Friday, August 22, 2008

Here we are now, infotain us

Welcome to Kenton's Infotainment Scan.

Yep, the title is a tribute to Mark E. Smith and the Fall - a great musician who knows a good media scan (or is it scam?) when he sees one.

As the subhead sez, this site is for people like me, who love and hate the media in equal measure but can't stop consuming it, who are fascinated by how journalists, PR people, and advertisers work together or don't work together to make the media landscape what it is today, and who love to pick it apart piece by piece.

Olympic coverage on NBC vs. CBC

This blog was born this week, as these things are, innocently enough. I was watching the Olympics coverage on NBC, when anchor Brian Williams said, "It's so easy to like Michael Phelps." I instantly thought, "That's funny, because I hate Michael Phelps."

Yeah, he won a lot of medals. Yeah, I'm Canadian, which might make me dislike him more than the average North American. But, let's just say that when I'm at parties, I give wide berth to anyone who looks like they might put me in a headlock 30 seconds after meeting me. That "Mortal Kombat" yelp at the end of that one race scared the bejesus out of me, as it should you. It's been pointed out already, but I can't get past the fact that he looks a lot like Screech on steroids.

There's a great article by Philip Michaels on Aaron Barnhart's TV Barn blog comparing CBC's coverage of the Olympics with NBC's coverage (and not just because the guy comes out in favor of Canada's coverage). Michaels says it all comes down to four things:

1. Less mawkishness

2. Better analysis

3. Greater depth

4. A great Wonderbread ad, which you can see here.

I'm not a sports guy in any sense, but I have enjoyed the CBC's coverage of the games, which may be surprising, coming from the network that picked up Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! on taxpayers' dollars THIS YEAR! The two new, hot shows that the kids can't stop talking about...sigh.

Still, what the CBC does, it does well. And, as long as Ron MacLean's along for the ride (don't lure him away, NBC) all should be well.

Study at RRC, if you're not already

Lastly, as I point out in my bio, I'm an instructor at Red River College in Winnipeg, Canada. Our program is called Creative Communications and covers Ad, PR, Journalism, Broadcast and more. I say this as an instructor and a grad of the program: it's one of the finest programs of its kind. If you think you'd like to do this media analysis stuff full time, or work in the media full time, it's the place to be.

Check out the Red River College website here for more info.

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