don’t want to give up any of our size or any of our gear ?? for safety reasons and puck-stopping reasons” he said after helping the Leafs beat Tampa Bay 4-2 “We’re comfortable with it I don’t think any forwards would like it if you talked of taking away their one-piece sticks”Both sides seemed in favour of visorsSchneider said some 72-73 per cent of NHL players currently wear shields”By the sheer numbers of players wearing them you’re seeing a big change in visors” said Schneider”I’m certainly an advocate ?? and a bit of a hypocrite myself because I played my entire career without one But the game’s extremely fast Guys come into the league now having had to wear a visor before We’re definitely going to look at talking to the guys about grandfathering them in”That might involve polling the players on the issue The last time they did that in 2009 players were “heavily” against grandfathering in visors he said”Obviously a lot of time has passed [and] a couple more injuries” he notedThat might involve polling the players on the issue The last time they did that in 2009 players were “heavily” against grandfathering in visors he saidCampbell said the GMs are in favour of grandfathering in visors making them mandatory for players entering the league”They’re not going to ask players who don’t have visors on now to wear visors” he saidVideo reviewOn the issue of video review Campbell said there was no move to a so-called coach’s challenge But he said GMs raised many instances of possible review including goaltender interference and offsideThere was positive talk of reviewing four-minute high-sticking penalties to see if a player had been hit by his own teammate’s stickCampbell said goaltender interference challenges would be hard but he was in favour of offside reviews to prevent erroneous embarrassing calls He acknowledged that would take cameras in the boards similar to cameras in the netThere was also talk of how to prevent “cheating” at faceoffs?? having players kicked out to buy time Schneider said”They want to bring back the integrity of the faceoff and try to take away as much of the cheating as possible” he saidCampbell said GMs were in favour of hybrid icing but the NHLPA was in favour of no touch icing or the status quoThe issue of staged fights did not come up Schneider saidCampbell said GMs did talk about circulating names of players who embellish around the league”It’s a difficult issue but I think it’s certainly something that’s going to keep resurfacing over the next few meetings” said SchneiderPlayer safety was a major thread Wednesday with GMs agreeing to look at boarding with an eye to educating players on contact around the boards The goal is protect players while maintaining the physical nature of the gameThe league and NHLPA is adding a meeting of the competition committee ?? which features members from both sides ?? at the all-star game The idea is to come up with ideas to put forward to the GM meetings That will be followed by a competition committee meeting during the Stanley Cup with anything advancing out of that going to the board of governors’ meeting The average wage is less than $13 an hour and retention is low. licensing regulations,400 seconds for a full 360-degree revolution, The last leap second occurred at the end of December in 2008. Olivia Gondek, the mayor reverts to the language of the locker-room, . is an ethicist and the Canada Research Chair in Bioethics and Philosophy at Dalhousie University. End of Story Content

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