Archive for December 15th, 2006

Internet use surpasses newspapers

December 15, 2006

It was inevitable but nevertheless, it should be marked. About three years ago use of the Internet surpassed readership of all news magazines. Now it has passed newspapers in terms of amount of time spent. According to this article in Editor and Publisher “Americans spend an average of 4 1/2 hours a day watching TV, far more time than they spend on any other medium. Next come the radio and the Internet. Reading newspapers is fourth, passed this year by Internet use.”

Belgium has its own “War of the Worlds”

December 15, 2006

In a time when journalism and entertainment become ever more entwined, when “reality tv” forever mixes up the distinctions between fiction and non-fiction, and when video games get so realistic that you get physically tired playing them (as in my Wii), it is intriguing to see how fake newscasts can still generate a “war of the worlds” reaction.

A TV station in Belgium reported that the country was splitting up between Dutch speaking Flanders and French speaking Wallonia. The hoax was not well received. But it did create quite an uproar.

Taco Bell’s Reaction Fast?

December 15, 2006

Bulldog Reporter has a story today that says Taco Bell is “wasting no time reacting to the E.coli outbreak.” Give me a break. If this isn’t old media world thinking I don’t know what is. I blogged on Taco Bell’s situation on December 7, that would be 8 days ago. Eight days is a long time in today’s instant news world to get the message out that your food is safe and to communicate the action steps you are taking to insure that.

Time Magazine noted Taco Bell’s slow response in an article on Dec 8 including the following: “Taco Bell’s attempt at damage control needs damage control. The fast-food chain has responded poorly to this week’s E. coli
outbreak, experts say, and its bad public relations could hamper Taco Bell’s efforts to reasure its customers.” It quoted my good friend Jonathan Bernstein: “The information a company releases to stakeholders like investors and employees may be different than the information released to the public,” Bernstein says. The information, he adds, “needs to be released in an interactive way so that all of your stakeholders have a means to ask questions and receive answers, such as on a web site.”

What really gets me about this kind of story in Bulldog is that this is an online publication for the public relations industry.  The writers of this ought to “get it” better than this because they are the ones setting the expectations and communicating new standards to the industry.